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MFT Automation: Business Process & Workflow File Automation Software:

Improving Business Productivity with MFT Automation for Secure File Transfers

Our latest version has some exciting new features and additions including an an update that adds data replication, file synchronization, and support for simultaneous file transfers to multiple destinations to help with automating every day file transfers and overall business processes.

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Workflow Management & File Transfer Automation

Before we delve into the concept of Workflow Automation, we first need to start with topic of file transfers (sometimes referred to as data transfers).

File transfers can sometimes be an overlooked and underestimated function within businesses. In many companies it is something that is just left to the IT department to worry about. However, file transfers can play a critical part to the day-to-day running of business processes and operations. With the proliferation of the digital era and big data, vasts amounts of files in a plethora of formats are being transferred every day.

There is a pressure on IT teams and professionals to ensure these transfers are executed successfully, securely and in a timely manner. This is where time and resources can be strained and exhausted. An ever increasing problematic area that companies are experiencing is that from homegrown, custom scripts (sometimes referred to as D-I-Y Scripting). For example, a solution crafted by a technically talented IT team member may have worked well 5-10 years ago. However, are these manual, DIY scripts still fit-for-purpose and a match for the demands we face in 2022? In modern day business, aspects such as data security, compliance and accuracy are of paramount importance. In an attempt to minimise business risk it is important for companies to take a step back and assess their current file transfer practices.

So where does Workflow Automation factor into file transfers? A workflow is essentially a series of predefined tasks that run in a particular sequence. In other words, when we have a desired end goal, our workflow would be the set of actions or steps to achieve this goal. Transferring files is a process that involves a set of tasks. If we analyse these processes more than not we will be able to identify common triggers and predictable patterns that could be transferred into workflows and then in turn automated.

MFT Solutions

Automating, Securing, and Simplifying Secure File Managed Transfers

PGP Encryption, Automation, Tools & Solutions

Automate PGP & SFTP

With our easy-to-use software, you can automate the PGP encryption and decryption process, ensuring that your files remain secure throughout the transfer process.

file transfer and hipaa compliance

HIPAA Compliance

By automating critical elements of the secure file transfer management process, Diplomat MFT can play a vital role in your data privacy and information security program for managing PHI. 

RepliWeb End of Life Replacements & Alternatives

Repliweb Replacement

Qlik announced they would longer support RepliWeb MFT as of January 31, 2022. Find out why our award-winning, Diplomat MFT, is an ideal replacement software solution.

FileZilla Alternatives

How to Automate FileZilla

Filezilla does not provide any way to automate file transfers, but you can import your FileZilla Site Manager data into Diplomat MFT to effortlessly automate your transfers.

Workday Automation

Exchanging files with Workday with SFTP

Diplomat MFT can help you to automate your regular file transfers with workday, such as payroll and timesheet data.  By automating your Workday transfers, you will save time on repeated manual processes and avoid the risk of human errors.  

UKG Software automation

JP Morgan File Automation

Our product always implements the latest OpenPGP and SFTP security techniques, and our expert support staff can assist with any configuration questions for JPMorgan Managed File Transfer Services transfers.

Streamline your processes with Diplomat MFT v9.1

With an intuitive, no-code approach to file transfer and synchronization workflow creation, Diplomat MFT allows anyone to synchronize content over any of Diplomat MFT’s supported protocols, file systems, SFTP, FTP/S, and even cloud storage providers like AWS S3, Google Cloud Storage, and Azure Blobs/Files.  This makes it simple for customers who need to make replica copies of files, such as web content, when sharing with other systems.

What is Workflow Automation?

Workflow automation (in a file transfer context specifically) is a programmatic process that allows the movement of files independently, free from human interference and involvement. It allows users to program when files should move between internal systems, users, or trading partners.

 

What are the benefits of MFT Workflow Automation?

The best way to illustrate the benefits of an automated workflow is to compare it to a manual file transfer. A manual file transfer process may require an individual to wait on transfers before they are able to initiate the next step in the sequence of tasks or it may require them to process data from one format to another. Also, human error is a factor within the process to account for whether steps are missed which can lead to transfers failing and time required for troubleshooting.

