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

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?

Repliweb Software Goes End of Life

Repliweb Software Goes End of Life on January 31, 2022

Repliweb Software Goes End of Life on January 31, 2022

 

In August of 2020, Qlik the owners of the Attunity and Repliweb product portfolios announced the retirement of a number of the products they had acquired.

These include:

  • Qlik Connect, formerly Attunity Connect
  • Attunity Repliweb R1, formerly Repliweb Deployment (R1)
  • Qlik Managed File Transfer, formerly Repliweb MFT
  • Attunity FASTcopy, formerly Repliweb FASTcopy
  • Attunity Drive Mapper, formerly Repliweb Drive Mapper (RDM)
  • Qlik Visibility, formerly Attunity Visibility

While these products will continue to be supported until the end of January 2022, Qlik are not offering an alternative for existing users. They say it’s not aligned to the ‘strategy of the wider Qlik portfolio’.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence when one software vendor acquires another, and it can cause obvious extra work and concern for users of the technology. Yet it can also be a great opportunity for organisations to review their requirements and look at moving to an alternative, modern platform with additional functionality, support, and maintenance.

Do I need to change my Repliweb MFT?

The short answer is yes! Running unsupported software brings high risks to security, business continuity and efficiency.

    • Risk 1: Security
      You won’t get software updates with updated security features. This means you could be running outdated operating systems, or out of date ciphers. Not only does this expose your organisation to malware, ransomware and other viruses, but it affects your ISO 27001 accreditation and relationship with customers.
    • Risk 2: Business continuity
      File transfer operations underpin the majority of business processes. If you have a production affecting issue, you are going to need to access support as quickly as possible. If your software is end-of-life, that support simply won’t be available.
    • Risk 3: Staff time
      Trying to solve an issue without experts at the end of the phone will take considerable staff time that could be far better deployed elsewhere.
    • Risk 4: Software incompatibility
      New applications are optimised for the most recent operating systems. That means when using EOL operating systems, you can’t upgrade to the latest and greatest, so you’ll have to hold onto legacy applications.

Repliweb Managed File Transfer (MFT) Alternative

 

Managed file transfer solutions specialise in the secure exchange of sensitive files, with both external supply chain partners and internally around an organisation’s network.

Given the fast-approaching end-of-life date, businesses relying on Repliweb software for securely moving data, could find themselves in a spot of bother – especially if it is part of their mission-critical infrastructure. If they have any problems, technical support will not be offered to users after the end-of-life date, unless they are in possession of a multi-year agreement.

Options are limited. You could replace Repliweb MFT with a modern managed file transfer alternative, or determine whether other integration tools already in place can pick up the workload. If an alternative managed file transfer technology is required, Pro2col can help.

Pro2col recently helped a large financial services organisation to migrate over 20 trading partners and workflows from Repliweb MFT to an alternative solution. Working with the customer, our experts scoped their requirements, reviewed the options in the marketplace, recommended a solution which would scale with their future requirements, and migrated their workflows to it.

As independent MFT experts since 2004 we’ve got a pretty good idea which products and vendors have a strong track record for innovation, documentation, support and active roadmaps. We help our customers to shortcut the process of product selection and reduce the likelihood of choosing the wrong software for your current and future requirements.

 

How to replace Repliweb MFT

 

If replacing your MFT product is something you would like to discuss, we would be pleased to help. Having delivered over 800 MFT solutions, our team will help you with the most important element of your project – making sure you have a clear view of what it is you are replacing and ensuring your future hybrid cloud and integration requirements are considered.

You can call us for an informal chat, or complete our free online software comparison questionnaire. You answer a series of questions, and our experts will review them against the leading products on the market, providing a personalised, independent product recommendation.

What is Repliweb MFT functionality?

 

If you are seeking to replace Repliweb MFT below is a list of the core functionality which you may be looking to replace.

  • Secure file transfers
  • Scalability to handle large loads
  • Auditing of file transfers
  • File transfer acceleration up to 10x faster than FTP
  • Web UI and desktop client to simplify for end users*
  • Enforced security policies
  • Pre/post transfer processing
  • CLI/API integration
  • Sharepoint Connector for internal and external file sharing
  • Wide variety of transfer protocols and encryption algorithms
  • Content filtering
  • Virus scanning
  • DMZ front end

* The WebUI provided by Repliweb MFT uses a Java plugin in a web browser. The use of Java functionality has been considered insecure since 2017 when most other modern MFT solutions replaced it with HTML5.

