Archive for the ‘FileCloud’ Category

Moving Your Data To The Cloud: Costs & Security

 

Cloud Migration is the term used for the process of moving data to the Cloud, and it would involve a lot of considerations. Few important ones are cost, security, performance parameters, interoperability, business continuity and so on. However, all of these would be dependent on what is being moved and to what type of Cloud.

Typically, organizations move data, applications, as well as a few other essential business elements to the Cloud. Most often, the data is being moved from the local servers or data centers to the Cloud. There could also be a Cloud to Cloud migration happening if you move from one Cloud to another.

Why Cloud Migration?

The move to the Cloud should ideally be a well-thought-out move; it is done in the interest of greater flexibility, offering better customer services, achieving seamless traction among the workforce, convenience, high availability, avoiding redundancy and to be cost-effective. For most small and medium enterprises, the Cloud is a more attractive and inexpensive option, as compared to owning on-site hardware. This is more so since many big players are offering some free options to their customers. And the flexibility of the various paid options, like pay per use or on-demand services, makes it a highly competitive option. This is especially so when faced with having to deliver aggressive financial results.

Also, with data security as the main concern for most organizations, the move to the Cloud seems to be a smart one. Most Cloud service providers have put in place extensive security features, as a combination of high-end software, and hardware technologies. Organizations can negotiate appropriate contracts with specific SLAs on the terms that matter most to them, to protect their interests. Also, there are laid down government regulations that these providers need to comply with, assuring certain built-in levels of security.

Moving data to the Cloud also takes care of issues related to the physical security of the data and applications. It eliminates risk from incidents like fire, natural disasters, physical attacks, data loss caused through staff ignorance or deliberate attempts to destroy the same, etc.

When most of the services are running 24*7, the Cloud assures easy access, speed, efficiency, scalability, better customer experiences and is sustainable in the long run. Also, data and applications on Cloud are better equipped for the constant changes necessitated by the highly evolving technologies. All these points make for a strong case for organizations to move to the Cloud.

Cloud Migration Strategies

The decision to move to the Cloud may well be an easy one, but not so easy is arriving at the Cloud migration strategy. Deciding on what to move, how and when, will have to be discussed and concluded based on many factors. These factors will have to look at mission-critical aspects like service continuity, the applications to be moved, the dependency mapping, the topology, the appropriate Cloud hosting environment, and whether to make the move in phases or one in one go, etc.

The goals of each and every organization will differ and hence, the Cloud migration strategy will depend on that. The most important of the decisions would be on what to move, and to what type of Cloud; whether Public, Private or a Hybrid one. It would be good to have a pilot migration phase, to evaluate load, performance, security, interoperability, dependency, and most of all, business continuity.

Industry experts say that there are chances that Cloud migration can go wrong if all aspects are not considered as they should. Application issues, network issues, staff awareness and knowledge issues, tool issues, and so on, are just a few of the things that can affect the migration. Choosing the right provider and the right migration tools can help reduce or eliminate these issues. Most Cloud service providers, including the major players like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud, offer migration services and tools.

Microsoft Azure advisor, AWS Trusted Advisor, Azure Migrate, Azure Site Recovery, AWS Migration Hub, AWS Application Discovery Service, Google Cloud Storage Transfer Service, Google Transfer Appliance, etc. are a few tools on offer from these biggies. Many organizations also use the DIY type of tools or even create their own.

Costs

To calculate the costs related to Cloud migration to decide its viability, you need to start with your existing IT infrastructure. A thorough audit of the current status, taking into account all direct and indirect costs, would be a solid starting point. Direct costs are simpler to calculate as they include software, hardware, maintenance, staff, physical facility, Internet and such. Indirect costs include productivity losses due to any reason, damaged reputation, service/server downtime, and customer dissatisfaction. The logs can help you with the downtime calculation, and customer satisfaction surveys with the things that are probably not right at the moment.

The next step would be to calculate your estimated Cloud infrastructure costs, which can be done rather easily with the help of tools like:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Calculator. There is also an in-depth monthly cost calculator that can help immensely.
  • Google Cloud Platform Pricing Calculator
  • Microsoft Azure’s Pricing Calculator
  • Rackspace’s calculator
  • IBM Bluemix’s calculator

Almost all the Cloud Service providers are providing consulting services that can help the organizations through the various stages of Cloud Migration, including the cost calculation.

Security

The biggest concern for most organizations in the move to the Cloud has to be the safety of the data, especially confidential and sensitive data. In the last few years, the technologies related to Cloud storage security have evolved by leaps and bounds. The credibility of such services has been strengthened with the likes of:

  • Firewalls
  • Intrusion detection systems
  • Monitoring, metrics, and logs
  • Encryption
  • Data governance

These are apart from the heightened security that these providers enforce at places where the physical servers are located.