By utilizing workflow automation effectively it can lead to time-saving, cost-savings, increased productivity as well as minimizing risk and freeing up valuable resource.

 

What are the risks of FTP Custom Scripts?

In the past it has been commonplace for IT departments to adopt a DIY approach to file transfer processes and we can’t blame them. Particularly for a business function that may have been overlooked, under resourced and poorly understood. Early days these may have started with manual processes then evolved to legacy FTP scripted solutions.

These homegrown scripted solutions are trying to handle an ever increasing number of files transfers and contend with a number of complex integrations.

In addition to a loss of productivity, this can invite a range of issues including a lack of control, data security, compliance and visibility. Ultimately, these will impact on a businesses time, resources and costs.

 

What is the difference between workflow automation and RPA?

Workflow automation and RPA can be often confused and used interchangeably but there are differences. RPA differs to workflow automation in that it can automate entire workflows from beginning to end, without the need for human input, through a series of rules set by the business.

A real-world example of this would be invoice processing, for example, with RPA, you can create rules to send invoices to the right person for approval automatically. You can also automate the PO-matching process to mark any errors for further review before submitting the payment.

Whereas, workflow automation automates specific tasks within a business process or workflow which could be transferring client data to a trading partner, which is a very specific task. Typically, RPA would be considered a more versatile solution but that does not necessarily mean it is the most suitable solution.

How does cloud migration and storage impact on file transfer solutions?

In the past, manual FTP may have been sufficient, particularly when businesses housed their own servers or datacenters. Many businesses have seen the benefit from offloading various IT services to the cloud (Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud etc). What this means is that your businesses data no longer resides locally within the local network. The challenge this poses is that companies data is stored in different places, in a number of different repositories and this may require synchronisation. Also, as we deal with more complex integrations, it highlights the need for greater protection, encryption and security of business data, especially while in transit. It’s not surprising that areas such as encryption, cybersecurity and data loss prevention (dlp) feature heavily within IT Roadmaps and Business Strategy. Coviant Software provide best-in-class PGP encryption of data. Also, with Diplomat MFT, you can also initiate, terminate, and monitor file transfer jobs and more from app servers or using your DevOps tools or enterprise job management platforms.

 

What are some MFT Software Automation examples?

Below are some MFT (Managed File Transfer) software automation examples from a few different industry sectors including Finance & Banking, Medical, Government, Retail, Manufacturing, Energy, Transport & Logistics, Telecoms and Education.

Finance Sector:

  • Automated Trade Confirmations: In the finance industry, MFT software is used to automate the exchange of trade confirmations between financial institutions. When a trade is executed, MFT software can securely transmit confirmation files, reducing the risk of errors and ensuring timely settlement.
  • Customer Statements: Banks and investment firms use MFT automation to securely deliver monthly customer statements. The software can generate, encrypt, and transmit statements to clients, ensuring data confidentiality and compliance with financial regulations.

Medical Sector:

  • Medical Records Sharing: Hospitals and healthcare providers use MFT automation to securely exchange patient medical records between different departments or facilities. This ensures that patient data remains confidential and is accessible when needed for diagnostics and treatment.
  • Pharmaceutical Regulatory Compliance: Pharmaceutical companies leverage MFT software to automate the submission of regulatory documents to government agencies. This streamlines the compliance process and ensures that critical documents are submitted on time.

Government Sector:

  • Tax Filings: Government agencies use MFT software to automate the collection of tax filings from individuals and businesses. Taxpayers can securely upload their tax documents, and the software processes and stores them for auditing and record-keeping purposes.
  • Emergency Alerts: MFT automation can be used to disseminate emergency alerts and notifications to the public. Government agencies can schedule and automate the distribution of critical information during natural disasters or emergencies.

Retail Sector:

  • Inventory Management: Retailers use MFT software to automate the exchange of inventory data with suppliers. This ensures that inventory levels are always up to date, reducing stockouts and overstock situations.
  • Online Order Fulfilment: E-commerce companies employ MFT automation to manage the secure transfer of customer orders to their warehouses and suppliers. This streamlines the order fulfilment process, reducing errors and improving delivery times.

