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Telecommuting

A combined home office and enterprise application is telecommuting. In this case a home office LAN at the telecommuter's residence is linked to the enterprise network, permitting the home office worker to function electronically as though he or she were present in the enterprise's normal office facilities. This electronic link works for many types of office and professional jobs. When telephone calls are routed to a telecommuter's home, the caller can in no way tell that the telecommuter is working from home and not from some central office facility. The only time a telecommuter cannot report to work is when the electronic links between the home and the enterprise office facility are broken or out of service. When telecommuters are spread across a metropolitan area, it would be very difficult to have every telecommuter unable to connect to the central enterprise office facility.

Telecommuters can depend upon Windows Virtual Private Network (VPN) and Remote Access Server (RAS) software to link their home office LAN to the central enterprise network. Windows VPN capability is built into most Windows versions. It permits the remote Windows system to securely connect to a central office Windows system over a virtual connection that travels across a private TCP/IP network or the Internet. A central office Windows or other VPN server routes the data from the remote Windows PC host to the enterprise network servers. A Windows or other RAS server permits remote PC hosts to dial into the central facility network using the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). In other cases remote PC hosts may connect directly as terminals to enterprise network mainframe computers to access and update specific databases. See Figure 1.17.


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