In my last post, I covered the first two steps in a proven four-step plan for ensuring a smooth implementation. Here are I cover the final two steps of this blueprint for success.
3) Release to Production - This step is usually coupled with step 2 and iterated for each process. As I said, most successful file transfer implementations will break down and group business processes and then slowly build them up into the new system. Like any product, there is a learning curve with managed file transfer and the more you use it, the easier and faster it is to bring new processes and partners on board.Some tips to ensure success:
- Keep lines of communication open between the person implementing the solution, network administrators and partners so there is visibility into the new process.
- Gather as much information up front as possible, like usernames, passwords and host information.
- Always check with your network administrator to make sure the file transfer system will have access to the endpoints to avoid disruptions in processes that rely on file transfer. Though this type of issue is usually discovered in Step 2, it can crop up again since the production system is usually on a different network than the test network.
4) Debugging and Troubleshooting – Inevitably something will go wrong, whether it’s a failed connection or a file was not received. This is where it’s helpful to use a file transfer system that logs and audits everything. Being able to trace connections and see login information is incredibly useful, as it allows you to drill down into the root cause of issues. Many times, file transfer is interrupted due to a network hiccup and simply trying the transfer again will resolve the problem. Other times, a system has changed a host key and that key needs to be accepted or exchanged before the process can resume. And if you still can’t isolate the issue, it’s nice to know there is a friendly support staff ready to assist if needed. I should know – that’s where I started!
So there you have it – a blueprint for a successful implementation of a file transfer solution. What roadblocks have you run up against in your file transfer deployments? Any additional best practices to share?