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Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant from Software Reviews

Pro2col experts consider the latest market analysis

Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant from Software Reviews

Pro2col experts consider the latest market analysis

As 2021 draws to a close, Software Reviews have released their latest Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant. Regular readers of this blog will remember we highlighted concerns about the 2019 report – namely that several of the featured products weren’t actually managed file transfer (see our full 2019 review below ).

So, what does the 2021 report look like, and is it a more accurate reflection of the marketplace?

 

Info-Tech 2021 MFT report

The enterprise segment contains a data quadrant and emotional footprint with seven products on each (pictured below), plus a full review of 16 products.

Firstly, it’s good news to see HelpSystems GoAnywhere and Progress MOVEit feature well. Both are solid solutions and worthy champions of the Software Reviews 2021 Enterprise Report. Read up on why these feature in our own top four enterprise managed file transfer vendors comparison.

Our technical experts are more than a little surprised though to see Citrix ShareFile and SolarWinds Serv-U featured on the quadrants. Neither are MFT solutions by either Gartner’s definition, or our own, which we base on 21 years’ experience in this industry. There’s more information below, but first, let’s look at the definition of managed file transfer.

Definition of MFT

Gartner define MFT as follows:

“MFT on-premises offerings usually comprise four discrete functionalities that organisations can deploy separately. However, organisations often deploy them as a suite. The functionalities basic to MFT are server, client/agent, proxy and plug-in for ad hoc transfers.” 

At Pro2col, we agree with most of Gartner’s definition, except their inclusion of ad-hoc file transfers via an Outlook Plugin. Whilst some solutions do offer this, there’s a whole other section of the secure file transfer industry focusing on secure email with more in-depth functionality and better integration with other email tools.

For us at Pro2col, automation is the foundation. We define MFT has having a gateway, server and automation engine as an absolute minimum. Other features might include dashboards, custom forms, secure email, mobile apps, and the adoption of agents as part of a wider deployment.

Products featured

In addition to the seven products featured on the quadrants, Software Review document 16 MFT products in total in their full report. Those that clearly meet the definition of MFT are: HelpSystems GoAnywhere, Progress MOVEit, HelpSystems Globalscape, IBM Sterling, Axway MFT, Tibco MFT, and OpenText Alloy. There’s some grey area surrounding Oracle Managed File Transfer and Micro Focus. The remaining seven, however, are definitely not managed file transfer products, and here’s why:

Citrix Sharefile

ShareFile is a great file sync and share product, but definitely not managed file transfer.

SolarWinds Serv-U

Serv-U MFT is an SFTP server with primitive automation. It has received little development since its acquisition from RhinoSoft in 2013 and our independent technical experts have raised concerns about the security and safety of this product (see our recent SolarWinds Serv-U MFT Server review).

OpenText HighTail

HighTail is a file synchronisation and sharing platform, with content collaboration functionality specifically designed for the for creatives. With no automation, no support for open standard protocols, nor a file transfer server, Hightail is not an MFT solution. It was acquired by Opentext in February of 2018, which follows the previous acquisitions of Metastorm in 2011, Easylink Services in 2012 and GXS in 2013 – all previously incorrectly categorised as MFT solutions too

CA Dollar Universe Workload Automation

This is in completely the wrong quadrant as the name clearly indicates! It should be in the workload automation category which is a very different technology to MFT.

ASCi Active Batch

This is another workload automation tool, and – ironically – is ranked very well in the Software Reviews workload automation category!

Signiant Manager & Agents

Signiant sits in a subset of MFT, because it has the required components of a solution but doesn’t support any open standards delivery protocols. Instead, it has its own propriety protocol for fast file transfer.

CA NetMaster File Transfer Management

This product has no file transfer capabilities. It is a file transfer monitoring solution, specifically developed to monitor FTP traffic on the mainframe. It definitely doesn’t belong in this market analysis.

