Our USA trip to visit file transfer vendors: Cleo & Ipswitch

An insight into more than just product roadmaps Last week was my first trip to the USA, which is all the more surprising as almost all of our suppliers are based there.  The weather reports leading up to the trip had forecast a snow storm making its way up the East Coast, dumping three foot of snow on New York and closing down the city.  Fortunately, we flew into Chicago around the storm. It was still bitterly cold though; it didn’t get much above freezing whilst we were there and don’t get me started on the windchill factor!! I was joined by my colleague Mark Allen, one of our senior technical consultants, as we visited two of our strategic vendors. Thankfully, Mark provided the technical insight and expertise leaving me to cover the subjects I’m more comfortable with; industry knowledge and business functions. We met quite a lot of people in our week long trip. Literally everyone I spoke to was happy to take the time to talk to you, was interested and engaging. The customer service I experienced was outstanding, everywhere.  One hotel worker even gave us a lift to a local steakhouse; not the ‘hotel recommended’ option but a little joint down the road. Needless to say the ribeye was excellent. I think the UK could learn a thing or two here, and it’s certainly made me think differently about our own services. The week started at Cleo.  We’ve only been working with them for a year or two, but what a company. Their Cleo Integration Suite, provides companies with a common platform for all of their data...

A Fantastic Year & A Mystery Christmas Hamper

This year has been one of significant change at Pro2col, I’m glad to say all for the better. We’ve added three people to the team this year; two senior technical consultants, Mark Allen and Richard Auger, both of whom have considerable experience with managed file transfer (MFT) expertise. Mark joined us having spent time working with Ipswitch and spent the last 18 months consulting on MFT systems and Richard came all the way from Australia to join us having spent the last 12 years managing MFT systems for Philip Morris! Chantelle joined us to become our Office Manager and bring greater efficiency to the team.   After six long years in an office that wasn’t big enough we moved into a brand new, purpose built unit, two doors away in December. The team couldn’t be happier and it now means we’ve got room to accommodate customers and suppliers for meetings. Although it’s quite likely we’ll still head to the Captain’s Club overlooking the River Stour at Christchurch on a nice day. It’s been a great year for business too. By adding to the team we’ve increased our capabilities exponentially, which has enabled us to work on some extremely interesting opportunities with some fantastic companies. All in all, as the owner of the company I couldn’t have asked for much more (except a Lotto win perhaps). I’d like to put on record my thanks to my exceptional team who’ve helped to make this year such a special one in the evolution of the business. In addition I’d like to thank our suppliers who’ve helped us to drive significant growth this year. However, I have a...

Managed File Transfer in Action – Scenario #1

Automatically Download Files Via SFTP, Delete & Notify The cost to the business of not having data where you need it, when you need it, can be very significant. Downstream processes, whether automated or manual, that rely on data that isn’t available can’t run. At best it creates a bottleneck or in extreme scenarios processes stop completely, unable to proceed without the next set of instructions. In a simple scenario this could amount to a day of orders not processed or jobs not being allocated to drivers. The cost could run into the tens of thousands of pounds or more. Real Life Use Case – Utilities Company We have countless customers that use the automated collection of data feature of managed file transfer (MFT), but one springs to mind with an interesting use case. We implemented a MFT solution at a Utilities company to automatically pick files up from a council. The files were wayleaves, which provided confirmation whether they had been granted permission to access certain locations to repair water leaks. The process they had in place initially was manual and not always completed daily, resulting in site visits to repair leaks being delayed. How Can Managed File Transfer Help? Addressing this issue was a relatively easy process and can be achieved in the better MFT solutions available. In this instance we scheduled the automatic collection or download of the required files from the council servers via SFTP. The process would have looked something like this: Log on to SFTP* server Navigate to the correct folder defined by the path provided Download only the files needed to a...

Five Managed File Transfer Experts Give Their Top File Transfer Automation Tips

In our last blog post, we revealed the major driver behind businesses implementing Managed File Transfer (MFT) was ‘improving productivity’. Following on from this insight, we wanted to delve a little deeper into improved productivity, through file transfer automation. Rather than giving our opinion we thought you’d like to read the views of five industry leading, MFT vendors. We asked five experts from JSCAPE, Coviant Software, Cleo, Globalscape and Ipswitch for their ‘Top three file transfer automation tips’. Unsurprisingly our experts had diverse views on what they believed to be important about file transfer automation, but we didn’t expect quite the variety of answers we received.   Van Glass, CEO, JSCAPE Simplify: Many legacy file transfer implementations are home grown solutions that have evolved into an ever growing number of disparate and undocumented scripts and processes. These scripts are often written in arcane programming languages and are difficult to maintain. This can be particularly troublesome in cases when the original authors leave the organization and this knowledge is lost. When automating file transfers it is important to try and centralize all file transfers under a single application that has a holistic view of all file transfer processes and does not require specialized programming knowledge. Failures: It’s inevitable that some automated file transfers are going to fail. This can happen for a variety of reasons including invalid credentials, network connectivity issues or hardware failures. Regardless of the reason, it’s important that you be able to automatically respond to these failures in the most efficient way possible. Network connectivity issues are common but often short-lived, so rather than give up immediately, it is...

The Top 8 Reasons Why Companies Buy Managed File Transfer Software

Managed File Transfer solutions are becoming a crucial component of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. With large data breaches getting rapid exposure around the Internet, such as the recent exposure that 2.4 million of Carphone Warehouse’s customer’s details may have been stolen, having the right tools to secure data and provide a comprehensive audit of its access is imperative. However if you thought that ensuring the security of business data was the most common reason that companies invested in Managed File Transfer software, you’d be wrong. According to an Aberdeen Group study, IT security was second only to increasing the productivity of the company buying it. Reduce total cost 22% Replace other delivery mechanisms 25% Address audit deficiencies 25% Industry standards and best practice 32% Improve reliability 33% Collaborate with trusted third parties 37% Security-related incidents 39% Improve productivity 65% Source: Aberdeen Group  # 8 – Reduced Total Cost The total cost of a file transfer technology shouldn’t by any means measured by the cost of purchasing the software. The ancillary costs of managing, maintaining and supporting a solution can significantly out-weight the initial purchase price, depending upon the nature of the solution and over what term you’re measuring. Various solutions are very ‘professional services’ heavy resulting in high ongoing ‘management fees’. Of course there are those solutions that bring tears to your eyes at maintenance renewal time too!   # 7 – Replace Other Delivery Mechanisms Quite frequently companies take with the approach to develop their own DIY file transfer systems. Building them in house can result in a bespoke solution, perfect for the company, however the cost of...