If your company deals with more sensitive, mission-critical document assets for M&A transactions, then a simple cloud storage solution is not enough: IPOs, contract negotiations, your need for due diligence, powerful document management capability and an equally capable search engine takes precedence. On top of that, every file, process and communication must have the tightest security cover all the time if you want to establish value, trust and confidence to the transactions. This means that for this crucial software, how much does a virtual data room cost might not be your most pressing concern: what should be in a data room is the vendor’s capability to integrate promising technologies to make your transactions easier but more secure, on top of security and value-for-money.
In this article, we present the 12 best virtual data room providers to get you up and running with your pre-purchase research without expending more time and resources than you would normally do otherwise. The list comprises a healthy mix of solutions with storage and document management features as well as those with M&A and due diligence capabilities for more secure financial transactions. Once you decide which virtual data room software best matches your needs, also watch out for how the vendor is in terms of providing customer support and regular updates so you don’t have to look for another solution after just a year.
As with most businesses today, securing vast stockpiles of data assets remains a prime concern for virtual data room applications. What makes this more difficult, however, is the stark reality that threats need not come from the most sophisticated cybercriminals out there: it could very well emanate from the most innocent of sources, like a simple internally generated script that resulted in this 2019 Salesforce outage.
Of course, there’s the added rub that to mitigate the situation and appease angry customers, Salesforce issued users access keys that included write permissions, compromising the company further by allowing malicious users the chance to cart away or cause more damage to its data. For M&A businesses, that could very well be the straight path to costly litigations, Chapter 11 filing, or outright jail. In fairness to Salesforce, the vendor acted swiftly to secure its data centers, highlighting the importance of vendor reliability, given that systems — whether SaaS or your own on-premise — are no stranger to Murphy’s Law: it will go wrong one day.
What to do in this data-driven economy?
What to do when the race for ultimate corporate, consumer and individual security is reaching comical proportions? To illustrate: while AI has been hailed as the final solution to malware and all forms of data breaches, experts are quick to point out that the same tools available to the good guys are just as accessible to the baddies out there. It’s why cybersecurity is now the top concern for 72% of board room members.
So what happens? Simple, right? It’s your AI versus my AI. Just as security personnel summons AI and machine learning tools to help identify threats, cybercriminals would be programming AI to circumvent these security measures in place—a good case of tit for tat at Shakespearean proportions. Not all is bleak, however: quantum cryptography may well give the good guys the upper hand in the final reckoning, but the question is how soon they are going to get inside the security applications now in the market.
Meantime in the near term, virtual private rooms have opted the way of hybrid data installation—on-premise private cloud meets public cloud using a well-calculated mix of the two. Threats remain, but a private cloud deployment gives security personnel better control of the data infrastructure. In a world where IT security professionals experience an average of 6 significant data breaches over the course of their careers, most of it from the internet at large, that should count as the best recourse right now.
Leading our list of the 12 best virtual data room providers is eFileCabinet, a VDR solution that not only helps companies get rid of paperwork but also provides process automation workflows for greater efficiency. The workflow modules are designed to meet accounting, HR, insurance and legal document processes, among others.
While it’s geared towards small and growing businesses, this tool can be used by enterprises that handle larger volumes of data by choosing its higher storage capacity.
To check out the features firsthand, you can easily sign up for eFileCabinet free trial here.
The platform offers a variety of delivery modules to streamline and expedite how you upload data for a complete document management software solution. It also offers various integrations to make data migration easier. By automating these tasks, you lower the risk of human error from manual processes that open the potential of losing crucial corporate data.
Why choose eFileCabinet?
Next on our top 12 virtual data room software solutions list is Google Drive, one of the most popular cloud storage systems around. The storage platform also doubles up as a capable office suite collaboration solution with its own word processor, presentation and spreadsheet program among others. Google Drive comes with a generous storage space you can use, especially if you’re using Google productivity apps and files such as images, videos, and documents.
Individual users readily get free 15GB storage and easy sharing functionality especially in conjunction with other Google applications like Gmail. You can use the office suite to share and collaborate on spreadsheets, word documents, presentations, slides, forms and drawings. As the owner of any document, you can assign who has the right to edit, view or post comment on them.
