File synchronisation and hosted services have been increasingly used by businesses in recent years yet few of them allow users to leverage their own enterprise class security and most of them require additional layers of management. The reason for this has been “why synchronise and host files somewhere else when they are available in users’ home folders and shared network folders?”.
“Companies can address this with Novell Filr to provide their users with mobile, easy any time anywhere file access sharing and creation from Windows XP 7 and 8 and Mac OSX 10.7 and 10.8 on their smartphones and tablets,” says Novell Partner Executive Stephan van der Merwe.
Once applications for mobile devices and cloud-based sharing services became available employees began demanding the same access at work, even by-passing the IT department and moving work files to cloud-based services on their own volition.
“This resulted in serious consequences as companies where this occurred experienced security breaches and out-of-control outages with no file access at all, slower file access and lower productivity. Files had to be duplicated in order to push them to mobile devices and conflicting versions of files were created while existing back-up and archiving processes did not apply.
“However, the one primary reason IT departments have not embraced cloud-based file services is that it is illegal for many organisations to do so because regulations in healthcare, government and other industries set strict compliance rules that mean IT cannot always accept cloud solutions. But this does not always prevent them being used, which creates a potentially dangerous situation for the company.”
IT departments need to offer a competitive solution. Van der Merwe says Novell Filr is the first enterprise-ready file access solution to work with existing files and file servers and because it uses the existing infrastructure it is a highly cost-effective way to provide mobile file access.
“Novell Filr serves as the connection between the company file servers and the endpoint devices it uses. With clients for Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and web access, users can do their job any time, anywhere from their smart mobile devices. The software retains the file system rights and quotas that are established in the directory system so that users enjoy a familiar experience whether they are working in the office, at home or on the move.”
Benefits include improved productivity, use of the servers and directory services already deployed, adding up to low total cost of ownership. Security mechanisms such as file access and sign-on remain intact and no expansion of or change to back-up and recovery systems is required.
“Novell Filr is delivered as a VMware virtual appliance so installation is quick and users don’t have to move files, allowing them to get to work immediately. As Novel Filr and the files it manages look the same on all devices, user adoption is rapid.”
Users can share files with people inside and outside the organisation which results in work with contractors and other companies becoming considerably more efficient. The software also provides ways of monitoring the sharing to ensure the security of vital company assets.
“The solution is flexible and enables the features, files and folders available to users to be controlled. Most users can be limited to share only project documents internally while marketing personnel could be allowed to fully share product flyers and data sheets externally. Members of the finance department can be allowed to share internally but the recipients could also be prevented from re-sharing those documents.
“One of the biggest challenges is to determine how users may access, edit and share files on their mobile devices. Novell Filr addresses this by making effective mobile device management an obtainable goal for businesses.”