Secure file sharing has recently become an absolute necessity in the business realm. The need to maintain relations and execute deals with the partners disregarding their geographical location explains ever growing popularity of virtual data rooms. Being accessible 24/7 worldwide they eliminate time and space restrictions and allow users to be involved in the uninterrupted flow of negotiations, transactions, and deals.
The benefits that business-makers can experience when utilizing VDRs are directly dependent on the service provider. Although there are numerous vendors on the market, the quality of virtual platforms varies. The user has a risk to pay an unreasonable price for a low-quality product, to entrust the confidential data to a vendor with dubious reputation or to deal with inconvenient and incompetently developed software. Thus, the selection of a virtual data room must be accomplished attentively: it is better to spend some extra time and money and set up a proper VDR than to choose the first data room found.
There are a few tips and recommendations that will facilitate the selection process.
When the list of main VDR providers is ready, it is high time to compare them. The first thing to undergo a strict examination is a vendor’s reputation: a potential client must be aware of how carefully a provider follows the promises given. To find out if a vendor is capable of meeting the expectations the one should check the feedback of former or current VDR users. The feedback of both – the experts and the regular users – can be found on deal-making forums, in special media, in personal discussions with colleagues. The evaluation of a vendor’s experience must be based on the assessment of the executed deals and transactions. Hence, the list of a vendor’s clients and their activity can tell quite a lot about the quality of the data room.
Although virtual data rooms can be treated as comparatively new service, the industry standards are already established. For the use, it means that every chosen VDR is supposed to be equipped with a set of paramount functions and options that guarantee proper data room performance. The document and access security, user-friendly interface, constant activity tracking and regular audit reports, 24/7 support, etc. – these aspects should be checked in the first place. The VDR that fails to fulfill at least one of the mentioned positions arouses suspicion. Despite the set of essential features, a vendor can offer some advanced and unique functions. The latter is to be evaluated critically in order to detect their appropriateness for the customer and the project needs.
As there are plenty of vendors on the market their services differ. The client has to be fair to himself and determine the expectations distinctly: what are the main reasons for a VDR setup, what kind of information is to be stored there, how secure the room should be, who will get the access to the room, how long the room is supposed to function, what actions will be performed in the room, etc. – all these questions must have a clear answer before the customer makes the final decision. A VDR must be adjusted to the project requirements, not vice versa. Therefore, when the company knows what exactly it needs the service can be purchased. Such meticulous evaluation of the project goals is justified with the resources savings: no one wants to pay for the useless functions with catchy names. Thus, to be sure that the VDR meets the needs and is not overpriced the required level of functionality must be specified in advance.
When the user knows what he wants and knows who can satisfy his needs, it is time to find out if the promises meet the reality. Hence, a customer has to choose a few, up to 3-5, vendors and to use the trial versions of their virtual data rooms. Usually, such versions are available free of charge and are equipped with the reasonable set of functions for the potential user to evaluate the VDR performance properly. After the finish of the trial period, the customer will have own experience connected with the utilization of various data rooms and will be able to make a justified decision about the quality of services.
The process of virtual data room selection seems to be cumbersome and time-consuming. However, the customer has to keep in mind that confidential corporate information together with the convenience of employees and partners value much more than a few addition days spent on the comparison of VDRs.