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Archive for ‘Hosted Managed File Transfer’

Globalscape Hosted FTP Offering Goes Live in the UK

We’re very pleased to announce that Pro2col has been selected by GlobalSCAPE as their key partner to launch their secure hosted FTP solution - Hosted EFT Server here in the UK.  Over the past couple of weeks we’ve been finalising the offering, so I thought we would give you a quick insight into what’s available.

Hosted EFT provides you with your own hosted version of Globalscape’s award winning EFT Server.  Deployed at Peer1′s world class UK data centers,Hosted FTP Server we have multiple hosted FTP instances set up and ready to go.  There are various options on disk space and bandwidth, along with a range of additional modules available including High Security, Auditing & Reporting and Web Transfer Clients for multi Gigabyte uploads.  This means your company can benefit from the features of EFT Server, without the upfront costs of infrastructure and licence costs.  We’ll provide you with your own dedicated IP address and help you to take advantage of the numerous branding options – all with an unlimited number of users.

If you’d like to take advantage of Globalscape’s Hosted EFT Server provided by Pro2col, then get in touch for a no obligation demonstration or free 30-day evaluation.  We’ll show you just how easy it is to be up and running in a couple of minutes so you can start simply and securely exchanging files with your trading partners and customers.

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Hosted v’s On Premise Managed File Transfer

Over the past couple of years there has been considerable hype around saas, hosted or cloud based solutions – the managed file transfer marketplace has been no different.  We speak to many businesses on a daily basis about their file transfer requirements and inevitably, a number of them ask for a cloud based solution. So we’ve been speaking to a range of our vendors, natural leaders in the software field, but many of them seem unwilling to step out of their traditional marketplace and into the cloud space.  There are of course good reasons for this.  For example, the impact on existing software sales, the responsibility that goes with managing other peoples data and probably most importantly, the size of the market. According to Gartner only 10% of the managed file transfer marketplace actually relies upon a cloud based solution.  With the managed file transfer sector experiencing +20% growth year on year and the shift to cloud solutions not likely to slow any time soon, transition to cloud services could become the next major battlefield for vendors. However as it stands, this certainly isn’t reflected in the managed file transfer marketplace as there are many more software vendors than service providers.

Laptops in the Cloud

If you’re thinking about implementing a hosted or on-premise managed file transfer solution, there are a number key points to consider.  Here are a few to start you off:

Cost of Ownership

Cost is the number one factor influencing the choice of managed file transfer solution for most businesses.  Implementing and managing an on-premise MFT solution can be pricey, some of the costs to consider are:

Software – The initial software purchase price can range from £5,000 to in excess of £50,000 but once this has been paid, the solution is yours.  Although hosted services appear cheaper in the short term, ongoing subscriptions can be costly in the long term.

Hardware – Providing an environment to install and run the MFT solution can also add up, especially when you take into account disaster recovery or high availability.

Infrastructure – Hosting files on your own server can prove a problem, bear in mind the impact on your Internet connection when a 1Gb file is shared with 50 or more external users!

Support & Management

Another point to take into account after the initial go-live of a managed file transfer solution are the costs associated with ongoing support and management. Specifically:

Internal Support – If you deploy an MFT solution, the responsibility of support and management falls on internal team members, whereas with a hosted solution much of the ongoing support is outsourced to the service provider.

Availability – Generally hosted services run in high availability data centers.  Therefore, they offer guaranteed uptime with load-balanced solutions as the norm and include SLA’s.

Scalability – In a hosted environment, scalability of your product is generally available on demand or at the touch of a button.  It’s not always quite so simple with an on-premise MFT solution.

Back-up/disaster recovery – Usually provided as part of the service by hosting providers, back up and disaster recovery can be costly when purchased as part of a solution package.

Deployment

Bringing an on-premise managed file transfer solution online has its challenges. Ports need opening on firewalls, rules need setting up, plus there are considerations about the design of the solution and how it will sit within the corporate infrastructure.  Hosted solutions are incredibly fast to deploy given that much of the above doesn’t come into play.

Functionality & workflow

Typically, functionality and workflow features are key drivers in the decision making process. On-premise managed file transfer solutions offer far more in the way of a comprehensive feature set:

Bottlenecks – Having files local to you, when you need them can save a considerable amount of time in terms of loss of productivity, especially for larger enterprise deployments.  Pushing data to remote services can impact upon an end users time or can delay internal processes.

Integration – More often than not, hosted solutions are somewhat limited in the level of integration capabilities they offer.  This is an important factor to take into consideration as lack of integration reduces the potential to automate tasks and minimise the man hours wasted on routine tasks.  There are of course exceptions to the rule as there are some very capable hosted technologies.

These are just some of the key areas to be mindful of if you’re weighing up the pros and cons of hosted vs on premise managed file transfer solutions.  Ultimately, the decision will be fueled by the scope of your requirements and the size of your budget.  Whatever these may be, there is a managed file transfer solution out there to fit your business needs.  If you want some help pinpointing the right solution for you, please contact Pro2col on 0333 123 1240.

