IT Security News & Blog

The Top Four Managed File Transfer Solutions Available

Posted: 12 September 2019

Like many industry sectors these days, there are a number of managed file transfer solutions on offer, all with their own features, user interface and optional extras. Just a google search for managed file transfer will return a plethora of results which are hard to effectively sift through.

Having worked with such solutions for over ten years, we think we have a pretty good grip of the MFT landscape; and have worked with countless customers throughout Europe where we have seen all manner of implementations.

So if you are looking for a managed file transfer solution, you probably want to know concisely which is best and which offers the features you require.

Well, good thing we created a short guide the industries top four.


Ipswitch MOVEit **Our Top Pick**

Having been available in market for almost two decades, Ipswitch MOVEit is an example of a managed file transfer solution which has evolved based on its use by more than ten thousands organisations worldwide.

Offering HTTPS, SFTP, FTPS, ASx, FTPS, FTP and a number of other protocols for both access and automated file transfers, MOVEit really does have the feeling of anything is possible. The solution is split into two capabilities: MOVEit Transfer for human interaction transfers and MOVEit Automation for time or event-based automated transfers. 

MOVEit Automation Workflow Designer

One of the most well-known and famous aspects of MOVEit is its focus on security, with a host of features lending itself to its recognition as the industries most secure managed file transfer solution platform. Features include encrypted file stores, tamper-evident audit databases and obfuscation techniques.

In more recent times, MOVEit has been focussing on the explosion of cloud usage, with the solution being available as SaaS and for deployment in Azure tenants. For those wishing to make use of Microsoft Azure, Ipswitch MOVEit supports Azure AD, Azure SQL and Azure Blobs for file storage.

If you would like to learn more about Ipswitch MOVEit, take a look at our dedicated solution page here.


HelpSystems Go AnyWhere MFT

Usually mentioned in the same breath as Ipswitch MOVEit, the two of them together are the heavy weights of the industry.

GoAnywhere is a relative newcomer to this space but has outpaced most competitors in a very short period of time - offering a myriad of options all at a curiously cheap price. Everything you would expect from a managed file transfer solution is available, such as encrypted protocols, automated transfers, reporting engines and strong authentication.

GoAnyWhere MFT

Speaking to those who use the solution and looking at online reviews, GoAnywhere certainly has a good reputation; and is noted as being low maintenance, easy to use and featurific. So much so, that for many managed file transfer comparison websites, GoAnywhere is the solution of choice.

However, we have placed it in second place for two reasons that we think will hinder march into the marketplace.

Firstly, cloud seems to be a bit of an enigma for GoAnywhere. While they do advertise that their software can be installed in Microsoft Azure and AWS, there is no support for using Azure as a repository for user accounts via SAML v2; and no support for their database being hosted in Azure SQL.

In addition, there is notably no SaaS option - something which we have noticed an exponential rise in interest for.

Secondly, HelpSystems offers support from the US only, with channel partners assisting them in other regions. This means that some complex support cases are delayed by time zone differences and chain of conversation between customer, partner and vendor.

They would do well to invest in support centres in EMEA and APAC.


GlobalScape EFT

What GoAnywhere lacks in age, Globalscape makes up, having been one of the original managed file transfer solutions available on the market.

Globalscape prefers to be called an EFT or Enterprise File Transfer solution, rather than managed file transfer, which is in part due to its target audience being much narrower in its focus on the large enterprise space.

Modular and highly scalable in nature, Globalscape EFT can span multiple servers for highly complex environments. It is often noted that the drag-and-drop automated workflow interface is incredibly user friendly; and its reporting engine being impressively configurable.

GlobalScape EFT Insight

However, with great scalability comes issues of maintenance and complexity, something we have received as feedback from a number of active customers. It has also been mentioned to us that the solution can be quite costly once adding up all the extras which are required for a standard deployment.

We were also disappointed with the lack of web administration interface in version 7 and below.

On the plus side, Globalscape have embraced the cloud unlike GoAnywhere with software licensing options for on-premise, Microsoft Azure, AWS and SaaS.



Cleo is a solution which we rarely come across, probably because we are still on the fence as to whether or not it is a managed file transfer solution at all.

Cleo is purely an automation and integration engine which seems to have started life as a B2B or EDI solution. Today, particularly with its integrated cloud solution, it can automate the movement of data from one location to another using an impressive list of integratable options.

Where most managed file transfer solutions focus on traditional file transfer protocols, Cleo marketing material leans more toward APIs, JSON, XML, and ERPs.

Cleo Integrated Cloud

Putting Cleo into this blog was a bone of contention for us as we do not regard Cleo to be a clear competitor to Ipswitch MOVEit, GoAnywhere and Globalscape. However, because of its strong merits and a handful of areas where there is crossover, we thought it only right to keep it.

We found as an integrator and EDI solution, Cleo is a fantastically modern solution, particularly in the case of EDI which is often visually stale.

Are you looking for a managed file transfer solution or do you have any questions about the solutions presented in this comparison blog? - book a call and speak with one of our solution experts today.


Systematic Case Study for Ipswitch MOVEit

Topics: Managed File Transfer, MOVEit, Ipswitch

Chris Payne

Written by Chris Payne

Managing Director - Advanced Cyber Solutions