0333 123 1240 info@pro2colgroup.com

MANAGED FILE TRANSFER

A Vendor Independent Guide

Our mission is to provide honest, independent advice that helps business around the world select the right Managed File Transfer technology. So we have put together the most extensive and comprehensive guide that you will find anywhere.

Why we wrote this guide to Managed File Transfer

Information technologies evolve so quickly that it’s impossible for IT teams and project managers to have expertise in all facets. We hope to equip them with knowledge to make the right decisions when it comes to securely transferring or sharing files.

There are plenty of resources from various Managed File Transfer vendors all claiming to provide a buyers guide. These, coincidentally, always positions their product as the best. This is approaching your file transfer project back-to-front and we want to put that right. Businesses each have unique individual requirements, which all contribute to finding the right solution for you. Your integration needs, infrastructure, levels of data risk and budget are just some of the factors to consider.

Who is this guide for and how should you use it

This guide is designed to help all organisations, regardless of how mature the file transfer processes are. If Enterprise Managed File Transfer software is new to you, then start at the beginning. If you have some knowledge or already use a solution, you can jump in at any stage. Make the most of our file transfer tools, guides and resources too, which help you identify, plan, implement and maintain file transfer solutions.

I hope you find it useful.

 

James Lewis, Managing Director of Pro2col

 

Our mission is to provide honest, independent advice that helps business around the world select the right Managed File Transfer technology. So we have put together the most extensive and comprehensive guide to Managed File Transfer that you will find anywhere.

Why we wrote this guide to Managed File Transfer

Information technologies evolve so quickly that it’s impossible for IT teams and project managers to have expertise in all facets. We hope to equip them with knowledge to make the right decisions when it comes to securely transferring or sharing files.

There are plenty of resources from various Managed File Transfer vendors all claiming to provide a buyers guide. These, coincidentally, always positions their product as the best. This is approaching your file transfer project back-to-front and we want to put that right. Businesses each have unique individual requirements, which all contribute to finding the right solution for you. Your integration needs, infrastructure, levels of data risk and budget are just some of the factors to consider.

Who is this guide for and how should you use it

This guide is designed to help all organisations, regardless of how mature the file transfer processes are. If Enterprise Managed File Transfer software is new to you, then start at the beginning. If you have some knowledge or already use a solution, you can jump in at any stage. Make the most of our file transfer tools, guides and resources too, which help you identify, plan, implement and maintain file transfer solutions.

I hope you find it useful.

 

James Lewis, Managing Director of Pro2col

 

WHAT IS ENTERPRISE MANAGED FILE TRANSFER? (MFT)

What is Enterprise Managed File Transfer software? Managed File Transfer solutions allow data to be transferred in a controlled, secure fashion, both inside and outside an organisation, between systems and / or users. Files are transferred more quickly and securely, enhancing productivity and providing visibility of transfers.

The solutions address a wide range of data transfer challenges and are used as the gateway for all inbound and outbound secure data transfers. Common use-cases include secure exchanges of data via a wide range of protocols, automated data workflows, secure ad-hoc transfers, enabling remote access to data securely and much more.

Traditionally, MFT software solutions have been delivered as on-premises software installations, enabling tight integration with internal systems. Now cloud solutions are growing in popularity, providing full control over their data and workflows without the infrastructure management.

So what is Managed File Transfer? It’s a critical component in your infrastructure and the answer to your secure data transfer requirements.

Managed file transfer

Free access to exclusive expert MFT tools, guides and White Papers

The following resources are included, plus more:

  • MFT and Digital Transformation White Paper
  • Information gathering template
  • MFT software comparison and recommendation
  • Brexit data protection guidelines
  • GDPR White Paper

Managed File Transfer solutions have the following features

Managed file transfer

Workflow automation

Managed file transfer

Send files via secure email

Managed file transfer

File transfer monitoring

Managed file transfer

Secure, sync and share files

Managed file transfer

Auditing & reporting

Managed file transfer

Document collaboration

WHICH PROBLEMS DOES MANAGED FILE TRANSFER ADDRESS?

