Multinational companies are getting more options for puttingtogether virtual private networks. Consulting firm KPMG andVPN service provider iPass Inc. will reveal this week thatthey are working together to offer customers a single pointof contact for global VPN services.
KPMG plans to bundle applications such as sales-forceautomation with iPass' VPN remote-access service and sellthe package around the world. By working with iPass, KPMGsays it will be able to cut remote-access costs by anaverage of 30% for domestic users and 70% to 90% forinternational users. In the United States, companies willpay an average of 5 cents per minute for dial-up access tothe Internet, while calls from expensive internationallocations such as Thailand and Uganda will cost 25 cents aminute. The savings will come partly because iPass users canconnect to VPNs via a local call to more than 3,000 Internetaccess points in 150 countries. KPMG offers services in morethan 840 cities in 157 countries. Also, network managerswill have to manage only a single high-capacity connectionfrom the Internet, rather than individual access lines indozens of cities.
KPMG will provide clients with wide area networkingservices--including network design, implementation, andproduction rollout--remote-access management, and help-desksupport. Increasingly, enterprises want consultants to domore than just provide consulting services. "Users tell usthat it slows down the implementation when the users have tonegotiate their own contracts," says David Moyer, seniormanager for KPMG LLP in Radnor, Pa. Additionally, KPMG canthen provide enterprises with one bill for everything fromconsulting and designing a VPN to actually billing for it.