0333 123 1240 info@pro2colgroup.com

A review of the current Managed File Transfer vendor landscape

Best Enterprise Managed File Transfer vendors 2020

A review of the current MFT vendor landscape

There’s a lot of out of date or inaccurate comparisons of enterprise Managed File Transfer (MFT) vendors online. This makes it difficult for businesses to research MFT vendors and select the right solution for their requirements. In a recent blog post, for example, we explained how far out of date the ten-year-old Garter MFT Vendors Magic Quadrant was.

This blog post gives an impartial overview of current enterprise Managed File Transfer vendors. But firstly, why should you listen to us? Having dealt solely with MFT for over 15 years we have a lot of experience. In fact we’re often asked to assist vendors with product research and development. We are also providers and developers of the only vendor-independent training programme: The Certified File Transfer Professional (CFTP).

The fragmentation of MFT

Managed File Transfer (MFT) is a technology that provides the secure transfer of data in an efficient and reliable manner. Unlike traditional file transfer tools, such as FTP and scripting, MFT core functionalities include the ability to secure files in transit and rest, and reporting and auditing of file activity. What also differentiates MFT from other forms of infrastructure and integration technologies is its unique focus on managing the transfer of large file sizes and volumes.”
Gartner IT Glossary

Over the last decade, file transfer solutions have fragmented into the following categories:

 

  • Enterprise File Sync and Share, or EFSS: This allows document collaboration and secure sharing of files between people;
  • ‘Extreme’ or fast file transfer: Very large files and data sets can be transferred quickly and securely, using a combination of UDP and TCP protocols;
  • Managed File Transfer (MFT): Primarily chosen for its automation capabilities, frequently coupled with a server and proxy.

The extension of Managed File Transfer

In recent years MFT vendors have extended the reach of their products to include an increasing number of end-points and integration options. This includes:

  • Cloud connectivity, both for storage and SaaS applications;
  • Some data transformation capabilities;
  • Extended SOAP and REST APIs.

These developments have propelled MFT to become the file delivery hub of a business and an alternative option for businesses considering an iPaaS solution. It combines on-premise with external connectivity to create hybrid business processes with governance and visibility.

Of course, different MFT vendors are at different points on this journey. If you would like to find out more, please get in contact and we can provide advice. We can also advise you on previous development release schedules and other factors that will ensure you back a Managed File Transfer vendor that will meet your future needs too.

Ultimately there is no ‘best Managed File Transfer vendor’, just the best one for your individual requirements.

Our top four enterprise Managed File Transfer vendors

In alphabetical order, our top four MFT vendors are as follows. This is based on functionality, ongoing development, release schedule, roadmap and vendor support.

 

Coviant Diplomat

Coviant Diplomat MFT is benefiting from a new lease of life under Greg Hoffer, the recently appointed CEO. The product is considered by the analysts as the value player in the market, strong on enterprise integration, cross platform and with an increasing number of application and cloud integration points. The company was formed in 2004 and according to LinkedIn has 11-50 employees. Coviant is based in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

Globalscape EFT

Globalscape have recently refocused all their efforts on EFT Server. A strong automation platform for Windows, 2020 will see the release of additional GDPR compliance capabilities and automation options. Globalscape was formed in 1996 and has 51-200 employees according to LinkedIn. The CEO is Robert Alpert, it is listed on the NYSE and the organisation is based in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

HelpSystems GoAnywhere MFT

GoAnywhere MFT is a cross plaform application, strong on cloud connectivity, with multiple out of the box connectors available. They bring out a major new release each year. Linoma, developers of GoAnywhere, were acquired by HelpSystems in 2016, who were formed in 1982 and has 501-1000 employees according to LinkedIn. The recently promoted CEO is Kate Bolseth and the organisation is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Ipswitch MOVEit

Ipswitch was acquired by Progress in 2019 for +$200m. Ipswitch acquired Messageway in 2010 to add integration and EDI to their portfolio, which now includes three separate file transfer product lines. Ipswitch was formed in 1991 and has 201-500 employees. The CEO is Michael Grossi and the organisation is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, USA.

