The challenge is even more daunting for a popular distance education university serving students all over the world. No one understands the importance of protecting confidential data better than those in education who deal with strict policies governing student privacy.
"Our students can study anytime, anywhere, and our systems always have to be up," explained Rob Bruno, Chief Technology Officer at Penn Foster. "Changing or moving data between different learning management systems and content management systems, pulling it all from a variety of applications, is critical."
As he searched for the right solution for the complexity and volume of data transfers across multiple platforms and within disparate applications, Bruno looked at several options.
"The ones we reviewed were very complicated and seemed designed more for those at the programming level," Bruno said, "and we found the monitoring and built-in scheduling to be lacking. We'd have to get into multiple products and stack them on top of each other."
Then Bruno tested the GoAnywhere MFT solution from HelpSystems.
"GoAnywhere was very economically priced and we got an enormous amount of horsepower within the product," Bruno said. "In comparison with what we had to go through with other vendors, GoAnywhere MFT was a pretty easy sell."
Managing Workflow and Encryption
Since implementing GoAnywhere, Bruno's team uses it for a variety of projects in addition to file transfers, including checking on other systems to make sure they're actively accepting data and communicating with the company telephone system, website, and more.
"I think we're at about 5,000 different types of jobs that run through GoAnywhere on a daily basis," Bruno said.
When it comes to encryption, Bruno says his staff relies on GoAnywhere's support for multiple encryption standards.
"We're using all of it: PGP encryption and AES with the banks, including ACH transfers that require not only SFTP but also PGP encryption," Bruno said. "We were also able to sunset a couple of other applications and pull their PGP keys into GoAnywhere, so that minimized some of our strain."
Bruno admits he had a tough time initially selling his team on the value of GoAnywhere, but once they saw how much easier GoAnywhere was compared to the manual scripts and multiple tools they were using, they quickly came on board.
"We can be a lot more pro-active to situations as they come about. Being able to input one line of code and call a script when you need to, or allowing the scheduler in GoAnywhere to do all of the heavy lifting. It's been huge," Bruno said.
GoAnywhere eliminates most manual scripting, but it also helps programmers build a library of projects if they want it so they have resources to use when they encounter new types of projects.
"My entire staff, from reporting users to heavy engineers, can now take a file transfer project and beg, borrow, and steal from it to generate something that they can do for themselves relatively easily."
When anyone runs into trouble, Bruno said, "the support is there to help you, and the built-in examples in the product are robust, so the process is really streamlined."
Overall, Bruno believes GoAnywhere MFT has improved his team's overall workflow efficiency.
"Coming across a product that really is easy to implement, does what its wrapper says it's capable of doing is great," Bruno said. "It's rare to find a product that can live up to those standards -- keeping it simple and doing what it's supposed to do."
You can learn more about Penn Foster Career School by visiting their website.