Next steps for selecting a manged file transfer solution

If you’re looking for an MFT solution, then please be careful not to put too much emphasis on analysis like this from Info-Tech. To really understand which is the best solution for you, I’d recommend our free and independent managed file transfer comparison service. You answer a series of questions about your requirements and our experts will match them against the leading solutions on the market. You’ll be benefiting from truly independent knowledge and many years’ experience scoping, implementing and managing this type of software. It’s completely free and we’d be really happy to help you.

Info-Tech 2019 MFT report

There’s been a lot of talk in the Managed File Transfer (MFT) space about the recent Software Reviews Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant. The report claims to ‘provide a comprehensive evaluation of popular products in the Managed File Transfer market’.

As independent MFT experts with over 15 years’ experience reviewing products, we wanted to provide our take on this report. Our advice is very clear. This is not an accurate representation of the market, and here’s why.

 

Pictured: Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant, from HelpSystems website.

1. Definition of MFT

Info-Tech’s understanding of what constitutes MFT is fundamentally flawed. Of the ten products on the Data Quadrant, four aren’t actually MFT, so it’s not comparing like-for-like.

MFT solutions allow data to be transferred in a controlled, secure fashion, both inside and outside an organisation, between systems and / or users. This includes:

  • System-to-system transfers, such as automated batch transfers or workflows with a series of actions;
  • Transfers between people and systems, such as data capture forms with ongoing automated workflows;
  • Person-to-person or ‘ad hoc’ transfers.

The following four products are not MFT:

Accellion: This is a secure file sharing and collaboration solution only.

Adobe Send & Track: For ad hoc large files.

Citrix ShareFile: Electronic sync and share, for document collaboration.

LeapFile: For ad hoc person-to-person only.

2. Products missing from the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

Only vendors who have paid for the report are able to market what it says about them. This is not independent and it is not a review of the complete market place.

While we firmly agree with the placement of HelpSystems GoAnywhere MFT and Ipswitch MOVEit, who were acquired by Progress earlier this year, there are several other market leaders not included on the Data Quadrant:

Globalscape EFT Server would score highly on both the ‘Feature’ and ‘Vendor’ matrix.

Coviant Diplomat MFT is benefiting from a lot of development at the moment, making it a likely player in the ‘Product Innovator’ quadrant.

We would also recommend Cornerstone MFT from South River Technologies (SRT) as a very good budget solution.

Other credible vendors missing from the quadrant include Axway, Seeburger, Jscape, Cleo and more…

3. Niche or incompatible products

There are several products on the Data Quadrant that just aren’t viable products for the majority of businesses. That’s either because they lack the development, are not enterprise-ready, or are niche to specific industries:

Oracle MFT: Our most recent market research identified there were only around one hundred Oracle MFT customers worldwide. Most of these sales came about to prevent customers discontinuing with their middleware product. There has been little development recently and their roadmap is limited.

SolarWinds Serv-U: This is a budget solution and not something we would recommend for enterprises. Since its acquisition by SolarWinds, the technology hasn’t kept pace with technical innovation and is now a long way behind other vendors. By using a Java web browser plugin, the adoption and usability of their product – especially in risk adverse enterprise environments – will be compromised. This feature is well behind the curve.

FileCatalyst: This is primarily for use within the media industries, with an emphasis on fast file transfer. It doesn’t have the necessary breadth of file transfer protocols or automation options to make it a mainstream MFT player.

IBM Managed File Transfer: This is ensconced in the banking/finance industry, built around their own delivery protocol (NDM). It’s an expensive solution, without the breadth of delivery protocols to make it a mainstream MFT player.

NEXT STEPS

If you are looking for an MFT solution, we strongly advise against using the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant for guidance.

Most MFT solutions have the same features but differ in the level of detail and complexity, and how they are delivered. The only way you will be able to identify the right one for your business is to fully scope your requirements. Make sure you look at the vendor closely too and see what their previous development release schedule is like from published release notes. These are the factors that will determine whether your implementation is a success and will ensure you back a vendor that should meet your future needs too.

If you need help, use our free comparison tool, which asks the right questions. You enter your requirements, giving as much detail as you can, and our experts will recommend the right solution for your current and future needs and budget. It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to buy through us.