Firewalls ensure that only authenticated have access to the specified data, and are implemented as a Software-as-a-service firewall (SaaS firewall), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). The intrusion detection mechanisms in the form of host-based (HIDS), and network-based (NIDS) or application-based, protect against cyber attacks. The various monitoring applications, their logs, and benchmark metrics ensure timely alerts to avert and handle any untoward incidents.

But, the most important of all the security aspects is encryption, which is a watertight technique that uses authenticating credentials and encryption keys. There are regulations regarding certain usages, which Cloud Solution providers need to comply with, and hence if those are met, you are assured about safety to a great extent. The human error aspect though, cannot be overlooked. It is important for all staff accessing the Cloud, to understand the importance of simple things like password rules to complex things like sharing information with only those that need to know.

Most Cloud Storage facilities also provide you control of Data Governance to manage your data. However, the underlying protection mechanisms against data loss and recovery from such incidents are usually in-built as well. These include periodic backup to servers in alternate locations, instant recovery to ensure business continuity, and more. Service Level Agreements based on what is important to achieve as metrics for your organization can be arrived at, with the Cloud Service providers.

CodeLathe’s Statement on Preparedness and Impact for COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak is having a widespread impact on organizations around the globe. Many organizations have shut down their physical offices and have asked employees to work from home. Our customers rely on our software and service to remotely access, collaborate and share files with co-workers and customers. We understand FileCloud offers a critical file sharing infrastructure for your organization. We would like to assure you that we have taken every effort to offer our service and support without any interruption during these unprecedented times.

Here’s our statement on our preparedness for COVID-19

CodeLathe does not see any impact on our FileCloud online services due to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. CodeLathe has primarily a geographically distributed and dispersed team with redundancies across different regions and countries.

Impact on Services:
There is no impact on FileCloud online services as all services are operating normally from our Amazon AWS data centers.
All of our services are managed remotely and don’t require physical access to the servers. We also have the ability to migrate loads from one datacenter to another if need be.

Impact on Support:
Our support team is distributed in nature and most of them work remotely so that we can provide support without interruption across different time zones seamlessly. All support team members are highly trained and we have multiple redundancies to handle any one specific person being unavailable.

Impact on People:
Even though Austin is not one of the hotspots, we have asked our HQ employees to work from home if they can. We have taken the approach of it is better to err on the side of abundance caution!

Summary
Our company has a core remote operating culture and therefore there is no difference in the level of service, support or availability with sustained levels of such an operation. In case of any such foreseen impact due to COVID-19, we will send updates to all our customers so that they are well prepared.

If you have any questions related to our business preparedness for COVID-19, please send us an email to support@codelathe.com

Retention in Record Management Software

 

Records management software is any computer program designed to systematically control records within an organization. Such software can help manage records in any format, and many programs have advanced capabilities for managing electronic records. However, evaluating, selecting, and purchasing records management software depends on several factors. No one system is right for all users, and the system you choose should fit the size and complexity of your organization.

But records management systems also serve a more general function: They greatly simplify the many workflow processes required to create, distribute and maintain accurate records. They have this in common with (the more general-purpose) document management software and for this reason, there are many similarities between the two.

As mentioned above, records are a very specific type of document that can serve as legal proof or evidence. (Think of it like squares and rectangles: a record is a type of document, but not all documents are records.) As such, records are often necessary in order to prove compliance with regulations and laws.

In some industries, compliance must be shown at periodic intervals. For example, a food distributor uses records to demonstrate compliance with food safety regulations and may need to do so every year or every quarter, as mandated by local regulations.

There are many general functions that you should look for in records management software like

  • Help features: These can include user-friendly online tutorials, easy-to-understand error messages, and support and training by the vendor
  • Menus and commands: These should be easy to understand and should be organized in a logical way
  • Speed and accuracy: You should be able to enter and retrieve data quickly, with reduced retrieval times
  • Generation of standard reports: The software should generate reports easily and print them out as they are seen on the screen
  • Ease of use: The software itself should be user-friendly; you should be able to use it the day it is installed
  • Customization: You should be able to customize the software to meet the specific needs of your organization without sacrificing the benefits of standard practices
  • Ability to manage records throughout their life cycle: Many organizations purchase software that manages records throughout their life cycle—from creation and active use to inactive use and disposition. Be sure to purchase software that meets your records life cycle requirements.
  • Ability to manage records in all formats: The software should help you manage records in any format, if necessary, including paper, electronic, micrographic, and audio-visual records
  • Free-text searching across fields: Any text maintained by the software should allow free-text or keyword searching across fields

 

Retention in Record Management

Companies face legal and regulatory requirements for retaining records. Each company’s specific requirements should be detailed in a Record Retention Policy and accompanying Record Retention Schedule. These provide both a legal basis for records compliance as well as a consensus on which records should be saved for how long they must be kept. And, equally important, when they should be deleted (destroyed).

