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Piscataway company is on the forefront of VPNs.

In today’s market, companies have turned to remote access as an effective cost-cutting solution that provides employees with secure mobile access to business-critical data. As a result, companies like Piscataway-based NetSilica, a provider of virtual private network (VPN) solutions, are experiencing growing success in a nascent market that industry analyst IDC expects to increase from $5.4 billion in 2001 to nearly $14.7 billion in 2006. We recently spoke with chairman and CEO Bob Marmon about the company and its latest product launch.

When and how was NetSilica founded?

Chandra Prathuri and Satyam Bheemarasetti founded NetSilica in 1999. Together Chandra and Satyam have over 30 years’ experience in this field.

Chandra and Satyam observed first-hand the complexity, expense, and true risks associated with traditional VPNs and Web-based products. They concluded that these products were dramatic, expensive, and risky overkill for most people and companies using them. While there will always be a need for VPNs to support business processes, VPNs treat all users the same, when in fact, only a very small percentage of actual users require full access to network resources that VPNs allow and for which they are designed.

Using a VPN to bring a file from the office to one’s home computer for work is like bringing your entire office, secretary, filing cabinets, and the IT department to your house, when all you really needed was a document slipped under the door. And the inherent risk of VPNs has forced many companies (for security’s sake) to dramatically restrict who can use the VPN. What happens, then, is that employees–including high-ranking executives–who are excluded from the VPN or find its use overly complex simply attach the files they want to e-mails and send them to their personal e-mail accounts, so they can work at home or elsewhere. Instead of improving security, some VPN deployments are actually making it worse.

How does your latest product release, Enterprise Peer Network, solve this problem?

Enterprise Peer Network (EPN) is a managed, peer-to-peer solution that enables any size enterprise to effortlessly connect authorized employees, partners, or clients to business-critical data from any Web browser and on any device, with unmatched network security.

EPN addresses the core needs of an enterprise to provide employees, customers, and partners with simple, immediate, secure, and cost-effective remote access to business-critical data. EPN is a complementary solution to existing VPNs and Web-based application access for companies who have already invested in these solutions. And in many cases, EPN will replace VPN access for most users.

Is the product limited to enterprise-level companies?

While it was developed for enterprise-level companies, the simplicity and reliability of our technology makes it a perfect solution for any size group, even a SOHO business operator. At enterprise level we look to complement existing VPN solutions for some users and actually replace VPNs for the large majority. With smaller groups we provide a high-value, very low-resource solution for remote access where other options were not feasible because of costs or lack of IT resources. EPN is available as a licensed product or hosted solution.

What has the company done to remain successful in such a tough economic climate?

Because our purpose is to help companies lower costs while providing a high-value solution for a critical need, we actually benefit from these difficult times. We have also spent our dollars very carefully. We’ve remained focused on doing what we do extremely well, and have not attempted to do everything for everybody.

Do you know a local company we should cover? Let us know about it. Send your local profile candidates to Christy Mulligan.

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