OpenText Hightail

Integrating existing on-premise storage with the cloud


June 13, 2014

If you‘ve been in the Information Technology sector for any length of time, you’ve already experienced this scenario. A new and better technology emerges that everyone adopts, or at least would like to adopt. Think ECM (Enterprise Content Management) in the early 90s and then on-premise storage portals and sites in the early 2000s. On the surface, moving files to a new platform sounds effortless, but organizations quickly discover that it’s mired in both system-integration and user-acceptance challenges.  Hightail and SkySync

Sans the historical technical obstacles, the biggest hurdle usually lives within the user community. Every organization has a Bob or a Betty who thinks, “Why would anyone want to use the spooky internet when you could just have a fax machine on every desktop to share documents?” It’s not that Bob or Betty hate technology, it’s just that for most folks, change can be difficult.

Conversely, IT loves what cloud storage has to offer, especially for organizations that leverage a decentralized workforce. However, myriad technical challenges preclude most companies from simply shutting off their legacy storage platform(s) on Friday and moving to cloud storage on Monday. Some have multiple ancillary systems (e.g.: line-of-business systems) that, over the years, have been tightly-integrated with their existing storage platforms while others may have thousands of network home-drives and/or tens or even hundreds of terabytes of content. Further, these legacy storage systems are often required to remain in place to meet certain compliance mandates and/or for the business-specific functionality they deliver.

As a workaround, some take a quarantined, more tactical approach. For example, all new content within the sales organization (going forward) goes in the cloud. That strategy kinda/sorta works, but it can take forever and can temper user-adoption and rollout. It also doesn’t provide the strategic (holistic) benefits that cloud storage and collaboration offers. What’s worse, it doesn’t deliver the current, most-valuable content into the hands of users. It’s not the fault of IT; until now, that was their only viable option.

The concept of syncing files across storage platforms is certainly not new, however the process of it actually functioning without a ton of headaches is… let alone having it fully operational in a matter of minutes. Cross-platform file syncing must effectively and efficiently manage “every” conceivable file exception. For example, it must automatically update file versions, even when each system may manage versions differently or not at all (e.g.: Network storage). Syncing must also reconcile file sync-conflicts as well as know when the same file is merely renamed or moved (and that it’s not a new file). The good news is that SkySync manages these system dissimilarities automatically and with no heavy-lifting on your part.

From a user’s perspective, syncing delivers the best of both worlds for function and speed. A user arrives at work on Monday and conducts business as usual leveraging her existing on-premise storage solution. Then with those same files bi-directionally synced to Hightail, she can access and update content from anywhere and from any device while confidently knowing that any changes made to files are propagated back to her organization’s existing storage system(s). And since a “sync-enabled” environment is completely seamless to users, it makes adoption an easy and welcoming endeavor.

Whether your strategy is to completely move all your existing content to Hightail or simply have it live in parallel with your existing storage system(s), cross-platform syncing offers significant business value for both end-users and your IT staff. It provides security and control over content that IT demands along with the productivity and ease-of-use that end-users need. Betty and Bob may even thank you.

Learn more about how SkySync work here. Interested in moving your content from on-premise to Hightail? Get in touch with us