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Friday, May 26, 2006

Happy CEO, Happy CIO, Happy End Users - a true story

CEO's are a special breed of end users - their time is too limited to deal with technology that does not work the very first time, and that includes user errors.

So, imagine the delight of a Chicago manufacturing firm CIO who deployed the Accellion secure file transfer solution and had the CEO become an early user.

This is a true story.

Knowles is in the precision manufacturing business with a global manufacturing footprint. After years of email, FTP, and overnight CD's, the CIO wants a secure file transfer infrastructure that does the following:

  • Business Security: built in security capabilities to fit end user processes

  • Minimum User Training: require minimum deployment planning and virtually no end user training

  • Technical Security: encrypted storage and transmission

  • Take Load Off Email: move the file transfer function away from the mail server

  • Minimum On-going IT Management: allow IT resources to focus on other priorities

Accellion Courier Secure File Transfer Appliance SFTA was selected. Fast forward a few months.

This is what the CIO said on the impact on IT, "[it] allows me to address our security needs without hassle and lets me deploy my limited IT resources to other priorities."

And he thinks it is easy for end users, like the CEO. "The appliance has become an integral part of our processes with senior management regularly using the system to exchange confidential information," said the CIO.

Like I said last time, the real art in implementing a secure file transfer framework is on how to do it without killing the IT staff or inciting end user riots. And the Knowles case is a real masterpiece. (You can click here to read the Knowles experience. Warning: you are required to enter some basic information to get to the file. Sorry.)

Post script: Knowles was later acquired by Dover Corporation for US$750 million. I've heard that Accellion SFTA played a small part in facilitating a smooth transaction.

So, what does SFTA do beyond providing secure file transfer? Boy, am I glad that you asked.


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