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EFSS vs. MFT: What's the Difference?

comparing MFT and EFSS

EFSS (Enterprise File Sync and Share) and MFT (Managed File Transfer) are two terms that are frequently thrown around in the IT industry. Each solution is used to transfer files to multiple locations and devices, and they can both be deployed on-premises or in a cloud environment.

These similarities inspire frequent questions. What are these solutions, exactly? What do they do, and when should you use one over the other? Are they the same thing? Can they be used interchangeably?

The confusion is palatable. Let us help set things straight.

The main difference between EFSS and MFT

While EFSS and MFT have many common features, EFSS is a solution used for sharing files between individuals and their devices. MFT, on the other hand, is primarily used for automating and securing batch file transfers between systems, customers, and trading partners on a variety of platforms.

Managed File Transfer

What is MFT?

Managed File Transfer solutions streamline the exchange of data between internal and external systems. They provide you a single point of control with powerful security settings, detailed audit trails, and a collection of reports—and you can access your files anywhere via secure FTP, HTTPS, AS2, and other popular protocols.

What are some of the features that come with MFT?

Managed File Transfer solutions usually include the following features:

  • Automated batch file transfers
  • Deployable on-premises or to the cloud
  • Support for secure FTP, including SFTP, FTPS, and SCP protocols
  • Extensive security controls to meet various compliance requirements
  • Advanced reporting to provide management and statistical details, graphs, and charts
  • Guaranteed delivery of files with connection retries and file auto-resume

When should you use MFT?

An MFT solution can be used by organizations of all sizes: small, mid-sized, and enterprise. Companies should consider choosing MFT over EFSS when:

  • Automating regular file transfers
  • Integrating with external trading partners through secure FTP or AS2 protocols
  • Performing advanced workflows on the files such as parsing or compressing the data
  • Monitoring for files in folders and automatically processing them

Enterprise File Sync and Share

What is EFSS?

Enterprise File Sync and Share services allow you to share files and folders between your employees and other individuals. They often include collaboration features, like file revision tracking, commenting, and media viewing, that can be accessed and used across common devices (mobile, desktops, tablets). Files sent using EFSS are encrypted end-to-end and generally stored in a cloud-based environment.

What are some of the features that come with EFSS?

While dependent on the specific service, EFSS usually includes the following features:

  • Easy sharing between your desktop and EFSS-synced folders
  • Search functionality for shared files and folders
  • Viewable activity streams for user-monitored files
  • Version recovery and history logs
  • Access restriction for files and folders that shouldn’t be changed

When should you use EFSS?

EFSS services are most helpful when used in team collaborative scenarios. Companies should consider choosing EFSS over MFT when:

  • Needing to securely share files with another person on your team.
  • Wanting to receive feedback directly in a shared asset (document, image, report, video).
  • Quickly accessing and editing collaborative files on different devices.

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, GoAnywhere Managed File Transfer offers an add-on module for EFSS. GoDrive is a solution that allows you to share files between your users. It’s a great alternative to cloud-based file sharing services like Dropbox or Google Drive and provides on-site or cloud file storage with localized control and detailed audit trails. Plus, having one product (GoAnywhere MFT with GoDrive) that can manage batch and ad-hoc transfers makes it easier to handle file transfer security and centralized reporting.

Want to give GoAnywhere MFT a try? Request a 30-day trial. You can also use GoDrive during your trial; the first 10 users are completely free! (Note: If you decide not to continue with GoAnywhere after the trial is up, you can still request a free license of GoAnywhere to keep your 10 GoDrive users.)

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