Save the Planet, Work Remotely

Aruba and Avaya team up to provide secure enterprise-quality voice and data applications to remote workers--and reduce greenhouse gases while they're at it.

By Naomi Graychase | Posted Mar 18, 2008
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Aruba Networks announced today that it has teamed up with Avaya to provide a "green" voice and data access solution for teleworkers. In a press release, Aruba said it was motivated by "the need to reduce CO2 emissions," as well as market trends that "favor mobile workforces."

According to Aruba, a telecommuter traveling 45 miles—roughly the distance between San Jose and San Francisco, or Boston and Providence—twice a week, instead of every day, will reduce annual CO2 emissions by roughly 5.5 metric tons (an amount that could also be "offset" with a $66 donation to CarbonCounter.org).

"Aruba is a member of the US Green Building Council and our objective is to deliver technology in service not only of end-users, but to be as environmentally-friendly as possible. One way we can help is getting people off the road," says Mike Tennefoss, Head of Strategic Marketing for Aruba.

Avaya's clients currently include more than one million businesses worldwide, including 90% of the Fortune 500, which are using Avaya solutions for IP telephony, unified communications, contact centers, and communications-enabled business processes.

"Avaya makes a wide range of IP telephones and other voice and messaging systems," says Tennefoss. "Their objective 'in teaming with us' is to allow you to use the same Avaya equipment when traveling, as you would locally."

The IP-based solution integrates components of Avaya Connected Teleworker—including IP telephones, Avaya Communication Manager software, and Avaya Modular Messaging servers—with Aruba adaptive wireless LANs. It provides identity-based, follow-me security wherever a teleworker roams, using "an unobtrusively packaged" remote access point—about the size of a couple of decks of cards--that includes an integrated firewall and router, and a centralized management system that can accommodate large workforces.

The enterprise-level security and voice solution is not just for large corporations, however.

"The Remote Access Software works for any size business and with any Aruba access point. It works with all of our controllers, from our smallest—six to ten APs—to the largest enterprise. If you are a retail store and want to set up branch offices, but don't have IT departments in the field, you can mail the manager an AP and as soon as his or her Internet connection is up and running, he or she can just plug in the AP and they are live online with the corporate data center. They can set up shop with Avaya IP-based phones, etc."

Aruba is a member of the Avaya DevConnect program—"an initiative to develop, market, and sell innovative third-party products that interoperate with Avaya technology and extend the value of a company's investment in its network."

"We are Avaya interoperability-certified," says Tennefoss. "DevConnect is a rigorous set of tests. If our system was difficult to set up or incompatible, we wouldn't have passed."RAPn with Wi-iFi Planet.jpg

Among the products that have been rated compliant by Avaya is Aruba's Remote Access Point software, which can be loaded on any Aruba access point. The Remote Access Point provides a secure connection back to the enterprise without requiring a client to be installed on a laptop or other Wi-Fi-enabled device. It features a built-in firewall and a split-tunneling router. Users connect the access point to any wide area network (WAN) and the software—configured by the IT department before the AP was distributed to the user—will automatically find the primary or back-up enterprise data center, establish a secure link, and start delivering applications.

"Remote Access Point software, loaded into any Aruba access point, converts it into a remote connection solution. It enables the AP to roam over the Internet and find the primary or backup data centers that the enterprise has set up. And then it will set up an IPsec tunnel, the kind of security that a VPN provides, a secure tunnel from that data center to that access point," says Tennefoss.

All Avaya wired or wireless IP phones work with the Aruba Remote Access Point.

"The point of the remote access software—and there's nothing like it on the market today—is to bring the enterprise desktop experience to you wherever you are with the same level of security and convenience. There's no software on your laptop or dual-mode phone or PDA. Everything is handled for you," says Tennefoss.

The teleworker solution is available for immediate deployment, and has been tested for interoperability under both Avaya's DevConnect program and Aruba's technology partnership program.

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-FiPlanet.com.

Article courtesy of Wi-Fi Planet

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