Records retention policies and procedures should include:

  • Archiving policies for various document types. In other words, how long these different document types stay “active” before they can be sent to the library archive.
  • A destruction policy for setting how long information is retained before it is destroyed. This avoids destroying vital documents prematurely, or not at all. Retaining everything indefinitely is not good records management.
  • Procedure for capturing the proper information for regulatory reporting. It is critical for organizations to assess their current state of preparedness to determine how well they can safely and efficiently respond to an e-discovery request or governmental inquiry.

 

Some of the Major players in Record Management and Document handling includes

  1. Alfresco Content Services-  Alfresco Content Services provides open, flexible, scalable Enterprise Content Management (ECM) capabilities. Content is accessible wherever and however you work and easily integrates other business applications. Alfresco puts sophisticated technology to work to automate the records management process, making end-to-end processes happen automatically and invisibly. Using the system is easy, and compliance “just happens,” with little or no user intervention.
  • Easy-to-set rules and metadata automatically drive what needs to be declared as a record and where it should be filed in the File Plan, while records remain easily accessible by sanctioned users
  • Powerful rules and business processes help file, find, review and audit records, saving time for users and administrators
  • Configurable File Plans provide effortless control over retention schedules for review, hold, transfer, archive and the destruction of records
  • Supports records declaration directly from your desktop
  1. OpenText Records Management (formerly Livelink ECM – Records Management) delivers records management functions and capabilities to provide full lifecycle document and records management for the entire organization. This product allows your organization to file all corporate holdings according to the organizational policies, thereby ensuring regulatory compliance and reducing the risks associated with audit and litigation. OpenText Records Management provides options for classifying information quickly and easily. Classify information interactively, with a single click, automatically inherit retention schedules and classifications by moving records en masse into folders, classify records based on roles or business processes or auto-classify content. Further, increase efficiency through the automatic import of retention policies and other data into OpenText Records Management. OpenText Records Management maps record classifications to retention schedules, which fully automates the process of ensuring records are kept as long as legally required, and assuredly destroyed when that time elapses. When a retention schedule expires, final decisions can be made to destroy the object, retain it for a period of time, or keep it indefinitely
  2. FileCloud – FileCloud retention policies deliver control and compliance for the files and their folder groupings in the Cloud. Retention policies allow administrators to automate some processing related to protecting data and help secure digital content for compliance and enhancing the management of digital content for other internal reasons. Without the right systems within your cloud solution to discover and essentially preserve the sensitive content, the time and costs spent on litigation and handle legal cases can quickly spiral out of control. FileCloud retention policies are created and attached to stored files and folders. These special policies allow administrators to define the conditions that enforce a set of restrictions on how each file or folder can be manipulated. For example, administrators can create a Retention Policy that disables a user’s ability to delete or edit any of the files and folders named in the policy. To resolve the issue of conflicting policies, FileCloud ranks retention policies by what best protects and retains the digital content.
  • Admin HoldOutranks all other policies and prevents any update or delete of digital content for an indefinite period of time.
  • Legal HoldFreezes digital content to aid discovery or legal challenges. During a legal hold, file modifications are not allowed.
  • RetentionIdentifies digital content to be kept around for an unlimited amount of time before being deleted or released.
  • ArchivalMoves and stores old organizational content for the long term. No Deletion is allowed until a specified time period is reached. After this time, content gets moved to a specific folder.
  • Trash RetentionCan be configured for automatic and permanent deletion of all files in the Trash bins or to expire with no actions
  1. Box – Box allows customers to configure automated policies, known as retention policies, to control the preservation and deletion schedules of their enterprise documents. Retention policies enable the business to maintain certain types of content in Box for a specific period of time and to remove content from Box that is no longer relevant or in use after a specific period.

Box Governance offers to support metadata-driven retention polices, where retention policies can be applied to individual files based on custom metadata. This also enables customers to configure retention policies at the file level in addition to at the global and folder levels.

Admins and Co-Admins who have permission to manage policies can create any type of retention policy, including a metadata-driven retention policy.

  1. Microsoft Sharepoint Online – Records Management is one of the key components of an Enterprise Content Management (ECM) System such as Microsoft SharePoint. There are a couple of ways in which you can manage records in SharePoint and SharePoint Online. You can create a dedicated Records Center Site that serves as an Archive, and documents are copied to the archive based on the retention policy. Another option is to manage records “in place” and this is where you can leave a document in its current location on a site, declare it as a record, and apply the appropriate security and retention properties. SharePoint Online can be used to create a complete records management system using its “off-the-shelf” capabilities. Planning the structure of the record center and the libraries that will be contained within it is a key consideration, but fundamentally the process is, at its core, quite simple:
  • Content Types for the documents.
  • Policy Rules for moving documents to the Records Center and the Exceeds Retention Records Center.
  • Content Organizer Rules for distribution to the correct Library in each Record Center.
  • Library List Views for automated approval notifications.

