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University Revolutionizes Collaboration with Effortless File Access and Sharing

by   in Portfolio

Modern universities and higher education institutions focus on collaboration for learning and functioning. Many different types of collaboration happen in these institutions, calling for the importance of secure file sharing. There are many various file sharing platforms on the market, varying in security levels. Several of the most used platforms do not deliver on the high levels of security needed by higher education. Especially with the increased use in mobile devices for file access, many file sharing platforms lack the comprehensive security necessary.

Regensburg University is a modern campus university with 11 faculties and over 22,000 students. Overall, there are about 55,000 users of the university network, so secure file sharing is a necessity. Prior to enlisting OpenText collaboration solutions, Regensburg University was using common options like DropBox or OneDrive to share files. They ran into problems with mobile file access and security, and since universities must comply with regulatory requirements, they searched for something better suited to their needs.

After doing market research, the university came across OpenText Filr as the most comprehensive solution for their needs. Since Filr was designed with enterprise-wide use in mind, Regensburg University immediately saw reduced administration, improved security, and more productive users. Filr now serves as the connection between the university file servers and any endpoint device.

Over 75 million files are held within 50 Net Folder servers and file access is easy, both on and off the network. When on the network, users can download a file which they can then access and edit offline. As soon as the device connects back to the network, the file will be synced with its source.

Edmund Weber, Head of Collaboration and Mobile Solutions for Regensburg University, said, “Filr is very easy to use, both from an IT administrative and user perspective. We need to make sure users understand the difference between a sync & share solutions such as Filr and a shared drive solution. Our user base is of course very fluid, so within our university, use of Filr is included in the induction course so a new user coming into the university is clear on the Filr use straight away. As the product has matured and our Filr deployment has grown to one of the largest globally, user acceptance has really increased. People are now actively asking for it and suggesting new use cases for Filr.”

The benefits of using Filr became extra clear when Regensburg University announced a partnership with a local technical university, the University of Amberg-Weiden. Much smaller than Regensburg University, Amberg-Weiden was hoping to leverage use of Filr as well. Regensburg University’s Filr system needed full access to Amberg-Weiden’s NetIQ eDirectory by OpenText and file server resources. This was done through creating a VPN tunnel so that secure file sharing between the universities was enabled. The university’s research staff regularly collaborates with other research bodies around the world. Shibboleth is used as a federated identity solution and, within the Shibboleth federation framework, Filr can be used to securely file share which enables effective research.

Filr is easy to manage as it works with the University’s existing security policies and delivers secure file access over encrypted connections. On the few occasions when Weber has needed support from OpenTextTm, he has been pleased with the response: “Filr really just runs itself but if I need help OpenText is right there with great support.”

He concludes: “We recently introduced a new Filr version which has given us some performance enhancements, support for new clients, and improved indexing. We can see that the product is important to OpenText and in constant development which is great news for our continued use of it.”

File, Sync & Share with Filr

Rather than trying to manage third-party services or policing users, IT departments need to offer a competitive solution. OpenText offers such a solution with Filr, which strengthens security, increases productivity and collaboration, and simplifies appliance management. Filr serves as the connection between your file servers and the endpoint devices your organization uses.

Filr retains the file system rights and quotas you establish in your directory system, which means users enjoy a familiar experience whether they’re working in the office or on the go. By working in their home directories, users will be able to work faster, create files confidently, and never have to worry about duplicating files or reconciling conflicting versions. Filr not only makes your users happy, but it can also make them more productive. The Files on Demand Desktop Clients feature allows users to download just the files they need by simply clicking on them, providing quick provisioning, faster file syncs, lower network load, and low hard disk usage. Users with an internet connection can also work together and collaboratively co-edit documents at the same time with real-time changes. This powerful co-editing functionality works across dozens of common file types—bridging distance and bringing teams together.


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File Analysis & Management