History of Repliweb MFT

 

Repliweb was established in 2000, with an initial focus on file replication and application deployment automation. In 2005, Repliweb acquired Softlink Limited, adding B-Hub MFT to the Repliweb portfolio.

By 2009, Repliweb was a strong established vendor in the MFT marketplace, having been listed in Gartner’s second ‘Managed File Transfer Report’ in the ‘visionaries’ quadrant with a high ‘ability to execute’. (See our review of the Gartner Managed File Transfer Magic Quadrant ten years on).

In September 2011, Repliweb was acquired for $7.8m by Attunity, becoming part of a wider portfolio of data management, integration, replication and deployment solutions.

In May 2019, Attunity was acquired by Qlik Technologies.

In August 2020, Qlik’s Community Manager Jamie Gregory, announced the retirement of Attunity Repliweb MFT.

References

https://community.qlik.com/t5/Support-Updates-Blog/Retirement-of-legacy-Attunity-products-on-January-31-2022/ba-p/1732910
https://www.prweb.com/releases/file_transfer/managed_file/prweb1478744.htm
https://www.linkedin.com/company/repliweb/about/
https://www.qlik.com/us/products/data-integration-products
https://www.qlik.com/us/attunity
https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/inno/stories/news/2011/09/07/attunity-acquires-repliweb-to-enhance-data-amp.html 

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

Managed File Transfer Buyer’s Guide – Start your research here

What is MFT and how does it enhance security, productivity, compliance and visibility? This free guide is compiled from 16+ years’ experience. It includes definition, product features & use cases.

Supply chain disaster: Do you need an MFT dev environment?

Reasons why you need an MFT dev environment

Why you need an MFT dev environment

In all the years we’ve been working in file transfer, there have been a few occasions when we’ve witnessed the financial impact and reputation damage a system failure can have. This article looks at:

  • Why you should think twice before testing in a live environment;
  • When you need to consider a development (dev) environment for your Managed File Transfer (MFT) solution;
  • Details of the six stages for testing and development.

“A few years ago, one organisation was developing workflows in a live environment, and broke other automated processes. The system was down for just a few hours, but the impact was huge. This business supplied products to retailers across the country, but were unable to access the order information. The lorries couldn’t leave the factory and delivery drivers had to be paid overtime. Worse still, the retailers were left out of stock, consumers bought other brands and some ended up staying with that brand. The impact on the business’ finances and reputation were catastrophic.”

Richard Auger,

Pro2col technical consultant

This particular example could have been prevented if the IT team were developing in a test environment, instead of a live environment. But so many organisations only have a live MFT production licence. That might be to save money, or because decision makers just don’t think a file transfer server needs a test licence. But we know an MFT system is doing so much more than transferring files, so if you have any workflows involved, you need to reconsider.

Is a dev environment business critical?

This will depend on the value of the data your system is handling. Is it critical to business processes? Do you risk breaching service level agreements (SLAs)? Or will you simply not be able to operate, like the example above? While you may be able to send files by some other method for a few hours, it isn’t viable for a sustained period.

You also need a change control policy to meet ISO27001 requirements. While it is down to you to determine the right policy for your unique set of circumstances, example ISO best practice advocates testing in an isolated, controlled and representative environment. Similarly ITIL requires an organisation to follow both ‘change management’ and ‘release and deployment management’ processes from non-production to production systems. It’s an old IT joke that in weaker, less secure environments TIP doesn’t mean ‘Transfer into Production’ – it ends up being ‘Test in Production’ instead.

So to avoid disrupting your system when deploying new releases, building workflows or making other changes, you should follow these six stages for testing, developing and transfer into production:

1. Sandbox, or experimental environment

This is a local environment no one else can access, where the developer has a working copy of the code. Here they can try it out and change it without putting it live. This environment will typically be an individual developer’s workstation. Once they are happy with it the developer would submit the code to the repository for the next stage of development. Most MFT solutions by default don’t have a sandbox but you can sometimes set it up by installing the software onto a private virtual machine.

2. Development or integration environment

This is a clean environment where you test how your code is interacting with all the other bits of code associated with the system. The code itself doesn’t get changed in this environment – updates are made to the working copy back in the sandbox and resubmitted. When ready, the developer accepts the code and it is moved to the test environment.

