Qlik’s QlikView is a market-leading data discovery platform so employees need to be both productive and protected.
Qlik’s 2,000-plus employees enjoy a flexible working environment, putting in their hours at one of its many offices, from home, or while they’re traveling on the road. Many employees work on at least two devices. A company supplied laptop serves as the primary system, and critical sales, software development, education, and training information can be stored locally. In the past, users had to rely on USB drives – and their own memories – to back up those files.
“If their hard drives failed and they had forgotten to do a backup, then they lost their most recent data,” says Corey Musselman, IT Manager, Americas at Qlik. “The approach was not adequate by any stretch.”
Even if backups were up-to-date, the IT team would have to build and send new hard drives to users if their existing drives failed. Often, those users would call the help desk upon receipt for assistance with restoring their data from the USB drive. With the number of employees and the amount of data they were creating both expanding rapidly, Musselman knew his team needed to find a more secure, more reliable, and simpler solution. “Users had their USB drives, but they were not sure what was on them,” says Musselman. “We needed a much easier process for them.”
Qlik delivers intuitive platform solutions for self-service data visualization, guided analytics applications, embedded analytics and reporting to approximately 48,000 customers worldwide. Companies of all sizes, across all industries and geographies, use Qlik solutions to visualize and explore information, generate insight and make better decisions.
Qlik initially solved this problem by deploying the Micro Focus Connected Backup solution to give its distributed workforce the ability to automatically and safely back up and recover their data to and from the cloud from anywhere around the world, using any device they chose.
Now, Qlik is advancing its backup and recovery operations to the next step by upgrading to Micro Focus Connected MX. The next-generation endpoint protection solution includes an extension of the Micro Focus Adaptive Backup and Recovery approach, which uses operational analytics to enable Qlik to make data-driven decisions about how information is protected, retained, and shared.
With Connected MX, Qlik employees don’t need to put any effort into file backups. It’s handled automatically according to administrator-set policies that let IT govern the backup scope, helping reduce concerns over data loss due to user error or omission. Another plus of this approach is that IT leverages built-in rules so that employees only are backing up the things they need to and not, for example, any music or movie collections on their laptops. With Connected MX’s continuous data protection, information is protected almost immediately upon file creation or modification.
Accessing backups is equally a breeze, thanks to a small software agent that runs in the background, enabling workers to get to what they need from anywhere and any device, PC or Mac, via a web interface or mobile app. End user file restoration is facilitated with the ability to migrate files to new PCs, recover multiple files, and revert files back to an earlier date. If someone deletes a file by accident, he or she can log into the portal and get the latest copy of it within moments. Or, in another scenario, the user can do the same to restore the contents of a failed disk or lost laptop from the cloud to another device so that he or she can continue working without interruption.
“Connected MX has taken us from at least a few tickets a week down to zero, because users can restore their own files,” says Musselman. If a hard disk fails, IT also can step in to “rebuild a new one, install their data and then send it to them by overnight courier,” says Musselman. “They could be back up and running again first thing in the morning.” Before, it would have taken two to three days.
In addition, Connected MX delivers WAN optimized backup and restore capabilities to enhance efficiency even over the most bandwidth-constrained network. That’s good news for Qlik employees, many of whom travel regularly and often to places where low-bandwidth Internet connections are a concern. “We have to think about how people work and give them the flexibility to do what they need to wherever they are,” says Musselman. When abroad or in rural communities with limited Internet bandwidth, Qlik employees have seen an 80 percent decrease in backup times – down to 15 minutes from 5 hours previously.
Before the deployment of Connected MX, Musselman and his team struggled with a user community that took advantage of multiple consumer-grade cloud file sync and share services. “People were using their own personal Box or Dropbox accounts to ensure that they could access files they needed regardless of which device they were currently using,” he says. And they could share them at will with other internal or external users.
“I had no control over that as an administrator or insight into what they had out there,” says Musselman. “It was unmanaged.” Qlik knew it was important to maintain the conveniences workers expected, but it also knew that organizational productivity could not compromise business assurance requirements.
With Connected MX, Qlik’s IT team has gained more control over what data users can sync and share, so that it can protect corporate assets without compromising workers’ use of these services to satisfy real business needs. IT administrators can use Connected MX to set rules that dictate allowable sync and share actions.
“We can put policies in place for syncing and sending files about what they can and can’t share, and get reports back related to who is sharing what. That gives us a more secure environment right away,” says Musselman.
Among the critical information control and management capabilities that Connected MX supports for file sync and share is the ability to set policies to identify and alert users that a document contains personally identifiable information or personal health information before they share it. That helps reduce organizational risk. Policies can be set to restrict sharing of certain data types, too.
At the same time, Qlik employees have a better overall experience than they could expect from consumer-grade file sync and share services. For example, thanks to incorporating the backup folder, the Connected MX solution removes users’ concern about having to specifically move a file into a sync folder to be able to access it from any device and to share it.
Unifying backup, sync, and sharing capabilities in a single platform to deliver complete protection of information while improving mobile workforce productivity is a huge plus. While Connected MX makes it possible to create separate policies and rules for backup, syncing, and sharing to provide administrators more control over company data and assets, it enables them to enact that control in a cohesive way. With the solution, IT administrators can create an information hub based on centrally applied policies for backup, recovery, retention, and accessibility of mobile information.
For Qlik, the experience that it already had enjoyed with Connected Backup added to the appeal of upgrading to the all-in-one solution. “For us, it just makes lot of sense in having one program that offers the same backup functionality and also lets us take advantage of additional functionality, with the same interface,” says Musselman.
Whether backing up or syncing and sharing files, Connected MX makes sure that data is encrypted prior to network transmission using a 256-bit encryption algorithm. Granular data privileges and federated authentication better protect information and access. “Knowing that the accounts can only be accessed from the user’s computer or from a technician’s login really helps us understand that this is the best way to protect our data,” Musselman says.
Audit requests are handled with greater ease, as well, because administrators have the ability to run a report on one user, a group of users, or the entire company to quickly see what files are being shared. Metadata search criteria also empower them to quickly identify information responsive to compliance and eDiscovery requirements without having to restore user backups. With such levels of defensible auditing, companies like Qlik can reduce exposure to legal and financial risk.
Thanks to enabling timely backup and restore operations from anywhere, as well as to having the capabilities in place to support smart file sync and share processes, Qlik no longer is concerned about the continued growth of data in the enterprise and everything it used to mean in terms of increasing demands on IT’s time, user frustrations around forgotten file backups, potential leaks of sensitive information, and so much more.
“I don’t worry about how much data is growing because I don’t need to worry about backing it up anymore,” concludes Musselman.
Corey Musselman – IT MANAGER, AMERICAS