Solve your file server dilemma with FileCloud ServerSync

If you’re using file servers for file storage, your employees are likely struggling to access content when they’re out of the office and to share content with people inside and outside your company. ServerSync can help solve your file server dilemma with FileCloud Server Sync.

You can use FileCloud ServerSync to help synchronize a local Windows File Server with a FileCloud Server or FileCloud Online (hosted by CodeLathe). It’s a great way to add mobility and collaboration to current file servers.

 

Changes in the local Windows File Server are seamlessly synchronized to a remote FileCloud Server or FileCloud Online site. These changes include:

  • New files added
  • Edits to existing files
  • Files being removed

ServerSync can also optionally sync FileCloud’s folder-level permissions.

  • The FileCloud permissions can be synchronized to local folders
  • These permissions are applied as NTFS Permissions

Using ServerSync, you can modernize your IT infrastructure and adopt the cloud for digital transformation without disrupting your current operations. ServerSync can help you to set up branch office collaboration and disaster recovery.

 

 

Import NTFS Permissions to ServerSync

When you initially import files into a FileCloud site, CodeLathe recommends that you also import existing NTFS permissions on files and folders.

  • After the files and folders are migrated, you can import permissions to retain the security on the files and folder.
  • This allows the administrator to manage permissions centrally using FileCloud and make them apply even on synchronized local folders.

During permissions sync, the user name and group names specified in the NTFS permissions must exactly match the names in the FileCloud site.

  • As of 19.2, FileCloud supports email addresses as qualified NTFS names.
  • As of 19.2, NTFS permissions can be automatically synced

To import permissions:

  1. From the system icon tray, right-click the ServerSync icon and then select Settings.
  2. On the Settings screen, in the Import Permissions section, click Import.

3. On the Import Permissions screen, after Remote Folder, click Select.

4. In the browser window, select the server folder whose permissions you want to sync, and then click Select.

5. On the Import Permissions screen, after Local Folder, click Select.

6. In the browser window, select the server folder with the local copies whose permissions you want to match with what is on the server, and then click Select.

7. On the Import Permissions screen, click Import.

ServerSync Requirements:

  • Support for Windows only
  • Synchronized files must be on a physically attached disk to the machine running ServerSync
  • You cannot synchronize files located by a UNC or Network path

Pro s of Using Server Sync

  1. Removes Latency
  2. Remote Access and collaboration
  3. Collaborate with multiple branches/offices seamlessly
  4. Can also be used as a backup

 

If you encounter issues while using ServerSync, you can troubleshoot issues using the Sync Activity Log.

  • This log shows you all of the actions that ServerSync is trying to complete, and if there were problems.
  • You can also resolve file conflicts using the Activity log.

Enterprise File Sharing for Distributed Enterprises Using FileCloud Serverlink

 

A distributed global enterprise can run FileCloud instances in multiple regions replicated via FileCloud ServerLink technology to improve performance, reduce file access latency, increase data redundancy, enable high availability and disaster recovery.

FileCloud helps teams work seamlessly from anywhere and collaborate as if they are located in the same office. An organization might want a FileCloud site locally on the LAN for fast local access and a remote site on the AWS cloud for remote file access.

 

What are the Pros of using FileCloud Serverlink ?

  1. Reduce Latency – With a single server, users in remote branch offices will observe latency when accessing files remotely. To alleviate the problem, the branch offices can have their own FileCloud instance and FileCloud ServerLink technology synchronizes files across multiple FileCloud instances reducing latency
  2. Increase Data Redundancy – It offers complete data redundancy and disaster recovery capabilities. Even if one site goes down users can access the files from a different site. This increases the protection by making multiple copies of the files covering many regions. This is done with the help of moving the files between data centers located in different places.
  3. Highly Scalable – FileCloud ServerLink is highly scalable. It is ideal for large organizations with offices in different geographical regions. FileCloud ServerLink technology synchronizes files across multiple FileCloud sites located in different data centers.

 

FileCloud ServerLink Deployment

FileCloud ServerLink replicates a FileCloud site to another location. Changes in one FileCloud server are seamlessly replicated to another site. FileCloud replication has the concept of a master site and a slave site. There can be many slave sites connected to a master site. Changes that happen in the master replicate to the slave. Similarly changes that happen in the slave replicate to the master. When there are multiple slaves, if a change happens in one slave, that change is propagated to all slaves as well as the master. Replication is done by running the replication client on the slaves. Replication clients are not required to be run on the master.

