2013 Review of Applied Answers, Inc. — FileGenius

Applied Answers, Inc. — FileGenius
888-753-2245 x703

www.filegenius.com


From the April 2013 review of client portal systems.

Best Fit: FileGenius BASIC is best for a small organization that needs 10 or fewer employee accounts and 25 or fewer client portals. FileGenius TOTAL offers unlimited employee accounts and client portals, unlimited transactions and more robust management tools.

Strengths:

  • FileGenius is an easy to use and effective web-portal designed for transmitting confidential files of any size.
  • Applied Answers (the company) indicates that its solution is compliant with a range of regulatory requirements, including HIPAA, FIPS, PCI level I and the Massachusetts encryption statute.
  • Product can be privately branded and offers users a custom subdomain (yourfirmname.filetransfers.net).
  • No extra charges for users or bandwidth usage on a FileGenius TOTAL account. The major limitation on a FileGenius TOTAL account is the amount of storage used.
  • All product functions can be accessed through a web browser.

Potential Limitations:

  • There are no mobile apps or Windows programs to assist when working with this tool (although mobile apps are coming by late Spring). While this may be appealing to some users, batch uploads require a user to create a zip archive of the files and folders to be sent and use a web browser to upload the content.
  • There are no direct integrations with any common applications, and FileGenius does not support traditional templating of folder structures (although workarounds are available to help with this task).
  • Unlike many of the products reviewed, there is not a drag and drop interface available for uploading files.

Detailed Observations

FileGenius is a file sharing and portal service which is popular with many industries. The tool is very simple to use, and works entirely in a web interface. There are two plans with various storage options for both, FileGenius BASIC and FileGenius TOTAL. BASIC is roughly designed for organizations with 10 or fewer users and TOTAL is a cost effective solution for organizations with typically 25 or more users.

The FileGenius TOTAL plans include customizable private branding and allow users to create a custom subdomain (YourFirm.filetransfers.net) hosted on the company’s infrastructure. A FileDrop function is available which allows users to upload files from a website without logging into the portal.

FileGenius has no limits or extra charges on uploads, and does not throttle bandwidth for heavy users. Some of the company’s larger customers have as many as 500 employee users who use workspaces to collaborate with people outside of their location. Although this service does not have the ease of use provided by tools like Outlook add-ins and mapped drive folders, the omission of these tools also removes additional applications which can cause errors and crashes.

The application is entirely web-based, and is hosted in a commercial hosting facility in the northeast U.S. The commercial hosting company who provides the company’s hosting asserts that the hosting facility meets the standards for a Tier III hosting facility, and meets the criteria for PCI level I and HIPAA compliance. The company did provide a 2012 SOC 2 report for their data center.

Since there are no apps or supported add-ins, some tasks, like uploading large batches of files, can be tedious. Groups of files can be uploaded by creating a zip archive and uploading the file to FileGenius. The company’s servers will receive and unzip the files and folders in the location where the file was received. This lack of automation requires users to perform the tedious task of creating and uploading the zip archive to the remote server. While this is not a technically difficult task, it may be confusing for novice users.

The product maintains a log of all activities performed by users. FileGenius has a number of customizable reports, which can be periodically prepared and e-mailed to users as scheduled jobs. BASIC plans include only e-mail support, and FileGenius TOTAL plans include unlimited phone and e-mail support. The company reports that it will be launching an Application Program Interface (API) so developers can build the service into their applications later this year.

Summary & Pricing

FileGenius BASIC plans start at $49 per month ($529/yr) with unlimited e-mail support; FileGenius TOTAL plans start at $159 per month ($1,339/yr) and include unlimited, users, workspaces, and voice/e-mail support.

 

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