If FTP were a part of nature’s landscape, the process would look a lot like a dandelion gone to seed. The seeds need to go somewhere, and all it takes is a bit of wind to scatter them toward some approximate destination.

Same thing happens on computer networks every day. We take a file, we stroke a key to nudge it via FTP toward some final destination, then turn and walk away. And that’s the issue with using FTP and SFTP to send files within the enterprise: The lack of any native logging and validation. Your files are literally blowing in the wind.

The popular solution is to create custom scripts to wrap and transmit the data. That’s why there’s typically a dozen or so different homegrown FTP wrappers in any large enterprise – each crafted by a different employee, contractor or consultant with a different skillset and philosophy. And even if the file transfers run smoothly within that single enterprise, the system will ultimately fail to deliver for a B2B integration. There’s also the headache of encrypting, logging and auditing financial data and personal health information using these homegrown file-transfer scripts. Yuck.

TxMQ absolutely recommends a managed system for file transfer, because a managed system:

  • Takes security and password issues out of the hands of junior associates and elevates data security
  • Enables the highest level of data encryption for transmission, including FIPS
  • Facilitates knowledge transfer and smooth handoffs within the enterprise (homegrown scripts are notoriously wonky)
  • Offers native logging, scheduling, success/failure reporting, error checking, auditing and validation
  • Integrates with other business systems to help scale and grow your business

TxMQ typically recommends and deploys IBM’s Managed File Transfer (MFT) in two different iterations: One as part of the Sterling product stack, the other as an extension on top of MQ.

When you install MFT on top of MQ, you suddenly and seamlessly have a file-transfer infrastructure with built-in check-summing, failure reporting, audit control and everything else mentioned above. All with lock-tight security and anybody-can-learn ease of use.

MFT as part of the Sterling product stack delivers all those capabilities to an integrated B2B environment, with the flexibility to quickly test and scale new projects and integrations, and in turn attract more B2B partners.

TxMQ is currently deploying this solution and developing a standardization manual for IBM MFT. Are you worried about your file transfer process? Do you need help trading files with a new business partner? The answer IS NOT blowing in the wind. Contact us today for a free and confidential scoping.

Photo by Alberto Bondoni.

Jon Storm began his media career in 1996 with Game Informer Magazine and never looked back. He went on to serve as lead and chief editor for several other national magazine titles and is now a senior content consultant at TxMQ. He makes his home in Fredonia, NY.

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