As 2021 draws to a close, Software Reviews have released their latest Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant. Regular readers of this blog will remember we highlighted concerns about the 2019 report – namely that several of the featured products weren’t actually managed file transfer (see our full 2019 review below).

So, what does the 2021 report look like, and is it a more accurate reflection of the marketplace?

 

Info-Tech 2021 MFT report

The enterprise segment contains a data quadrant and emotional footprint with seven products on each (pictured below), plus a full review of 16 products.

Firstly, it’s good news to see HelpSystems GoAnywhere and Progress MOVEit feature well. Both are solid solutions and worthy champions of the Software Reviews 2021 Enterprise Report. Read up on why these feature in our own top four enterprise managed file transfer vendors comparison.

Our technical experts are more than a little surprised though to see Citrix ShareFile and SolarWinds Serv-U featured on the quadrants. Neither are MFT solutions by either Gartner’s definition, or our own, which we base on 21 years’ experience in this industry. There’s more information below, but first, let’s look at the definition of managed file transfer.

Definition of MFT

Gartner define MFT as follows:

“MFT on-premises offerings usually comprise four discrete functionalities that organisations can deploy separately. However, organisations often deploy them as a suite. The functionalities basic to MFT are server, client/agent, proxy and plug-in for ad hoc transfers.” 

At Pro2col, we agree with most of Gartner’s definition, except their inclusion of ad-hoc file transfers via an Outlook Plugin. Whilst some solutions do offer this, there’s a whole other section of the secure file transfer industry focusing on secure email with more in-depth functionality and better integration with other email tools.

For us at Pro2col, automation is the foundation. We define MFT has having a gateway, server and automation engine as an absolute minimum. Other features might include dashboards, custom forms, secure email, mobile apps, and the adoption of agents as part of a wider deployment.

Products featured

In addition to the seven products featured on the quadrants, Software Review document 16 MFT products in total in their full report. Those that clearly meet the definition of MFT are: HelpSystems GoAnywhere, Progress MOVEit, HelpSystems Globalscape, IBM Sterling, Axway MFT, Tibco MFT, and OpenText Alloy. There’s some grey area surrounding Oracle Managed File Transfer and Micro Focus. The remaining seven, however, are definitely not managed file transfer products, and here’s why:

Citrix Sharefile

ShareFile is a great file sync and share product, but definitely not managed file transfer.

SolarWinds Serv-U

Serv-U MFT is an SFTP server with primitive automation. It has received little development since its acquisition from RhinoSoft in 2013 and our independent technical experts have raised concerns about the security and safety of this product (see our recent SolarWinds Serv-U MFT Server review).

OpenText HighTail

HighTail is a file synchronisation and sharing platform, with content collaboration functionality specifically designed for the for creatives. With no automation, no support for open standard protocols, nor a file transfer server, Hightail is not an MFT solution. It was acquired by Opentext in February of 2018, which follows the previous acquisitions of Metastorm in 2011, Easylink Services in 2012 and GXS in 2013 – all previously incorrectly categorised as MFT solutions too

CA Dollar Universe Workload Automation

This is in completely the wrong quadrant as the name clearly indicates! It should be in the workload automation category which is a very different technology to MFT.

ASCi Active Batch

This is another workload automation tool, and – ironically – is ranked very well in the Software Reviews workload automation category!

Signiant Manager & Agents

Signiant sits in a subset of MFT, because it has the required components of a solution but doesn’t support any open standards delivery protocols. Instead, it has its own propriety protocol for fast file transfer.

CA NetMaster File Transfer Management

This product has no file transfer capabilities. It is a file transfer monitoring solution, specifically developed to monitor FTP traffic on the mainframe. It definitely doesn’t belong in this market analysis.

Next steps for selecting a manged file transfer solution

If you’re looking for an MFT solution, then please be careful not to put too much emphasis on analysis like this from Info-Tech. To really understand which is the best solution for you, I’d recommend our free and independent managed file transfer comparison service. You answer a series of questions about your requirements and our experts will match them against the leading solutions on the market. You’ll be benefiting from truly independent knowledge and many years’ experience scoping, implementing and managing this type of software. It’s completely free and we’d be really happy to help you.

