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Comcast, Aruba connect on enterprise-focused VPN service

Responding to a teleworker surge spurred by COVID-19, Comcast Business has launched an enterprise-class VPN service in partnership with Aruba, a unit of Hewlett Packard.

The new offering, called Teleworker VPN, is part of a broader enterprise services offering from Comcast Business that serves the Fortune 1000 segment. Comcast Business, which had previously focused on small-and-midsized businesses, entered the enterprise services market about five years ago.

The new VPN offering arrives as Comcast Business continues to explore ways to expand the scope of its service set during the pandemic, with a growing number of customers grappling with how to manage their workforce going forward, according to Christian Nascimento, VP of product management at Comcast Business.

Comcast Business has previously offered VPN capabilities in more of a one-off fashion that it could fit into its broadband-focused offerings for teleworkers.

The new offering in connection with Aruba marks the first time Comcast Business is "putting some real shoulder behind" a VPN solution that suits the direction of the market, providing a longer-term approach as enterprise customers increasingly require secure connections for their distributed and remote workforces, Nascimento said.

Comcast Business's new Teleworker VPN is powered by Aruba ESP, the vendor's cloud-native platform. Comcast Business is combining that with a managed VPN aggregator service at a business location that enables enterprise customers to securely connect PCs, laptops, VoIP phones, printers and other home-based devices to the corporate network.

The new enterprise VPN service aside, Comcast Business and other cable operators have recently launched other new products focused on home workers.

In June, Comcast launched Comcast Business at Home, an offering focused on providing dedicated, commercial-grade broadband services along with a streamlined, company-paid billing structure. That offering is primarily focused on SMBs, currently the biggest services segment for Comcast Business.

Speaking at Light Reading's Cable Next-Gen Digital Symposium earlier this month, Comcast Business exec Bob Victor noted that the company has been exploring the development of an SD-WAN product tailored for home workers.

Comcast Business has been expanding its options as the business services sector is pressured by a pandemic that has caused some businesses to shut down offices and other venues temporarily and, in some cases, pivot to a remote workforce infrastructure.

For Q2 2020, business services revenues at Comcast rose slightly – to $2 billion from $1.93 billion a year ago – but they were down from the $2.04 billion pulled in during Q1 2020. Comcast is scheduled to announce Q3 2020 results on Thursday, October 29.

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— Jeff Baumgartner, Senior Editor, Light Reading

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