Because Bobby Graham and his team work with hundreds of clients who need to easily transfer files to them so they can fulfill project orders, they needed a more efficient way to track those inbound files and an intuitive portal that customers could use easily, regardless of their level of technical expertise. BlueGrass Mailing chose GoAnywhere because of its features, and has become an enthusiastic advocate because of the functionality and the great support he gets with Linoma's customer service team and developers.
If you prefer, you can review the transcript below, or click on any of the topics Bobby discusses and go directly to that section of the video.
Ok, my name is Bobby Graham. I'm IT administrator for BlueGrass Mailing, Data, and Fulfillment Services in Lexington, Kentucky. We handle mailing for businesses such as billing statements, promotional flyers. We do fulfillment for large companies - we'll fulfill things from the warehouse and ship all across the country.
As IT Administrator, my role is pretty much the wearer of all hats. It may one day be network admin, it may one day be desktop support. I also happen to be in charge of all the FTP transfers internally and externally, be that things we're sending out to customers or things that customers send to us.
What factors did you consider when researching file transfer solutions?
I was involved in the decision-making process. The boss came down and said, "Hey, you know, we're using this software. It's really antiquated. We'd like to find something a little better, something easier for our customers." We were previously using Cygwin, which is basically a Linux shell inside of Windows. It was very cumbersome for our customers. It required third-party software: WinSCP, Filezilla, etc.
Most of the people… I've found most of the people that are doing these transfers are not necessarily the IT people in the companies. It may be the secretary or the CEO, or even just a marketing person. So, a lot of times what you find is that setting up the software is a very difficult task for them. So we were just looking for a way to make that entire process easier for us, you know, through the setup, and for our customers, you know, in recurring use.
So, we had pretty much narrowed it down to two vendors when we were shopping around for different software: Linoma being one of those, and a different provider.
And when we really dug in and did the research on these two companies, what we found was that all of your customers tend to rate your technical support and your software with the highest ratings consistently. This isn't something like I've seen one five-star, and four stars, and three stars. This was five-star across the board.
The price point was fantastic. We called and talked to the sales rep and got a demo. We absolutely loved what we saw and moved forward with the purchasing process.
How do you use GoAnywhere to streamline your file transfer workflows?
The GoAnywhere process for us varies quite a bit from customer to customer. For the most part, when a customer drops off a file, we will have GoAnywhere automate emails to our internal reps and to our external customers saying "Hey, we got your files. Everything is here."
We then, immediately we have a trigger that kicks off a project that will move all of those files onto an internal server - something that is not forward-facing to the internet - and place them on an encrypted drive. And then we send out emails with links to our internal sales reps that say, "Here, you can go get your stuff." We do projects like that.
We do projects where we go out and read databases and compile data and send emails every ten minutes based on the amount of data. We have projects that run weekly that go out, scrape information from emails, and then dump those into a file and build a report and inject that into a database that then is later read out through a different project into a different format and sent out as a form of email reports.
We have it monitoring folders all across the network for specific documents and alerting users when those documents are available and ready. We really utilize it in a lot of different ways.
What about data encryption and translation?
We do have a few customers that utilize PGP encryption. What we really liked about GoAnywhere was when we're making that web user and they want to use a PGP key, GoAnywhere makes it so fantastically easy to import their key, keep up with their information. I actually had a customer contact me today and say, "Hey, it's unfortunate but we need to change our PGP key." No problem. Send it over. It will take one second, and that's what's fantastic.
We scrape … I know once weekly we'll go out and check an unmonitored email address for certain email attachments. We'll then pull those attachments down using GoAnywhere. We'll take the information out of those, build one big list, inject that into a table, and then send out a report based on the information that was contained within those attachments on this unmonitored email address.
How has GoAnywhere saved you time or made processes more efficient?
