Mobile and remote network service provider GRIC Communications, newly renamed GoRemote, has launched new client software, added GPRS as a wireless data access connectivity option, and rolled out a new version of its branch-office IP service. Mobile and remote network service provider GRIC Communications, newly renamed GoRemote, has launched new client software, added GPRS as a wireless data access connectivity option, and rolled out a new version of its branch-office IP service.The revamped GoRemote portfolio cuts the number of steps necessary to connect to corporate networks, expands user network access options and adds a broadband Internet-based IPSec VPN service that includes fairly stringent service-level agreements (SLA).In addition, the new GoRemote mobile client connectivity software is now available for PocketPC platforms, notes Tom D'Arezzo, director of product management.You may recall that GRIC\/GoRemote competes with the likes of Fiberlink and iPass in the enterprise remote-access space. All these companies offer one-stop shopping to large organizations with mobile work forces that need broad-reaching, secure connectivity with consolidated billing.Joanie, who spoke with GoRemote, was perhaps most struck by the impressive level of SLAs associated with branch-office VPN services, considering they traverse the public Internet. The provider offers SLAs on 12 metrics. Among them:* Less than 135 milliseconds latency roundtrip, CPE to CPE (including encryption\/decryption).* Less than 10 milliseconds jitter, CPE to CPE, one way (including encryption\/decryption).* .5% packet loss round trip.* 99.99% availability, presuming two redundant VPN concentrators and dual-homed Tier 1 ISPs at the headend.But Joanie's favorite SLA had to do with billing. Jim Crane, product manager for the branch office service, says that if there is a billing problem that cannot be resolved within 90 days, the company simply voids the bill.This is smart business, because this SLA has bigger implications than just short-term dollars and cents. Billing disputes and service problems are the kinds of issues that lose customers forever.\u00a0Joanie, who for decades was the world's most loyal AT&T customer, can speak to this, albeit from a consumer standpoint. After a year-long billing dispute caused by AT&T suddenly insisting that she owed an inexplicable outstanding amount of money but being unable to provide any backup or explanation as to what the charges were for - and feeling no obligation to do so - Joanie has changed carriers for good and is now taking AT&T to small claims court.Bad billing systems, rude service, and flippant attitudes are the things that kill business relationships forever - not only between providers and the customer they have poorly served, but that customer's closest allies, too.Let's hope GoRemote means it when it makes this promise. We're living in a service industry. Ultimately, it's good service that will distinguish successful companies.