Secure File Sharing at the Local Government Strategy Forum

Heythrop Park, April 12th – 13th This month I attended my second Local Government Strategy Forum, at the beautiful Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire. Invited by our partner Maytech, I was the ‘independent industry expert’ and had the pleasure of spending two days in this lovely environment, talking with senior management and C-suite executives from councils all around the UK. Before attending these events I had, what I believe to be a commonly held opinion, that council workers were underworked and overpaid. I’d read all the stories in the local press about the six-figure salaries and the cancellation of services to ensure their lavish lifestyle. However I’d never stopped to think what they actually did. Listening intently at these events has given me a small insight into the workings of councils, and whilst I’m sure there is still more efficiencies to be realised, I couldn’t have more admiration for the wide range of services they provide and the challenges they have prioritising them to balance the books. The financial challenges being faced by councils has lead to them adopting a more business-like approach. They are looking at every aspect of their business to drive out wastage and streamline operations, and that’s where my expertise came in. Over the duration of two days I spoke with in excess of 50 delegates about their data sharing, collaboration, secure file transfer and business process automation challenges. Our experience in this area, working with council’s such as Cambridgeshire County Council, North East Lincolnshire Council and most recently Mid-Sussex Council, ensured we already had a view on some of the challenges being faced for data...

First European CFTP course held in London

This Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) training program prepares IT staff to work with managed file transfer (MFT) technology and operations. The CFTP classroom experience consists of presentations, practical labs and discussions which invite an open exchange of ideas and opinions around many areas of file transfer. On February 2nd and 3rd 2016, Pro2col Limited hosted the classroom based CFTP course in it’s London offices – the first time it has been held outside of America. The course attendees came from both the UK and continental Europe, and all had experience from different File Transfer products which resulted in a blend of skills and experiences between them. Day 1 On the first day the class looked at the different concepts used in file transfer and the methods used to encrypt data or perform integrity checking. The practical labs allowed the class to get a real hands-on feel for encryption by practising symmetric and asymmetric Public Key Infrastructure exchanges; hashing, salt and rainbow tables were also explored in depth. The various protocols used to transfer files were next on the agenda and included everything from basic FTP to the more advanced topic of accelerated data transfers. Combining the learning from protocols and encryption helped to facilitate understanding of how to perform AS1,2 & 3 transfers and de-mystify it for some of the attendees. Day 2 Following a review of the first day’s activities, on the second day of the course the class looked at the concepts around the “synchronisation” or “Ad-Hoc” transfers, an increasingly important aspect with modern MFT tools. Drawing again on the encryption lessons from day one, the class went on to look...

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...