Executives at Needham Bank have been able to remotely log into and work in a variety of core banking applications for some time now. The bank has tripled the number of remote users in its ranks, many of whom use iPhones and iPads, but James Gordon, VP of IT at the customer-owned bank, which operates five branches throughout the greater Boston area, has never been happy with the solution.
"It was fairly 'kludgy.' So while the executives wanted the remote access, they rarely used it because there were lots of login screens and passwords," Gordon said, mainly because the solution couldn't be integrated with the bank's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP). "I needed a solution that worked a lot better, that was in my control, and that would be a single point for auditing and access and everything else I need to do to provide and manage remote access and security."
There's also a group of iPhone users and a growing contingent of iPad users that want access to the corporate network (the bank, by the way, has issued these devices). Moreover, Needham Bank is in the process of implementing a VPN to link together its various sites and also now has a storage area network (SAN). In the next three months, it will begin rolling out site-to-site data replication. Gordon wanted a solution that could include the administration and security management of these new features to the bank's IT infrastructure, in addition to the remote access.
So recently, Gordon and his team implemented Array Networks' secure application delivery architecture, which includes the SPX Series Universal Access Controller (UAC). This combines SSL VPN, remote desktop access and site-to-site connectivity on a single platform. Array Networks' DesktopDirect provides employees with full-feature access on their iPhones and iPads to their Windows-based applications, even those that are not otherwise available on the iPhone.
With DesktopDirect, users can launch the application, browse to a URL, enter credentials, click on a desktop and start working. Because the the DesktopDirect iPhone Client requires low bandwidth, it works well even over cellular networks, according to Array Networks.