Increasing network infrastructure complexity and mobility of workforce pose a challenge to organizations looking to boost user productivity while simplifying compliance requirements. One hurdle is the need to access, retain and share critical data from anywhere and any device.
Offering another perspective, Dave Simpson, senior storage analyst of 451 Research says, “With the growth in cloud and virtualization, data is more accessible than ever before. IT organizations require solution flexibility to not only protect that data, but also provide fast recovery and availability options to workers everywhere.”
An organization that anticipated these challenges is the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, which had conceptualized the Workplace of the Future initiative in 2011. Two key services under this initiative are the GoMax managed mobility service and the GoSync cloud storage and collaboration service.
Through GoMax, more than 3,000 public officers access their email, contacts and calendar, via iOS and, since the first half of 2014, Android mobile devices. GoSync, now undergoing a whole-of-government trial, will be the standard platform for public officers to share information by end of this year. It allows users to take documents offline and have them updated automatically when they are re-connected.
Clearly, organizations need to provide data protection without compromising mobility, availability, accessibility, and productivity. Organization can achieve this with a holistic strategy that encompasses cloud-connected backup, archiving and productivity solutions.
Protection plus mobility
Organizations need a simple way to collaborate and securely access, import, upload, sign and share critical business data – including images and videos – from anywhere or any device.
For example, the Barracuda Copy file sync and share platform, available as an onsite or cloud service, works with corporate authentication services, including LDAP, for centralized access and policy-based controls, and supports file shares acting as a local network drive.
Copy for Companies provides a robust enterprise-class alternative to other cloud storage services. It supports user and group management with controls for securing proprietary company data; company visibility into employee accounts; and better control over incoming shared data.
Client apps for iOS, Android and Windows devices communicate with the Copy service through HTTPS security protocols. In the Copy cloud, files and folders are stored with server-side AES-256-SHA encryption.
Both the web interface and the mobile app allow users to select and share data publicly or privately and as read-only or read-write. Recipients of data shared privately as read-only cannot forward the data to other users without permission from the original sender. The solution maintains appropriate ownership records for personal and company data.
Copy integrates with several applications to improve collaboration and workflow automation for businesses. Redbooth automates workflow processes, collecting forms and signatures such as stakeholder information or approvals. Kloudless allows users to access and store files between their email inboxes and their Copy account.
Protection plus productivity
Copy’s integration with the Barracuda SignNow e-signature platform allows users to electronically sign and share documents in a single location to improve productivity and workflow.
Using SignNow, thousands of real estate professionals at Colliers International South Florida to sign and send millions of documents — from residential to commercial real estate, property management, mortgage, escrow and more.
The agents have shortened document turnaround, and increased cost savings by removing the need to email, print, fax or ship important documents.
They can also authenticate signers via phone or tablet by snapping a photo or saving an image of the signer’s ID, or by collecting signatures in a signing link in email, SMS or online. Collecting signatures from dozens of brokers relating to hundreds of properties had been a complicated process that consumes staff and broker time.
“SignNow has dramatically improved our business processes,” says Kris Mitchell, marketing and digital media coordinator at Colliers International South Florida. “By automating parts of our more manual efforts and improving document workflows, we’re able to work more efficiently, and in turn, extend that great experience to our customers.”
“We have appreciated the SignNow team’s responsiveness to our feature requests, many which were added to SignNow in just a few days,” adds Mitchell. “This is especially important as we continue to increase the number of brokers and number of deals we’re working on daily.”
Protection plus accessibility
Copy also works with the Barracuda Message Archiver, which extends archiving capacity by moving or copying data to the Barracuda Cloud. Cloud archiving gives users access to email from any device, regardless if email services are available – a boost for capacity expansion and offsite disaster recovery.
Apart from Copy, the Message Archiver also integrates with corporate email systems such as Exchange 2013, Office 365 and Google Apps.
That means it offloads email storage, streamlines e-discovery and compliance needs, and gives users permissions-based access to any email message via Outlook 2013, Windows, Mac, iOS and Android.
“Barracuda’s approach to the cloud not only helps ensure our data is protected from a disaster, but also provides excellent accessibility to our workforce,” says Shawn Evans, IT manager at SaulsCare, a US-based healthcare organization that deployed Message Archiver.
Protection plus availability
To reduce organization data to a fraction of its original volume and manage the flow of new data needing storage, the Barracuda Message Archiver works with Barracuda Backup to eliminate duplicate data and compress them before storage.
Barracuda Backup recently added features such as local control to enable operation and management in private “dark” environments without sending data to the cloud; faster recovery times with granular recovery of Microsoft Hyper-V virtual machines without the need to restore the VM; and support for Microsoft SQL Server 2014.
Barracuda backup appliances offer up to 2TB of usable storage and they can be purchased as an appliance with subscriptions, or under Barracuda’s Backup-as-a-Service plan.
Protection plus information management
Meanwhile, Barracuda’s acquisition of C2C Systems has added capabilities to eliminate risks associated with distributed PST files, reduce e-discovery overhead via information management and early investigation, and support information management and governance initiatives via extended retention management policies.
These solutions are key elements of Barracuda Networks’ Data Protection Plus strategic initiative to make it easier for end users to rapidly access, retain and share critical information.
“Today’s modern workplace is more virtualized, cloud enabled and mobile. One of IT’s biggest challenges is to ensure business applications are up and running – promoting application availability, productivity and collaboration – often with limited time and resources,” says Rod Mathews, general manager of Storage at Barracuda. “Protecting the modern workplace demands a new way of thinking.”
For organizations migrating applications and storage or email infrastructure to the cloud, Barracuda also offers its Barracuda Web Application Firewall and NG Firewall on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and the Windows Azure cloud platform. Its Spam Firewall is available on AWS too.
The Barracuda infrastructure can be managed from a single browser window through the Barracuda Cloud Control management interface.
This is a QuestexAsia feature commissioned by Barracuda Networks.