InfoTech 2019 MFT report

There’s been a lot of talk in the Managed File Transfer (MFT) space about the recent Software Reviews Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant. The report claims to ‘provide a comprehensive evaluation of popular products in the Managed File Transfer market’.

As independent MFT experts with over 15 years’ experience reviewing products, we wanted to provide our take on this report. Our advice is very clear. This is not an accurate representation of the market, and here’s why.

Pictured: Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant, from HelpSystems website.

1. Definition of MFT

Info-Tech’s understanding of what constitutes MFT is fundamentally flawed. Of the ten products on the Data Quadrant, four aren’t actually MFT, so it’s not comparing like-for-like.

MFT solutions allow data to be transferred in a controlled, secure fashion, both inside and outside an organisation, between systems and / or users. This includes:

  • System-to-system transfers, such as automated batch transfers or workflows with a series of actions;
  • Transfers between people and systems, such as data capture forms with ongoing automated workflows;
  • Person-to-person or ‘ad hoc’ transfers.

The following four products are not MFT:

Accellion: This is a secure file sharing and collaboration solution only.

Adobe Send & Track: For ad hoc large files.

Citrix ShareFile: Electronic sync and share, for document collaboration.

LeapFile: For ad hoc person-to-person only.

2. Products missing from the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

Only vendors who have paid for the report are able to market what it says about them. This is not independent and it is not a review of the complete market place.

While we firmly agree with the placement of HelpSystems GoAnywhere MFT and Ipswitch MOVEit, who were acquired by Progress earlier this year, there are several other market leaders not included on the Data Quadrant:

Globalscape EFT Server would score highly on both the ‘Feature’ and ‘Vendor’ matrix.

Coviant Diplomat MFT is benefiting from a lot of development at the moment, making it a likely player in the ‘Product Innovator’ quadrant.

We would also recommend Cornerstone MFT from South River Technologies (SRT) as a very good budget solution.

Other credible vendors missing from the quadrant include Axway, Seeburger, Jscape, Cleo and more…

3. Niche or incompatible products

There are several products on the Data Quadrant that just aren’t viable products for the majority of businesses. That’s either because they lack the development, are not enterprise-ready, or are niche to specific industries:

Oracle MFT: Our most recent market research identified there were only around one hundred Oracle MFT customers worldwide. Most of these sales came about to prevent customers discontinuing with their middleware product. There has been little development recently and their roadmap is limited.

SolarWinds Serv-U: This is a budget solution and not something we would recommend for enterprises. Since its acquisition by SolarWinds, the technology hasn’t kept pace with technical innovation and is now a long way behind other vendors. By using a Java web browser plugin, the adoption and usability of their product – especially in risk adverse enterprise environments – will be compromised. This feature is well behind the curve.

FileCatalyst: This is primarily for use within the media industries, with an emphasis on fast file transfer. It doesn’t have the necessary breadth of file transfer protocols or automation options to make it a mainstream MFT player.

IBM Managed File Transfer: This is ensconced in the banking/finance industry, built around their own delivery protocol (NDM). It’s an expensive solution, without the breadth of delivery protocols to make it a mainstream MFT player.

NEXT STEPS

If you are looking for an MFT solution, we strongly advise against using the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant for guidance.

Most MFT solutions have the same features but differ in the level of detail and complexity, and how they are delivered. The only way you will be able to identify the right one for your business is to fully scope your requirements. Make sure you look at the vendor closely too and see what their previous development release schedule is like from published release notes. These are the factors that will determine whether your implementation is a success and will ensure you back a vendor that should meet your future needs too.

If you need help, use our free comparison tool, which asks the right questions. You enter your requirements, giving as much detail as you can, and our experts will recommend the right solution for your current and future needs and budget. It’s completely free and there’s no obligation to buy through us.

Interested in a file transfer solution?