Case study

Collaboration is key to teaching and research – and with Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition, staff at the University of Bern share data securely and quickly

Challenge

Renowned for academic excellence and ground-breaking research, the University of Bern is a melting pot of knowledge and ideas. To further teaching and research, academics often share their findings with peers in other institutions. However, because the university lacked a file-sharing system, researchers, lecturers and administrative staff were forced to rely on third-party solutions to exchange data – creating information security risks.

Rolf Kräuchi, Head of IT System Services Group at the University of Bern, elaborates: “In the past, most employees used external file-sharing offerings. This meant data was leaving the university network and we could not guarantee that sensitive data was being securely exchanged. Many employees shared our concerns around security – but the speed and convenience of public cloud services frequently won out.”

In response, the University of Bern decided to launch an internal file-sharing service that offered the ease-of-use of consumer file-sharing solutions while ensuring that data remained under the university’s control.

Rolf Kräuchi comments: “We aimed to deliver a consistent user experience for the new file-sharing service by applying the university’s branding. Smooth integration of existing shared folders and network drives was also a key objective, as we were keen to reduce file management overhead.”

Solution

The University of Bern selected Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition as the foundation for itsnew file-sharing service. Rolf Kräuchi recalls: “Micro Focus Filr offered all the functionality we wanted in a single, cost-effective package. We were also impressed by how easy it is to customize the look and feel of the solution.”

The university worked with partner Nexpert AG to integrate Micro Focus Filr into its extensive SAN environment. With Filr, the university can now offer additional functionality on top of its standard services, including backups and self-service recovery processes for all users. Furthermore, Filr offers file versioning capability to take collaboration in teams to the next level.

“The implementation process was very smooth, and the support from Nexpert was excellent,” remarks Rolf Kräuchi. “The team was very experienced, proactive and responsive.”

Rolf Kräuchi adds: “Filr Advanced Edition is the best solution for us, as the solution enables users to share network folders more easily and collaborate more effectively.”

Results

With Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition, employees at the University of Bern can share data quickly and easily. Crucially, the IT team retains full control over storage location and access permissions. The service is currently used by 1,500 people.

“Thanks to Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition, we have given employees the freedom and flexibility to share data from their home directory or other network folders at the click of a mouse,” says Rolf Kräuchi. “We’ve had positive feedback from our users, and many are pleased to have a secure platform for their file-sharing needs.”

Today, employees no longer need to create copies of files and store them in a separate location to share them. Even sharing files with people who do not have a Filr account is easy. Employees who have the rights to share files with external users can simply enter the recipient’s email address in the Share dialog box.

Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition also makes it easy for users to access and share information on the go – all files are available from any location, on any device, through a web interface and handy mobile apps.

As a next step, the university is planning to integrate Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition with a brand-new storage offering, as part of its highperformance computing services. Rolf Kräuchi explains: “We found that many faculty departments were purchasing and provisioning their own commodity storage systems to cope with their massive volumes of raw research data. We’re planning to roll out a new, cost-efficient storage service that makes it easier for academics to store and share data.”

Rolf Kräuchi concludes: “We’re highly satisfied with Micro Focus Filr Advanced Edition. We now offer our researchers, lecturers and administrative staff a convenient way to share files with their peers while the university retains full control over the data – a win-win situation.”

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University of Bern case study

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