 

Changes in one FileCloud server are seamlessly replicated to another site,
Replicated data includes the following:

  • Files and Folders (Managed Storage Only)
  • User Accounts
  • User Groups
  • Comments
  • Favorites and Favorite Lists
  • File and Folder Shares
  • Folder Level Permissions
  • Metadata

 

What Can Serverlink do?

1) Enable Hybrid Cloud Scenarios
The adoption of hybrid cloud continues to grow as many organizations blend LAN and cloud infrastructure to support many new business scenarios. In the case of FileCloud, one instance can run locally on the LAN for fast local access, and another site could run on AWS /Azure for remote file access outside the firewall. The experience will be seamless for users, who will continue to use the same FileCloud app and clients when they are at their offices as they would from any remote location. In the background, a local FileCloud site will be connected by ServerLink to the remote FileCloud site on the AWS/Azure cloud to ensure data is replicated.

2) Serve Users from Nearest AWS/Azure Region
A distributed global enterprise can run FileCloud instances in multiple AWS/Azure regions replicated via FileCloud ServerLink. Employees in a geographic region will be served from a FileCloud instance running in the nearest AWS datacenter. Such a setup would improve performance, reduce file access latency, increase data redundancy, and enable high availability and disaster recovery. In countries like Australia, serving from a local AWS vs. US data center would offer a big boost in performance.

3) Use AWS for Backup/Failover
An organization can have an additional FileCloud site as a standby or backup so that if the primary site goes down then the standby instance can be available for operation. Many organizations increasingly use cloud backup to prevent data loss. In the case of FileCloud, in addition to replicating files/folders, it also replicates all related data such as users, groups, comments.

 

FileCloud’s ServerLink technology can alleviate the problem of latency and improve productivity. With ServerLink, organizations can have branch offices run their own FileCloud site, which would improve the access speed significantly and FileCloud ServerLink technology would synchronize files across headquarters and the branch offices.

FileCloud ServerLink takes care of the complexity of replicating and syncing data across multiple FileCloud sites. This offering would be another step towards our mission of giving compelling options that help our customers select the right cloud model for them

 

 

FileCloud Community Edition Brings Powerful File Sharing and Sync Tools to Individuals and Small Teams

 

FileCloud today launched FileCloud Community Edition, a new offering that gives small teams and individual entrepreneurs the same powerful tools enjoyed by some of the world’s largest companies and government agencies.

FileCloud Community Edition is designed to meet the needs of individuals and teams who need to create a secure place to share files with clients and collaborators. The new offering presents independent workers a frictionless way to get started with FileCloud and immediately claim complete ownership and control over their data.

Collaboration on even the simplest projects can quickly get bogged down as information gets buried in email strings or lost in a lengthy text thread. FileCloud Community Edition keeps files up-to-date with the latest changes and eliminates the need to share large documents over email. The platform’s enterprise-grade security ensures that only those designated to see certain files can access them.

Powerful Combination of Privacy and Collaboration

Today’s complex data-sharing environment comes with multiple privacy challenges. Individuals and teams concerned about protecting their data can benefit from the FileCloud Community Edition.

“Today’s independent workers should spend their energy creating great experiences for their clients and not organizing their files,” said Venkat Ramasamy, COO, FileCloud. “FileCloud Community Edition gives everyone—from families to solo entrepreneurs to small teams—a professional way to share and sync their information.”

Setup is easy, as FileCloud Community Edition runs on Windows servers, a more familiar environment for most small businesses than Linux. FileCloud is a good fit for organizations looking for an enterprise-grade alternative to OwnCloud and NextCloud.

Available today for $10 per year (with all proceeds going to charity), FileCloud Community Edition includes:

  • Five full-feature users, plus an unlimited number of web users
  • Easy connections to local storage, Amazon S3 or Microsoft Azure cloud storage
  • Ability to host it yourself anywhere (on-site or in the cloud)
  • Remote access from Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • File sync and access from mobile devices (iOS/Android)
  • Access to Windows file shares without need for VPN
  • Use existing NTFS permissions for user authorization and access
  • Support from the FileCloud Community Edition Support Forum

 

To learn more about FileCloud Community Edition, visit here

Top 10 Board Portal Vendors

A board portal is a tool that facilitates secure digital communication between members of a board of directors. Board portals are made for boards and for good governance. Board portals also typically include messaging features, voting tools, meetings, meeting minutes, agenda features and other tools to help make communication as seamless as possible.

There were two factors that propelled the market development of the board portal. The first was a cadre of progressive directors who, enthusiastic about technology and tired of bulky board books, advocated electronic access to meeting materials. The second driver was the passage of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley act. This major piece of legislation, written in response to the accounting scandals of that time, threw a spotlight on board portals as a vehicle to drive governance. The “electronic board book” that emerged provided rudimentary online access — but not much more.

