Situation: Inefficiency, Expense and Non-Compliance

29 06 2010

Job Scheduling: Heterogeneous Inefficiency

Most enterprises implement multiple job scheduling solutions depending on platform type, application, data center and business owner. Aside from standards like cron, at, SAP’s, CCMS, i5/OS Advanced Job Scheduler, Oracle’s DMBS_Scheduler, HP’s Netbatch for NonStop servers, and others, more than 30 vendors add job scheduling solutions to the enterprise mix. While a diverse mix of job scheduling software may address the needs of individual business owners, that same mix presents a barrier to consolidated job scheduling.

File Transfer: Exorbitant Pricing and Non-Compliant Adoption

Despite growing budget constraints, many organizations cling to expensive enterprise-class file transfer solutions – some requiring dedicated connections. Often, the file transfer software is so costly that an organization deploys it only sparingly, allowing internal users to initiate FTP – a serious issue of audit compliance. Although there are a great many solutions for B2B communications security, MFT satisfies basic needs with minimal complexity. Simply put, MFT solutions are frequently overpriced.

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Efficiency and Growth with B2B Communications

6 05 2010

Efficiency and growth are key concerns to businesses in a global market. A B2B solution’s flexibility should allow you to easily integrate with back-end systems like EDI translators and databases, or application to application – migrating those legacy systems into a secure and automated file transfer system. A true B2B file transfer solution provides real-time visibility to all transfers and data exchanges taking place – creating greater efficiency and resulting in avoidance of fines due to SLAs, payment delays and performance gaps.

Growth is easy when you can on-board new partners quickly and securely. You can provide your partners with tools that make it easier for them to do business with you. In a business environment that is full of mergers and acquisitions and technology consolidations, data management is critical. The need  for an easy and manageable way to keep control becomes more and more apparent. Managed File Transfer is one of the easiest ways to get your data under control, ensuring it’s secure while in transit – every  step of the way.

B2B Managed File Transfer provides security at the highest level while also providing visibility to transactions. Meet necessary compliance and regulatory standards, manage your data exchanges with 100 percent up-time, merge disparate systems to create a seamless flow of information and position your enterprise for growth. Additionally, B2B MFT allows you to manage your data exchanges through secure, multi-industry protocols. This increased security also resolves ad hoc communication issues, including large files or attachments containing sensitive information.





B2B Managed File Transfer: The Business Value

29 04 2010

Managed File Transfer solutions enable you to securely send data to your business partners, suppliers and partners. But, is that all it does? In an effort to comply with regulatory mandates, to meet customers requirements and to improve customer and partner relationships, more and more organizations are looking for the complete package.  Managed File Transfer enables organizations to meet compliance standards and provide data security, whether the transfer is internal, external or ad hoc.

Many organizations are also using EDI (Electronic Data Interchange), a particular set of standards and security protocols, to send information such as purchase orders and invoices to customers, suppliers and partners. In fact, some of the data exchange might not be the norm: X-rays, CAD files, movies, etc.  The benefits to EDI are plentiful:

  • Reduced costs
  • Speed
  • Paper elimination
  • Data entry elimination
  • Greater accuracy

In close conjunction with EDI, VANs are value added networks. Approximately 90 percent of EDI transfers go through VANs. VANs act as the post office that stores, routes and delivers your files. While EDI and VANs are not new technology, integrating them with a complete MFT solution is. What if there was one solution that could handle all types of B2B communication?  There is.

Consolidate B2B Communication for Greater Visibility

B2B Managed File Transfer offers all of the above functionality, allowing you to consolidate your B2B communication workflows.  One advanced solution can centralize internal and external MFT as well as ad hoc file transfers and EDI transactions. With this solution, you benefit from greater community management, flexible integration capabilities, advanced transfer reporting, uninterrupted data flow and a centralized enterprise. The benefits of B2B MFT are:

  • Security and Compliance
  • Consolidation (no more silos of information)
  • Leveraging Investments and Growth

Reduce costs. Become more agile. Automate processes. Scale for growth. Realize quick R.O.I.

Ultimately, the most important business value of B2B MFT is improving partner, supplier and customer relationships.





Can You Afford FTP/SFTP?

23 04 2010

As many IT organizations can testify, FTP and SFTP solutions are not free. While there may be no license fee attached to either of these file transfer solutions, many companies spend millions per year in hardware and resource costs in an effort to make them reliable and to ensure that critical files arrive on time and intact. Data files that arrive late, corrupted or incomplete negatively impact a business both financially and from a reputation perspective.

Many companies are realizing that the security and reliability of their data transfers are paramount to their IT organization and have made significant investments to replace FTP/SFTP solutions with a Managed File Transfer solution.

