MARLBOROUGH, MASS. December 19, 2005 3Com Corporation today made it easier for enterprises to accommodate visitors to corporate sites, branch offices, hotels and other institutions with a new "guest access" wireless application that lobby and reception area staffers can use to set up temporary wireless user accounts. Enabling visitors to quickly get online i.e. to access the Internet as a guest on the corporate network - helps to promote business collaboration, increase productivity and enhance a company's reputation.
"Not only will an organization give a visitor a badge to enter a building, but it can now give the visitor the right to securely access the network wirelessly and the IT manager doesn't have to worry about it," said Rohit Mehra, director of enterprise wireless, 3Com. "Whether the 'guest' or visitor is a customer, a partner, an investor or another stakeholder, offering the Guest Access application brings the sophistication of the IT infrastructure to the front lobby with an easy-to-use, customer-facing application, enhancing the 'reception' experience to welcome guests."
For the Wireless User / Visitor: Each visitor is given a username and password and is presented with a customized Web page that asks them to log in. Once they log in, their laptop computers are granted access to the Internet, so, for example, they can retrieve e-mails, access Web-based databases or participate in Web-based conferences while on site.
For the Lobby or Reception Area Staffer: Lobby and reception area staffers use a Java-based software provisioning application to set up the temporary user accounts for visitors. The application is designed to be specifically easy to use and time-saving. No IT staff intervention is needed. Using user-friendly online tools, the lobby and reception area staff are able to present to visitors a Web page that is customized with the company's logo and other branding information.
For the IT Manager: Control over each guest's access is ensured. 3Com's enterprise wireless switch, which is the platform for running the Guest Access application, provides automated capabilities for the authentication of user identity, authorization for a specific time period and accounting of wireless user activities online. The Guest Access Manager capabilities isolate traffic on the network and restrict where users can roam. The authorization process also manages the access control list, encryption type, virtual LAN (VLAN) and physical locations permitted in the facility. Full accounting statistics may also be collected.
Different security levels and prioritization can be configured for different groups of users. One of the benefits is that all of these important security functions are carried out without an IT manager needing to touch the corporate authentication, authorization and accounting server.
3Com's wireless switch system provides the management tools to allow IT managers to plan, configure and implement this new "guest access" solution efficiently and cost-effectively. As organizations evolve their networks to include more new-generation wireless LAN capabilities, the Guest Access Manager application is designed to take advantage of the superior management and security features of wireless switch technology. It also permits authentication records to be set up "on demand" for guest user accounts in a centrally-controlled 3Com® wireless switch or controller.
As a well-established networking vendor with strong wireless experience, 3Com has been offering its wireless switch solution since the middle of 2004 and offering standards-based wireless access points and wireless PC cards for a half dozen years. 3Com offers a broad line of secure wireless products that help IT managers support mobile users and applications.
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