The Virtual Office Checklist

Here are some things to consider when choosing Cisco SMB Solutions that enable you and your colleagues to work from anywhere.

Adding a VPN and firewall enables the security you need. The technology behind remote access is called a "virtual private network," or "VPN," and it establishes a private, secure network connection over a public network, such as the Internet.

VPNs use secure firewalls and well-tested security measures at every network point of entry, to help stop worms, spyware, or hackers from attempting to disrupt your business network or steal sensitive information.

Here's the beauty of a VPN: Once it's installed, you can add as many employees in as many places as you need. You don't have to worry about expensive provisioning in each branch offices store or site; a PC and an Internet connection will do the trick. The VPN software handles all security and user authentication.

There are several types of VPNs from which to choose. Cisco Certified Partners can help you evaluate your business requirements and present the most appropriate solution for your business needs today and provide a growth path that will meet your business needs tomorrow.

Even on the road, your data is safe. With a VPN, you're essentially creating a secure private network, or "tunnel," over the Internet. This way, only valid users can access the VPN, and then only by using industry-proven methods of user authentication.

Meanwhile, strong encryption technologies, which translate information into a secret code, help ensure the data is unintelligible to anyone attempting to intercept VPN communications—even over Wi-Fi networks.

You'll lower networking costs. Because a VPN provides a direct link to your business network, you don't necessarily have to install network equipment at each office or location in your business. A computer and Internet-connection can be all you need to access information, applications, and resources if working remotely.

Your phone and conferencing system is available to those who may need it the most: remote and mobile employees. Cisco SMB Solutions for voice and conferencing on a data network enable you to communicate easily and meaningfully with out-of-the-office workers, partners, suppliers, customers, and others.

You can expand your recruitment reach. With this kind of flexibility, you can attract and retain employees from any geographic region. You can hire executives or professionals with special skills wherever they live and have them join the company network quickly and easily. According to several human resources studies work/life benefits, such as teleworking and flex time, are among the most valued benefits a company can offer.

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