MFT software enhances security, provides visibility, supports compliance (GDPR, ISO) and can increase the efficiency of business processes. There are many different reasons why an IT team or department within a business may want to install an MFT solution.

Managed File Transfer

Business departments are typically looking to:

  • Securely share files, as email isn’t sufficient
  • Collaborate on project files with geographically distributed teams
  • Enable timely file transfer so that IT isn’t a business bottleneck
  • Have better visibility of files transferred, accessed and downloaded
  • Automate repetitive processes to free up resources
  • Transfer files faster – replacing shipping of media such as media USB devices, DVDs & HDDs
  • Send large data sets quickly to trading partners across the world

 

IT departments use Managed File Transfer to:

  • Replace insecure/legacy/open source FTP servers
  • Remove the single point of failure of homegrown bespoke file transfer solutions
  • Enable business users to send files securely without the involvement of IT
  • Integrate with Enterprise systems, e.g. SharePoint or cloud services such as Dropbox, Amazon, Azure
  • Automate the movement and integration of data between disparate systems and endpoints
  • Achieve compliance with company, industry or regulatory standards such as Data Protection, GDPR, PCI, SOX and HIPAA
  • Control the use of consumer-grade cloud-based services

 

Managed File Transfer

DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED AN ENTERPRISE MANAGED FILE TRANSFER SOLUTION?

If you are not sure whether MFT is the right solution for your business, take our quick quiz to see if it matches your requirements.

ENTERPRISE MANAGED FILE TRANSFER SOFTWARE VS COMMON ALTERNATIVES

Managed file transfer

MFT vs file sharing apps

Read up on the risks of using file sharing apps, how they measure up against compliance requirements, and get tips on tackling shadow IT in your organisation. This is a valuable resource if you are considering sourcing a Dropbox alternative.

We also outline eight key features you need from your file sharing application, if you are to be confident it is secure.

 

MFT vs FTP servers

The bottom line with FTP servers is that you get what you pay for. FTP server software is available online, ranging in price from $50-$1500.

The level of functionality varies widely, as does the support. If you have minimal requirements, FTP servers can be a cost-effective option for transferring files. Our blog article examines this in more depth looking at the top three drivers for choosing MFT over FTP.

 

Managed file transfer
Managed file transfer

MFT vs Microsoft IIS FTP

IIS FTP is deployed extensively for tactical solutions. Its lack of functionality and protocol support rule it out as a serious option for organisations that need to meet certain security mandates and regulatory compliance.

We explore the limitations of IIS for FTP in our blog article.

 

MFT vs middleware

Middleware systems allow the various applications inside and outside the network to talk to each other. They generally have a hub-and-spoke arrangement, with data transformation being performed as messages pass through centralised message queues.

Middleware systems come with connectors to most system types, which allow them to exchange data freely. However, they are rarely for use by end users and don’t tend to handle large messages well compared to dedicated Managed File Transfer systems.

 

Managed file transfer

File sharing apps:

Read up on the risks of using file sharing apps, how they measure up against compliance requirements, and get tips on tackling shadow IT in your organisation. This is a valuable resource if you are considering sourcing a Dropbox alternative. We also outline eight key features you need from your file sharing application, if you are to be confident it is secure.

Microsoft IIS FTP:

IIS FTP is deployed extensively for tactical solutions. Its lack of functionality and protocol support rule it out as a serious option for organisations that need to meet certain security mandates and regulatory compliance. We explore the limitations of IIS for FTP in our blog article.

FTP servers:

The bottom line with FTP servers is that you get what you pay for. FTP server software is available online, ranging in price from $50-$1500. The level of functionality varies widely, as does the support. If you have minimal requirements, FTP servers can be a cost-effective option for transferring files. Our blog article examines this in more depth looking at the top three drivers for choosing MFT over FTP.

Middleware:

Middleware systems allow the various applications inside and outside the network to talk to each other. They generally have a hub-and-spoke arrangement, with data transformation being performed as messages pass through centralised message queues. Middleware systems come with connectors to most system types, which allow them to exchange data freely. However, they are rarely for use by end users and don’t tend to handle large messages well compared to dedicated Managed File Transfer systems.

