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Axway's Annual Customer Conventions:
20-22 October 2009
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The Convergence of B2B, MFT & Email Security
By Paul French, Vice President, Product and Solutions Marketing, Axway
"Define your risks in terms of visibility," I say. "What happens in real time or near real time? What sort of alerts do you have in place? How are you keeping track of files and messages so that errant ones can be tracked down and stewarded back to their destination?"
Consider that you must manage the processes associated with these questions, and that you must manage files and messages as they move inside the processes — not merely the files and messages themselves, as if they are self-propelled parcels that don't rely on stewards — drivers, pilots, delivery people — as they travel from one doorstep to another.
I tell the client to demand this level of visibility, to know exactly what they have.
"But how can I demand this level of visibility when customers won't buy a completely new infrastructure?" they ask. "How can I afford to do business with customers who take intolerable risks so lightly? How can I afford not to do business with them?"
You adopt flexible B2B, MFT, and email security infrastructures that allow you to do business the way you need to do business while allowing your customers to do business any way they like, and making it impossible for them to expose you to risk.
Flexible B2B, MFT, and email security infrastructures empower a company to identify and fix a specific business problem, whether it's a risk management problem, a compliance problem, or a cost-of-ownership problem, where you suddenly realize you're paying exorbitant sums to five different vendors when a single vendor could do the job for far less.
That's just for starters.
They also accommodate future compatibility.
In an economy like this, in a highly regulated industry, and in an industry whose players grow as a result of mergers and acquisitions (the story of virtually all of today's large companies), who knows what you'll be doing five years, two years, even a year from now? You need solutions that are compatible with anything and everything your partners throw at you.
You need to be able to control and monitor everything that is leaving your organization, leaving your domain, and coming into your domain. And you will need to do so without having to jump into five different environments. You will need to centralize that control, centralize that governance. Whatever industry you're in and however you make money for the company! - L. Frank Kenney, Gartner, Inc.
(How many B2B, MFT, and email security solutions vendors would you expect provide this consolidated view?)
This consolidated view isn't just a preventative measure, either. Like all truly great solutions, it is both preventative and corrective. Once you have it, once you can manage all interactions without inhibiting business, what benefits can you expect? To name just a few:
It's critical that you bring together B2B, MFT, and email security in a way that manages policies and normalizes data from different ad-hoc systems and accommodates the way people actually work — in a manner that, despite their best intentions, exposes their company and business partners to intolerable risks. When a well-intentioned person does a silly thing, like sending an unencrypted email with a highly sensitive attachment, a consolidated system eliminates the risk. Aware of a company's policies, it will stop that email, sequester it cold, and allow a company to make decisions about it.
- Root out and solve customer issues with increased efficiency.
- Enhance customer revenue opportunities by tying events together.
- Predict sourcing changes in real time.
- Collaborate more effectively with your customers, co-innovate with them, and give them a view over all their collaborations.
So how long has this been a problem? A year? Two years? When exactly did B2B, MFT, and email security converge?
I'll ask and answer a final question.
When was the first time a company sent an email with an attachment to another company?