Why move to Managed File Transfer when FTP works for me today?

15 12 2009

This is a question often heard in the market and on the surface it looks pretty straightforward.  If it’s not broke, don’t fix it!

When you dive deeper into the purpose of a file transfer operation a bigger picture becomes clear.

Is the only purpose of a file transfer to get isolated data from point A to point B?  Or perhaps, is the purpose part of a much bigger business process impacting the success of the company?

All data movement should be looked at as being part of something bigger than itself.  There is no isolated movement of data in an organization.  Even backups are the final step in a business process ensuring recoverability.  The process of moving data from the creating application to the next application that requires it until the business at hand is complete and the data rests must be managed.  It must be part of an integrated process that is secured, timely, guaranteed, optimized, automated, auditable, and visible to the organization.  The success of the business depends on it.

While products such as FTP provide the ability to move a single file from point A to point B, only a true managed file transfer solution can offer the necessary means to guarantee the data is managed as part of a bigger picture directly related to the business.

In addition to getting the data from point A to point B in a secure manner, a managed file transfer product should offer:

  • Guaranteed delivery
  • Integration to pre and post processing of the data transfer operation providing streamlined workflow execution
  • Event triggered file transfer operations ensuring timely and automated execution
  • Logic based decision making during data transfer operations
  • Customized logging to satisfy any internal or external audit requirements
  • Central visibility to data movement
  • Bulk and wildcard file transfers optimizing implementations and operations
  • A portable application means faster on boarding regardless of platform

When it comes down to the big picture when looking at file transfer the answer becomes clear.  Staying with a product like FTP because it is ‘not broken’ means missing the importance of data movement as an integral part of your business process impacting your success.

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The Real Problem with Enterprise Job Scheduling

18 08 2009

As a brand new product manager, I recently learned in product management 101 that if you identify the problem, the problem is pervasive, and enough companies are willing to pay to solve the problem you are on the right track for success. It seems so simple.

Market + Problem + Solution = SUCCESS

This brings me to my first product management challenge: What if the problem is not correctly identified?

What I have learned in my 20+ years in the enterprise job scheduling market is that sometimes the true problem is misunderstood. Time after time I have seen companies try to fix the wrong problem with the wrong solution only to find out after they fail. This is a very costly step and one that should be avoided.

In the past I have witnessed this from the technical side and often wandered why anyone would put themselves and their companies through a painful costly implementation of a solution that fails to solve the problem. Now, when I see the same behavior from the view of the product manager, I am even more perplexed!

The problem that companies have with enterprise job scheduling is not the need for enterprise scheduling. The real problem is the complexity and cost of the traditional solutions. Since the market thinks the problem stops at the need for enterprise scheduling, it is only logical to try to solve this need from one of the big traditional job scheduling vendors. This too often leads to failure because the real problem of cost and complexity associated with their solutions is not addressed.

So first, the challenge is to educate the market of the true problem: the cost and complexity of traditional solutions for enterprise job scheduling.

If you had a way to solve the problem of complexity and cost associated with traditional enterprise scheduling solutions wouldn’t you give it a try? I hear a resounding yes; it only makes sense!

I came to work at Stonebranch 8 years ago because I saw that they provide a solution to the real problem. The solution is simple, makes sense, and is easy to implement and deploy which can be seen by the long list of enterprise customers. However, we don’t always meet our customers in time to help them avoid the long and arduous step of trying to implement traditional enterprise scheduling but are often at the end helping to pick up the pieces. This pains me to no end!

So how do you educate the market that the real problem is the cost and complexity associated with traditional enterprise job scheduling products and there is a proven solution available?

a) More Customer testimonials
b) Educate the analyst to redefine the definition of enterprise scheduling
c) Keep plugging away at the market, one customer at a time
d) Schmooze the analysts
e) Forget it and get out while you can. It’s just too painful to watch companies go down the long, hard, costly, wrong path!

Other options?

Stonebranch Agents reduce maintenace and costs over native agents from your scheduling and workload management application provider