The true challenge of any board collaboration solution is adoption. The system you implement can only be useful if your board members like to use it. Adoption should be considered when selecting and reviewing tools. When implementing a solution, allow time for board members to get familiar with the system and to develop the habit of using it.

What to Look for in Board Portal Technology

With most board portal software performing similar functions, it’s very important to evaluate service, pricing and track record with organizations similar to yours.

  1. Adaptability: If the app you choose isn’t adopted, it’s a wasted investment that may leave you less secure than you were before. For an application to be embraced by your board, it needs to be accessible from a multitude of devices, easy-to-use and accompanied by live support at any time. Having the ability to read and annotate board materials as you could do with a hard copy is comfortable and functional; an electronic board book should be as simple to flip through as paper, but with lots of additional advantages
  2. Pricing: When comparing, the most glaring difference you will find among board portals is in the price. From the top-of-the-line to the very basic, there are meeting solutions available at varying degrees of affordability. After all, for most organizations, the solution of choice will still have to fit within their allotted budget.
  3. Features: Beyond the basic features such as event scheduling and online board books, board portals can differ in other aspects such as the availability of tools for document management, reporting, presentations, or collaboration. Will the nature of your meetings require complex permission and privacy settings? Multiple presenter roles? As each board portal will have its strengths over others, consider whether these strengths are in the areas that are most critical to your company’s needs.
  4. User Interface: Another aspect to take into consideration is the user interface of the board portal. This is particularly important if your company has executives and board directors who are not so tech-savvy and may have difficulty adapting to a digital solution. Before any savings or productivity gains are made, the board portal’s design should first and foremost be intuitive enough to make navigating around easy for users
  5. Security: Each board portal will have its own approach to securing data. Study the security safeguards that each board portal utilizes, and find the one that you are most comfortable with. Evaluate whether their security measures and data storage practices are compliant with your organization’s standards. For example, if your company deals with sensitive information and does not want to risk storing data on the cloud, you should consider on-premise hosting. However, not all board portals can provide you with that option.

Top Board Portals

  1. Admin control: Admin control offers web-based solutions as well as a separate iPad and iPhone app for secure collaboration and easy sharing of documents in business processes such as board and management work, due diligence, capital injections and stock exchange listings.
  2. Aprio: From package prep to online collaboration, Aprio board portal software is easy-to-use, affordable, and backed by the friendliest support in the business. Aprio is an all-in-one board portal that helps organizations manage board meetings and board communication, with top security and service. Aprio serves credit unions, financial institutions, crown corporations, non-profits, and government organizations across North America. All board members, management and staff can view and access documents and materials immediately, from anywhere, and at the same time.
  3. Boardable: The software is meeting-centric, helping groups schedule meetings, build and share agendas, draft and finalize minutes, vote digitally, and securely store and share documents. Boardable also centralizes all board content and communications, integrates with existing email, file-sharing, and calendar platforms, and streamlines routine tasks. A convenient mobile app improves the board member experience with on-the-go access to meeting details, documents, discussion, and tasks.
  4. BroadPAC: BoardPAC is an award-winning paperless Board Meeting governance automation software, which fosters an easy to use and convenient platform for conducting board meetings and other high-level senior management meetings via iPad & tablets. With both on-premise and cloud storage options, supported across all platforms. BoardPAC is offered with the highest data security management certification by ISO 27001 and with unlimited 24×7 support and training.
  5. FileCloud by CodeLathe: FileCloud offers secure content sharing portal for boards. Strong content security and segregation of data from the rest of the systems is important for board portals. Further, board members and top executives should be able to access the content securely from tablets and mobile phones before, during and after the meeting. FileCloud provides exactly. FileCloud can be integrated with enterprise data repositories, file servers or cloud storage systems like AWS S3.FileCloud can be deployed on the infrastructure of your choice: On-premise, public cloud and also available as SaaS service.
  6. Confluence: Confluence is an open and shared workspace that connects people to the ideas and information they need to build momentum and do their best work. Unlike document and file-sharing tools, Confluence is open and collaborative, helping you create, manage, and collaborate on anything from product launch plans to marketing campaigns. Find work easily with dedicated and organized spaces, connect across teams, and integrate seamlessly with the Atlassian suite or customize with apps from our Marketplace.
  7. Convene: Convene, the board management software used to compile and distribute papers, generate minutes and, carry forward action items for meetings. Award-winning usability makes it the choice for listed companies, SMEs, banks, governments, healthcare & non-profits in more than 80 countries. Developed by Azeus Systems, with over 25 years of experience in IT development. Convene’s network & document encryption provided by a SOC2-compliant security system ensures your users’ safety on any device
  8. Diligent: Diligent Boards is designed to be a flexible tool, with a robust set of features that are designed to reflect how board members, executives, and administrative teams actually work. Diligent also offers several capabilities that are not found on other tools, including Preview to Updates, Note Saver, Smart Sync, and Quick Build. Award-winning service is provided to all Diligent Boards users; Diligent provides unlimited training and support
  9. eShare’s Broadpacks: BoardPacks is a board portal that fully digitizes an established system of agendas, meeting packs, surveys and decision making that were previously paper-based. They help clients improve their governance and the effectiveness of their board by putting the information they need at their fingertips including board papers, training information, risks and decisions.
  10. OnBoard: OnBoard is a cloud-based board meeting management solution designed for board member collaboration before, during and after meetings.

