Symantec Protection Network Gains Remote Access Tools

I spent much of 2007 hyping the Symantec Protection Network (SPN), a software as a service (SaaS) platform for storage management (now) and security management (down the road). But even Symantec concedes SPN hit some early bumps.

Still, Symantec continues to polish SPN with new features, including support for Windows Vista and Remote Online Access. Here are the details.

The new Symantec Online Remote Access beta release, helps businesses to securely access their files and applications on their computer regardless of physical location, according to Symantec.

A Symantec press statement says Online Remote Access is:

"an online service that connects business professionals with their computers quickly and securely from any location.  Mobile workers, telecommuters, field sales teams, satellite offices and IT organizations can securely access files, programs and other network resources remotely."

"Online Remote Access can be set up and ready for use within minutes of signing up, thereby providing a simple and easy-to-implement alternative to complicated and expensive VPN solutions. ...  Subscribers can log in from any PC, with no pre-installed software required on the controlling computer, making users’ desktop applications accessible on-demand."
Online Remote Access joins two established SPN services: Online Backup and Online Storage for Backup Exec. Symantec is expected to expend SPN with SaaS-oriented security services either late this year or in 2009.

No Rush to Vista

Ironically, Symantec barely mentioned the fact that SPN now supports Windows Vista "in recognition of the increasing adoption of Vista in our customer base." Vista will turn two-years-old in a few months. Symantec's failure to have SPN support Vista sooner shows just how tepid corporate demand for the operating system has been.

I expect to hear more about SPN and Symantec's SaaS strategy in mid-October, during the company's partner conference in Washington, D.C.

In the meantime, managed service providers can beta test Online Remote Access at http://signup.spn.com.
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