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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Buy One and Get Eight Free - Let External Guest Users Use Accellion for Free

Summary: Inviting external guest users onto your Accellion Secure File Transfer solution costs nothing. There's no wait for the business users who need to exchange large files. No more midnight phone calls for emergency FTP access. Accellion makes the world a better place.

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As I talk with Accellion customers, I am finding that they really like that external people also can access most of the capabilities on the Accellion Secure File Transfer solution. This makes it very easy for employees to work with clients, colleagues and partners outside of their own organization. In fact, employees of most professional firms – like advertising agencies and law firms – interact mostly with external contacts. Accellion makes it as easy and inexpensive to receive large files from external people as it is to send to them.

Often to IT administrators' surprise, field usage has shown that many fully deployed sites have eight or more external guest users for every one internal user of the Accellion system. Accellion is happy because it shows that these users are taking full advantage of the capabilities, and their business processes really need the ability to easily share data with external partners. IT administrators are happy because there’s no cost for allowing external guest users to access the Accellion file transfer capabilities.

When it comes to external guest users, it’s like a permanent “Buy One, Get Eight Free” sale with Accellion. When you purchase an appliance or a network of appliances for your company’s use, you can extend the service to all the external guest users at no additional cost. Better still, there’s nothing to add to the infrastructure, and no software for the user to download. If a guest user has access to an internet browser, he can use the file transfer service.

I’ve mentioned before how easy it is to provision service to an external guest user. (See “Let External Users Send Large Files Back Securely Without Harassing IT.”) Any authorized user within the organization can invite an external participant to have an account on the appliance. No one needs to request IT to set it up, or beg for permission to allow the access. A simple email invitation is enough to allow the external user to register for an account and begin using the service.

Compare that simple process to using an FTP server to transfer files. First of all, FTP servers are typically administered by IT personnel. Anyone who wants to use them (including internal employees) has to ask and wait for IT to provision access, even for a one-time use. There may be a company policy against giving external access. Even if there isn’t, IT needs to get involved in giving the outsider access.

Even worse than the administrative hassles of FTP are the security concerns. A typical FTP server is basically a large hard drive. Usually, people can access files that are not meant for them in the same directory. What’s more, transmissions – including passwords – are in clear text, making them vulnerable to interception. Secure FTP service adds encryption, but it requires everyone to install additional client software. This is often impossible with outside users because, increasingly, IT administrators do not allow users to install such software.

FTP invites so many complications that help desk support can be inundated on a busy day. Worst yet, when it comes to external users, do you want your scarce and expensive help desk resources to go toward supporting people who don’t even work for your company?

Relieving the burden on the IT team from chores like supporting FTP and allowing as many external users to exchange data with internal users as business processes dictate -- maybe there is still free lunch to be had after all! That is, if you use the Accellion secure file transfer system.


Accellion in the News
Media Coverage

Network World: Accellion updates secure file transfer appliance
Accellion updates secure file transfer appliance - user interface now available in six languages

Healthcare IT News: Clarian Health finds quick way to transfer filesClarian Health finds quick way to transfer files
: Clarian Health Partners’ telemedicine program... has found a way to save time, money – and aggravation – by getting done in two hours what might have taken two weeks in the past.

Press Releases
Microsystems Selects Accellion’s Secure File Transfer Solution for its Large File Transfer Needs

Accellion Makes Global Collaboration Easier With Internationalization of Secure File Transfer Solution

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