3. Testing

This is the environment to test the new or changed code, either manually or using automated techniques. You may have different test environments to focus on different types of testing. The developer looks at how it interacts with and impacts other systems and tests performance and availability. If you are upgrading, for example, this will show how your system will behave once the upgrade is in place. From here, the code can be promoted to the next deployment environment.

4. User acceptance testing (UAT) or quality assurance (QA)

In this stage users will trial the software, making sure it can deliver against requirements. Stress testing is also carried out in this stage.

5. Pre-production, or staging environment

This final stage tests in conjunction with all the other applications in the infrastructure. The aim here is to test all installation, configuration and migration scripts and procedures. For example, load testing happens here. It’s really important that this environment is completely identical to the production (live) environment. All systems should, for example, be the same version.

6. Production or live environment

Transfer into production – or TIP – is the final stage, bringing the updates live. This is the environment that users actually interact with. This can be done by deploying new code and overwriting the old code, or by deploying a configuration change. Some organisations choose to deploy in phases, in case of any last minute problems.

If you follow these steps you can be confident that any upgrades to the production environment will be completed reliably and efficiently. But if your budget or internal policy won’t allow you to invest in all of these, we would recommend at least a test environment, which should be an exact copy of the production environment.

Some MFT systems allow multitenancy, which may be an alternative solution for providing multiple environments. This does, however, introduce a risk that new code could adversely affect the entire application, rather than a single environment.

All our vendors offer test licences at reduced rates. If it’s time to get this set up for your MFT solution, get in touch now. You can contact us via the website or by emailing your account manager.

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

Do you need support with your test or development environment?

Pro2col’s independent MFT experts provide advice, licensing, installation and configuration. Our technical experts can build workflows on your behalf and transfer them into production.

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, making us the top fundraiser across Dorset, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

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.
Solution comparison tool

Take the risk out of selecting an MFT solution with our free, independent comparison service!

Our comparison report identifies the right solution for your needs and budget. Complete a series of questions and receive a bespoke product recommendation from our technical experts.

MFT utility case study: Water Plus

MFT utility case study: Water Plus

Managed File Transfer (MFT) reduces overheads for utility start-up Water Plus

MFT utility case study: Water Plus

Managed File Transfer (MFT) reduces overheads for utility start-up Water Plus

Managed File Transfer (MFT) reduces overheads for utility start-up 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.

Water Plus needed to install a new MFT solution within a very tight deadline, otherwise they wouldn’t get their licence.

The company is a standalone venture, set up by Severn Trent and United Utilities. Deregulation in 2017 meant 400k non-household customers were transferred to the new company overnight. They had no infrastructure, a tight budget and very little time.

The solution was a system that could be set up quickly, provide the exact security and automation requirements they needed, and offer ongoing UK-based support.

Pro2col: On-tap specialists

Water Plus knew they wanted a Managed File Transfer solution, but they needed support selecting the right product and modules, then installing it. They approached Pro2col – the highly trusted UK partner of many MFT providers – who analysed their requirements and suggested an enterprise-level solution with an MFT Gateway for additional security, plus auditing and reporting features. “Using Pro2col kept start-up costs down as installation was fifty to seventy-five per cent faster with Pro2col’s engineers onsite,” said Chris Leach, Application Manager, Water Plus.

Process automation

​Managed File Transfer reduces the need for time-consuming and repetitive manual processing. Companies run more efficiently and keep costs down. It helps Water Plus manage files and data with multiple workflows in place. “We would need an additional team of five to transfer files manually at peak times,” said Chris. “Instead, files can arrive a few minutes before processing without any issues. A member of staff couldn’t do that, especially at scale. MFT doesn’t need lots of people, saving huge staffing costs. It all works in the background. There is less chance of human error and less chance of files or data being sent that shouldn’t.” For example, meter readings are automatically translated into the right format and stored in a certain place on the server. This can then drive multiple processes, such as email acknowledgements, generating bills and printing, right through to processing payment.