Manufacturing Sector:

  • Supply Chain Management: Manufacturing companies often have complex supply chains. MFT software automates the exchange of production schedules, inventory data, and quality control reports with suppliers, ensuring a seamless flow of materials and components.
  • Product Design Collaboration: In global manufacturing, product design collaboration often involves teams in different locations. MFT software facilitates the secure sharing of design files, CAD drawings, and technical documentation among dispersed teams.

Energy Sector:

  • Oil and Gas Data Transfer: Energy companies use MFT software to automate the transfer of exploration and drilling data from remote sites to central data centers. This ensures that critical information is accessible for analysis and decision-making.
  • Utility Billing Data: Utilities such as electricity and gas providers use MFT automation to securely exchange billing data with customers and regulatory authorities. It helps in accurate billing and compliance.

Transportation and Logistics Sector:

  • Shipping Documentation: Shipping companies automate the exchange of shipping manifests, customs documents, and bills of lading with customs authorities and port authorities to expedite the movement of goods across borders.
  • Cargo Tracking: MFT software can be used to automate the tracking of cargo and shipment status updates. It provides real-time visibility into the movement of goods, which is critical for logistics companies.

Telecommunications Sector:

  • Network Configuration Files: Telecommunications companies utilize MFT automation to securely transmit network configuration files to remote network equipment. This ensures that updates and changes are implemented consistently.
  • Customer Billing Data: Telecom operators use MFT software to automate the transfer of customer billing data to payment processing systems. This accelerates the billing cycle and reduces errors.

Education Sector:

  • Student Record Sharing: Educational institutions automate the exchange of student transcripts, records, and applications with other schools, universities, and accreditation bodies. It simplifies the transfer process for students.
  • E-Learning Content Distribution: In the digital learning space, MFT software helps in distributing e-learning content such as videos, course materials, and assessments securely to students and educators.

These examples demonstrate how MFT software automation plays a vital role in various industry sectors by streamlining data exchange processes, ensuring data security, and improving overall operational efficiency.

How can MFT Automation help with compliance within the medical sector?

Managed File Transfer (MFT) automation is particularly crucial in the medical sector, where data security and regulatory compliance, such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance, are paramount. Here are some MFT automation examples specific to the medical industry that help with compliance:

Secure Patient Data Exchange:

MFT software ensures the secure transfer of sensitive patient data, including electronic health records (EHRs), medical images (e.g., X-rays and MRIs), and lab results, between healthcare providers, laboratories, and insurers. This helps healthcare organizations maintain HIPAA compliance by safeguarding patient privacy.

Healthcare Billing and Claims Processing:

MFT automation assists healthcare organizations in securely transmitting billing and claims data to insurance companies and government agencies. This includes electronic claims submissions and remittance advice, reducing billing errors and ensuring compliance with healthcare billing standards, such as HIPAA’s EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) requirements.

Telemedicine and Remote Consultations:

In the era of telemedicine, MFT software enables secure video conferencing and data exchange between healthcare professionals and patients. This includes sharing medical records, prescriptions, and treatment plans while ensuring HIPAA-compliant encryption and access controls.

Medical Device Data Sharing:

Medical device manufacturers use MFT automation to securely transmit device data, software updates, and diagnostics to healthcare facilities and regulatory agencies. Compliance with FDA regulations and data integrity are critical in this context.

Pharmaceutical Research and Development:

Pharmaceutical companies rely on MFT automation for the secure exchange of research data, clinical trial results, and regulatory submissions with government agencies like the FDA. Compliance with regulations like 21 CFR Part 11 (electronic records and signatures) is facilitated through audit trails and encryption.

Patient Consent and Authorization:

MFT software can automate the secure collection of patient consent and authorization forms for treatment, research, and disclosure of medical information. It helps healthcare providers adhere to HIPAA consent requirements while maintaining a digital audit trail.

Secure Email Communication:

MFT solutions often include secure email gateways that encrypt and protect sensitive healthcare communications via email. This is particularly useful for exchanging patient information among healthcare professionals while adhering to HIPAA standards.

