I have been putting a lot of work lately into some general 2010 presentations and one of the messages I’m really concentrating on is Connect anywhere, from any device, with any browser. I think this is a critical ingredient in enabling SharePoint to be a great Unified Business Collaboration Platform. It comes down to removing all of the unnecessary hurdles of accessing and working with the content in a secure manner. While there are some technical changes that were made such as better support for mobile devices and true standards support allowing cross-browser consistency, the real change for me is philosophical. Until recently I have been somewhat uncomfortable opening up internal portals and content to the internet. My biggest fear has always been network security. Gateways like ISA, now Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG), are not new but many IT groups have had difficulty implementing them or managing them effectively so I have not pushed for them in many of my implementations unless it was needed to fulfill a requirement. With the Connect Anywhere, from any device, with any browser mantra in mind that will no longer be the case. I will now advocate for secure access to be provided wherever possible without the requirement to connect via VPN or be on the local network. This enhanced access will easy collaboration for remote workers and has the potential to speed up the collaboration process in addition to making it richer.
If your organization is not sure how to implement or configure one of the gateway applications, seek out experts in the form of consultants or community members that are able to help. You users will thank you for it!