Users can compile and coauthor board books and materials. Updates to materials save automatically and are instantly synced across users’ devices—including desktops, laptops, tablets (Android, iPad, Kindle Fire, and Windows Surface) and smartphones (Android and iPhone). Notes and annotations can be typed directly into materials and are also searchable. OnBoard includes functionality for remote data swipe, surveys, and multi-board support.

digital workspace

Content Services Platform vs ECM – Concepts, Overview and Capabilities

Gartner, the leading research and advisory firm, has replaced the term “Enterprise Content Management (ECM)” with “Content Services Platform (CSP)” in its popular research report “Reinventing ECM: Introducing Content Services Platforms and Applications” published in Dec, 2016. Gartner feels the term “Enterprise Content Management” no longer reflects organizational needs for content in business and encourages organizations to rethink their content strategy.

What are the reasons for this change – ECM to Content Services Platform?

Traditional ECM systems has not live up to its original promise of bringing all enterprise content into one repository. The utopian concept of single repo for all enterprise data has not happened and it is unlikely to happen in the future. Infact what has happened is an increase in number of data silos in enterprises because of the advent and use of new SaaS productivity apps. Traditional ECM systems from Alfresco, OpenText and Documentum has fulfilled to some extent the goals of compliance and control. But they have failed to provide the user experiences that end users want (any device and anywhere access) and they come short when it comes to solving new functionalities like enterprise file sharing and sync, group communication, team collaboration and others.

What is Content Services Platform?

Gartner analysts define Content Services Platform as a “a set of services and micro services, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories, to exploit diverse content types and to serve multiple constituencies and numerous use cases across an organization.”

If you want a simple definition Content Services Platform are nothing but “an API centric, cloud/device-agnostic next generation enterprise content management systems that support multiple repositories, endpoints, content types and business use cases to serve multiple stakeholders across an organization.

Products like FileCloud, M-Files, Box and Hyland Onbase fulfill the Gartner definition and can be called as Content Services Platforms.

Core Features of Content Services Platform

1. While traditional ECM systems support a single repository, Content Services Platforms support external content repositories in addition to its its primary repository. For instance please see FileCloud architecture given below,

In-addition to its primary repository (Managed Storage), FileCloud supports external repositories (Network shares, AWS S3 and Azure Blob storage). A traditional ECM architecture is shown below that supports a single, primary repository.

2. Content Service Platforms are API centric. All clients use the common APIs to access the content from the repositories. For instance, all FileCloud clients (Sync, Drive, Web, Outlook Add-in, Mobile apps) use the same REST APIs to access the content

3. Compared to traditional ECM architecture, Content Service Platforms offer intuitive user interfaces and excellent UX to appeal to business users. In-addition they provide flexible architecture. Not a monolithic one .

4. Content Service Platforms offer multiple endpoint access to the content managed by CSP. For instance, FileCloud offers multiple clients (Drive, Sync, Web, Mobile apps, Browser add-ons, Salesforce integration, Outlook add-on and so on) to access the content.

5. Content Service Platforms offer integrations with popular, common line of business applications like Salesforce, SAP and others.

6. An Ideal Content Service Platform is cloud agnostic and supports public, private and hybrid cloud storage. For example FileCloud can be deployed on-premise or on public cloud infrastructure and also available as SaaS.

7. Content Service Platforms support content governance to be compliant with regulatory and organizational mandates.

8. Content Service Platforms offer powerful data leak prevention capabilities to secure and manage enterprise content. It shall also offer granular folder, sub folder level access permissions for granular access control.

9. Content Service Platforms offer flexible metadata management and enables auto classification of content to organize and secure content.

10. Content Service Platforms provide an array of content management capabilities that include versioning, document preview, annotation and editing.

digital workspace

New FileCloud 19.2 Release – Smart DLP, Content Classification, Azure Blob Storage Support and More

Data privacy regulatory landscape is changing fast. More and more countries are enacting their own data privacy regulations similar to GDPR. Organizations are facing a new reality where they need to comply with an array of data security privacy regulations (GDPR, CCPA, UK’s Data Protection Act 2018, and NZ Privacy Act) in a short period of time. Keeping the evolving future in mind, We are bringing major new FileCloud functionalities like Smart DLP, Smart Classification and SIEM Integration to make your content compliance and governance easy.