Whether an organization is moving files internally or to external partners and suppliers, they need to arrive securely, on time and intact. A Managed File Transfer solution ensures this end result through high levels of fault tolerance and automatic restart of transfers from any point of failure. Any MFT solution should include the most modern and secure protocols for file encryption (SSL encryption, X.509 certificates, proxy certificates, etc.). Additionally, MFT has the ability to perform third-party transfers, enabling it to execute and manage a file transfer between sender and receiver without either party having any direct knowledge of the other’s identification credentials.

When it comes to moving critical files within your organization or to business partners, it’s critical to have the ability to manage, monitor and audit every file transfer from a central point. It would be unfeasible, let alone an invalidation of compliance procedures, if file activity wasn’t monitored for failures or that a complete audit trail of file transfers wasn’t available. Moreover, delays in data transfer mean mission-critical delays for your business.

Can you afford that?





MFT Secures Both Secrets and Data

7 04 2010

In a new report published by Forrester Research, entitled, “The Value of Corporate Secrets: How Compliance and Collaboration Affect Enterprise Perceptions of Risk,” 90 percent of enterprises surveyed agreed that compliance with PCI-DSS, data privacy laws, data breach regulations and existing security policies is the primary driver of their secure data programs.  Additionally, nearly 70 percent of enterprises said that compliance with internal security policies has caused them to spend more time, money or effort protecting their data.

So, what data are they focusing on?

Enterprises surveyed are putting a higher value on “corporate secrets” such as proprietary knowledge or any information a company wants to keep under wraps. The report states, “secrets tend to be messily and abstractly described in Word documents, embedded in presentations and enshrined in application-specific formats like CAD.” Custodial data, in essence, customer, medical and payment card information, “has little intrinsic value in and of itself.” However, when a data breach occurs, the “benign” data becomes harmful as it has adverse effects via fines, negative press, a tarnished reputation and customer complaints.

While the report finds that most respondents put more value on corporate secrets, shouldn’t there be a solution for both corporate secrets and custodial data? I would think both stolen corporate secrets and data breach headlines would provide equal parts drama. Moreover, one of the conclusions drawn from the study is that most enterprises do not actually know whether their data security programs work or not.

Whether it’s an ad-hoc file transfer (those messy PowerPoints) or thousands of files of customer and partner information (credit cards, Social Security numbers, etc,), there is a solution to ensuring all data is protected.





Managed File Transfer: Not Just a FTP/sFTP Replacement

5 04 2010

Most seasoned IT support staff think of file transfer as a method of moving data between the mainframes of different companies. However, the scope and challenges involved have become much more complex, and accordingly, the space has become segmented.

  • B2B Transfers – This segment has grown tremendously as Web-based protocols have enabled companies to connect all their business partners without the need for dedicated lines, replacing transfers originally performed by exchanging physical media via courier or fax.
  • Internal File Transfers – With the advent of distributed computing, when some business applications moved away from the mainframe or were supplemented with server-based applications, the need arose to transport data in bulk to server-based applications for processing. Often, this need was addressed with free tools such as FTP/sFTP. However, while these tools were cost-effective and solved an immediate problem, little focus was given to the security and reliance these solutions could provide and to the bigger picture of the IT infrastructure.
  • Ad hoc File Transfers – Does you company need to facilitate infrequent, ad hoc data transfers – either between companies or between the data center and a larger user base such as your sales force? Then, you should look for solutions incorporating Web-based portals for this ad hoc data exchange.

Additionally, Managed File Transfer gives you the ability to meet security, compliance and audit requirements. With regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), the Heath Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Gramm-Leachy Bliley Act (GLBA), companies are under greater pressure to meet strict mandates. A Managed File Transfer solution should help you streamline the audit process by providing a central point for all audit information.

Through the automation of your file transfer infrastructure, you gain these benefits and more, including cost savings and reduced risk. As a final thought: You also don’t end up in the news. Stories of data breaches and the organizations that have to report them are picked up by major media outlets on a daily and increasing basis.

Is FTP/sFTP doing all this for you? More importantly, can you risk it?





Integrating Your Managed File Transfer

15 03 2010

Because budgets and service are foremost in the thought’s of today’s CIOs, there is a need for a solution set that provides consolidated Job Scheduling and Managed File Transfer (MFT) due to the following reasons:

  • Easy and quick to implement
  • Minimizes software replacement
  • Fast R.O.I.
  • Achieves consolidated control of all enterprise job scheduling
  • Minimizes risk
  • Improves compliance and security for file transfers
  • Integrates into business service management frameworks

Clearly, enterprises can realize advantages in staffing, efficiency and availability by consolidating the management of job schedulers, file transfers and external workloads in to a single pane of glass.  CIOs have little enthusiasm for costly and intrusive IT projects but understand the benefits of consolidating operational control. An affordable and scalable MFT solution that can interoperate with a job scheduling environment provides the above benefits at a fraction of the cost of monolithic vendors. To learn more, click here.