Nowadays, linked by information technologies, people and organizations can create so-called “virtual enterprises”. Very often such organizations are geographically distributed and do not have neither central office nor organisational chart, no hierarchy, no vertical integration. Members can share skills, resources, costs and benefits to fulfill joint projects.
This new organisational form concept is discussed in the article. The authors analyze the possible network architecture for geographically distributed enterprises. Correctly created network infrastructure supports virtual project development by virtual teams. A general requirement is that members must be able to exchange information in real time like a single integrated unit. Although each member must be able to keep their autonomy.
Possible solutions for implementing VPN structures for a Virtual Enterprise:
- Local VPN based on VLAN;
- Local VPN based on IPSec;
- VPN wide area based on IPSec;
- VPN wide area based on MPLS;
- VPN based on PPPoL2TP;
Benefits provided by VPN services:
- the voice, video and data services convergence is done with low costs;
- Secure Remote Access to company resources;
- costs predictable and easier to budget, independent of traffic;
- the possibility of transferring any-to-any of data-voice-video applications;
- reliable support for LANs integration;
- security of data transmission;
- constant transfer rate, technological guaranteed;
- smart management solutions.
VPNs can be used in different ways to support business processes. The authors consider VPN as “the ideal solution if it is not efficient in terms of construction costs of a particular network for a firm with a workforce highly mobile, or for small firms that can not justify the cost of their telecommunications network.”