For as long as Dane Hagstrom could remember, when BankLiberty had to distribute sensitive documents to its customers, staff or an auditor, it meant burning it to a disc or sending a fax. But for Hagstrom, the Liberty, Mo.-based bank's network administrator and lead member of a three-person IT staff, that had to change.
In order to gain the ability to transmit electronic data securely, and to do so with the least financial risk and burden on staff resources, BankLiberty ($500 million in assets) selected in 2009 KDSA Data Center Services to implement and host the Biscom Delivery Server (BDS) Secure File Transfer software solution. According to Hagstrom, the results in 2010 have been transformative. "It's changed the way that we can communicate with the outside world," he explains.
In searching for a secure file transfer solution beginning in early 2009, Hagstrom adds, the bank had explored a number of vendor offerings and even attempted to solve the problem in-house using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). "It took time to try and find a solution," he acknowledges. "We tried the FTP site and I was constantly training somebody how to do it. For a while that was almost my full-time job."
Further, the prospect of a self-hosted solution was costly, "especially in a hard economy," Hagstrom adds. "We don't throw a lot of money and resources out there unless we have to."
As a result, until the bank found an effective solution, any large, confidential data transmission -- whether it was a customer requesting account information or an auditor seeking reports -- continued to be handled by sending a physical disc or fax. But that changed for Hagstrom when he got a call from a representative of Chelmsford, Mass.-based Biscom.
"It had everything that we wanted," Hagstrom says. "However, it was VMware [Paolo Alto, Calif.], and we didn't have anything to run it on. Again, ... we don't just buy equipment or servers unless we absolutely have to."
So BankLiberty turned to North Andover, Mass.-based KDSA, a consultant and managed services provider to small and midsize businesses, to deliver the Biscom solution. BankLiberty was KDSA's first financial services customer, according to Hagstrom.
"KDSA's services encompassed everything we were looking for," Hagstrom says. "They did the complete setup and worked with us through the initial usage. We now have the high availability and redundancy we needed by hosting with KDSA Data Center Services. And the BDS solution lets us transmit everything from private account information to loan documentation -- even extremely large e-mails and attachments -- quickly, easily and safely."
The solution, which was implemented in October 2009and went live within two months, empowered the bank to eliminate the archaic process of burning discs and sending faxes, while giving its staff a full audit trail of what data is transmitted, who saw it and where it went, Hagstrom reports. The system is capable of bypassing the bank's e-mail server for files larger than 10 megabytes, something that saves the bank from dealing with problems that arise from all that data sitting on an exchange server, he adds, noting that data recipients simply receive a prompt to visit the bank's Biscom page, set up an account and password, and then download the data they need.
And KDSA was able to get the solution up and running quickly once the bank decided to proceed, Hagstrom emphasizes. "It has been bulletproof for over a year now," he says.
In fact, the biggest problems since implementing the Biscom Delivery Server have come in the form of occasional password resets, Hagstrom continues. "This is probably one of the smoothest processes that I've been through," he says. "Now I don't have to worry about the servers, and I don't have to worry about the Internet connection working in order to get my recipients their package."
Further, the implementation has given the bank's Exchange server new life, deferring for two to three years what Hagstrom expects to be a high-cost project. "As far as a need, or some product to fill that particular need, KDSA and that delivery server have been above all the best decision we've made in probably the past eight years," he asserts.