COMMON WAYS BUSINESSES USE MFT

MFT software is used by all industries for a number of reasons. Below we have identified some common use cases, which have enhanced business processes and helped companies on their digital transformation journey.

MFT solutions play a key role in increasing productivity, collaboration, data security and streamlining processes. The solutions work seamlessly with other application that you probably already have within your business.

Enterprise Managed File Transfer industry use cases

Managed file transfer

Healthcare

Securing data is a regulatory necessity in healthcare. Using a combination of features, MFT products can secure the data moved between NHS and agencies, both in transit and at rest.

Data can be moved using a number of different secure methods. By leveraging either automatic encryption using PGP or storing to an encrypted repository with hidden keys, data can be protected at rest. Using the mobile option available on many MFT systems, health care providers can transfer medical notes between tablet devices and central records, enabling home visitors to update patient notes on site whilst working remotely.

 

Healthcare

Securing data is a regulatory necessity in healthcare. Using a combination of features, MFT products can secure the data moved between NHS and agencies, both in transit and at rest.

Data can be moved using a number of different secure methods. By leveraging either automatic encryption using PGP or storing to an encrypted repository with hidden keys, data can be protected at rest. Using the mobile option available on many MFT systems, health care providers can transfer medical notes between tablet devices and central records, enabling home visitors to update patient notes on site whilst working remotely.

Financial services

By replacing in-house developed or legacy systems remains the most frequent requirement for our financial services customers.

Home-grown solutions are no match for modern MFT solutions, which enable processes to be centralised, provide comprehensive auditing and reporting functions and minimise ongoing support overheads by removing the need for custom scripting. Reducing the proprietary protocols such as Connect:Direct, can significantly reduce costs. You will replace the need for additional customer-facing systems, and communicate with standard protocols such as SFTP.

 

Managed file transfer

Financial services

By replacing in-house developed or legacy systems remains the most frequent requirement for our financial services customers.

Home-grown solutions are no match for modern MFT solutions, which enable processes to be centralised, provide comprehensive auditing and reporting functions and minimise ongoing support overheads by removing the need for custom scripting. Reducing the proprietary protocols such as Connect:Direct, can significantly reduce costs. You will replace the need for additional customer-facing systems, and communicate with standard protocols such as SFTP.

Managed file transfer

Retail

Many MFT solutions have built-in settings to help an organisation configure their systems to be PCI compliant.

Regular reports check the system for compliance and if a setting is changed that would breach PCI guidelines, it will flag it and ask for a reason for the change. By moving data to and from stores and POS systems on an automated schedule, all data can be stored centrally at head office, providing a better picture of how each branch is doing and adding another layer of security to the data. This automation can also be used to trigger orders when stock levels get low.

 

Retail

Many MFT solutions have built-in settings to help an organisation configure their systems to be PCI compliant.

Regular reports check the system for compliance and if a setting is changed that would breach PCI guidelines, it will flag it and ask for a reason for the change. By moving data to and from stores and POS systems on an automated schedule, all data can be stored centrally at head office, providing a better picture of how each branch is doing and adding another layer of security to the data. This automation can also be used to trigger orders when stock levels get low.

 

Utilities

MFT solutions can connect to smart meters and retrieve data, allowing companies to process information directly and removing the need to send out a meter reader.

This technology contributes to making “estimated” billing a thing of the past. By integrating directly into existing data workflows, consolidating automated file transfer tasks and allowing IT staff to create/administer via a user friendly GUI interface, MFT solutions can save utility companies hours of manual processing and ensure the security of personal data mapping against GDPR compliance.

 

Managed file transfer

Utilities

MFT solutions can connect to smart meters and retrieve data, allowing companies to process information directly and removing the need to send out a meter reader.

This technology contributes to making “estimated” billing a thing of the past. By integrating directly into existing data workflows, consolidating automated file transfer tasks and allowing IT staff to create/administer via a user friendly GUI interface, MFT solutions can save utility companies hours of manual processing and ensure the security of personal data mapping against GDPR compliance.

 

Managed file transfer

Our White Paper explains the role MFT plays in digital transformation

Find out how to streamline business processes and secure your data to enable digital transformation, plus gain access to all our other tools and guides.