Security concerns

​“Security was a major factor”, says Chris. “If you have files coming in and going out all over the place, there’s a lack of control. That means no security and no audit. The solution Pro2col recommended offered one single system that only needed one external IP in the DMZ for all the files so there’s less chance of getting hacked.” The additional MFT Gateway provides a single point for files to enter or leave the network that is completely secure and under your control. Nothing comes through the Gateway without permission. There are added customer benefits, noted Chris. “I can do all my white listing from one box and customers only need to white list one IP address.”

Auditing and reporting

GDPR makes a data trail essential. You have to know who saw a file and when. Reporting can be set up to automatically deliver this visibility. “I know which files are in the system and who touched them at what time,” Chris explained. “If we have a query, I can go and pull it up. If that was done manually or via email, even using secure portals, there’s no audit and no tracking. That’s a big benefit.” Reporting is also really important to work alongside automated processes to prevent some predictable system problems. Potential issues are flagged, such as a file that is too large. Chris sets the trigger points and actions which can – for example – split the file up into smaller sizes to prevent overnight batch processing errors.

Room to grow

The MFT solution was scalable, which meant Water Plus could build it out as requirements grew. “As we began to understand the business needs better,” says Chris, “we realised we needed a process for ad hoc file transfers. The solution had a module we could easily add-on, which did that. It was quick and easy to set up.” Water Plus added this secure person-to-person transfers module to their solution two years later.

Ongoing support

Ongoing UK-based support is a major benefit for businesses using software from US MFT vendors. “The communication Pro2col provides is clear and concise. When they’ve spotted issues, solutions have come straight away. They’re always on it.” He added, “Pro2col were there in the early days to help us get the software up and running. We got ideas quickly and they found the root cause of any issues. Overall, Chris reports many benefits from their MFT solution, including “reduced overheads and reduced single-team support and development.”

Pro2col are independent experts in secure data transfer working with businesses to identify, implement and manage the right solution for their requirements. We help transform infrastructure, streamline processes, and increase productivity, collaboration and data security. Since 2004 Pro2col have helped over 800 business, spanning 30+ countries and a range of industry sectors.

“Bringing Pro2col onsite made installation between 50-75% faster.

“The communication Pro2col provides is clear and concise. When they’ve spotted issues, solutions have come straight away.”

 

Chris Leach
Application Manager

 

 

Managed File Transfer (MFT) reduces overheads for utility start-up 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.

Water Plus needed to install a new MFT solution within a very tight deadline, otherwise they wouldn’t get their licence.

The company is a standalone venture, set up by Severn Trent and United Utilities. Deregulation in 2017 meant 400k non-household customers were transferred to the new company overnight. They had no infrastructure, a tight budget and very little time.

The solution was a system that could be set up quickly, provide the exact security and automation requirements they needed, and offer ongoing UK-based support.

Pro2col: On-tap specialists

Water Plus knew they wanted a Managed File Transfer solution, but they needed support selecting the right product and modules, then installing it. They approached Pro2col – the highly trusted UK partner of many MFT providers – who analysed their requirements and suggested an enterprise-level solution with an MFT Gateway for additional security, plus auditing and reporting features. “Using Pro2col kept start-up costs down as installation was fifty to seventy-five per cent faster with Pro2col’s engineers onsite,” said Chris Leach, Application Manager, Water Plus.

Process automation

​Managed File Transfer reduces the need for time-consuming and repetitive manual processing. Companies run more efficiently and keep costs down. It helps Water Plus manage files and data with multiple workflows in place. “We would need an additional team of five to transfer files manually at peak times,” said Chris. “Instead, files can arrive a few minutes before processing without any issues. A member of staff couldn’t do that, especially at scale. MFT doesn’t need lots of people, saving huge staffing costs. It all works in the background. There is less chance of human error and less chance of files or data being sent that shouldn’t.” For example, meter readings are automatically translated into the right format and stored in a certain place on the server. This can then drive multiple processes, such as email acknowledgements, generating bills and printing, right through to processing payment.

Security concerns

​“Security was a major factor”, says Chris. “If you have files coming in and going out all over the place, there’s a lack of control. That means no security and no audit. The solution Pro2col recommended offered one single system that only needed one external IP in the DMZ for all the files so there’s less chance of getting hacked.” The additional MFT Gateway provides a single point for files to enter or leave the network that is completely secure and under your control. Nothing comes through the Gateway without permission. There are added customer benefits, noted Chris. “I can do all my white listing from one box and customers only need to white list one IP address.”

