TariffShark consists of a client application, called TariffShark Premier, that runs on a Windows desktop computer plus server-side components that run on a Windows server. eTariff filers use TariffShark Premier to prepare and make eTariff filings. The data they see and update on their screens and all of the documents that comprise eTariff filings is stored within TariffShark’s server components. If you are a TariffShark user, you already knew this. But, did you know that the server components can be hosted “in the cloud”?
What is Hosted TariffShark?
Many of our customers are using Enterprise TariffShark, in which both the desktop and the server components run within the enterprise. Under the Hosted TariffShark model, the server components run “in the cloud” (actually, in the TariffShark data center). From a desktop user’s perspective, the TariffShark Premier desktop application runs exactly the same as in the Enterprise approach.
What are the advantages of Hosted TariffShark?
- Data backups are provided by Links Technology. The data is encrypted and stored online in multiple, redundant data centers, so access to the backups is always available. This service frees your IT resources from dealing with the backup of tariff data.
- Server maintenance is performed by Links Technology. Routine tasks; such as applying periodic OS and system updates, verifying anti-virus protection, reviewing event logs, and checking health and capacity of hard drives; are performed by Links Technology engineers. Your precious IT resources do not need to perform these tasks.
- Work with TariffShark from anywhere you have an Internet connection. You are not tethered to your desk or corporate VPN.
- It’s easy to provide outside counsel with access to your TariffShark data. Simply create a user account and grant the appropriate access. Because the TariffShark server is hosted in a data center outside of your enterprise, it’s just as easy for outside counsel to connect as it is for you.
- In the event that you need the help of an outside eTariff filing service provider to do a complex eTariff filing, setting that up would be as easy as granting access to outside counsel. By the way, Links Technology offers a service to help assemble eTariff filings when you need help or are unable.
- Upgrading to a new TariffShark release is a breeze because Links Technology takes care of updating all server components. Your IT staff might only be required to assist with upgrading TariffShark Premier on your desktops, but TariffShark Support is able to assist with that, too.
Is Hosted TariffShark safe and secure?
In a word: yes!
- All Hosted TariffShark servers run in a Tier 4 data center that is SAS 70 Type II certified.
- Links Technology has established a separate disaster recovery (DR) site for all Hosted TariffShark customers. In addition, the site and related DR procedures are fully tested semi-annually.
- All of the data exchanged between the TariffShark Premier client application and the TariffShark servers is transmitted using 128-bit SSL encryption. This is the same technology used when banking online and when making online credit card purchases.
Will we be able to test new software releases?
Some Enterprise customers maintain test and production TariffShark environments. This is done, in part, so that new software releases may be tested before rolling them out to a production environment. There is an option within Hosted TariffShark whereby test and production environments would be maintained.
Will we have to pay more for Hosted TariffShark?
The Hosted TariffShark service includes licensing, maintenance, and support, just like an Enterprise arrangement. Above and beyond that, though, Hosted TariffShark includes everything needed in the data center (including the data center itself) to run TariffShark’s server components. Among these value adds are data backups, server maintenance, disaster recovery services, and software updates. A Hosted TariffShark contract does not require the upfront purchase of software licenses, so the initial cost is actually lower than Enterprise TariffShark.
Can we convert our Enterprise TariffShark to Hosted?
Yes. Technically, it’s a matter of moving your database to the TariffShark data center and setting up a new application server there for your use. These steps are quick to execute because our engineers have done so repeatedly. Contractually, your TariffShark agreement with Links Technology would need to be amended.