IBM B2B Integrator Review

The business processes are the most valuable features.


What is most valuable?

The business processes are the most valuable features. We were using FTP before. We are migrating to Sterling MFT. We are doing some modifications to send and receive files, and we are managing them with business processes.

How has it helped my organization?

Sterling B2B Integrator is a managed file transfer program. Beforehand, we were using FTP and each FTP server was standalone, not controlled by any management facility. Now we have migrated to Sterling B2B Integrator and we have Control Center. We can manage all file transfers by Control Center. We can also create new file transfers over Control Centers without doing some things on the File Gateway. We can also do that over the File Gateway.

What needs improvement?

It doesn't support the Turkish language now. They said they will support Turkish in the new release, so we are waiting. It's a problem now because we are opening this product to our customers, not only internal users. For internal users, maybe it's acceptable to use English but it's not acceptable for customers. They are working on it and, actually, by the end of this year, it will be available.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability is good because we are using the high availability mode. We are using two SFG (Sterling File Gateway) nodes. They are clusters in an active-active configuration, and we don't have any interruptions. The only bottleneck is in the database part and we are working to do something about it by speaking with IBM to see how we can solve this problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good. When we were using FTP, it was not scalable; you have to install new servers for each one. With Sterling B2B Integrator, you can manage and collect everything on the same platform. It is an end-to-end solution. We have a mainframe, we have Sterling Connect: Direct on the mainframe, we have File Gateway, we have Unix and Windows Connect: Directs , and we have some security parts of Secure Proxies. Also, we did some integration with our LDAP Active Directory, so we don't create named users for company users. We just give permissions based on job function and adjust it. We don't need to create local users. That's why it's very scalable for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Actually, we started migration in 2015, and we are getting very good support from IBM. We also have other products from IBM and being a big company in Turkey. We are managing cases or PMRs like other products and we can get extra support. There are some clever technical guys there. We have direct contact with them and they support us when we need them.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

As I've mentioned, the reason why we chose Sterling B2B Integrator instead of others was that it has an end-to-end solution. It has mainframe parts, it has Unix and Windows parts and it is also a centrally managed system with Control Center. It is good and better than others.

There are some other solutions, but they don't cover everything. You have to use some other product for the mainframe side. You have to use some other management tools or something like that.

That's why we chose Sterling Integrator; it has good functionality. It is guaranteed file transfer delivery. FTP doesn't guarantee it. With FTP, you send a file, it says it can, but maybe it cannot.

How was the initial setup?

I was not involved in the initial setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Globalscape CuteFTP, CA XCOM, and IBM's own FTP solution. We were using IBM FTP on the mainframe side, and we were using CuteFTP on the server side. Some other groups in my company were also looking at Globalscape. We created a requirement list together with the security team and the servers team, to evaluate which solution can cover everything. IBM was successful, so we chose IBM Sterling.

We were already customers of IBM. We actually knew Sterling. It's not a new product. It was a Sterling company product, then it was acquired by IBM. It's better for us; that's why we are using Sterling now.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend it.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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