Data Backup and Disaster Recovery:

MFT automation aids healthcare organizations in regularly backing up patient records and medical data securely. This ensures data availability in case of emergencies while also meeting HIPAA requirements for data backup and recovery plans.

In the medical sector, MFT automation plays a pivotal role in ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of patient data while assisting organizations in complying with stringent regulations such as HIPAA. These examples illustrate how MFT software helps healthcare entities maintain data security and regulatory compliance throughout their operations.

What is the difference between Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and MFT Automation?

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Managed File Transfer (MFT) are both automation technologies, but they serve different purposes and have distinct capabilities. Let’s break down each of them and then highlight the differences:

Robotic Process Automation (RPA):

  • Purpose: RPA is a technology that uses software robots or bots to automate repetitive, rule-based tasks that were traditionally performed by humans. These tasks can include data entry, form filling, data extraction, and more.
  • Capabilities: RPA bots interact with applications and systems just like humans do. They can mimic keystrokes, mouse clicks, and navigate through user interfaces. RPA is particularly useful for automating processes that involve multiple applications, as it can bridge the gap between them by integrating and orchestrating tasks.
  • Use Cases: RPA is often used in industries like finance, HR, customer service, and healthcare to streamline workflows, reduce errors, and free up employees from mundane tasks.

Managed File Transfer (MFT):

  • Purpose: MFT is a technology focused on securely and reliably transferring files or data between different systems, locations, or organizations. It’s primarily concerned with ensuring data integrity, security, and compliance during file transfers.
  • Capabilities: MFT solutions provide features like encryption, authentication, and auditing to ensure the safe transfer of files. They can handle large file transfers, automate scheduling, and monitor the status of transfers. MFT is essential when organizations need to move sensitive or critical data between systems.
  • Use Cases: MFT is commonly used in industries where data security and compliance are crucial, such as finance, healthcare, and government, for tasks like sharing financial reports, medical records, or sensitive documents.

Key Differences between RPA and MFT:

Automation Focus:

  • RPA focuses on automating business processes by mimicking human actions within software applications.
  • MFT focuses on automating the secure and reliable transfer of files between systems or entities.

Task Complexity:

  • RPA is ideal for automating tasks that involve interacting with multiple applications, often with decision-making logic.
  • MFT is specialized in handling the secure transfer of files, making it less suited for complex process automation.

Industry Application:

  • RPA is broadly applicable across industries for process optimization and efficiency gains.
  • MFT is particularly valuable in industries where data security and compliance are paramount.

In summary, RPA and MFT serve different automation needs. RPA is best suited for automating complex, rule-based business processes, while MFT is designed for secure and reliable file transfers, particularly in industries with stringent data security requirements. Both technologies can be valuable in their respective domains, and they can complement each other in certain scenarios where process automation involves file transfers.

What are the biggest challenges when automating processes and file transfers with managed file transfer software for any business?

Automating processes and file transfers with Managed File Transfer (MFT) software can offer significant benefits to businesses, but there are also several challenges that organizations may face in implementing and managing MFT solutions. Some of the biggest challenges include:

Integration Complexity:

MFT solutions often need to integrate with various existing systems, applications, and databases within an organization. Ensuring seamless integration can be complex and time-consuming.

Security Concerns:

Security is a top priority in MFT, as file transfers often involve sensitive and confidential data. Ensuring data encryption, authentication, and access control can be challenging but is essential to prevent data breaches.

Compliance and Regulatory Requirements:

Different industries have specific compliance standards and regulations (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR) that govern data transfer and storage. Ensuring MFT software complies with these standards can be a significant challenge.

Scalability:

As businesses grow, their file transfer needs may increase significantly. Ensuring that the MFT solution can scale effectively to handle higher volumes of data and increased user demands is a challenge.

Complex Workflows:

Many organizations have complex workflows that involve conditional routing of files, data transformation, and notifications. Designing and managing these workflows within the MFT system can be complex.

