The Swiss Economic Forum uses Intralinks as a secure, cost-effective and compliant means of sharing confidential corporate documents with its partners when reviewing the growth strategies of SMEs seeking finance.
Swiss Economic Forum
Founded in November 1998, the Swiss Economic Forum (SEF) is Switzerland’s leading platform for entrepreneurship and innovation.
Each year, 1,300 entrepreneurs, industry leaders, politicians and eminent figures from universities and the media meet to exchange views and engage in active dialogue.
Through various activities, the organisation supports decision-makers and business leaders in tackling entrepreneurial challenges and identifying new trends and opportunities.
The SEF’s Growth Initiative offers forward-looking SMEs the opportunity to have their growth strategies reviewed by independent, experienced experts. Following this, those companies with a convincing growth strategy are awarded a certificate of quality, allowing them easier access to growth capital.
The review process requires the respective SMEs to supply confidential documents such as business plans, financial statements and annual reports. These documents are then shared with the SEF’s partners, including a major international bank, an insurance company and various Swiss industry associations.
It is of crucial importance that the SEF has a way of sharing these documents that’s not only secure, but also fulfils its partners’ compliance requirements.
One method, for example, would be to share encrypted PDFs using Dropbox, with the encryption key shared separately via channels such as email or over the phone. However, whilst this would appear to be viable on the surface, the use of Dropbox – and other consumer-grade platforms – is not compliant with the specific requirements of all the SEF’s partners.
The SEF did have a secure file sharing solution in place already, but it was expensive to use and was considered to be insufficiently user-friendly, so an alternative was required.
The SEF asked its partners’ compliance departments which solutions would be acceptable and it was immediately clear that Intralinks was the most compelling of the five suggested.
At just an eighth of the price of the incumbent’s, Intralinks’ pricing was much more competitive, and its platform’s functionality was deemed to be more convenient and easy to use, with a more intuitive feel.
For reasons of cost, functionality and efficiency, the SEF started using Intralinks VIA in June 2015.
Intralinks VIA delivers a secure, functional, and intuitive service, meeting the compliance requirements of all the SEF’s partners.
Between two and three users within SEF use Intralinks VIA to share confidential documents at any given time, together with a further ten users in each of its partner organizations. In addition, various external experts - who provide support during the review process - have access.
The introduction of Intralinks VIA has saved these users around an hour a day, representing a 30% increase in overall efficiency.