The managed file transfer (MFT) industry has a players ranging from big-name tech titans to up-and-coming next-generation cloud-based vendors. Below is a list of some, but not all, players in this industry and a brief description.
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A leading competitor in the managed file transfer industry, Axway says it specializes in not only B2B (business to business) MFT, but also A2A (application to application), and ad hoc transfers. Axway is a French company that is popular in the U.S. enterprise market, priding itself on baked-in visibility and monitoring tools that provide both technical and business-oriented dashboards to track which data is being transferred. Axway recently beefed up its security policies too with its acquisition of Vordel, which specializes in API security compatibility for mobile and cloud services. This could fit in with Axway's Communities service, in which businesses can set up policies for different groups within an enterprise.
More information: Axway
Citrix, a trusted name in IT management tools, has its own line of file transfer products, headlined by ShareFile, which is what the company calls a "follow-me data" tool. ShareFile allows users to store and synchronize files across multiple devices and platforms, from mobile, tablet and desktop, with optional integration with Microsoft Outlook and centralized management, such as running audit reports, conducting remote wipes and linking in with an existing active directory. It supports transfers of files up to 100GB and also features Storage Zones, which is basically a fancy way of Citrix saying data can be stored on a customer's premise, or in a Citrix cloud. Last week, the company announced a partnership with NetApp where that company's storage operating system, NetApp Data OnTap 8, will be optimized to run as the on-premise platform in ShareFile environments.
More information: Citrix ShareFile
Seen by some as the market leader in this category for enterprise MFT, IBM's product is based on the Sterling Managed File platform. Optimized for high-volume traffic within and between enterprises, IBM's MFT is a portfolio that includes additional bolt-on features. WebSphere MQ, for example, is an optional file transfer automation software, while File Gateway allows for integration with enterprise resource planning (ERP) and business process management (BPM) platforms. IBM also has a series of customizable Web-based interfaces, and a control center for IT management of the system.
More information: IBM Sterling MFT
Ipswitch File Transfer
Perhaps no company better epitomizes the transitions occurring in this broader industry better than Ipswitch. The company has a history of competing in the MFT space, but has recently launched a new, completely cloud-based version of its file transfer tool named MOVEit. It supports system-to-system, person-to-person file transfers, all with fast on-boarding and the ability to dynamically scale resources as needed through the cloud. Ipswitch has complementary tools such as MessageWay, which integrates with existing message platforms, and for customers that want an on-premise tool instead, Ipswitch sells its WS_FTP file transfer server.
More information: Ipswitch File Transfer
Tibco's file transfer system is part of the company's broader strategy around information management. Its MFT line includes both platform and Internet servers, for on-premise or public Internet-facing MFT applications respectively, plus it includes Command Center, a centralized dashboard with reporting and auditing features. Tibco's Slingshot product is also used on-premise as an integration tool with Microsoft Outlook and other messaging platforms that provides compression and encryption for files that will be transferred.
More information: Tibco MFT
YouSendIt represents the up-and-coming crop of startup competitors looking to take on the legacy names in this business. A cloud-based service, YouSendIt emphasizes easy onboarding, including a free 14-day trial, and access to YouSendIt services from desktops, tablets and mobile devices. File transfers are capped at 2MB, but the service provides for synchronization of files across devices. An enterprise-geared product named Workstream starts at $12.99 per month for up to 50 users, while a premium version of that with customized pricing includes active directly integration, single sign-on and monitoring and management tools.
More information: YouSendIt
Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.