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Senior Editor

Gric provides range of remote access capabilities

Nov 20, 20033 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsRemote Access

* Gric Communications manages remote access so you don’t have to

Gric Communications early next month will unveil a service to help enterprise IT managers provide a variety of remote access capabilities to users without having to manage multiple ISP contracts.

Gric says its Universal Remote Control service, which lets IT managers get myriad means of remote access for mobile workers from multiple service providers, is targeted at large companies that have a mobile workforce using a variety of technologies for remote access. Having one source to track remote access usage and one bill that covers Wi-Fi, DSL, broadband, cable modem and dial-up connections, for example, would reduce costs and headaches associated with trying to manage multiple contracts, Gric says.

“From an end-user perspective, you don’t care about the ISP you’re using to dial in to the network. From the IT manager perspective, you don’t need to track multiple accounts,” says Michael Smart, a senior vice president at Gric. “We normalize the experience for end users regardless of the ISP or remote access service they are using. And we bring the number of relationships with ISPs from many to one.”

The managed and secure service can monitor networks, manage users, support multiple mobile and remote users, and let IT managers pay for all their remote access with one bill.

Gric lets IT managers assign rights and privileges to mobile and remote workers. When an employee logs in from the road the software tracks the type of remote access being used, notes the performance of the session and ensures the connection is secure. The software makes sure all remote access connections perform the same and enforces policies set by IT managers.

If a specific user is supposed to be connected via a VPN tunnel, when the user logs in and attempts to get remote access, Gric software will immediately set up the VPN tunnel. The user simply clicks “connect,” without realizing the behind-the-scenes work that’s going on.

Gric hosts the administration and management software console (comprised of multiple management products, such as HP OpenView) and maintains 35,000 access points on the Internet.

IT managers install the Gric software client on each mobile client to be managed. The software hosted by Gric uses RADIUS (Remote Authentication Dial-In User Service) to poll the client software for usage and session data. IT managers can use a Web browser to view the data specific to their mobile workforce via a Web portal.

Managed remote access services from Gric start as low as $15 per month for dial-up connectivity, and the costs scales based on number of users and type of remote access. Enterprise customers can either pay a flat rate or get usage-based pricing.