Volume 9, Number 37 -- October 13, 2009

Gartner Ranks the Managed File Transfer Products

Corrected: October 16, 2009

by Alex Woodie

Organizations looking to buy and implement a managed file transfer (MFT) product to drive better security and governance of file transfer activities may want to consult the recent Gartner report on the product category. In its September Magic Quadrant, the analyst group sliced and diced nearly four dozen vendors and their MFT offerings. As expected, the vendors that Gartner considers leaders, including Axway and Proginet, touted their place in the rankings.

MFT refers to a relatively new class of products that are designed to manage, secure, centralize, and automate the transfer of files inside and outside of an organization. An MFT solution is often built on a core SFTP server (uses SSH) or FTPS server (uses SSL), while others use SMTP and feature e-mail attachment "offloading," or Web-based file transfer mechanisms. Some MFT solutions are delivered as software, some as appliances, while still others are delivered as a service over the Internet.

MFT has quickly become one of the most heavily marketed product categories in the enterprise IT marketplace. The author of the report, Gartner analyst L. Frank Kenney, attributed the surge of interest in MFT software to a "perfect storm of compliance, risk, governance, and performance."

According to Kenney's report, the top MFT vendors, or the companies in the "leaders" quadrant of the Magic Quadrant, are Accellion, Axway, GlobalSCAPE, Ipswitch, IBM, Proginet, Sterling Commerce, and YouSendIt. These are the vendors who simultaneously exhibited the highest "ability to execute" and the highest "completeness of vision."

One of the most impressive vendors of late in the MFT space is Proginet, according to Kenney's report. Proginet's MFT technology, called CyberFusion Integration (CFI) suite, has been chosen by many third-party MFT products, including Attachmate, Beta Systems, Inovis, and Software AG, which have OEM agreements with Proginet for CFI. (The fact that CFI offers support for i OS should make it of interest to System i shops.)

Proginet president and CEO, Sandy Weil, says the company is thrilled by the good showing. "We believe Gartner's Magic Quadrant provides tremendous validation for the emergence of managed file transfer as a key technology and business enabler, as well as for our position in the marketplace," he says in a press release.

Other MFT vendors that support i OS and were also included in the Magic Quadrant include nuBridges and StoneBranch, which were both featured in the "visionaries" quadrant. Linoma Software, which supports i OS with its MFT product called GoAnywhere, was not featured in the Gartner report. Neither was Bug Busters Software Engineering, whose Remote Software Facility (RSF) product offers MFT capabilities.

Kenney also provides some helpful advice by recommending that people searching for an MFT solution carefully consider their full file transfer needs. While the customer's needs will be immediate and tactical in nature, they should try to look beyond their current needs and consider an MFT solution that supports more than one file transfer mechanism (i.e. not just FTP- or e-mail-based, but both).

Gartner's Magic Quadrant report can be accessed at several locations around the Web, including www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/proginet/170848.html and www.gartner.com/technology/media-products/reprints/inovis/vol2/article3/article3.html.


Managed File Transfer: A New Product Category That's Here to Stay

Linoma Introduces MFT Software for External Exchanges

Sterling Enhances Managed File Transfer Products

This article was corrected. The name and Web site of Accellion were wrong. IT Jungle regrets the errors.

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