Digital Transformation | Hybrid Cloud | IoT

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Managed Service Enables Secure Delivery of Intellectual Property


In a global economy, professional services firms must differentiate themselves from their competition in increasingly creative ways. Rockwell Technology Group, a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based software development firm, serves customers across the U.S. Midwest and Canada, including manufacturers, insurance companies, and management services.

Because its customers are widespread, it needed to come up with a way to quickly and securely deliver software updates and patches for systems it had developed. As a way to save both time and money, it uses WebEx Workspace, a hosted extranet service, to post the results of its work for download by customers.

The alternative would be to burn the software onto a CD or DVD and either have it delivered by hand or shipped overnight. But by using WebEx Workspace, Rockwell garners several advantages.

Saving Time, Increasing Security
One advantage is that the software updates, which may be necessary to make a business process more efficient, are immediately available to customers. "As soon as our developers have new custom software ready for delivery, I can call the customer and say, 'download it and you're good to go,'" says Mark Laws, Rockwell Technology Group's chief operating officer. Rockwell doesn't have to send someone to the customer to install the software.

Rockwell's customers also appreciate the increased security. WebEx Workspace uses the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) protocol to ensure protection during transmission, and Rockwell posts software updates in a password-protected folder accessible only to that customer.

Hosted Collaboration Brings Internal Advantages
Rockwell also uses the collaborative workspace internally as well, which helps the company update team members about customer projects.

It stores project-related documents in the hosted Document Manager; it uses the Discussion Forums to carry on impromptu online chats, which are then maintained for later access by other team members; and it maintains schedules and to-do lists using other Workspace capabilities.

Even though Rockwell could just as easily deploy collaborative software internally, it prefers to use WebEx Workspace because of its capacity and convenience. "We have millions of gigabytes stored on the WebEx Workspace," says Laws. "If one of our computers crashes, we don't have to worry about losing any data. We just go to another computer."

If you need to share sensitive information securely, and don't want to worry about maintaining an extensive infrastructure, asking a managed services provider to set up a collaborative workspace can help you focus on serving your customers more productively.