With the growth of distributed business applications, companies can no longer afford to not have a strategy for file transfer whether it be internally between applications, for external data exchange with business partners, or through Web-based applications for ad hoc transfers.

When attempting to improve process maturity and reduce cost and complexity, companies may discover they’re using a wide variety of file transfer products for seemingly similar purposes. They usually consist of a mixture of expensive legacy products and several free or low-cost tools and utilities. Typically, no single tool can replace the others.

Many legacy products are architected toward Business-to-Business (B2B) transfers only. Others act as standalone solutions with no integration to your entire workload management infrastructure. Free or low-cost tools may ultimately end up causing various problems and issues such as:

• Limited platform support

• Security

• Compliance and audit capabilities

• Fault tolerance.

According to Gartner, Inc.: “Numerous factors cause companies to re-examine how they manage the movement of information from system to system, partner to partner, and person to person. FTP [File Transfer Protocol] alone isn’t a viable option to give the insight, security, performance, and, ultimately, the risk mitigation necessary to responsibly conduct business.” (For more information, see Kenney, LF et al.: “Magic Quadrant for Managed File Transfer,” page 2, Gartner Research Publication ID Number G00157614, 23 June, 2008.)

This causes companies to look into Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions to address these issues. But before you can start looking at vendors, you must first understand the needs within your infrastructure and plan accordingly.

Keys to a Successful MFT Implementation

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