With an increasing number of workers using smartphones and tablets to do their jobs, businesses are more compelled than ever to provide their employees with access to solutions and services that support mobility, increase productivity, and enhance communication and collaboration with co-workers, business partners and clients.
To save time and money, businesses will often opt for consumer-grade or “freemium” offerings. And, who can blame them? These services are a quick to procure and cheap--or at least cheaper than the alternative.
But what many businesses don’t realize is consumer-grade solutions simply don’t offer the security, manageability, scale or even the usability of their business-grade counterparts. This is especially true in the case of file sync and share. While there is an abundance of consumer-grade solutions to choose from, channel partners can overcome the clients’ objections to price and successfully make the case for business-grade file sync and share when they emphasize the following advantages:
1. Security and Compliance: Business-grade file sync and share solutions offer encryption that keeps data and applications as safe as the production systems they mirror. When helping clients select a solution, channel partners should keep in mind that military-grade 256-bit AES encryption is preferred for all applications and data being stored in the cloud. Additionally, data in transit should be protected by SSL encryption. Businesses serving regulated industries such as healthcare and finance need a file-sharing solution that also complies with federally mandated HIPAA regulations and industry regulations such as PCI/DSS.
2. User Experience: Users want to and need to be able to share content across teams and easily upload files via a Web browser, mobile application or even e-mail. This is something that is best supported by business-grade solutions, which also allow users to edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents from their desktops and mobile devices.
3. No File Size Limit. A good business-grade file sharing solution will enable users to upload, share and access files remotely, regardless of file size. Many consumer-grade solutions place limits on file size or charge users extra for these services.
4. Centralized Control: With business-grade solutions, organizations can set access restrictions, revise policies, and even lock access after projects end or users are terminated--all from the administrator’s desktop and/or mobile devices.
5. Integration: Business-grade solutions allow organizations to support desktop and mobile OS environments, as well as popular cloud platforms used, and they easily integrate with leading productivity tools such as Google Drive and Office 365. If the channel partner uses an RMM or PSA tool to scale operations, a business-grade file-sharing solution can integrate with those, as well.
The fact is, most businesses are unaware of all of the steps involved in ensuring the technology solutions they put in place work correctly, are secure and add value to the business. Organizations must ask themselves whether their consumer-grade file sync and share do all of the above. Chances are good that the answer is “no.” For channel partners that are already providing their clients with backup and data protection solutions, business-grade file-sharing is a natural extension of those services and can lead to more recurring revenue streams.
Channel partners can successfully make the case for business-grade file sync and share when they demonstrate the strong business value and increased levels of sophistication available through business-grade solutions. They can also demonstrate their value by implementing, integrating and testing the file-sharing solution and training clients on how to use it. Conducting regular check-ups to ensure that everything is running smoothly and scoping out new work items or user licenses will help turn it into a successful long-term engagement.
Rob Merklinger is vice president of sales at Intronis, a Boston-based provider of world-class backup and data protection solutions for the IT channel, and he is an experienced software sales leader with a proven track record for driving success and developing sales talent.