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Mac FTP Server – Your options in 2015 from an Apple Solution Expert.

As Apple Solution Experts for Print & Publishing, Pro2col started out life in 2003 specialising in file transfer solutions for design agencies, publishers, printers and marketing departments. Back then many people were looking to make the move from ISDN to run on Apple hardware such as a Mac FTP Server or at least something which was friendly to Mac file resource forks. It would be fair to say that the choices were pretty limited and many people decided to switch on FTP services on their Mac OSX server, allowing customers direct access right onto, in many cases, their internal file server! Fast forward to today and I sincerely hope that with IT security so high on companies agenda that no-one is adopting this approach!! Now in 2014 we’re still somewhat limited in the number of natively written Mac FTP Server applications but with other programming languages able to run across multiple platforms such as Java other options are available. The way in which users want to share and consume files has changed massively too. Users expect WeTransfer and DropBox capabilities from their file transfer solution, so no longer is a Mac FTP Server just that. Some of the solutions we have in our portfolio enable ‘ad-hoc’ file transfer whilst also providing ‘desktop sync clients’ like Dropbox. If your business has a mixed OS environment of Mac’s and PC’s and you’re looking for a technology to appease all of your users then we’re well placed to help. Not only do we know the Mac FTP Server solutions themselves but we’re also Apple Solution Experts and understand mixed OS environments. I...

What is File Transfer?

When with friends I regularly get asked what my company does, when I reply ‘we specialise in file transfer technologies for businesses’ I usually get a rather blank expression, followed by the question; what is file transfer? For their benefit I thought I’d write an explanation to share with them, feel free to share it too. To understand what file transfer is, we need to define what a file is. Generally speaking a file is a electronic document, which could be stored on your computer, laptop, tablet or mobile device. A file can be many different formats and sizes, e.g. PDF, XLSX, EPS, ZIP to name a few formats. The size depends upon the file type and content within it. So, what is file transfer? Well quite simply its the process of moving a file from one location to another. It could be that you need to move if from your desktop to your laptop, or more commonly with the companies we work with, company A needs to share a file with company B. When this is the case a file is typically sent over the Internet or over a private network. There are many different types of file transfer but there are two main ways in which files are transferred. Person to person (also called Ad Hoc File Transfer) or Business to Business (also called Managed File Transfer). I won’t go into the many ways in which these technologies work or the various vendors we work with, otherwise I’d be here all day. Closely following the, ‘What is file transfer question?’, I get the ‘Why?’ question. Well, there...

Managed File Transfer & Gartner’s Application, Architecture, Development & Integration Summit.

I’ve long held the opinion that the marketplace for Managed File Transfer, as a standalone technology, was coming under pressure from many other technologies, so I jumped at the  opportunity to attend the Gartner Application, Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in London, courtesy of Thru Inc. Attended by many of Europe’s largest Enterprises, Gartner’s AADI provided me with a unique insight into the challenges Enterprise Architects and CIO’s currently face, in integrating a wide variety of applications within their business.  Of course the main focus for the many sponsors of the event was API’s, what API’s they had, how they could be scaled, how they could be secured and so on. Being at the show with Thru enabled me to have some interesting conversations, which went far deeper than our typical discussions about how file transfer automation, or how an ad hoc file transfer solution enable companies to meet their customers’ needs. The conversations we’ve had at this event have been much more focused on how Enterprise Applications can leverage APIs to provide Managed File Transfer and the subsequent governance and audit of the data. Thru’s API differentiates them from many Ad Hoc File Transfer vendors and their wide range of current case uses support this.  For example, well known ISV’s use Thru’s platform to enable software and licence delivery, enabling customers to download large ISO’s or software packages, completely unaware that Thru is doing the grunt work behind the scene. Thru don’t just have deep integration capabilities via their API, they also have connectors for Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Sharepoint and Salesforce.com.  Coupled with their Cloud, Hybrid...

A look back at InfoSecurity Europe 2014

InfoSec was a little different for the team at Pro2col this year.  We decided to take our own stand again, rather than working on a vendors and it certainly paid dividends. Whilst the show was undoubtedly quieter, due to the Tube strikes and poor weather, it would be fair to say that those that were committed enough to come were there for a reason.  We had lots of conversations with interesting companies about their need to move data securely, from geo-physics to exam papers and everything in between.All in all it was definitely a worthwhile investment! At the exhibition we had a competition to win £250 of Virgin Experience Day vouchers, which our lovely models Sam & Emily ran for us. To enter they simply needed to scan the badges, the girls did exceptionally well with over 1,000 entries over the three days.  We’ll be announcing the winner on Friday, 9th May so watch this space. As per usual with exhibitions we over indulged a little with some of our vendor partners outlasting us til the early hours of the morning.  And it wouldn’t be InfoSec without some Champions League football to take in as well.  We’ll be sad to see Earls Court being redeveloped having attended some ten plus exhibitions there over the years, still I’m told Olympia has been ‘done up’ so I guess we’ll be heading there for InfoSec next year. Finally I want to thank all of the team that helped with the event, our customers for coming along to speak to us, our vendors for their hospitality and our models for the fab job...

Five File Transfer Pain Points

In a normal day, companies and individuals must transfer files containing many different types of sensitive and mission-critical information across systems, businesses and departments – everything from legal documents to X-rays to credit card statements. In an effort to get work done, employees will often skirt the rules of IT and turn to readily available file-sharing options outside the corporate IT structure. This opens the company up to a host of liabilities from security, visibility and control to inaccurate information being transferred within systems. Jeff Whitney, from Ipswitch File Transfer, has identified the top five IT pain points associated with file transfers. Complexity File sharing solutions are often complex and do not provide a unified standard for the business to automate processes. As file sharing has been core to business process for quite some time, there are often legacy systems in place with layers of homegrown tools and scripts, as well as products from multiple vendors. Limited Visibility Control Businesses, especially in regulated industries like health care and financial services, need to have the ability to track the movement of files. IT teams often talk about “flying blind” when they don’t have visibility into where files are or proof that they’ve been delivered. Employees Circumvent IT Without a centralized file transfer system in place, employees will often bypass IT and use a commodity file-sharing product, subjecting the organization to added security risks. This is an escalating issue with the proliferation of consumer-based sharing applications, like Google Drive. Ensuring Security Security is always a top priority for IT teams, but there is often little insight into the way that businesses...