Smart DLP

Our simple, flexible, rule-driven Smart DLP system securely prevents data leaks from end users and can save enterprises from huge compliance fines.

Smart DLP Rules

Smart Classification

Our Smart Classification engine automates your PII/PHI/PCI Discovery. Find personally identifiable information (PII), protected health information (PHI), payment card information (PCI) and other sensitive content quickly.

Content Classification Rules

SIEM Integration

FileCloud now integrates with enterprise Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools. This new capability allows system administrators to monitor FileCloud alerts and audit events (What, When, Who and How) in one central place for ease of security management and complete protection.

Azure Blob Storage Support

Our vision is to make FileCloud – the most powerful cloud-agnostic enterprise file services platform that allows organizations to access, share, sync, search and govern organization data. This new release brings Azure Blob storage support to FileCloud making Azure as a first class citizen in our platform. It is a significant milestone in reaching our vision. With this new integration, FileCloud allows organizations to access, share, sync, search and govern organization content stored in Azure.  This integration will greatly benefit organizations in Azure ecosystem and companies who rely on Microsoft products and services.

In addition to the major features, the release includes hundreds of product improvements and security fixes. You can find complete release notes here.

Customer-centricity is one of our core values and our product roadmaps are driven by your requests. As such, we ask that you keep your feedback coming. We’re very proud of this update, and we hope that it comes to serve you well.

What is a Record? What is Records Management?

Record is a document or content that an organization need to keep as an evidence for an important transaction, activity or a business decision for regulatory, compliance and governance purposes. Not all documents are Records. Only a subset of documents that an organization need to preserve as an evidence are called as Records.

What is Records Management?

The ISO 15489-1: 2016 standard defines records management as “the field of management responsible for the efficient and systematic control of the creation, receipt, maintenance, use and disposition of records, including the processes for capturing and maintaining evidence of and information about business activities and transactions in the form of records”

What is Records Retention Schedule?

A records retention schedule is a document that identifies and describes an organization’s records and the lengths of time that each type of record must be retained. To give and idea ,the following section shows the general record keeping requirements of Texas State for statutory purposes. Every organization can have thier own set of record keeping requirements and records retention schedule which are dictated by industry and government compliance requirements.

      Wage and hour laws (FLSA) – while some payroll records need be kept only two years, most must be kept for at least three years under the federal law (FLSA); to be safe, keep all payroll records for at least three years after the date of the last payroll check.
      Unemployment compensation – keep all records relating to employees’ wages and other compensation, as well as all unemployment tax records, for at least four years.
      Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) – keep all payroll, benefit, and leave-related documentation for at least three years after conclusion of the leave event.
      I-9 records – keep all I-9 records for at least three years following the date of hire, or for one year following the employee’s date of last work, whichever point is reached last.
      New Hire reporting – report all new hire information within 20 days of hire.
      Hiring documentation – under EEOC rules, all records relating to the hiring process must be kept for at least one year following the date the employee was hired for the position in question; if a claim or lawsuit is filed, the records must be kept while the action is pending.
      Disability-related records (ADA) – keep all ADA-related accommodation documentation for at least one year following the date the document was created or the personnel action was taken, whichever comes last.
      Benefit-related information (ERISA and HIPAA) – generally, keep ERISA- and HIPAA-related documents for at least six years following the creation of the documents.
      Age-discrimination documentation (ADEA) – keep payroll records for at least three years, and any other documents relating to personnel actions for at least one year, or during the pendency of a claim or lawsuit.
      OSHA records – keep OSHA-related records for at least five years.
      Hazardous materials records – keep these for at least thirty years following the date of an employee’s separation from employment, due to the long latency period for some types of illnesses caused by exposure to hazardous materials.
      State discrimination laws – keep all personnel records for at least one year following an employee’s last day of work.
      IRS payroll tax-related records – keep these records for at least four years following the period covered by the records.

In the financial industry, Registered broker-dealers are subject to a variety of record-keeping requirements enforced by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and self-regulatory agencies such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). SEA Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, specify minimum requirements with respect to the records that broker-dealers must make, how long those records and other documents relating to a broker-dealer’s business must be kept and in what format they may be kept. FileCloud’s Financial Services Compliance white paper shows the retention periods of various records that Registered broker-dealers need to preserve as per FINRA rules.

How FileCloud can help you in managing your enterprise records?

FileCloud offers powerful record management and governance features that allows organizations to create flexible retention and archival policies to meet any compliance requirements. The following screenshots show how one can create retention schedules for different types of records.

Retention Policies


Create Retention Policies

digital workspace