Enterprise Managed File Transfer vendor landscape

Vendor Product Formed No. of employees CEO Head Office
managed file transfer vendors Diplomat MFT 2004 11-50 Greg Hoffer Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA
managed file transfer vendors EFT 1996 51-200 Robert Alpert San Antonio, Texas, USA
GoAnywhere 1982 501-1000 Kate Bolseth Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
managed file transfer vendors MOVEit 1991 201-500 Michael Grossi Burlington, Massachusetts, USA
Vendor Product Formed No. of employees CEO Head Office
managed file transfer vendors Harmony 1976 201-500 Mahesh Rajasekharan Rockford, Illinois, USA
managed file transfer vendors Cornerstone 2000 11-50 Micheal J Ryan Annapolis, Maryland, USA
managed file transfer vendors Secure Transport 1996 1001 - 2500 Patrick Donovan Puteaux, France
managed file transfer vendors Oracle MFT 1977 10001+ Safra Catz Redwood City, California, USA
Vendor Product Formed No. of employees CEO Head Office
managed file transfer vendors JSCAPE MFT 1999 11-50 Van Glass Miami, Florida, USA
managed file transfer vendors Business Integration Suite MFT 1987 501-1000 Bernd Seeburger Bretten, Germany
managed file transfer vendors Serv-U 1996 1001 - 5000 Kevin B. Thompson Austin, Texas,USA
managed file transfer vendors Attunity MFT 1977 201-500 Shimon Alon Burlington, Massachusetts, USA

NEXT STEPS

MFT solutions have very similar features and capabilities, with vendors competing with one another to stay competitive. This makes it more difficult to work out which solution is best for your requirements as product datasheets largely say the same thing. Determining which solution is best is achieved by knowing not what they do but how they do it, the level of detail and complexity, and how they are delivered.

The easiest way for you to identify the right solution for your business is a discovery call with our MFT experts. They will chat with you to fully understand your existing requirements, ensure that you’ve considered what your future needs might be and give you various options in selecting your solution. Call us on 0333 123 1240.

Alternative, 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.

Tuckton does #ChristmasJumperDay

#ChristmasJumperDay 2019

Let's get Tuckton involved

Businesses across Tuckton teamed up to raise a fantastic sum of money for Save the Children’s #ChristmasJumperDay on Friday 13th December. We smashed our original target, raising over £1600 in total.

Tuckton High Street was a hub of activity, with fundraising activities throughout the day. Jasmina from Pro2col won the Pigs in Blankets – Mince Pie and Spoon race. Her time of 12.75 seconds was honoured despite allegations her mince pie was glued to her spoon. Pictures in the gallery!

Local boxing celebrity Kate Farley judged the Christmas window competition, awarding prizes to the most impressive displays:

  • ​First place: Wilton’s Funeral Services
  • Second place: Hairworx hairdressers
  • Third place: Matthew Furnell Health & Nutrition

“I am writing to say a huge thank you to you and your team for supporting Christmas Jumper Day again and raising a fantastic £1,609! That’s amazing, massive well done to you and your team.”

Dania Shaw, Community Fundraising Manager South West at Save the Children UK

Three pupils from Stourfield Infant School won prizes for their beautiful Christmas jumper designs, judged by the team from Pandemonium. The day was rounded off with a warming winter BBQ and mulled wine at Flat White

Winners of the raffle – which include prizes from Lemon Tree Nails and BeautyTuckton Podiatry and Tuckton Dental Practice – will be notified in the next few days.

Thank you to all the businesses who got involved and the local residents who donated. Special thanks to our business partners who made generous donations that made up a large chunk of the funds raised.

All money raised has gone to Save the Children, changing children’s lives around the world. It’s surprising how even a small donation can add up to make a big difference:

  • £210 could equip 200 children in Indonesia with everything they need for school.
  • £100 could buy the essentials a family fleeing conflict in Syria need to survive the winter cold.
  • £50 could provide a child with a month’s supply of high-energy peanut paste, helping them recover from malnutrition.
  • £20 could provide a newborn baby and mother with the vital supplies they need to get the best start in life.
  • £10 could pay for a child’s schoolbag kit in Kenya to help children learn.
Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

How do I monitor my Managed File Transfer system?

How do I monitor my Managed File Transfer system?

Most Managed File Transfer (MFT) products contain a dedicated reporting component, available either in the base licence or as an additional module which can be purchased and installed separately.

Many businesses will want to pass this reporting into their monitoring solution, to consolidate all their reporting in one place. But what’s the best way to do this? The majority of MFT solutions generate simple alerts to notify operators or administrators of potential problems. In this article, I’ll explore some of the ways that you can use these interfaces to best suit your needs.

