Workload Automation Blog

What Are Managed File Transfers? MFT Explained

3 minute read
Robby Dick

Do you know that most enterprises transfer thousands of files every single day? It’s no secret that file transfers are essential to business operations and the critical business services that depend upon them. In fact, BMC research indicates file transfers represent about one out of every five jobs scheduled through application and data workflow orchestration platforms. Data files keep getting larger, and the data used by enterprises is being shared by more systems and partners than ever before. Even the most modern data and application related services often rely on file transfers.

Business modernization initiatives are a key driver in the explosive growth of data. That’s why organizations must be better prepared to manage file transfers faster and more frequently to keep up with the workflows and applications they support. Yet, relying on multiple tools and specialists to manage file transfers and other non-file transfer related workflows is risky and can jeopardize a company’s ability to deliver high performing business services.

Consider these situations:

  • If a critical payroll file transfer doesn’t happen on time (and you aren’t aware because you lack the visibility to see what’s causing a problem with the transfer), people may not get paid on time.
  • Retailers regularly send pricing update files to stores. If a file transfer doesn’t happen on time, you could lose business by pricing goods too high, or lose money by pricing goods to low.
  • If regulatory changes that impact your industry occur, and you can’t easily understand what impact that has to your file transfers, compliance could be jeopardized, resulting in fines, reputational damage, or worse.

Challenges with Managed File Transfers

Many enterprises use multiple file transfer tools along with separate workflow orchestration solutions to manage their systems. When multiple systems are used, companies often struggle because they don’t have a clear understanding of when file transfers and related non-file transfer processing will be complete, thus jeopardizing service levels. This lack of visibility makes it difficult to understand when problems occur, and how to correct them (even if they do know there is a problem).

As more interactions between systems happen, additional time-consuming scripting and other manual integration efforts are required. Traditional file transfer solutions typically lack robust scheduling, security granularity for varying roles, SLA monitoring, web and mobile interfaces, and automated, proactive notification capabilities. When transfers aren’t consolidated and automated, they require more manual effort and expertise to fix when problems occur.

Multiple solutions are inefficient

It’s important to manage scheduling information and workflows across all applications and data pipelines, including file transfers, from a single point of control. Without the ability to manage data that flows among applications, you can’t determine whether a file transfer has completed on time or if a transfer has failed.

Managing file transfers with multiple solutions doesn’t work because it:

  • Requires inefficient scripting and manual integration
  • Introduces risk and costs as there is a greater likelihood errors and delays will occur
  • Limits your ability to execute transfers quickly, preventing you from maximizing modernization initiatives
  • Makes it difficult to monitor critical business services, which may negatively impact customers

Choosing a Managed File Transfer solution

File transfers and related application workflows should be tightly integrated with a powerful application and data workflow orchestration platform.

Make sure your platform:

  1. Has highly efficient file transfer management capabilities, dynamic scheduling controls, and that it provides a single point of control
  2. Includes a dashboard view of file transfer status and endpoint activity, which delivers instant visibility into all file transfer operations, including the status of transfers, throughput levels, and endpoint details
  3. Reduces complexity and improves staff productivity by not requiring scripting or extensive training to install and use in production
  4. Delivers advanced search capabilities that lets users easily find details of a specific file transfer, using data points like; transfer status, source, destination host information, file name, and other values
  5. Provides secure file transfers by supporting protocols such as FTP, SFTP, FTPS, AS2, and PGP encryption
  6. Enables anyone in the organization to access what they need from their desktops or mobile devices

Get Control-M Managed File Transfer

Address these challenges and move from traditional workload automation to robust application and data workflow orchestration.

Control-M Managed File Transfer gives you visibility into the status of transfers from the mainframe to the cloud. You get a robust dashboard view, enhanced security with encryption options, and reduced risk of downtime with automated monitoring and recovery features. This helps you securely automate file transfers from a central interface, integrating them with other applications and data pipelines for greater convenience, visibility, and control.

Unlike non-integrated products that exist in their own silos, Control-M Managed File Transfer delivers a combined solution that lowers risk and remediation cost in delivering business services. Controls are in one place to make sure critical workflows (including file transfers) are executed without disruption, increasing reliability by reducing errors. Plus, no scripting is required to integrate file transfers with related workflows, which reduces complexity and saves time.

Control-M Orchestrate File Transfers Webinar

Orchestrate File Transfers Alongside Related Application Workflows in a Faster, More Reliable Way

These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

See an error or have a suggestion? Please let us know by emailing

Business, Faster than Humanly Possible

BMC works with 86% of the Forbes Global 50 and customers and partners around the world to create their future. With our history of innovation, industry-leading automation, operations, and service management solutions, combined with unmatched flexibility, we help organizations free up time and space to become an Autonomous Digital Enterprise that conquers the opportunities ahead.
Learn more about BMC ›

About the author

Robby Dick

Robby joined BMC Software in the summer of 1999 and has been involved with automation since 1995 in a variety of roles including: end-user, administrator, pre-sales consulting and marketing. For the past 10 years his primary responsibility is talking about the current and future state of automation and how Control-M can help deliver applications, and the business services they support, faster. Prior to 1995 Robby was a UNIX systems administrator in the Chicago area at companies in the energy, financial services and manufacturing industries. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of St. Francis in Joliet, IL, and resides in northwest Alabama.