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

An insight into more than just product roadmaps

USA FlagLast 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!!

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 28

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.

Cleo File TransferThe 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 integration requirements. Going further than just pure MFT, Cleo provides A2A, B2B, EDI, Secure Email, Collaboration and a High Speed Protocol for Big Data. The single instance aspect shouldn’t be underestimated and is a true differentiator for Cleo. Being able to audit and report on all data transfers into and out of the business through a single point is powerful and I’d have to say that Cleo is probably one of the strongest Enterprise offerings within our portfolio.

We spent some time at Cleo’s Sales Kick Off, learning about the upcoming product roadmap and gaining further insight into the current product offerings. Since Cleo was acquired in 2012, the company has made considerable progress. Not only has the software platform evolved from being predominately focused on EDI, but it is now a strong contender in many other areas. They’ve add to their development and support capabilities by opening up an office in Bangalore, enabling them to provide true follow the sun support. Cleo is going to be a vendor to watch in 2016 and beyond. No longer a follower but a serious player with an excellent product and increasingly strong offering.

Chicago winter stormWe left Chicago for Boston to visit Ipswitch, already a major player in the MFT space and a key vendor for Pro2col. We’d already met most of Ipswitch’s Executive team on their trips to Europe, but this was a chance to meet them on their own turf and get some deep insight into the product roadmaps for 2016 and beyond. The sessions proved to be very insightful.  A lot of what we saw was shared under Non-Disclosure, but I’d say the coming year is looking very interesting for Ipswitch. The addition of a further product to the file transfer portfolio will enhance their MOVEit offering further still and we also spent some time revisiting MessageWay, their Enterprise offering.

Ipswitch_Offices_Snow_CroppedWhilst in Boston, Ipswitch took the opportunity to draft me in to make a brief video for their Virtual Summit in March. Dial-in to find out what’s great and good about Ipswitch in 2016 and you may be lucky enough to see a video of yours truly telling potential partners how great Ipswitch are to work with.   There again, that might be reason enough not to check in!

My first trip to the USA was a resounding success, even though I suffered man-flu (a very serious strain) and it was so cold. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There’s no doubt we’ll be back later in the year to check in with a couple of our other strategic vendors, I just hope it’s a little warmer next time.