Mobile, Browser, and Email Client Access to Managed File Transfer

How easy is it for end users to access managed file transfer (MFT)? In workplaces dominated by familiar, yet shockingly insecure, file transfer methods – think email attachments, DropBox, and FTP – ensuring MFT’s broad adoption means prioritizing ease of use.

Thankfully, modern MFT solutions provide the flexibility users need to perform secure, reliable transfers via popular platforms. To demonstrate, let’s examine how MFT enables transfers from mobile devices, web browsers, and email clients.

1. Transfer files from the beach

That’s what Novell says you can do with its Filr solution, an MFT product that, according to the company, secures files “like Fort Knox.”

The beachside file transfer idea refers to Filr’s tight integration with mobile operating systems. Use your mobile device to place files into Filr or to grab documents from it. Even if users have DropBox or Google Drive installed on their devices, it’s impossible for them to move files from Filr to the unmanaged environments the other apps provide.

How does it work? Filr is an on-premise solution that feels like a cloud app. Unlike DropBox, files live on servers controlled by the enterprise itself, but users connect to those servers remotely. That way, Filr can deliver the security that management demands while providing an interface end users enjoy. Everyone wins.

However, winning today doesn’t mean innovation stops tomorrow. As analysts have noted, MFT providers may soon face pressure to make native mobile apps do more than just transfer files. Filr is already looking ahead with collaborative features like commenting and notifications. Other providers are likely to do the same.

2. Straight from your browser

In the past, MFT providers talked a lot about browser access for administrators. IT could – and still can – use a browser-based interface to define file transfer servers, configure transfers, and retrieve information about the transfers themselves.

But nowadays, browser access to MFT extends to the users. Web browser plugins deliver seamless, intuitive interfaces, so users can start performing secure transfers right away. While interface specs vary among different providers, browser-ready MFT solutions are nearly always easier to use than FTP, even when the latter offers a drag-and-drop GUI.

Besides performing the transfers themselves, many browser-based MFT applications offer a historical view for previous file transfers. Which files have I already sent? Which ones have I received? Your MFT solution can let you know – right from your web browser.

3. The email client you use today

If there’s one way to make sure users don’t circumvent corporate security rules when they send large files, it’s by letting them perform managed file transfers with the email client they already use. Email plugins can help you close existing security gaps by providing access to MFT simply by attaching files to outgoing messages.

And since attaching files to emails is an action users are already familiar with, integrating MFT with popular email clients is quickly becoming a standard feature.

It can extend web browser MFT access by attaching to browser-based enterprise email applications. Or you can just add the plugin to your email client – tight integration with current versions of MS Outlook makes it so users barely notice their email attachments are actually managed file transfers.

To be sure, there are few “convenience factor” user-side challenges the MFT market hasn’t addressed. From email and web browsers to mobile device access, MFT innovations continue to keep pace with overall trends in enterprise tech.

This is the fifth post in a 10-part series on managing file transfers. Read rest of the series here. Be sure to subscribe to our blog to receive the next posts.

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