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StuartMeyers By Stuart Meyers, APAC Regional Product Manager, Attachmate and Novell

“Today’s post comes from Down Under. It was written by our esteemed colleague Stuart Meyers ( Stuart shares his unique perspective on what it’s like for Attachmate and Novell employees to ‘eat their own dogfood’ – use the products we sell.”

One of the most enjoyable parts of working for a software company is when you actually get to use and enjoy using the products that you develop and sell. This is the way it is with Novell’s Filr and iPrint solutions and I truly believe our customers see the difference when we show it. Therefore, for me, using our own software is like drinking our own champagne.

Novell Filr is an enterprise file sharing and mobility technology built for organizations who want to provide a secure channel for employees to easily access and share documents and files, on any device, at anytime and anywhere, but do it according to corporate policies.

What this means to me is that even though my iPad has DropBox and GoogleDrive for personal information, Novell Filr is right next to it allowing me to access and share my work information.

Since we have deployed Novell Filr inside our own organization alongside our existing infrastructure, in addition to being the perfect test bed, we now have corporate file sharing for our worldwide sales force that totally supports a BYOD strategy, according to company policy and without all of the risks.

For a sales person Novell Filr is perfect, it allows them to put the files they want to share with or show to customers in folders on their desktop which makes them automatically available on iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows device at any time, even if it is offline.  In addition, our sales people also store their business documents and spreadsheets that they can view wherever they are, and work on and update them at home.

In addition, marketing and development teams use Novell Filr for project documents and files, HR share policy and other documents with employees and my sales teams are using Novell Filr for collaboration on key accounts.  Personally, employees can also keep their private work related information stored and available when needed.

We have seen other customers reap the benefits of Novell Filr too.  Instead of IT executives carrying secure documents with them on laptops that aren’t backed up, they now use Novell Filr to centralize files that can also be simply shared with other executives and viewed on their devices, therefore increasing productivity and ease of user whilst reducing risk.

In schools, teachers are able to share class information and students can collaborate with shared folders, whilst using their own devices and home computers.  The benefits here is that the school now supports BYOD, no private information will ever exist in the cloud and there is a reduction in costly network traffic.

For architects and other project related people, Novell Filr has been well accepted for sharing and consolidating information with business partners and others, especially when mobile devices are being used in real time and on site.

One of the best things about deploying Novell Filr internally was that we found our employees across the whole organization wanted to use it so they promoted it amongst themselves and this in turn meant that early adoption was rapid. It was also the same with Novell iPrint.

Novell iPrint is an enterprise print solution that provides a centralized point where users can simply access any print resource, to any brand printer from any device, fixed or mobile.  Novell iPrint Mobile is an extension to iPrint that allows mobile device users (even guests to the organization) to print from their device to any device in any office.

For example, we have an international hotel that now offers the ability for their guests to print from their devices in their rooms, we have corporate customers who allow visitors to print from their laptops or mobile devices, we have retailers who work in shopping centers that can complete a form with a customer on a tablet and immediately print a customer copy or print to obtain a signature, and our sales staff will often print their meeting notes on returning to the office.

When it comes to the trend of mobility and corporate file sharing, we have seen Indian companies starting to engage more.  The city based users are very tech savvy due to India’s strong IT focus, which means that they will adopt technology quickly and easily, but as India is less regulated than parts of Australia, Europe and America, the corporate uptake has been less rapid, but growing.

On the other hand, Novell iPrint as a technology is perfect for the Indian market (especially government and financial) as many business processes are commonly paper based and organisations are not keen on spending to upgrade their fleet of printers.  For those who are starting to use mobile devices in their business, we see that the printing requirement is a growth area and Novell iPrint Mobile, like Novell Filr, will become more utilized.

I look forward to where the future is heading for both print and file sharing.  A paper based society will exist for many years and while mobility grows, print and mobile will be more commonly utilized in organizations, so users can get the same functionality as they do at home.  For file sharing, we are past the entry level and into phases where we can support 10’s of thousands of corporate users and our development teams are adding the “nice to have” features.

File and print. They may be technologies everyone is familiar with, but as new technologies such as mobility come and take over, file and print adapts and continues being a part of every day life.

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3 Ways to Maximize the Value of Your MFT Consultant

by Tom Scearce on August 12, 2014

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Experienced consultants can help you deliver an effective, comprehensive managed file transfer (MFT) implementation to IT, management, and users.

But what level of expertise should your consultant offer? And what should MFT consulting services include? Here are three different ways to get the most value from your MFT consultant or consulting team:

1. Invest in a bundle.

If your MFT solution provider bundles consulting services with software, take advantage.

Why bundles? Because they can lower the price of consulting for the MFT implementation you were going to pursue anyway. They’re also a good way to focus consulting services around your pre-determined goals for testing, deployment, and user adoption. If the software aspect of the bundle already “fits” those goals, the consulting aspect will complement them, too.

For example, Attachmate bundles services according to the type of file transfer organizations seek to manage:

  • User-to-user: 3-day deployment service and support comes standard with user-friendly MFT features like drag-and-drop, email attachments, and web browser support for user-to-user transfers.
  • Business-to-business: Additional consulting (5 total days) is included with the B2B bundle we designed for organizations struggling with partner integration.
  • Application-to-application: Connectivity to multiple hosts and intranets can lead to a more intricate implementation process; for this bundle, we include 8 days of on-site service and support.

