Banyan Intranet Connect Provides Intranets on the Road


A company could have the most information-packed intranet there is, but if users can't access that information when they are out of the office, it's not worth much. Banyan Intranet Connect 1.5 from Banyan Systems Inc. provides that information to those remote users by enabling access to corporate e-mail, files and printers via a standard Internet connection.

The software runs on a Windows NT server and communicates with Banyan's StreetTalk network directory service. The end user needs only a Web-enabled computer. A valid StreetTalk user name and password enables the remote user to connect to enterprise resources. Because the client is any computer using a Web browser, users can access the intranet from Unix, Macintosh, thin client, Windows and Windows NT operating systems.

Banyan Intranet Connect provides access to StreetTalk's Intelligent Messaging mailbox so that users can read and send e-mail from their network accounts, as well as attach files and organize messages using existing folders. It enables users to upload or download files and print to network printers from any computing device. The software also provides search capabilities for names, file services and messages.

Banyan Intranet Connect provides access to the security features of the StreetTalk directory, and all existing StreetTalk user access rights lists are in effect. Administrators can require that access to the network be through Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), and that users be automatically logged out after set periods of inactivity or after a number of failed logins.

Administrators can manage Banyan Intranet Connect from any location and can customize user features by enabling or disabling functionality for users on certain servers, for example. The product also provides hypertext online help and enables administrators to customize their home page to include links to key information.

Version 1.5 features a private address book, LDAP support, the ability to save messages as drafts, the ability to download only new messages, address verification, and support for displaying an attribute along with each StreetTalk name in e-mail headers, such as a title or phone number. Deployment features include year 2000 compliance, an option for non-SSL deployment, support for Internet Information Server 4.0 and wildcard lists.

"We're using Banyan Intranet Connect to provide access to mail in locations where we have limited resources to support clients," explains John Guska, manager, enterprise network services, for Eaton Corp. (Cleveland), a global manufacturer of products that serve a variety of industrial and commercial markets. Banyan Intranet Connect enables users in Eaton locations that have minimal IT support, such as the Far East, to connect to Eaton's private intranet through a Web browser for mail and file and print services. The software also supports "road warriors," via a secure connection that includes integration with Eagle Mobile software.

Eaton's all-Banyan network comprises 225 servers, about a quarter of which run Windows NT, on five continents serving nearly 18,000 users. The Eaton IT organization can maintain the Web-enabled applications on the servers at various Eaton headquarters. Guska, who has been working with Banyan Intranet Connect since version 1.0, points out that version 1.5 is easier to navigate and that the private address book, embedded into the Banyan attributes of a user's account, is an attractive feature. "These kinds of features make [Banyan Intranet Connect] very capable," he says. "And as the company adds more features like this that are embedded into attributes, I can become very mobile without being tied to my own PC. I wish everything was Web-enabled."

Banyan Intranet Connect 1.5
Banyan Systems Inc.
Westboro, Mass.
(508) 898-1000