Enterprise Managed File Transfer solutions can integrate and work in conjunction with the following applications plus a lot more:

CHOOSE THE RIGHT MANAGED FILE TRANSFER SOLUTION

Every business has a unique set of requirements and each solution delivers its feature-set differently. There are so many factors that will determine if your implementation is a success.

We would always recommend fully scoping your requirements first. We can provide you with a template and questions to make sure you gather the right information, then use the Managed File Transfer comparison and recommendation service.

Sourcing the wrong product will cost you more in the long run. There’s a lot of bad advice out there so be careful when you are doing your research. To give you an idea, read our blog, “Three big things wrong with the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant”

Three big things wrong with the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

There’s been a lot of talk in the MFT space about the recent 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, read our blog to find out why.

Managed file transfer

Three big things wrong with the Info-Tech MFT Data Quadrant

There’s been a lot of talk in the Managed File Transfer (MFT) space about the recent 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, read our blog to find out why.

Managed file transfer

Download our information gathering questionnaire template

Answer 40 file transfer information gathering questions to help you identify some of your business requirements and stakeholder needs, plus gain access to all our other tools and guides.

Save time and make the right choice with the Managed File Transfer comparison

 

With over 40 Managed File Transfer solutions on the market, where do you start?
It takes weeks of research time contacting multiple vendors, sitting through numerous presentations, piles of white papers and liaising with multiple salespeople. That’s exactly what the Managed File Transfer comparison service is designed to eliminate.

Pro2col’s MFT comparison is a free service to identify the right software for your business needs.

LEADING ENTERPRISE MANAGED FILE TRANSFER VENDORS

Our expertise makes us the preferred partner for many of the leading secure file transfer vendors. We provide Managed File Transfer software licences, professional services and support for the majority of these recommended MFT solutions:

Coviant Diplomat MFT

Founded in 2004, and based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Pro2col has been a trusted partner of Coviant for over 5 years.

Helpsystems GoAnywhere

Founded over 20 years’ ago (as Linoma). Over 13,000 customers worldwide and Pro2col partners since 2014. Based in Minnesota, USA.

Globalscape EFT Server

Over 20 years’ experience and 13,000 customers worldwide. Based in Texas, USA. Pro2col has been a UK Master Partner for ten years.

Coviant Diplomat MFT

Founded in 2004, and based in Wellesley, Massachusetts, Pro2col has been a trusted partner of Coviant for over 5 years.

Helpsystems GoAnywhere

Founded over 20 years’ ago (as Linoma). Over 13,000 customers worldwide and Pro2col partners since 2014. Based in Minnesota, USA.

Globalscape EFT Server

Over 20 years’ experience and 13,000 customers worldwide. Based in Texas, USA. Pro2col has been a UK Master Partner for ten years.

Ipswitch Moveit

Over 35 years’ experience and 7000 deployments worldwide. Based in Illinois, USA. Pro2col have been UK partners since 2010.

Cleo MFT

Over 35 years’ experience and 7000 deployments worldwide. Based in Illinois, USA. Pro2col have been UK partners since 2010.

SRT Cornerstone

Founded in 2001, SRT are based in Maryland, USA with customers in 125 countries. Pro2col have been partners since 2014.

Ipswitch Moveit

Over 35 years’ experience and 7000 deployments worldwide. Based in Illinois, USA. Pro2col have been UK partners since 2010.

Cleo MFT

Over 35 years’ experience and 7000 deployments worldwide. Based in Illinois, USA. Pro2col have been UK partners since 2010.

SRT Cornerstone

Founded in 2001, SRT are based in Maryland, USA with customers in 125 countries. Pro2col have been partners since 2014.

MANAGED FILE TRANSFER NEWS

Managed File Transfer software comparison

Start your Managed File Transfer software comparison. Answer a series of questions about your business requirements. We’ll compare how the different solutions meet your needs and make a free recommendation.

MFT utility case study: Water Plus

This case study describes how Pro2col delivered a smooth launch and cut costs for a utility start-up. It is an MFT utility use case.