Bundles like these drive down the overall cost of consulting in addition to matching services to the type of implementation you require. Long story short: if you thought MFT consulting could only increase the cost of an implementation, bundles can be a great way to work consulting into your project budget.

2. When possible, avoid third parties.

When third party firms tempt you with lower fees, consider what might happen if their services prove ineffective.

User training is a great example. If you train users right the first time, you won’t have to do it again. It’s a simple concept, but what would happen if you did have to train users a second time? Or what if a consultant’s program didn’t include an effective communication initiative to remind users of the organization’s imperative to improve data security? Adoption rates might lag, forcing you to invest in additional consulting to fix the problem.

For these reasons, you should seriously consider the consulting services your MFT solution provider already offers. Even if they appear more expensive (they won’t always, by the way), the provider’s expertise is indispensable. They’ll help you “get it right” the first time, so you avoid additional hassle and expense in the future.

And if consulting services already come in a bundle, it’s a no-brainer, right?

3. Leverage knowledge and experience.

Implementation consultants nearly always assist with testing, training, and measuring adoption, but what other kinds of support can your consultant deliver?

Depending on how you plan to exploit MFT, issues as diverse as automation, process and application integration, and mobile device support could quickly widen the scope of your deployment and require additional infrastructure and training investments. Why not have your MFT consultant help you determine the appropriate scope based on your short and long-term business needs?

Take automation. Automating file transfers among internal users and external partners can alleviate your administrative burden and boost operating efficiency – that’s well-known. But did your pre-deployment technical blueprint account for every possible opening for automation? How would you know if it didn’t?

Your MFT consultant can help you answer questions like these to better define your scope. The knowledge and expertise is available, so why not take advantage of it?

Sure, consulting includes showing up, training users, and answering questions. That’s implementation consulting at its most basic. But consultants aren’t robots built to follow a rigid program – they’re problem solvers. Have them solve your biggest file transfer problems, and improve the return on your MFT investment.

This is the final post in a 10-part series on managing file transfers. Read earlier posts here. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to for more news and information on MFT.

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The Public Cloud – Is it Safe for Enterprise Files?

July 31, 2014

The enterprise file-sync-and-share (EFSS) market has been heating up for the past few years. There are now more than 120 vendors in this space and nearly all of them leverage the public cloud — infrastructure operated by 3rd parties – for storing files on behalf of enterprise users. The way many of these vendors market […]

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Preparing for an MFT Rollout

July 29, 2014

At enterprises, rolling out new technology often portends an extended period of adjustment. There are new procedures, new rules, and new software. Everything is new, and that’s good. But it’s also… confusing. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, pre-deployment should be anything but confusing. It should be productive. It should be […]

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Integrating File Transfer Solutions with Applications and Directories

July 15, 2014

Integrating applications improves speed, efficiency, and business process innovation. And thanks to today’s interconnected, globalized workplace, the need for robust application integration holds more urgency than ever before. That being the case, it should come as no surprise that managed file transfer (MFT) technologies aren’t exempt from the application integration trend. In fact, an MFT […]

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Antivirus, File Integrity, and Interrupted File Transfers – Oh, my!

July 1, 2014

Expansive feature lists can make any managed file transfer (MFT) solution sound attractive. But what counts are the features you’ll use, and identifying them prior to actually implementing MFT can generate a storm of confusion. While every organization should determine which features matter most to them, there are some components no MFT solution should be […]

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Should You Use Automated File Transfer or a User-Directed Process?

June 17, 2014

Automation puts file-transfer-dependent processes on the fast track. It’s how organizations integrate disparate systems to accomplish mission-critical tasks, and it’s an essential component of modern managed file transfer (MFT) solutions. But what about user-directed file transfers? Across-the-board automation may sound brilliant, but it’s not feasible for every business process. Enterprises often have no choice but […]

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Should companies really blow up their IT departments?

June 12, 2014

This provocative and well-written article appeared in the Wall Street Journal this week. WSJ later shared the piece to LinkedIn with an even more eye-catching headline, “Want a Better Company? Blow Up Your IT Department First.” An intriguing snippet from the piece: “Most companies are playing whack-a-mole when it comes to “unauthorized” software like cloud-storage services […]

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Mobile, Browser, and Email Client Access to Managed File Transfer

June 3, 2014

How easy is it for end users to access managed file transfer (MFT)? In workplaces dominated by familiar, yet shockingly insecure, file transfer methods – think email attachments, DropBox, and FTP – ensuring MFT’s broad adoption means prioritizing ease of use. Thankfully, modern MFT solutions provide the flexibility users need to perform secure, reliable transfers […]

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The Files Ruining Your Sharing Policies

May 23, 2014

Imagine your organization has taken all the right steps to protect its important files and information from outside attacks. Is that enough? Firewalls, anti-virus software and priority access protocols only cover file storage. What about file sharing? According to Ponemon’s 2013 Cost of Data Breach Study, the majority of information leaks aren’t caused by malicious […]

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