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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There’s a lot of out of date or inaccurate comparisons of enterprise Managed File Transfer (MFT) vendors online.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 In a recent blog post, for example, we explained how far out of date the ten-year-old Garter MFT Vendors Magic Quadrant was.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

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

MFT utility case study: 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.

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

 

Chris Leach
Application Manager

 

 

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.

“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 Buyers Guide

Pro2col team raise over £6000 in 100km challenge

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.

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide

Secure file sharing: Don’t risk a breach from sharing personal data

Secure file sharing: Don’t risk a breach from sharing personal data

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When businesses think about cyber security, their thoughts usually jump to phishing scams, malware or other deliberate theft or sabotage. Yet every day businesses are breaching their own security policies and risking compliance. The cause is employees sharing personal data via email or consumer-grade file sharing apps. These aren’t the right tools for the job, so it’s essential to equip staff with secure file sharing technology and knowledge to protect your organisation’s data.

 

Email

Email is one of the biggest problems. Businesses rely on it so much to communicate back and forth, that employees often send things without thinking. Attaching a customer file or patient record is an easy mistake to make. But, in a typical email setup, the servers don’t encrypt the email attachment, so it is not secure. That may constitute a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the risk of a fine and damage to your reputation.

Email doesn’t provide any guarantee of delivery either, or visibility of the transfer, which is another must for compliance.

 

File sharing apps

If a member of staff needs to send a large file and it’s too big to attach to an email, they often jump onto a file sharing application like WeTransfer or Dropbox. But consumer-grade applications lack in-built security. Again, there’s no audit trail of the transfer and you end up with multiple versions of files sitting in various locations, which no one else can access to wipe if that member of staff leaves. Not all of these solutions will confirm where a file is held either so you may have data stored outside of the EU.

 

Secure file sharing

Anything including sensitive, personal or valuable data – like company IP – needs to be handled very carefully. Our advice is to add a secure file sharing solution to your IT infrastructure, to encrypt and securely transfer files. These are sometimes called secure email, ad hoc, or Electronic File Sync and Share (EFSS) solutions.

Most will provide a plug-in to your email client, which makes it easy to use and accessible. Some can be configured to automatically secure emails under certain conditions based on your IT security policy, so employees don’t even need to know it’s there. There are no file size limits either, and IT maintain a full audit trail. These solutions often support file collaboration between your employees and external partners too, which is an added bonus.

Full features of a secure file sharing solution include:

  • Access control / permissions
  • Secure data wiping
  • Secure protocols (HTTPS and sometimes SFTP & FTPS)
  • User authentication
  • Auditing and reporting
  • Encryption of files (PGP or AES)
  • Administrator overview
  • Data residency within the EU

Recommendations

If you think you need a secure file sharing solution, our free bespoke software comparison service will save you weeks of research time and identify the right solution for you. It is informed by over 15 years’ experience delivering secure file transfer solutions, a deep understanding of user needs and continuous review of the multiple vendors on the market.

You complete a series of questions about your current and future business requirements, and receive a bespoke report from our technical consultants recommending the best solution for your needs and budget. You can either complete the ad-hoc or Managed File Transfer (MFT) service, depending on what you need the solution to deliver.

 

Use this service if you are looking to address person-to-person file sharing only, as outlined in this blog.

 

Use this service if you also need to automate transfers and integrate between applications.

Managed File Transfer Buyers Guide