Monitoring and Reporting:

Keeping track of all file transfers, their status, and performance is essential for troubleshooting and compliance. Implementing robust monitoring and reporting capabilities can be challenging.

User Training and Adoption:

Introducing MFT software often requires training employees on how to use the system effectively. Ensuring user adoption and compliance with internal processes can be a challenge.

Error Handling and Recovery:

File transfers may encounter errors or interruptions. Implementing mechanisms for error detection, notification, and recovery is critical for maintaining reliable transfers.

Cost Management:

Licensing, hardware, and maintenance costs associated with MFT solutions can add up. Managing and optimizing these costs while ensuring the necessary features can be challenging.

File Transfer Volume and Speed:

Large volumes of data or the need for high-speed transfers can strain MFT systems. Ensuring that the infrastructure can handle the required throughput can be a challenge.

Support and Maintenance:

Ongoing support and maintenance of the MFT solution, including software updates and troubleshooting, can be resource-intensive.

Vendor Selection:

Choosing the best MFT software vendor that aligns with the organization’s needs and offers reliable support can be a critical decision.

To address these challenges effectively, businesses should carefully plan their MFT implementation, involve relevant stakeholders, consider the specific requirements of their industry, and regularly assess and update their MFT strategy to adapt to changing business needs and technology advancements.

KEY FEATURES

File Transfer Protocols

Supports Automating All Major Transfer Protocols

FTP, FTPS, SFTP, HTTP, HTTPS, AS2, Email, SMB, CIFS, NFS

SFTP Server

Host or receive files for secure file exchanges with your clients, customers, suppliers, and other business partners.

External entities connect to your server using any standard SFTP client, using strong authentication and the highest levels of security.

Edge Gateway

No files are ever stored in your DMZ and require no inbound holes in the internal firewall

Securely host an SFTP server AND transfer files between your internal system and external trading partners in a secure, auditable, and compliant manner

Remote Agents

Transfer Files Using Remote Agents

Send files to or from branch locations or partner sites using built-in OpenPGP authentication and encryption, checkpoint restart, and checksum file integrity checking

Secure & Efficient

Secure And Operationally Efficient

Simple interface with options for full alerting, auditing, multi-role administration, file archiving, and extensive logging combine to make operational management pain-free

HIPAA Compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) established national standards for the security of electronic health care information with both civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance by covered entitles, such as hospitals or physician practices.

PGP Encryption

Best In Class PGP Automation

Encrypt, decrypt, sign or verify encrypted files with a simple checkbox

Cloud Integration

Connect To A Range Of Cloud Storage Providers

Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, Box, Citrix ShareFile, Dropbox, Google Cloud, Oracle Cloud and more

Enterprise Scheduler

Enterprise Class Scheduling And Folder Monitoring

Schedule jobs down to the minute, including Calendars for exclusions, execution time windows and more, or monitor any accessible shared folder

Workflow Triggers

Comprehensive Source File Selection And Triggers

Transfer the right files the first time by selecting by name patterns, dates, sequence numbers, all with support for trigger files for the whole batch or per-file. Specify the order files should be transferred, including time-based or alphabetically.

REST API For DevOps

Control Diplomat MFT Using Its REST API

Initiate, terminate, and monitor file transfer jobs and more from app servers or using your DevOps tools or enterprise job management platforms

Synchronization

Diplomat can synchronize that source directory structure to any number of destinations. Those destinations are often installations of the Diplomat Remote Agent, offering extensive control, very strong security, and a high level of confidence with SHA-256 checksum integrity validation.

TESTIMONIALS

Scott J

Coviant does a great job supporting their product. That is increasingly rare these days. Of all of the products we use in our enterprise Diplomat is one we can get immediate support for in the event that we have any questions or issues.

Sean M

The PGP Encryption, Automation and Replication capabilities of this software appealed greatly as our client was seeking out a replacement for RepliWeb. The cost for our needs was by far the most competitive within the market.

Wilson H.

The knowledge of the Software engineer and support really helps make the implementation effective & rapid and the support team has superior knowledge and always available when I need it. The software set up screens are simple and fit the purpose. Not too much unnecessary bell and whistle.