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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Buy vs Build for Secure File Transfer - how much of a Rube Goldberg do you want to be?

Summary: Maintaining home grown file transfer solutions can be a headache if it goes well and a nightmare if it doesn't. The smart IT departments are buying secure file transfer appliances instead.

Don't forget to go to the bottom to see what Accellion has been up to

When talking with prospective customers about their file transfer needs, I always ask what ‘solution’ they are currently using. The answer usually falls into one or two of a handful of methods, such as email attachments, an FTP/SFTP server, CDs/DVDs, or a home grown solution which often involves a (non-secure) FTP server and various scripts or manual administrative processes to manage the 'solution.'

As home grown solutions, there are often layers of logic that may have met the business requirements for a time but, the overall logic inevitably ends up in an almost Rube Goldberg-like fashion. These layers of logic are often poorly documented and if the logic creator moves to a different position or forgets about the intricate details, maintenance becomes a headache if all goes well and a nightmare if something breaks! In other words, these layers are leading IT departments to look for off-the-shelf solutions like the Accellion secure file transfer solution.

It’s the classic Build versus Buy argument for an IT solution that is not a unique or core business process for an enterprise.

For decades, companies and IT departments have confronted this conundrum - buy or build. Generally, the answer is ‘Yes, build it!’ if: (1) no vendor makes an application that does at least 80% of what you need, and (2) the application is mission-critical to the heart of the business. Conversely, the answer is ‘No, we should buy the solution from outside’ if: (1) you can buy an application off-the-shelf and adapt it to your own needs, and (2) the process that the application automates is not a business core competency.

For many applications, the ‘buy’ decision has become much easier in recent years due to the advent of smart, single-purpose appliances, made possible largely by the rise of Linux and open source software. Such is the case with the Accellion solution. We developed this solution three years ago, based on an extensive list of requirements that satisfy most file transfer needs in various verticals such as advertising agencies, law firms, health-care providers, engineering companies, etc.

Accellion's file transfer solution is secure, scalable, easy to install, and user-friendly, has very low maintenance overhead, and integrates with enterprise email systems. I haven’t seen a single home grown solution that comes close!

Perhaps best of all, when you buy instead of build your file transfer solution, you have a whole company that is dedicated to ensuring your secure file transfer success. You don’t need to devote a headcount to it, and you aren’t ‘trapped’ by the people who did the original coding for it.

When it comes to a secure file transfer solution for your organization, the choice to ‘buy’ instead of ‘build’ is a no-brainer.


Accellion in the News
Media Coverage

Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Journal
Sarbanes Oxley Compliance Journal - Track and Report Conformance During File Transfers
: Survey results confirm need for broader tracking and reporting features introduced in Accellion’s Courier Secure File Transfer Appliance.

ConstruTech - Perini Deploys Accellion
: ...[P]rotect our email infrastructure with the associated archiving systems while allowing users to send very large files as part of their regular business processes.

Press Releases
MSA Selects Accellion's Secure File Transfer Solution for Global Large File Transfer Needs

Exponent Deploys Accellion's Secure File Transfer Solution to Enhance Communication of Data with Enterprise Clients

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