Before you even consider how you want to interface your MFT to your monitoring, you need to take a long look at whether something is, in fact, worth monitoring. For example, would you want to be alerted when someone fails to login to your FTP server? If it’s a wannabe hacker and their IP address gets automatically locked out, then probably not. If it’s a production batch account, then probably yes. Think about your MFT system in component pieces and judge each part on its own merit. Just because you monitor some of it, you don’t have to do it all.

  • 1. The problem with email

    One of the easiest monitoring methods is to generate an email when something goes wrong. Unfortunately though, this is also one of the biggest monitoring failures for a couple of reasons.

    First, relying on email does not preclude a failure or delays in your mail system. Emails can potentially get lost or marked as spam by the mail server if enough are generated. Secondly, if you are only notified of failure, but you don’t receive any emails, is your system working?

  • 2. Simple network management protocol

    SNMP is a protocol designed for monitoring a network and its various devices. There are several monitoring solutions commercially available, however you need to check your MFT system to determine if it is able to create an SNMP trap. If not, you are limited to just monitoring the MFT server(s).

  • 3. Log watcher

    Most monitoring tools contain a log watcher of some description. The monitoring solution can be set to read your log files on a regular basis and will generally remember which parts of the log have already been read. An alert is raised when a certain regular expression is encountered in the log file.

    Be careful when using this approach that you do not inadvertently change the log levels of the MFT solution and that error text does not change with software upgrades.

  • 4. Event log

    Some MFT solutions allow writing to Windows event logs, which you can then monitor with any commercial monitoring solution. On a Linux or Unix system, you would perhaps be checking the /var/log directory (system logs are written to /var/log/messages).

  • 5. Database

    If your MFT solution writes log records to a database, use a query launched from the monitoring solution to routinely extract error events. Depending upon the frequency of execution, this can give near real-time results.

  • 6. And finally… scripting

    If your MFT product provides an API, why not use some scripting to generate events? A Cron or Windows scheduled task can routinely check directly into your system for noteworthy events.

Now that you’ve worked out a way to get the events from your MFT system into your Monitoring solution, you need to consider how you want to be alerted. Of course, this is the responsibility of the monitoring solution, but consider how you would like to grade the events that you receive. Do they all require your immediate attention, or can you apply a priority to some, while others can wait? In practice, it makes sense to prioritise events before passing them to the monitoring solution.

Whichever method you use to pass events to the Monitoring tool, you may find that you also have the opportunity to execute certain activities when you detect an issue. Many monitoring tools possess this functionality (If you script your monitoring interface, this can be used too). A good example of this may be to restart a failed interface, or enable an alternate workflow.

If you need help setting up your monitoring, please contact Pro2col. Our experts deliver professional services on all aspects of your MFT solution.

We’ve been specialising in solutions that securely transfer data, integrate with on-premise, hybrid and cloud systems since 2004. We are partners for the majority of the leading file transfer vendors, delivering accredited support services.

 

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

Open PGP keys under attack: Does this affect your MFT solution?

Open PGP keys under attack: Does this affect your MFT solution?

PGP is the industry standard for securing communications and a common feature of MFT. But it’s recently been at the centre of hacking fears. This guest blog post from Coviant Software CEO Greg Hoffer will alleviate any concerns relating to your Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution.

It was bound to happen one day: the OpenPGP Standard Key Server implementation has fallen victim to attack. When the Pretty Good Privacy (PGP) Keyserver system allows anyone to affix changes (“attestations”) to a given key –these never, ever get deleted. As a result, malicious attackers can “spam” a public key sitting on a key server, adding these attestations over and over again until the key itself becomes too unwieldy to use by some software. This is a clear security issue leading to a “denial of service” attack, rendering that public key unusable for encrypting information.

So how does this affect your MFT solution? It is has no negative impact at all. I have never experienced any customer that uses a KeyServer for OpenPGP key distribution. When creating a transaction to move files between a MFT customer and an external customer, partner, supplier, or vendor it is always the two sides of the file transfer that coordinate the exchange of public keys, either through email or a file transfer protocol like SFTP. Thus, since those public keys are not put onto a public Key Server, they will not have extraneous attestations attached to them, and both sides will be able to process the keys just fine.

Let’s all use this situation as a reminder to be very untrusting when dealing with the security of sensitive data, and not provide an infrastructure that allows anonymous, unregulated edits to information that is vital to secure communications.

Greg Hoffer

CEO, Coviant Software

Your MFT solution is a critical part of your infrastructure, with many business processes depending on it. Without regular maintenance and training, you are risking security and efficiency, and ultimately not getting the best value from your solution.

