Don’t compare us to i-Pass; mobile operators "baffle us"
Corporate remote access specialist GRIC has changed its name to GoRemote and launched a new version of its remote access client software at the same time.
The name change goes along with a new policy to be more involved as a direct entity to the enterprise market, and get involved not just as a remote access specialist but as an all-dancing provider of corporate VPNs and a Frame Realy replacement. GRIC has until now been mainly resold by other service providers and VARs.
For Mobile Europe readers the main innovation of Mobile Office 5 is the inclusion of GPRS as an access option on the client. GPRS joins dial, Ethernet and WLAN as connectivity options. A user who already has a GPRS device of some kind can connect to the GPRS network by hooking his phone to the laptop, or via infrared, or PCMCIA card. Choice of access is determined by the client directory, which tells the user what his best option is, depending on location. The client also includes an SMS button, so that users connected by GPRS can use it to send and receive text messages.
Tom D’Arezzo, director of product management said GoRemote was also including additional administrator management and security functions in the client, to make it easier for enterprises to manage large numbers of mobile or remote workers. VPN technology from Cisco, Nortel, CheckPoint and Microsoft is integrated, as are firewalls and intrusion detection systems. If the VPN connection drops at any point, then the client automatically drops the connection.
D’Arezzo said that GoRemote was looking to partner with mobile operators to help them add value to their enterprise products. In his opinion most operators were too busy looking after their own evolution to 3G and were "not orientated to solving enterprise problems."
"They are looking to sell access technology and access technology is pre-disposed to commoditisation, there has to be a value-add, which is what we offer." D’Arezzo said GoRemote has been in contact with most of the major operators, and has had a standing engagement with Vodafone.
"The mobile world has to change the way it works," he added. "It is all about consistency and performance levels. The first step is our GPRS capability on the client, where you can interface by clicking twice on the laptop – making it more usable for the user and the CIO, with all security integrated."
He admitted that many operators would have legacy clients "and for reasons that baffle us they have decided to maintain their legacy client or installed base." Other operators, such as Vodafone with its Dashboard product, are developing their own client, but D’Arezzo cautioned that as yet he saw no evidence of businesses using GPRS as a standard connectivity option.
D’Arezzo also had a harsh word for the company most obviously associated as a competitor to GoRemote, iPass. "With our solutions focussed approach we do all the things that iPass does not do," he said. "If you want remote access and you want any colour you like as long as it is black. Their focus is on remote access and security and our focus is on he entire remote workforce orientation of the enterprise. We are comparative except our client is a significant innovation and far above what everybody else is providing," he concluded.