Auditing and reporting

GDPR makes a data trail essential. You have to know who saw a file and when. Reporting can be set up to automatically deliver this visibility. “I know which files are in the system and who touched them at what time,” Chris explained. “If we have a query, I can go and pull it up. If that was done manually or via email, even using secure portals, there’s no audit and no tracking. That’s a big benefit.” Reporting is also really important to work alongside automated processes to prevent some predictable system problems. Potential issues are flagged, such as a file that is too large. Chris sets the trigger points and actions which can – for example – split the file up into smaller sizes to prevent overnight batch processing errors.

Room to grow

The MFT solution was scalable, which meant Water Plus could build it out as requirements grew. “As we began to understand the business needs better,” says Chris, “we realised we needed a process for ad hoc file transfers. The solution had a module we could easily add-on, which did that. It was quick and easy to set up.” Water Plus added this secure person-to-person transfers module to their solution two years later.

Ongoing support

Ongoing UK-based support is a major benefit for businesses using software from US MFT vendors. “The communication Pro2col provides is clear and concise. When they’ve spotted issues, solutions have come straight away. They’re always on it.” He added, “Pro2col were there in the early days to help us get the software up and running. We got ideas quickly and they found the root cause of any issues. Overall, Chris reports many benefits from their MFT solution, including “reduced overheads and reduced single-team support and development.”

“Bringing Pro2col onsite made installation between 50-75% faster.

“The communication Pro2col provides is clear and concise. When they’ve spotted issues, solutions have come straight away.”

 

Chris Leach
Application Manager

 

 

Pro2col are independent experts in secure data transfer working with businesses to identify, implement and manage the right solution for their requirements. We help transform infrastructure, streamline processes, and increase productivity, collaboration and data security. Since 2004 Pro2col have helped over 800 business, spanning 30+ countries and a range of industry sectors.

Solution comparison tool

Take the risk out of selecting an MFT solution with our free, independent comparison service!

Our comparison report identifies the right solution for your needs and budget. Complete a series of questions and receive a bespoke product recommendation from our technical experts.

Pro2col team’s 100km challenge raises more than £6,000

Pro2col team raise over £6000

in 100km challenge
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“We’re over the moon.” The words of Pro2col MD James Lewis on Sunday afternoon at the finish line of the Jurassic Coast 100km Ultra Challenge.

The celebration comes after three months of committed training and fundraising, during which Pro2col raised over £6000 to be shared between five great causes: The British Heart Foundation, a local MacmiIlan Cancer Unit, Crohns and Colitis UK, the Lewy Body Society and BIBS at the Royal Berkshire Hospital.

“Saturday was just brutal,” James continued. “The high winds and huge hills were not a great combination. We climbed 2.66km, which is equivalent to climbing Britain’s tallest mountain Ben Nevis twice in a weekend.”

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Pictured: The challenging terrain of Flower’s Barrow near East Lulworth.

Starting in Poole on Saturday morning, they passed the picturesque Corfe Castle, traversed the steep terrain around Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door, arriving in Weymouth on Saturday evening. On Sunday they moved further along the Jurassic coast to Chessil Beach and the famous sandstone cliffs of West Bay, arriving in Bridport on Sunday afternoon.

Four of the team completed the 100km course, and Ben Smith received the 50km medal, having been withdrawn by the medical team at 66 km with ligament damage and suspected stress fracture from an ankle injury sustained at 21 km.

“We only set out to complete it,” added James, “but we’re delighted to have three of the team inside the top 10% of quickest finishers. Plus we have raised more than £6k along the way. These are causes very close to our hearts and I’m really proud of the team and their dedication.”

The team are still taking donations and it’s not too late to contribute at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jurassic-pro2col

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Pictured L-R: Ailsa Gibbs, James Reynolds, Helen Gilbert, Ben Smith and James Lewis.

Pro2col are independent experts in secure data transfer, working with businesses to identify, implement and manage the right solution for their requirements. Since 2004 we have helped over 800 businesses, spanning 30+ countries and a range of industry sectors. Pro2col help transform an organisation’s infrastructure, streamlining processes, increasing productivity, collaboration, and data security.

Solution comparison tool

Take the risk out of selecting an MFT solution with our free, independent comparison service!

Our comparison report identifies the right solution for your needs and budget. Complete a series of questions and receive a bespoke product recommendation from our technical experts.