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...

Managed File Transfer in Action – Scenario #2

Helping Formula 1 To Move Data Quickly & Securely The world of Formula 1 (F1) racing is one of high speeds, high stakes and leading edge technology. Drivers like Lewis Hamilton, are just the public face of a much larger team put together to build a car to go faster than their competitors. With stakes so high, racing teams are looking for ways in which they can gain a competitive edge. Data plays a key part in F1. Each car has hundreds of sensors monitoring every aspect of the car, generating data on fuel load, tyre temperature, brake performance and much, much more. During a race this data is typically streamed back to race HQ enabling in-race, real-time decisions to be made about race strategy. However the sensors create a large amount of data during pre-season testing, in simulation environments, before the race and during qualification, all of which needs analysing using the specialist analysis and decision support tools. The data produced is valuable, very valuable. The performance of the team has a clear, measurable impact on the prize money received but what’s not quite so easy to quantify is the affect on the brand. The prize money available to the racing teams on its own is astronomical. In the 2014 season nearly $900m of prize money was split between the top 10 teams, Ferrari won the prize money race, with $164m, even though they finished fourth in the constructors championship due to a special agreement with F1. 2014 Prize Money Source: Formula Money Typically racing teams spend much of the year in countries around the world where Internet connectivity...

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...

Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) Accredited Programme Launched in the UK

Pro2col has been appointed as the exclusive European partner to the Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) programme. The accredited CFTP training enables IT professionals to become experts in managed file transfer (MFT) technology and operations. Since the CFTP programme was introduced in 2014 it has been adopted by hundreds of managed file transfer professionals and organisations around the world. “We’re delighted to be selected as the CFTP partner for Europe. Since it’s inception some 18 months ago the CFTP programme, developed by the CFTP Advisory Board, has matured into a world class course for IT professionals. As managed file transfer specialists, we’re excited to be able to deliver this accredited programme to European professionals and organisations working with managed file transfer solutions.” James Lewis Managing Director, Pro2col Ltd The Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP) training programme is the only vendor independent, course globally. The CFTP programme prepares IT professionals to work with managed file transfer (MFT) software and operations. The CFTP exam, process and study guide are certified by the CFTP Advisory Board, a group of experienced advisors with a wide range of managed file transfer and secure file transfer experience. The course covers encryption, FTP Protocols, Advanced Protocols including HTTP and ASx, File Sync and Share, and Automation. The CFTP programme is appropriate for IT professionals with all levels of experience, that are responsible for managed file transfer technologies. During the course you will learn how to evaluate, deploy, configure and maintain managed file transfer and secure file transfer technology such as: FTP Servers, FTPS Servers and SFTP Servers FTP Clients, FTPS Clients and SFTP Clients Managed File...