Remote branch offices are underserved when it comes to IT infrastructure, presenting a ripe opportunity for outside services and hosted applications, according to a report by Cahners In-Stat. The report, "All Business is eBusiness: U.S. Remote Branch Office Demographics & the Impact of Fragmentation," puts the number of remote branch offices in the U.S. at two million. While more than half are part of corporations, small office/home office businesses account for nearly 40%. Most average one branch office per firm, with many considering full-time home offices remote sites.
Remote workers need back-up solutions, too. Veritas just shipped NetBackup Professional 3.1, which adds the capability to back up laptops and remote PCs to Windows- and Unix-based servers. The software runs transparently in the background to back up many applications, and can be administered remotely. Users create schedules that will automatically back up data at convenient times and can restore files with a mouse click. A five-user license starts at $445.
Rolling out desktop videoconferencing to your Microsoft Outlook 2000 users just got easier. Recently, CUseeMe Networks announced the integration of its software-based CUseeMe Conference Server with Microsoft Exchange. This lets users share audio, video and data using the CUseeMe Web client or any mix of H.323 and Microsoft multicast (TAPI) clients. Conference Server costs $8,995, while Exchange integration costs another $3,995. The CUSeeMe Cam Kit, which includes software and an eyeball camera, is $69.