There’s a moment in almost everyone’s career when they realize they have a problem that they didn’t think about until a solution presented itself. Then the solution appears, and the problem is obvious. You don’t know what you don’t know. Right?
That’s the problem with Managed File Transfer (MFT) solutions. Executives and technical staff may not realize what a high availability Managed File Transfer solution can do to help address cost optimization and data security/compliance priorities. I say that because in Syncsort’s 2017 “State of the Mainframe” study, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is the dominant technology for moving data (60% use FTP).
The other part of the problem may be that our industry hasn’t been vocal and specific enough about the real business benefits that MFT users enjoy every day. That’s my perspective, but there’s more to consider…the Voice of the Customer.
Understanding what’s important to my clients, and why, has always been important to me, my litmus test for what our company should be doing to deliver long-term value that matters. Clients will always help you confront the brutal reality of what you do and how you do it if you’re willing to ask and listen.
Top 3 Reasons for Moving Away from File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
So, I asked my mainframe customers if they would share their reasons for moving away from FTP. Here are the top 3 reasons.
- Customer Experience. Online applications and file transfers compete for network resources during the transfer window. This makes the end-user wait.
- It takes hours to move files. The end user must wait until the next day for critical data and then scramble to make month/quarter-end Service Level Agreements.
- FTP transfers consume too many mainframe resources, too many MIPS.
There are lots of file transfer solutions available, all offering the “what” and “how” they are different from others. I appreciate the differences but “why” do companies do business with us? Here’s what they said:
- Change Management. You help me move from where I am to where I need to be to meet company objectives. You are one of the friendliest vendors I have ever worked with.
- Rapid Deployment. Your stuff works the way you say it does. The installation was quick and easy.
- Immediate Benefits. Your solution delivered immediate results that are amazing.
The Voice of the Customer (VOC)
Now, about those business benefits. Here’s what clients say about the benefits experienced with the Alebra MFT solution.
- Quality of Life. A systems programmer was called in to resolve FTP related problems 46 of 52 weekends a year. With the Alebra solution, 1-2 Saturdays per year are scheduled for regular maintenance. He was grateful for getting his weekends back. One Mainframe Systems Manager stated, “I don’t think about PDM because it just works, all the time. I don’t worry about it.”
- Deferred Mainframe Processor Upgrade Costs. $XM savings each year the upgrade is deferred. The ongoing reduction in MIPS consumption delays the need for processor upgrades by at least one year.
- Cost Avoidance. Helps avoid thousands to millions of dollars in IBM Capacity on Demand charges during month/quarter-end processing and heavy shopping during holidays. Alebra MFT is very efficient, takes fewer mainframe resources and less time to complete critical workloads.
- Customer Experience. More real time access to data improves internal/external customer experience.
- Improved Productivity. Faster access to data allows datacenter operations to complete more service requests in the same period. The end-user request to data delivery time is shorter allowing end-users to act on the data faster.
- Increased Mainframe CPU Availability. Alebra MFT takes significantly less processing time (70-85%) to complete file transfers than FTP.
- Reduced Network Contention. File transfers no longer compete with online applications for network resources during the transfer window. File transfers are now possible during peak online transaction processing periods.
- Shorter Elapsed Time. It takes minutes, compared to hours, to move a file up to a terabyte; less than 5 minutes compared to more than 6 hours in most use cases.
- Data Security. Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC) meets compliance regulations.
There It Is
Now you know how a high availability Managed File Transfer solution can help address cost optimization and data security/compliance priorities. Perhaps a solution to a problem has been there, it just wasn’t obvious until now.
Let us know if we can help.