Workload Automation Blog

Six Key Capabilities to Look for in a Managed File Transfer Solution

3 minute read
Robby Dick

Remember the old days when businesses actually closed? Someone locked up the shop and that was that. Today, business run 24x7x365. Sure, you may go home at 5pm (on a good day), but there are critical business functions happening all the time. And many of these business functions include file transfers. For example, retailers regularly update and disperse their pricing files. If that doesn’t happen on time, pricing changes may not occur online or in retail stores and revenues could be impacted. Or, if a critical payroll file transfer doesn’t happen on time, your employees may not get paid.

Face it. If you’re in business, you transfer files. The average company transfers thousands of files every single day. In fact, file transfers represent one out of every five jobs scheduled through application and data workflow orchestration platforms. To keep up with evolving business needs, IT organizations must be prepared to execute file transfers faster and more frequently, in a visible and reliable way. Yet many companies still use multiple tools and teams to support file transfers and their related workflows. Does yours?

It’s far too risky to manage file transfers that way. Using multiple systems impedes your ability to clearly understand file transfer status, and the service level agreements (SLAs) and business processes that could be impacted if one fails. That’s no way to operate.

To simplify and improve file transfers and related application and data workflows, they should be tightly integrated. So, if your file transfer solution is only capable of transferring files but doesn’t automate your business, it’s time to consider one that does. Here are six key capabilities your enterprise workflow orchestration and managed file transfer platform should provide:

  1. Automate workflows and file transfers from a single point of control
    With multiple systems, you can’t fully understand when file transfers and processing will be completed. To get clarity and improve visibility for all stakeholders (while also keeping your customers happy and maintaining your team’s sanity), you need to manage file transfers with a single, integrated platform – the same platform that orchestrates enterprise application and data workflows. It should let you build, schedule, and manage file transfers (from the mainframe to the cloud) just like any other workflow, while providing role-specific views in a consistent and comprehensive way.
  2. Securely manage external file transfers
    Your company transfers files externally to customers and business partners every day. Your platform should make it easy for your partners by giving them a way to upload and download files to and from folders they are entitled to access. It should support protocols, such as FTP, SFTP, FTPS, AS2, and PGP encryption.
  3. Provide simplified audit and compliance capabilities
    Regulations change frequently, and you need to have accurate (and easy to access) records of your file transfers. Your platform should enable you to generate comprehensive reports for internal and external file transfers.
  4. Deliver predictive/proactive SLA monitoring and alerting
    Having a dashboard view of file transfer status and endpoint activity, integrated with related non-file transfer workflows, offers visibility to all file transfer operations so that problems can be addressed before they impact your SLAs and your customers.
  5. Reduce complexity and costs with a platform that’s easy to use and access
    Productivity improves when you don’t have write scripts for transfers, and people in your organization can access what they need from their desktops or mobile devices. With a single point of control, you can reduce time and expense for licensing and supporting multiple file transfer solutions.
  6. Increase reliability with enterprise-level automation
    File transfers and related workflow are critical to all your business services. You need a robust and reliable platform that supports your enterprise every single day.

The bottom line—don’t manage file transfers one way and workloads another. It’s far too costly and risky. Choose a platform that enables you to see file transfer status, understand application and data workflow impact, and deliver mission-critical business services confidently.

Looking for a file transfer solution? Control-M, BMC’s application and data workflow orchestration platform, helps you securely automate internal and external file transfers, integrating them with all your critical application workflows and data pipelines, to increase your visibility and control.

Learn more—watch this virtual seminar to see how you can get a clearer picture of your file transfers and the impact they have on your business services.

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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About the author

Robby Dick

Robby joined BMC Software in the summer of 1999 and has been involved with automation since 1995 in a variety of roles including: end-user, administrator, pre-sales consulting and marketing. For the past 10 years his primary responsibility is talking about the current and future state of automation and how Control-M can help deliver applications, and the business services they support, faster. Prior to 1995 Robby was a UNIX systems administrator in the Chicago area at companies in the energy, financial services and manufacturing industries. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, and resides in northwest Alabama.