Accellion blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 6 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Best of Both Worlds: How to Get Deep Domain Expertise Inside Your Own Infrastructure

Summary: A Gartner analyst describes an appliance as getting an outsource model inside your own infrastructure. This means you get the deep domain knowledge and best practice while controlling your own destiny.

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

"What is an IT appliance?" my mom would ask me. Well, it is like a toaster. If I have to hold a piece of bread to the open flame to get breakfast ready, chances are, I cannot get insurance on my house for long. With a toaster, I plug it in, set the level once, insert the bread, and nobody would yell at me for burning down the house (until I spill coffee into the toaster). In the context of the secure file transfer (IT) appliance from Accellion, you plug it, configure it once, and end users get off your back (unless you spill coffee on it).

While a perfectly good working definition, today I just heard a much more eloquent definition of an IT appliance. This comes from a discussion I with a Gartner analyst who noted that an IT appliance is an outsourced product that resides in your infrastructure.

We’ll start with the concept of outsourcing – the practice of acquiring goods or services from an outside vendor because it requires a level of expertise that is difficult to accumulate and manage internally. An example that I can speak with some authority about, since I have gone through many, is PR agencies. The beauty of the outsource model is that the provider is focused on doing the job well in order to acquire and maintain its clients. From the buyer's/user's perspective, this means that I do not have to build up and maintain domain expertise that does not exist in my organization and, thus, the outsourcing frees up resources and enhances flexibility of the organization.

Now put this into the concept of an appliance like the Accellion secure file transfer appliance. A company comes to Accellion mainly because of our expertise on how to transfer large files securely from a sender to a recipient within the enterprise context. While getting a file from person A to person B is a simple need at its core, the enterprise requirements on issues such as administration, life-cycle management, access control, and compliance/audit often require a level of expertise and experience uncommon in most organizations.

What makes the Accellion solution unique, however, is that we have put the solution in the appliance form factor. Namely, in the Gartner analyst’s words, it allows you to put this bundle of secure file transfer services (at the same level as you could have gotten from a outsourced provider with dedicated capabilities) inside your infrastructure.

This is a critically important part of the definition. It means that you, the buyer/user, have total control over this service. You are not at the mercy of another company’s policies or someone else’s infrastructure. You know how the product is deployed, and who uses it and when. You set the policies and parameters that safeguard your company’s assets (i.e., your files). You control your own destiny.

In short, an appliance allows you to access all the deep domain expertise of an outsourced model while retaining full control over your own infrastructure and usage. For enterprise IT use, this does not get any better.

So, the next time you think of an IT appliance as a simple plug-and-play box that has a specific purpose, remember also that it comes with a vast amount of technical expertise at your fingertips and under your control. For Mom, however, I will stick with the toaster example.

By the way, you can get more information about how easy it is to deploy an Accellion appliance by reading 3 Easy Steps to Secure File Transfer Nirvana – a.k.a., Why IT and end users love appliance solutions.


Accellion in the News

Media Coverage

Accellion Solves CRA International's Large File Transfer Issues

How One CIO Escaped E-Mail Attachment Hell

Press Releases

* Red Dot Building Systems Selects Accellion’s Secure File Transfer Solution to Meet its Large File Transfer Needs

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

No comments: