Topics: Dataroom Security
There are a number of Virtual Data Room providers in the world. Some are global with operations in multiple countries and clients in many more. Some are local; they only serve the country in which they have an office. The question is - can a global Virtual Data Room provider meet your local market needs just as well as a local Virtual Data Room provider who predominantly operates only in your region? Here are four factors to consider:
1 The internal does not care where you are in the world Internet systems make it the same to work across the desk or the ocean. Look around you. The work culture as we know it would not be the same if we were not all hooked on to the world wide web. From the time that we come to office to the time we go to sleep we are connected not just locally but also globally. Even when we are not sitting at our desk, the use of smartphones has ensured connectivity on the move. Would it really matter whether I am executing your request in the room next to you or whether I am working from my office in London, New York, Beijing or Mumbai? The minute I click a button the speed at which your request gets executed would be the same!
2 No need for physical presence through office when it comes to operations When all the Virtual Data Room providers processes are focused around a central delivery structure then there are multiple synergies that allow the company to save costs that can then be passed on to clients in the form of lower prices. For example, EthosData has its operational setup in London, New Delhi, Beijing and Madrid. However it has clients in over 20 countries. Through their four offices they are able to focus on service while saving costs that they would not have been able to save had they setup offices in all 20+ countries. As a result clients benefit two-fold - they get better prices while also getting better service through dedicated teams of professionals.
3 Sales personnel can be mobile One definite advantage of having an office in your city is that you can go visit the office, meet the people behind the scenes and put a face to the name. From a sales perspective a Virtual Data Room provider would try to build relationships by taking its prospects out for coffees or lunches, bringing in the interpersonal aspects of doing business. There is definitely an advantage when it comes to being referred but in terms of execution, if the data room provider is very process driven as it should be, it will not matter! EthosData actually has sales presence in more regions than operational presence to take advantage of both sales and operations.
4 More than location what is important is to understand the market and the culture Each market is unique in the way that it does business. Languages differ, the decision making criteria may vary and some markets might like more of a hands on approach from the Virtual Data Room provider while others might like to use the secure platform to do the work themselves with minimal involvement from the provider. A virtual data room provider that can understand these intricacies would do well irrespective of where in the world its operations are based.
A global virtual data room provider can adapt itself to meet local market needs. In fact it can excel in meeting the needs of local companies if it understands its culture and its way of doing business. A global provider actually has advantages over a local provider if it can benefit from synergies that lower its operational costs and then pass on these costs as lower prices for its customers. Are you using a global or a local provider?
You need a fast virtual data room to run your M&A transaction efficiently. There is nothing more frustrating than having a virtual data room that becomes a bottle neck in your process. These are the 5 factors that we continuously work on to make us the fastest.
1 Clean, fast, intuitive Design: No Need To Learn Anew There is so much information being thrown our way that the value of a clean interface is often overlooked. When it comes to work, you do not want to be learning how to use a Virtual Data Room. The design should be intuitive enough to have a zero learning curve with the brain adapting in no time. Speed in this case would mean finding what you want quickly.
2 Should Not Take More Than A Few Seconds To Load If your internet is fast then the response of the Virtual Data Room should be just as fast. The faster your internet, the faster the data room. Even with a 4 mbps connection this should mean seconds.
3 When 100s Are Accessing The Same File, The System Should Not Slow Down Virtual Data Rooms are utilized during M&A processes. During such a process, due diligence is carried out simultaneously as different companies from different regions get access to the same files. When hundreds of lawyers and bankers are opening the same document at the same time, the response of the Virtual Data Room should be just as zappy as if only one person was opening the file.
4 After Getting Access To A File, Every Subsequent Access Should Take A Second To Verify The User Imagine you have been given access to a data room which contains 5 GB of data. That is alot of information! Let’s say it takes you 20 minutes to initially open all the files. The next time that you open the same files, it should not take another 20 minutes! The fastest virtual data room in the world will be able to verify that you are the same user within a second!
5 Every Feature Including Q&A Should Be As Fast As The Rest Of The Site Q&A enables all the users in a Virtual Data Room to ask questions and get responses within the platform. Sitemaps allow a user to view all the files in a data room that the user has access to. Bulk uploads allow the administrator to add new documents to the data room. Such features among others are process intensive but should not influence the speed of the platform in anyway. It should be as quick as logging in for the first time!
The fastest Virtual Data Room in the world will be so quick that between the click of your mouse and the response of the website should take a second or less. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure that when thousands are accessing the same documents the response to all the thousands are as quick as if only one person were on the data room. EthosData is known to be one of the fastest Virtual Data Rooms in the world!
VIrtual Data Rooms exist for the predominant purpose of keeping your documents secure, at all times, despite having shared your files with others. With multiple options out there, how do you know which one is right for you? Here are 10 topics that you should ask a Virtual Data Room provider questions about before choosing one.
1 - Infrastructure Your confidential information will be stored in servers of the Virtual Data Room provider. How secure are those servers? Where are they located? Are world class standards met? The best way to check this is to ask whether they have third party certifications of SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402. These certifications provide benchmarks of processes that establish world class standards in security.
2 - Secondary server A secondary server is a must for a Virtual Data Room provider. If the primary server goes down for any reason whatsoever there should be a backup server that is regionally separated, replicates the data at all times and come on automatically if the primary server goes off.
3 - 24-7 support for servers Is there a team responsible for maintaining the servers? Is that their primary role? Are they specialists in identifying and resolving any eventualities? The ability to respond to issues is one of the prime facets of a leading Virtual Data Room provider.
4 - The software Each platform is coded differently even if the eventual purpose is the same. Is the technology tried and tested? How many transactions have already been run on this particular Virtual Data Room? How long has the company been in the industry?
5 - Constant evolution of software Is the code constantly improved on? Are new features tested before releasing them to live environments? Is there a CTO in the company or is the work outsourced? Is there a team which focuses only on improving the code with the latest in software development? If the Virtual Data Room provider is not staying with the latest then it will be left behind as newer, better and easier ways of securing your information become available.
6 - Background check of delivery team This factor is crucial! Has the team been vetted? Do they have a reliable work history? Is there work experience factual? Have they been trained? For how long have they been trained? Is their work QC’d before it gets executed? How long are they trained for before working on live transactions?
7 - Process infrastructure Are there security measures to ensure data integrity is maintained within the office environment? Are there any ISO certifications regarding process? Do deal coordinators need verified passes to enter the rooms? Are there cameras in the work area to maintain security?
8 - Employee audits Can their activity been monitored via the datarooms? How can we ensure that they don’t copy the data on a USB and take it with them? Are there enough deterrents to ensure that your data remains secure?
9 - Execution process Does it flow from one teammate to another? Is everything logged to coordinate process? Is each employee trained to follow the process at all times? Is process is not followed does it get flagged to the rest of the team? A seamless process ensures seamless security.
10 - Termination process Is care taken when turning off security to return the data? Does the team ensure that the client checks the data to ensure that its an exact replica? Is the data removed from the server only after written confirmation is received?
Security seems simple but is complex. Each stage of security is riddled with processes, personnel and teams that work with infrastructure to provide the environment for you to be able to share your confidential information. In order to decide which is the right Virtual Data Room provider for you, you must use the above questions pertaining to each security theme to make a well informed decision.
Virtual Data Rooms have a number of benefits. The reason they exist is because of their advantages over other file sharing and storage solutions. In this post we will look at all the benefits that are associated with the use of a Virtual Data Room.
Due diligence is a term widely used in the business world. It’s requirement as a normal activity in business has spurred the need for due diligence data rooms. In this article we are going to talk about what due diligence is, when does it happen, it’s history and how technology has influenced the process.
What Is Due Diligence?
Due diligence is defined as “an investigation of a business or person prior to signing a contract, or an act with a certain standard of care. It can be a legal obligation, but the term will more commonly apply to voluntary investigations.” That process of investigation practically happens in each and every M&A scenario and often happens at various stage of any business's life cycle.
How Does Due Diligence Add Value?
The process of evaluating the costs, benefits and risks associated with the decision you are considering allows the decision makers to take an informed decision which wouldn’t have been possible had due diligence not been carried out. It is the difference between taking a risk and a calculated risk. Due diligence makes informed decision making possible.
When Is Due Diligence Carried Out?
Corporate finance as an industry exists around due diligence activities. This is why most mergers and acquisitions start and end around the due diligence process. Hedge funds, commercial property and even philanthropic foundations go through due diligence when audits are being carried out to get a snapshot of the business, evaluate the risk factors or consider valuations. The types of audit range from macro-economic to production and management with outside professionals usually hired for short term periods to aid in the process.
The Role Of Virtual Data Rooms In The Due Diligence Process
Being involved in due diligence of any kind usually means that you are given access to highly confidential information that the disclosing company intends to protect at any cost. The best way that companies protected their information was to not allow it to leave its premises, only showing them in rooms setup specifically for the purpose of disclosure to outside parties. If the companies interested to see this information lived in different regions, they had to travel long distances. If more than one company was interested then the same process would repeat. The cost and inconvenience of this physical process was high! Technology made due diligence data rooms more secure, affordable and convenient. It has also made the process from the start to the end quicker.
Despite being in a competitive industry, EthosData Virtual Data Rooms stood out from the rest by winning as many as five M&A awards over the course of just two years (2014 Virtual Data Room Provider Of The Year Asia Pacific Region, 2014 Virtual Data Room Provider Of The Year Spain, 2014 Sustained Excellence In Data Room Services UK, 2013 Virtual Data Room Provider Of The Year India, 2013 VDR Rising Star UK). What was so different about EthosData in an industry that is becoming more and more commoditised? Why is it being so recognized by businesses of its virtual data room services? Here are 5 factors to consider: