"The benefits are clear: we have full control over our data and our users have instant file access from any device. It makes them more responsive to our customer’s needs and far more productive."
IT Support and Systems Specialist
STOBAG develops and produces durable sun and weather protection systems. Over 700 employees produce more than 150,000 awnings every year and sell them worldwide through specialist dealers.
The STOBAG IT infrastructure supports between 500 and 700 users worldwide, many of whom are mobile workers. As STOBAG systems did not support file synchronization between the in-house file-servers and end user devices, many users struggled to share their files with customers and suppliers, and started using cloud-based file share solutions, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
This led to a loss of data control, as Mr. Adrian Beck, IT Support and Systems Specialist at STOBAG, explains: “We couldn’t track where data was stored; whether it was kept up-to-date and with whom it was being shared. Data security is a big concern for us. When an employee left the company we weren’t sure what happened to their cloud account and since cloud data is stored on servers abroad, we really felt out of control. We want to comply with Swiss data privacy regulations and that requires us to provide a centralized file service for all our global users.”
STOBAG looked for a solution which could attach existing file servers to a new sync and share platform so that no company data would need to be stored outside of STOBAG’s immediate control.
STOBAG looked at a number of solutions, including Varonis DataAnywhere and Accellion KiteWorks. Implementation partner Nexpert AG recommended that STOBAG also investigated Micro Focus Filr and in a proof-of-concept, Filr came out on top. Mr. Beck explains: “We liked the 100 percent on-premise model Filr offered. That, combined with its strong language support; sophisticated search function; its wide mobile platform support; and last but not least the closeness to the system integrator Nexpert AG, made the decision easy for us.”
With the implementation of Filr, supported through Nexpert, STOBAG now has full control over its data and files. The existing file servers were easily attached to the new Filr platform. NTFS permissions are inherited directly from the file server so there is no need to configure additional folder permissions, and system administration is kept to a minimum. Filr also offers full Mobilelron integration allowing STOBAG to build a safe container around applications and data so that all company data residing on mobile devices is fully protected and controlled.
Mr. Beck on the user feedback: “Our users love the instant file syncing and sharing over all devices. They can just turn their files from on to offline without having to manually copy them to their desktop and worry about whether they are using the most current version. The strong Filr indexing and search functionality helps them find documents quickly; and document rendering ensures they can view documents even if they don’t have the application installed. This all adds up to huge time savings and has reduced IT support requests.”
STOBAG likes that Filr is under constant development, as Mr. Beck comments: “We are an active participant of the Micro Focus Filr Ideas Portal, where customers can request new product features which are then voted upon by a user community and evaluated by Micro Focus development. It is great to see these ideas make their way into future versions of Filr. In addition to the Ideas Portal we also joined a Nexpert-hosted Filr roundtable event.”
The time saved with searching for, accessing, and sharing data, is now much more productively spent supporting customers. Having the data in STOBAG’s infrastructure enables daily backups and full visibility of data sharing activity so that any data leaks are quickly identified and dealt with. In the case of a stolen device the data can be wiped which increases security.
Filr empowers STOBAG mobile users to securely access and sync the most up-to-date company data on the go from any device. Meanwhile, the data remains on the STOBAG file server and is available to non-Filr users. The STOBAG marketing department uses Filr to securely share large amounts of data and files with resellers.
Mr. Beck concludes: “Even in this early stage we can see great user acceptance already. The benefits are clear: we have full control over our data and our users have instant file access from any device. It makes them more responsive to our customer’s needs and far more productive. We are delighted with the progress so far.”