Building software for your employees is hard. Everyone’s needs are different and they require specific tools to handle their tasks. Tons of features are great, but IT also needs to ensure that any custom software is user friendly and compliant with any industry or company governance requirements.

For many businesses, these homegrown solutions create or use files that are critical. Often there are regulatory compliance concerns around these files. Sometimes management is worried that someone will steal their intellectual property.

As organizations enhance their homegrown solutions to support expanding business processes or revamping an outdated functionality, file management is one of the most common feature sets addressed. They might try to build it themselves, but that might take months to create and tons of iterations to make sure it’s compliant. Even if you do get it working, if you pivot or add additional new features, you need to adjust your software for the file management piece. Worse, if regulations change (like PCI saying it no longer supports TLS1), will your internal teams be able to act quickly?

Here’s where SmartFile comes in. With SmartFile’s robust API — 38 endpoints and counting — integrating a compliance friendly file management tool to your existing software is easy. On the other hand, you might not even need SmartFile’s API, you might just need to build some Bash and Shell scripts to automate some activity with SmartFile.

In regards to deployments, some organizations need the speed and security of an on-prem device or virtual machine, while some might be satisfied just using a Developer account. Going with SmartFile due to it’s features and flexibility is a no-brainer, now lets give you some ideas on how to use it!

Exporting Call Log Data to Customers

Imagine you work in IT and support a multi-site outsourced call center. Your phone representatives enter data into multiple screens for each of the hundreds of calls they receive a day. The call logs that get generated by your custom software can get fairly detailed, from the length of the call, the focus of the conversation, any demographic data, etc. While that might not seem like a lot on a one-off basis, if you handle tens of thousands of calls every day, these log files can become huge fairly quickly.

And if you’re an outsourced call center, you need to segment out this data and serve these records securely to the appropriate customers. Because you’re dealing with someone else’s information, security and speed are important.

In this case, you need a fast file transfer engine that can act almost like a middleware. Using SmartFile’s API, your custom software could create a user and folder for each customer you have in SmartFile. Once your phone representative gets a call on their behalf, the data will be placed in the log file for that customer, and that log file can then be dropped into their SmartFile folder. The customer can receive alerts informing them that the file is ready for pickup, or they could set up a script to access the file through SFTP.

As a middleware, your customers would never see SmartFile since they’re using FTP. Your phone representatives would never see SmartFile since a user and folder are created by SmartFile through the API. File notifications could be branded for your needs. Here, the biggest problem would be speed. SmartFile’s on-prem device can be delivered on multiple sites throughout the world to ensure quick access to log files.

Handling the Home Mortgage Paperwork

For a mortgage business, there are tools used to manage all the documents from the buyer, seller, banks, real estate officers and government entities.

Various members of the mortgage company’s team might need to access various files within their tool quickly. However, the tool is hard to use and contains sensitive information so it’s only internal facing. Adding an external portal to import and share all these legal documents would be safer than email and more efficient than mail or a separate application.

You can use SmartFile’s custom branded web portal to gather the files, and using the API, you can serve up the documents from their SmartFile folders to your custom mortgage tool. You can give the users custom upload links to ensure files are placed in the proper location, and you can also set passwords for these links and force them to expire if you want additional security.

This gives the customer a safer, more efficient way to send you any necessary documents while letting your team use the tool they know so well.

File Lifecycle Management for Pharma

At pharmaceutical companies, there are intellectual property, HIPAA and file lifecycle concerns around clinical studies. In some instances, the organization needs to keep data on a test subject 7+ years beyond their death. With HIPAA in mind, this also means keeping full audit trail of wherever that data goes. A file management tool is necessary to ensure compliance concerns are met.

An employee at a pharmaceutical organization might use their software to track test subjects. It might include PHI information such as pictures of the person, information on their prior medical history, ongoing medical records and legal documents. A full audit history of who accessed this information is necessary.

By tying that pharmaceutical tool to an on-prem SmartFile device, they ensure the data always remains behind their firewall. Whenever a file is moved, accessed or deleted within your custom application, a full audit record can be maintained as long as each user is issued their own API key. This lets your researchers use the application they’re familiar with while giving you a secure way to handle this data. Finally, regulatory commissions like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may request a secure way exchange or view files, and SmartFile can aid with that as well.

Going Paperless at Insurance Organizations

Some large organizations want to fully transition to their internal tool to cut down on paperwork for security, environmental and cost reasons. For instance, insurance companies deal with tons of paper. They deliver invoices and policy information to field agents and individualized policy information to their customers. This is often mailed.

With an on-prem SmartFile device, you can quickly deliver these documents electronically. For instance, if a customer fills out a form on the insurance website for their home insurance, they can be emailed out a branded and customized link to download their policy online. Traditionally this was physically mailed, so there is already significant cost savings. From there, they can print it or download it. For added security, these links can be set to expire or given a password that is delivered to the user. This same form can be filled out by members in your call center rather than online by the customer directly.

For insurance agents in the field, they can upload and download documents securely using SmartFile’s portal. Through the API, these files can be brought into any custom software you have for viewing. For instance, if the agent was taking pictures of a damaged car, they would snap the picture and upload it the insurance company’s SmartFile device. At this point, this could alert individual members in the organization and those files can be accessed via their custom software.

Law Firms Handling Business Data

Law firms often turn to virtual data rooms for secure file exchange. However, these services don’t integrate into your 3rd party products well. Here’s where SmartFile can step in.

Imagine you were helping execute a merger between two businesses. Both companies and their own lawyers are uploading due diligence files to your customized SmartFile portal. They can still access this data unless it’s locked and view it in SmartFile’s virtual data room.

However, at your law firm, you might have a 3rd party tool that helps you in this process that serves up multiple documents at once for a one-stop place to view a case. Traditional virtual data rooms wouldn’t give you this centrally managed location because you would need to use their service.

By using SmartFile’s on-prem device and serving up the files with the API, these documents can be viewed holistically in your 3rd party software. That way you can easily cross reference different documents and speed up the process of the merger. Your legal team would spend less time clicking and spend less money printing, and focus more on reading and analysis.

Going Forward

Using SmartFile for your customized software will help you enhance your internal products. By going on-prem and hosting it behind your firewall, you make serving these documents up to your 3rd party product incredibly fast and enhance security considerably.

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About Curtis Peterson

I'm the Digital Marketing Manager for SmartFile who loves content, email marketing and web analytics. As a child, I built awesome websites with animated starry night backgrounds and multi-colored font headers on AngelFire and GeoCities.

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