Micro Focus

University of Bern
Success Story

To avoid the data security risks associated with academics storing and exchanging sensitive research documents using external file hosting systems, the University of Bern implemented Micro Focus Filr, a sophisticated file sharing system. The solution offers easy­-to-use, reliable and secure data sharing, and its low administrative requirements enabled the university to launch the new service without expanding its IT team.

"Thanks to the Filr file sharing solution, we now have peace of mind that our data is stored securely."

ROLF KRÄUCHI
Head of IT System Services Group
University of Bern

At a Glance

Industry

Education

Location

Switzerland

Results

  • Enables researchers to share files securely
  • Reduces data security risks associated with third­ party file sharing solutions
  • Low administrative overhead enables low ­cost, low­ impact rollout

Products

Overview

Founded in 1834, the University of Bern is the Swiss capital’s university, serving 18,000 stu­dents across eight faculties of undergraduate and postgraduate study. The institution is a pio­neer in global research projects in the fields of space research, climate change, and dental and veterinary medicine.

Challenge

To remain at the forefront of ground-­breaking research, it is paramount for academics at the University of Bern to be able to share findings speedily and securely with fellow researchers at both the university and other institutions. In the past, the university did not have its own file sharing system, forcing staff to use third party solutions.


Rolf Kräuchi, Head of IT System Services Group at the University of Bern, explains: “We conducted a survey that revealed that 80 per­ cent of our academics were using third­ party file sharing offerings, meaning that research data was leaving the confines of the university.


Since we did not know which applications were being used, we could not guarantee that sensitive data was being securely exchanged.


“To raise data security, we decided to launch an internal file sharing solution. As a publicly funded institution, we needed a solution that could offer excellent value for money, and be managed by our existing IT team without in­ creasing headcount.”

Solution

Unlike many competing cloud­sharing solutions, Filr is designed to require minimal ad­ ministration, which enabled the university to launch the new service without having to invest in expanding its IT team.


The University of Bern looked for a secure, cost­ effective and user­ friendly file sharing solution. It engaged consultants from Novell (now a part of Micro Focus) to help it select a suitable offering.


“We wanted to ensure that we would ben­efit from optimal functionality at a competi­tive price,” recalls Rolf Kräuchi. “We assessed a total of 15 products, then trialled the three most promising solutions with small groups of academics. We chose Filr over other offerings because the users gave it overwhelmingly posi­tive feedback, and the solution offered excel­ lent value for money.


“Novell helped us integrate the Filr private cloud solution into our environment quickly and seamlessly—without having to make any changes to the infrastructure.”
With Filr, the university's IT team has full control over which users can share files, which

they can share, and with whom they can share them.

Results

Today, academics at the University of Bern use Filr to share research data quickly, easily and securely using a broad range of devices. The system is currently used by 500 professors and staff in administrative departments, and the uni­versity is planning to scale it up to support all 6,500 employees.


“User feedback has been excellent,” adds Rolf Kräuchi. “Staff find the interface intuitive and easy to use, and they appreciate being able to share critical research findings with fellow academics based all over the world securely at the click of a mouse.


“Furthermore, because researchers can ac­cess Filr from mobile devices, they can work more productively away from their desks. This raises staff satisfaction, and helps them make a greater contribution to the university's lead­ing research.”


Critically, the university's IT team has peace of mind that the storage and sharing of sensitive data are secure and under their control.


Rolf Kräuchi concludes: “Our implementation of Filr has been a huge success. We have launched a new offering that is popular with academics and supports ground­breaking research de­velopments that strengthen our international reputation—without having to hire additional IT personnel. In light of this initial success, we are considering extending the solution to support the student population in future.”