Our health check service reviews the performance of your software, checking your configuration, version, clean-up rules and more. Our technical consultants will produce and present a report advising on risks we have identified and remedial actions.

Call 0333 123 1240 or contact us online to book a health check today.

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

Criteria to consider when choosing the right Managed File Transfer product

Criteria to consider when choosing the right Managed File Transfer product

What should you consider when choosing a Managed File Transfer product? As well as matching technical features against your requirements, it is really important to look at the lifecycle of the product you are evaluating.

As with everything in life there is a natural evolution or life cycle that every product will go through i.e. inception, growth, maturity to decline. Of course the length of time in each phase will vary based on a number of different factors like marketing, on-going product development, customer input and a strategic commitment to R&D.  Under these conditions a product’s growth can continue for a long time. But there are some things that you can help identify a product that is in or near the declining phase of its lifecycle.
 

10 things to look at when evaluating an MFT solution

  1. No product development road map.
  2. Road map is primarily made up of sustaining fixes.
  3. No big enhancements being released in the near term i.e. 6 – 8 months.
  4. No big enhancement(s) released in the last year i.e. reporting, dashboards, etc.
  5. Not up to date with the basic table stakes of MFT functionality. This could also apply to an immature product as well. But if a product has been around for some years and is lacking some basic MFT functionality that should be a big red flag.
  6. Declining Sales. It is easier find out this information for publicly traded companies than private ones.
  7. Little or no marketing promotions for the product(s) you are evaluating.
  8. Still using Old Technology Paradigms, ie: a product doesn’t have the most up to date versions of technology such as encryption algorithms, protocols etc.
  9. Little or no R&D infrastructure.
  10. Based on the competitive dynamics of the MFT industry, if company is not electing to employ one of three strategies: Maintain, Defend, or Innovate your product is in the declining phase of its lifecycle.

Your solution will become a critical component of your organisation’s business workflow, so it’s important to know you are choosing a committed vendor.

We work with some of the industry’s leading vendors. In addition to having a close relationship with them, we understand their position in the marketplace, where their product roadmaps are headed and can help to steer you towards the most appropriate technology for your requirements.  Contact us to see how we can help with your file transfer project.

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

Researching Managed File Transfer? Download our independent Buyer’s Guide

Researching Managed File Transfer? Download our independent Buyer’s Guide

​We know it’s difficult to research and select new software, especially one as fundamental as Managed File Transfer. It underpins your security, efficiency, cloud strategy and digital transformation. None of these are areas where you can take risks.

That’s why we created the Managed File Transfer Buyer’s Guide. It helps you mitigate these risks, so you can confidently select the right solution for your business requirements.

Why did we create the Managed File Transfer Buyer’s Guide?

There are three main reasons we wrote this: To save you time, to save you money and because our independence and expertise means we are best placed to advise.

 

  • To save you time and money

    Managed File Transfer is a big investment. Whether you’re buying for the first time or replacing an outdated solution, you don’t want to make an expensive mistake.
    There are over forty vendors on the marketplace, each pushing their product. Of course they will tell you it is right for your business. But perhaps Managed File Transfer isn’t right for you after all? Or maybe there’s a product that will deliver your requirements better and for a cheaper price?
    To research every product thoroughly will take a lot of time and resource. We have distilled the essential information into this guide, so you can understand whether you need MFT, which business problems MFT can address and how, plus advice for the different stages of your project.

  • Other Buyer’s Guides aren’t up to much

    There’s no-one else who can create a truly independent Buyer’s Guide with our level of expertise. They are either written by vendors trying to push their product, or by businesses without our level of experience.
    Pro2col deal solely with MFT and have done for over 15 years. Each of our senior technical consultants has over nine years’ experience. We are thought leaders in the industry, assisting vendors with product research and development, and are providers and developers of the only vendor-independent training programme: The Certified file Transfer Professional (CFTP).
    Our technical expertise is sought the world-over by businesses and vendors alike. Access this expertise for free now.

What does the Managed File Transfer Buyer’s Guide include?

  • Explanation of MFT and whether you have a current or future business need.
  • A series of common business problems MFT solves, including automation, security and visibility.
  • Which MFT features or modules address which requirement?
  • Use cases explaining how different industries use MFT.
  • Advice for the different stages of an MFT project.
  • Access to more downloadable resources to help you through each stage of your product.
Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide