Aruba Networks and Avaya last week touted the green credentials of remote workers after both companies announced they would collaborate on an IP-based voice and data access system for teleworkers.

Despite the security risks posed by remote workers, and the lack of enthusiasm from IT departments, the signs are that more and more workers are working from home.

And it seems that there is a very good green case to be made for teleworkers as well. Both Aruba and Avaya said that if a telecommuter travels say 45 miles twice a week, instead of every day, it will reduce his or her annual CO2 emissions by roughly 5.5 metric tons.

"The premise of the release is of course interoperability between Aruba and Avaya. The product element of the solution is the Remote Access Point (RAP)," said Roger Hockaday, director of marketing, EMEA, at Aruba. The teleworker system includes components of the Avaya Connected Teleworker solution, which includes IP telephones, Avaya Communication Manager software and Avaya Modular Messaging servers.

It provides identity-based, follow-me security wherever a teleworker roams, and the RAP includes an integrated firewall and router, and a centralised management system that accommodates large workforces.

"The RAP is an access point (indeed, any AP from the Aruba product portfolio can be re-purposed as a RAP, simply by purchasing the appropriate license)," Hockaday told Techworld. "It's small, very portable, plugs into the home / small office broadband router. It automatically connects back to the corporate network, and securely extends the corporate WLANs into the home office / small office."

Hockaday says this allows both data, and more importantly in this case, voice (VoIP) traffic to be securely transported from an environment that is more typically insecure, in a highly secure manner, as if it was part of the corporate network. "It allows remote users to use voice and data as if they were sitting at their desk in their own office," he added.

Hockaday cites one example he has seen recently, which was the creation of virtual call centre. "Rather than asking call centre employees to come to an office, they provision a RAP solution in their home, and allow the operative to work from home yet securely access all the voice and data systems as if they were at on office," he said. "It's convenient for the employee (aids employee retention), cost effective for the business (reduces office costs) and green!"

All Avaya wired or wireless IP phone work with the Aruba Remote Access Point.

The teleworker system is available for immediate deployment, with a 48 user community system costing about £350 per user.