Before we had GoAnywhere, a lot of the time was wasted, you know, with the customer doing tech support over the phone trying to get them to understand how you set up this third-party software. How to get everything connected just so they could send that file was usually a day-long process. Since we picked up GoAnywhere, at the worst-case, it might be a five-minute process to set up a user and send those emails out. Now that the new GoAnywhere versions came out with the APIs included, we're going to fully automate that through a custom C# application and watch another email address. So basically, they will be an email come in, it will automatically build that account, and send that information out to the customer without me touching it. It will literally go to zero seconds.
What other advantages have you discovered?
One of the biggest advantages that I've found from GoAnywhere is the ability to remove all this ancillary software that we used prior to … You know we basically have GoAnywhere that runs on one server and it works fantastic all the time. Before, we had programs running to emulate Linux and Windows, we had programs running to manage our users, and we had programs and scripts running to watch for files, and we had an entire separate set of programs running to monitor directories and move files. And that's what is so fantastic! It's all contained in one fancy piece of software.
What would you say about the product support?
So, troubleshooting with GoAnywhere is probably my second and third favorite thing about the software. It's very rare that you'll find a piece of software that, when you call customer support - I've yet to call your customer support line and not have my question answered on the first call. I think it's Mary and Duane in Level I are probably the most fantastic customer support people I've ever worked with. They're always more than willing to help, and always do a fantastic job.
As far as anything above and beyond what your Tier I technical support can do, I've got to speak with a couple programmers several different times on some requests that we've made. We've actually requested features that your programmers built in and then called back and asked "Is that doing what you want it to do?" And we're like, absolutely! It works fantastic! I've forgotten to call your programmers back and they've called me back to remind me, and just make sure that everything was going well.
I can't say enough good things about customer support with Linoma Software [now HelpSystems]. It's by far an enjoyable experience. It's so unusual to find a piece of software that you don't mind to call technical support. I mean, I deal with a ton of software, and I don't have this experience anywhere else.
What do you think of the error reporting?
So we do use error reporting. We don't need it enough that it matters, but when I do use it in GoAnywhere, it makes it very easy to go back and search through the logs. You can get very granular on your searches so that - not only by date or by time, but by specific user - and go straight down to the file level and see not only that file coming in, but exactly what happened to it once it got here. It changes troubleshooting from a long, drawn-out, involved process to something that one guy can handle on one screen and come up with an answer.
What kind of feedback have you heard from your customers who use the GoAnywhere secure FTP server?
It's funny that you ask that question, because I had a group of users prior to us purchasing GoAnywhere that I considered to be my problem child. You know, this one particular group was always the one having trouble. So when we bought GoAnywhere and we put it in and we started migrating our customers from our old solution to GoAnywhere, I went out a made a Survey Monkey - I made a survey and I sent it out to all of the users: "Hey, how do you feel about this new FTP software? Does this make this easier? Does this save you time?" And the response I got was nothing short of fantastic.
Have you found uses for GoAnywhere beyond your original goals?
Primarily, right now it was an FTP/SFTP solution. We have found several uses that we didn't intend on using it for. But I know continually we find things in there and it's like, oh, man, we could do this… When you're in there looking around, it always tends to spawn a new idea.
You know, as a matter of fact, we had a group come over. It was one of our customers. They called us up and said, "Hey, we like this FTP software you guys are using. We're interested. Where did you get it? Hook us up with the company."
So we actually had them come over and sit down with us, and we took them through from the back end, and we said, "Hey, you know, here's everything we're doing. Here's exactly how we set you guys up." They told us what they were looking to do, and we were able to sit down and show them different ideas within GoAnywhere - things that they could do that THEY hadn't even though of yet that we're doing. And so, just that one phone call … our customer saying "We love this experience. We want our partners to have this." That speaks very highly.
What final advice can you offer to others who may be considering trying GoAnywhere?
I mean, the tipping point for me, and I think what helped with our customer that was looking into purchasing your software, was the customer support. You can't … you know, you can have fantastic software and you can spend six figures on software and it can be touted as the latest and greatest thing, but if you can't call and get someone who is friendly and fast and willing to help you with your trouble, that software is not as good to you. And that's - I mean, that's the tipping point.