Google Drive automatically syncs files regardless of location, time and the computer you’re using, which means you always get the latest version of any file. It streamlines how you upload, migrate, and share files, making it one of the top 3 file sharing software systems.
You automatically get Google Drive once you sign up with Google—there’s no required software to download so you can immediately use the tool. It lets you open and save a variety of file types and actively monitor all changes made with details on what changes were made by who at what time. Furthermore, mobile users can install and use the app on their devices—both for Android and iOS.
Why choose Google Drive?
Box Virtual Data Room is a platform built for securely managing merger and acquisition deals. Easy to deploy, use and maintain, Box Virtual Data Room helps you streamline bidding processes and contract negotiations using modern tools. Robust integrations and comprehensive mobile implementation allow you to conclude any deal cycle efficiently.
Taking a page from IT security tools, Box Virtual Data Room applies strong security protocols to protect sensitive documents and information assets while providing cutting-edge privacy to bidders. By eliminating threats of data leaks and security breaches, you earn the trust of clients and increase the reputation of your brand, ensuring that M&A negotiations proceed seamlessly without the risk of miscommunication.
The central repository for your contracts, plans, meeting minutes, bids, and schedules gives you a platform where you can upload, create, view, and search for any file you need on any device. You control user access and restrict the ability to share, print, and download files.
Why choose Box Virtual Data Room?
ShareFile from Citrix is a highly secure virtual data room solution to facilitate and manage confidential business deals and IPOs. Its file sharing service allows for business-class, real-time collaboration with advanced security features like view-only permissions, click trails and watermarking.
It automates workflows for providing feedback, requesting approvals, co-editing, and getting legally e-binding signatures in order to enhance productivity. Developed for personal and professional usage, this tool is packed in an easy-to-use platform for all types of users, even those that aren’t tech-savvy.
One of the tool’s strongest points is its robust third-party integrations. Data sharing is secure and flexible. Furthermore, it offers a variety of security capabilities such as granular permissions, multi-level access authentication, and SSL/TLS 256-bit encryption. You can manage your security settings on your own through extended customization with an internally monitored and password-protected document archive. Its Activity Log also stores all file information for streamlined tracking.
Why choose ShareFile Virtual Data Room?
Egnyte is a VDR designed for secure content collaboration, data protection and infrastructure modernization. Beyond being a file sharing solution, it enables seamless collaboration for different departments and teams by allowing access from any device, anywhere and at any time.
It ensures compliant data governance across the program by enabling you to monitor usage patterns and access controls. This ensures you stay on top of private and sensitive information critical to your organization.
One of its products, Egnyte Connect, specializes in leveraging collaboration. The enterprise file sharing solution is designed for teams to work how and where they want without affecting their productivity and efficiency. In fact, this platform reduces file bandwidth usage while enabling robust access to both internal and remote users.
Why choose Egnyte?
Intralinks Virtual Data Room automates third-party approvals, publishing and permissions to streamline M&A due diligence for dealmaking, global banking, and capital market transactions. Deal insights allow you to take charge of negotiations and turn them to work in your favor.
With its secure digital platform, sensitive information and transactions are guaranteed to be on safe hands. Furthermore, it offers lifetime data protection, tight permission controls, and advanced IRM (Information Rights Management) for a VDR that you can trust.
Intralinks Virtual Data Room provides key information for any stage deal, giving you ample time to organize essential deal documents before going live, ensuring you don’t get a red face when going through due diligence.
Why choose Intralinks Virtual Data Room?
VDR solution Merill DataSiteOne from Merrill Corporation provides dealmakers with enterprise-grade security, powerful analytics for deep insight about deal details, and a powerful search engine to enhance due diligence. A redaction tool lets you limit access to words, figures, images and phrases.
Giving the leading site search solutions a run for their money, Merrill DatasiteOne’s search engine is capable of diving inside documents for any defined word and string search. For additional security, you can set how much time a user can access a document, ensuring that deals flow along smoothly.
