2010 US Patent Office Case Study

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

An InformationWeek article last month reported that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) saves over $2700 per employee by allowing staff to connect to the agency’s secure network using their own equipment.
To do this, the agency issues each teleworking employee with a SecurID token for VPN access to the Enterprise Remote Access (ERA) Portal. The tokens cost $105 per employee. Contrast this to the approximately $2800 it would cost to supply an employee with the needed gear for remote working (laptop, etc.).
The agency also provides security training and collaboration tools, which include video, voice, chat, whiteboard, and document sharing.
USPTO’s CIO John Owenscio, who wrote the article, said that, as a result of the ERA portal and the token access, more than 350 employees were able to join the telework program who would have been unable to participate otherwise.
He explained that the ERA Portal is used primarily by employees who work one or two days per week at home. He explained, “These people generally haven’t relinquished their offices on our Alexandria, Va., campus to work remotely full time, so there’s no real estate savings associated with use of this technology. However, we believe that giving them the ability to telework may encourage them to extend their years of service at the agency and positively impact attrition.”
Link: Practical Analysis: A New ‘ERA’ Of Telework, John Owenscio, InformationWeek, December 21, 2010