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Secure Managed File Transfer: On Premise v’s The Cloud

Everybody is talking about the cloud; its today’s hot topic with more and more organisations considering a cloud-base (hosted) solution as an alternative to their current on-premise solution.  The shift to cloud based computing is gathering pace and consequently this is an area we’ve been looking at quite closely.

So, is Cloud based secure managed file transfer for me and what are the biggest drivers behind this trend?

1.  Its cheaper! Many IT departments spend at least 50% of their budgets on salaries, and up to 70% of IT staff time is spent on maintenance, according to analysts. In-house IT specialists cost companies for IT management resource. A hosted service, on the other hand, may charge a much-reduced figure for its service along with 24–7–365 monitoring and higher uptime than many companies can achieve with on-premise staff and systems.

Managed File Transfer in the Cloud

2.  Hosted providers can do it better. Hosting vendors store the information on their own servers and manage the entire system for you, drastically reducing the time and energy you spend on keeping your MFT up and running. A growing number of companies just want MFT isolated as an enterprise-class cloud service, with all the modern archiving, compliance and virus protection features they require along with a scalable infrastructure their IT staff never has to worry about or manage.

3. The cloud has gone mainstream. Primed for enormous growth and widespread adoption, recent research indicates that 84 percent of small and mid-size companies and 69 percent of large companies are willing to consider, currently reviewing or already using software-as-service (SaaS) solutions. A big part of this growth is a result of the increase in broadband Internet access, but another key factor is that cloud MFT vendors are making better, simpler and more affordable software that doesn’t require a technical degree to setup or use. It’s also more widely accepted as a safe alternative to on-premise solutions.

4.  Pay as you go. As budgets tighten in this tougher economic period, more and more companies are gravitating toward cloud-based solutions. With no technology to maintain, total cost of ownership is five to 10 times less than installed software, so it’s easier to budget and scale as you add and subtract users. In addition, cloud-based solutions do not require ongoing maintenance, time or complex upgrades, so what was once a capital expense becomes a more balance sheet-friendly operating expense.

As this shift to cloud based computing continues to gather pace, Pro2col is at the forefront of assessing the industries leading vendors to ensure we know which solution is right for your budget and set of requirements.

But, the Cloud isn’t for Everyone

Despite all this optimism for the cloud, we know there are plenty of situations where it may not make sense to move your MFT there. Some data may need to remain on-premise, behind a firewall for legal or regulatory considerations (e.g., HIPAA). Also, other on-premise applications (e.g., document workflows) may be tightly integrated with your on-premise MFT system, so moving your MFT to the cloud could pose challenges if you are hoping to continue coupling these solutions. Finally, many organisations may not have fully made use of their existing on-premise MFT solutions (i.e., they have already invested in it) and may not be able to easily or practically abandon it.

For independent advice on Cloud/Hosted FTP or On-Premise Managed File Transfer solutions contact Pro2col on +44 (0) 333 123 1240 or +44 (0) 1202 433 415.

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The dangers of Cloud computing and online business applications

Right now there is a very clear shift towards Cloud Computing but are we all buying into the concept without considering the implications for our businesses?  Wikipedia describes Cloud Computing very simply as, “a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure in the “cloud” that supports them.”  It goes on to explain that it can also be described as, “technologies that rely on the Internet to satisfy the computing needs of users. Cloud computing services often provide common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.”

Laptops in the Cloud

The key points to pick up from the above description is that ‘business applications‘ are provided online and that the ‘software and data‘ are stored remotely.  With security of data uppermost in the minds of many an IT professional its worth pointing out that there has been a rise in the number of companies using online file transfer applications to send mission critical information to trading partners.  Whilst many of these systems encrypt the data in transit using a variety of options which invariably result in SSL or 3DES usage many don’t consider the implications of this data then residing on remote servers waiting for the secure collection by the intended recipient.

An interesting, yet worrying article by Eric M. Fiterman about called Cloud Danger: Drag and Drop Theft highlights the inadequacies in the audit tools for the virtual cloud space.  He points out that anyone with access to the servers providing your business with a service could very easily walk away with confidential information;

“If your service provider has physical access to your environment, any person with access to the virtual servers can perform activity on your server. Think that some malicious activity involving your virtual memory would be logged or monitored? It’s not likely; audit tools for much of the virtual-cloud space appear to be non-existent. This means I could easily perform some malicious activity on your server – such as copying a file containing personally identifiable information off your server – then rollback the state of the server to hide my activity. You’ll never even know it was taken.”

When chosing a file transfer solution its imperitive that you know not only that your data is going to be secure whilst traversing  the Internet, but also secure on the servers which host the data.  Whilst its almost impossible to guarantee the security of your data at any time doesn’t it make more sense to have an in-house securely managed file transfer solution?

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