Why choose Merill DataSiteOne?
Firmex Virtual Data Room is an online VDR solution specifically designed to work with a range of industries including finance and banking, mining, biotech and pharmaceutical among others. It simplifies document sharing and collaboration processes, allowing you to reduce time demands. Firmex Virtual Data Room provides in-house experts to support your projects at any time of the day, 24/7.
The core features you need are built right in to eliminate the need for add-ons and downloads. This is packed in a modern interface that supports all types of workflows no matter the volume and complexity. Furthermore, this solution offers value in a transparent pricing model tiered according to the number of users and storage. The costs are defined beforehand for both its unlimited-use subscription and per-use transaction.
Why choose Firmex Virtual Data Room?
Onehub is a cloud-based file sharing system and VDR to help you manage your deals faster. It comes with a secure platform so you can privately share sensitive data while allowing collaborators to stay anonymous. The system is easy to set up and is built to simplify multiple processes. For instance, you can use a simple drag-and-drop method to upload multiple files at once directly from your browser.
Its Activity Tracker feature gives you visibility over who interacts with your files and what actions were made. This lets you monitor the activities related to every single file for accountability. Both desktop and mobile implementations allow high-quality previews for over 30 file types. Other features include collaboration and communication using its Workspace feature and flexible customization to match your branding.
Why choose Onehub?
VDR platform Syncplicity provides storage, file sharing and collaboration solutions specifically designed for business users and IT professionals. A hybrid solution allows for storage infrastructure aggregation, file share replacement, real-time document security and backup, data migration, system connectivity, mobile collaboration, sharing and editing, and any-device content access.
As a user, you get folder syncing without additional steps or rearrangement of workflow, automated version control, and online file browsers. Additionally, it offers mobile access, which means file sharing and collaboration are made possible even for remote teams. Meanwhile, IT users get solutions ranging from policies and control (such as external sharing restrictions and group-level policy control), admin management, storage, and deployment.
Why choose Syncplicity?
VDR tool RR Donnelley Venue Data Room is your ticket to bulk file management, real-time graphics reporting, and user activity monitoring. Also referred to as “Venue,” this virtual platform was created by RR Donnelley to help financial institutions manage their complex local and cross-national projects. Built for M&A, it is equipped with tools and features to help you run deals smoothly and efficiently.
While Venue is viewed simply as a complimentary service to its other tools, it still provides you with the standard VDR functions with a reliable data protection security, especially if your business falls under the financial industry. Some of the industry solutions it supports include due diligence, document repository, M&A buy and sell side, and procurement management.
Why choose RR Donnelley Venue Data Room?
Rounding up our 12 best virtual data room providers list, VDR software FORDATA provides you with a secure platform for sharing confidential information and communication with your key stakeholders, partners, and investors. The platform simplifies complex and confidential transactions, from restructuring, mergers and acquisitions and IPOs among others. Since it is built on the cloud, implementation is fast with no downloads, installations and plug-ins required.
It also streamlines how you manage deals by providing a single dashboard that gives you a robust overview of crucial information at a glance. Single-file and bulk uploads are also done seamlessly through rapid document upload. Additionally, its permission setting capabilities are made intuitive and simple. Since security is an important factor for a VDR, you’ll appreciate FORDATA’s user-based document watermarking and advanced audit trails among others.
The vendor offers a comprehensive free trial to get you up to speed with the features. You can sign up for FORDATA free trial here.
Why choose FORDATA Virtual Data Room?
As critical as your data assets are, it is not enough to finalize your VDR software purchase decision without doing that one final step: take the free trial offer, which most, if not all of these vendors, offer. It gives your selection more concrete ground, and decision makers will make it easier to go with your stand if they see the software actually lifting workloads right inside the company computer systems. In the case of our top choice, for example, you can easily sign up for eFileCabinet free trial here.
Finally, your business needs might not require the full capabilities of virtual private room software; it could be that you simply need a straightforward platform to share files among colleagues and business partners. In that case, you might want to consider any of the leading file-sharing applications on the market.
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