As an online secure data repository, a virtual data room is ideal for both storage and distribution of data. Data room comes especially handy when strict confidentiality of data is required. This explains why it is highly popular within industries dealing with highly sensitive data, starting from IT, Telecommunication, Accounting, or Investment Banking, and finishing with Energy, Government, or Healthcare.
In this article, we’ll figure out how to do just that.
The 10 Best Data Room Providers
After the thoughtful data room review, the independent review site virtual-dataroom.org came up with the list of the following top providers:
- Intralinks (SS&C)
- Donnelley (DFIN)
- Clinked (Clinked.com)
- Citrix (ShareFile)
Uses of Virtual Data Rooms
From the general perspective, the most popular implementations of electronic data room solutions include M&A due diligence, corporate repository, real estate management, Initial Public Offering (IPO), and capital raising.
Nonetheless, online data room software is used whenever giving confidential access to some information to a user, or a group is required.
Mostly, virtual data room is utilized for the following:
- Corporate documentation analysis
- Corporate repository creation
- Communication with investors
- Code review with no risk involved when sending it to other contractors
- Restructuring procedures and bankruptcy
- Document preparation for the company’s IPO
- Company audit before an M&A transaction
Common Features of Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs)
Knowing must-have features could help you navigate through the market and choose the best online data room software. These features are divided into two common groups: standard and advanced ones.
Standard Virtual Data Room Features
- Permission customization – Permissions can be established for folders or documents of the data room. This implies that VDRs allow administrators to select the specific users that can access a folder or document and the amount of information they have access to.
- Archiving – One of the basic online data room services is keeping records of activities and documents for future reference even once the project is completed.
- Customized branding – VDRs allow companies to add their logos and brand colors to the software interface.
- Monitoring activity – VDRs allow administrators to see users that had accessed a file, when it was accessed, for how long, which will help take proper decisions on security and project activity.
- Watermarking – Administrators can watermark documents to prevent unwanted duplication and sharing.
Advanced Virtual Data Room Tools
- Interactive features – To streamline data room processes, VDRs offer interactive tools, including live chats, polls, and Q&A.
- Reporting and analytics – The key to keeping track of the deal’s progress includes updated reporting, dynamic infographics, and interactive analytics.
- Interfaces for specific projects – VDRs feature interface templates for some projects and do not leave the room less developed for users to customize the platform to suit their needs.
- Bulk upload and download – A virtual data room is user-friendly as it allows uploading and downloading documents in bulk, which is very time-saving.
- API integration – Some virtual data rooms support the rearrangement of the interface to the specific needs and preferences of a company.
Five Main Factors in Virtual Data Room Provider Selection
The following are top criteria you must evaluate when choosing the best data room provider:
- Customization: Check for features such as project templates, interface adjustment, and brand logo and colors incorporation. The basic questions here that need genuine answers are whether data can be integrated from a different provider and to what extent a virtual data room can be customized.
- Support: For support, you should check for multiple languages, minimal response time, 24/7 & 365 days availability, single-point-of-contact resolution, and free access to the VDR knowledge base. Also, try to ask yourself who will be in charge of the management, will there be an instructor to train your team, and how the training will be arranged.
- Convenience: For convenience, check for broad file format support, intuitive interface, Drag & Drop file upload, and versatile deployment solutions. Also, try to ask about how long setting up the solution will take, if the operation of the online data room provider is possible through plug-ins, and what is the rate of the VDR’s uptime.
- Security: For safety, check for ISO27001 and SOC2 compliances, IP-restricted user access, multiple-step verification, page-by-page document viewing history, and a “fence-view” feature to prevent unwanted glances. Also, try to ask about the option for physical storage and the location of the data centers.
- Pricing: The price of a virtual data room will differ as per the offers of different data room vendors. So, check for various pricing packages and compare them. These will include custom packages, fixed monthly or annual rates, data- or user-based pricing offers. You should also ask if the initial plan can be upgraded or downgraded, what are the limits to a pricing plan you consider, and if there are any hidden fees.
In a nutshell, the security of confidential information is the main benefit of virtual data room providers. With VDRs, you can confidently upload your files in large volumes and make sure they are reliably protected. Keep in mind the features and criteria mentioned above to make the right and the most beneficial choice for your business!