Posts from ‘Advanced File Services’
Join us on September 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET for our latest webcast, Top Tips for Managing File Transfer & Application Integration.
More and more, organizations are beginning to realize that their old batch-file-and-script methods of file transfer and application integration don’t work. They’re unwieldy, primitive, difficult to manage, and often not 100% reliable – not to mention less scalable than the organization might wish. Don Jones, Principal Technologist at Concentrated Technology, and Andre Bakken, Director of Product Management at Ipswitch, will provide the top tips for managing file transfer and application integration in a more modern way. You’ll learn about the key failings in most organizations’ existing techniques, and look at the core capabilities you should be looking for as you move to improve your organization’s treatment of these critical tasks.
Register Now for the webcast!
What: Webcast – Top Tips for Managing File Transfer & Application Integration
When: September 29 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Who: Don Jones, Principal Technologist at Concentrated Technology and Andre Bakken, Director of Product Management at Ipswitch
I’ve been back on the road visiting file transfer customers and there’s growing concern out there about the ability to track and predict failure against defined service level agreements (SLAs). In general, I’m seeing most SLAs in our industry cleave to one or more of the following requirements:
1) Application Availability: Did our service meet the 99.xxx% goal we set? Most companies I’ve seen track this in minutes per month and year, and some track this by visibility to key customers. For example, if the file transfer srvice was unexpectedly down at 3am but only 15 customers would have noticed, can we count it as an outage for only those 15?
2) Round-trip Response Time: Does our service reliably return results from incoming submissions within X time? This is big at data centers that self-identify as “item processors” or have an “EDI/transmissions” group. This can also be further specified by class of customer or work (e.g., higher priority transactions) and time of day.
3) Expected Data Within Defined Transfer Window: Did we receive (or send) the “right” files during the transmissions window from X:XX to Y:YY? This one can be harder than it looks. First, you often have “right files” definitions that have dependencies on control or summary files plus specific file formats, names and sizes. Then there is the additional challenge of predicting which bundles are “running late” and the question of setting up warning alerts with 30 minutes or 15 minutes to go?
Even with these common requirements in the field, the nature of SLAs continues to evolve. As we see additional trends develop we’ll continue to note them – please expect more information in the coming months.
Let’s take a closer look at the perceived challenges of Managed File Transfer (MFT) that are identified on the Ziff Davis MFT survey.
A few related topics top the list: “Finding the right MFT solution”, the “Cost”, including ongoing maintenance and future upgrades, as well as “Employee training”, including satisfaction and acceptance.
A lot has to do with the partner you choose to do business with, as well as the complexity of the MFT solution and its ease of use. Take time to carefully research vendors and clearly understand the anticipated deployment timeline, required involvement and training of your IT staff, and if any professional services are needed.
You want a proven, reliable vendor that has a track record of successful long-term customer relationships and who is committed to bringing new technology to market as business needs continue to grow and evolve. Let’s just say that not all MFT vendors are created equal…So choose carefully.
“Cost” is always a sensitive subject. But with so many MFT solutions varying in complexity, sophistication, scalability, deployment options, and price, I strongly advise you to list key business requirements and make sure not to over (or under) purchase functionality.
For example, here at Ipswitch we offer a range of MFT solutions that span from basic secure file transfer products and services all the way to robust solutions proven to meet requirements for extreme volumes of data exchange with governance, data transformation and file life-cycle tracking. Our solutions have proven to be fast to deploy and easy to use, resulting in rapid time-to-value that greatly exceeds other vendor solutions.
Lastly, consider the ROI and “risk avoidance” aspects of MFT from a security perspective alone (which is only part of the story). In a recent blog post, I pointed out that the average cost of each compromised file is $204. So go ahead and estimate how many pieces of sensitive files and data your company has…. Now multiply that by $204. I’m sure you’ll agree that the ROI on the time and resources spent to protect company data are well worth the investment!