File Transfer Automation Explained

file transfer automation illustrationOrganizations today are challenged with maximizing their resources in a fiercely competitive environment. Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Lost time is never found again.” This is a problem that is familiar to IT departments of all sizes.

Take, for example, an IT staff member who spends countless hours waiting on inbound and outbound transfers. Or there’s the professional who still needs to manually process data — spending time translating it from one file format to another. What’s more, often many valuable hours are spent troubleshooting when a file transfer fails (and the failure isn’t discovered until after a trading partner calls to complain). Yet there is a way your existing staff can shift their focus to higher priority tasks. But how?

The Benefits of File Transfer Automation

File transfer automation is a powerful tool, as it allows IT departments to pivot away from the cumbersome tasks that surround file transfer and instead focus on more strategic and significant projects. Automation reduces human error and increases accuracy; plus, you still get communication about everything that is taking place.

For example, email notifications can be programmed at any point in the automation process to alert key personnel regarding transfer activities. This helps organizations identify failures and successes quickly and adjust accordingly. Other benefits and capabilities include the following:

Scheduling. Built-in scheduling allows for executing workflows at future dates and times. For example, schedule workflows as “one time” or set them up to run at various times — every minute, every hour or every day — or another interval of your preference. The result is fewer interactions and higher efficiency for staff.

File monitoring. Monitor your company’s files with greater accuracy. For example, through automation you can monitor or scan all the files created, modified or deleted within specific folders on your network, SFTP or FTPS servers. Greater visibility is gained with less time invested in manual processes.

Triggers. Set triggers for monitored events, such as file uploads or downloads by a specific partner. After a file is uploaded, perhaps you want it archived to a folder or processed by running a shell script. Setting a trigger allows you to set in motion a sequence of actions prompted by an event. Triggers eliminate the time consuming process of manually completing routine follow-up tasks.

Greater Efficiency for the Future

Organizations need competitive advantages that promote operational efficiency. In some cases, companies have eliminated the need for difficult-to-staff third shift positions or the reduction has happened organically through attrition and they need to maximize their existing resources. Other times, they are growing fast and need innovative tools that streamline time-consuming tasks.

Automation provides these solutions, offloading manually repetitive tasks so your existing team can refocus their talents on more strategic projects.  You can learn more by visiting our file transfer automation page.

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