When you are just starting your quest to find a virtual data room, you are bound to stumble upon every provider out there telling you that their product is a no brainer. If you have never used a data room before, it can be difficult to know which features are standard ones and which ones are more cutting edge. However, the marketing ploys a lot of the providers out there are using is not making your situation any easier.
It is important to choose the proper data room in the very beginning because changing data rooms in the middle of a project will be too costly and inconvenient for everybody involved. Therefore you should consider a wide variety of data rooms and try them out before deciding to buy a subscription. In order to save you time and make the selection process a little bit easier, we collected information on the top data rooms. Every data room that made the list will have its pluses and minuses and we provide you with comprehensive data about all of the various providers out there. Armed with this knowledge, choosing the option that will fit your individual needs will be a snap.
Our Guidelines for Choosing the Best Virtual Data Room
The first criteria that we considered when compiling our rankings is data room security. The reason that you are considering using such a product for your project is because it offers a secure working environment. Naturally, 100% confidence is needed that every document you upload will be safe from hackers, corporate espionage, viruses and any other cyber threats faced by businesses in the twenty-first century. Therefore, we looked at all of the ways the data rooms keep your information secure, beyond standard ones such as watermarks, virus scanning and slot of other things. There are new cyber threats emerging all the time and the data room must be constantly one step ahead.
Next, we looked at usability i.e. how easy is it to use the data room. Not everybody has used a data room before so the interface must be simple and intuitive. There should be no additional plugins to download, no Java and a single sign-on (SSO) which you can use to access all of your projects. The data room should also be accessible on the go, which means that the provider must offer a mobile app, preferably on both iOS and Android. Nowadays, a lot of business happens on the go and you need a provider who will be there for you regardless of where your job takes you.
The third criteria is user management. The documents you input are very sensitive and are not meant for all users to see. Therefore, you might have to revoke the access permission(s) of certain users and the more options or granularity the data room gives you in this regard the better. If you are working on a large project, you might have hundreds of users, therefore the solution should help you manage all of these users and provide a detailed report about the actions of each individual user inside the data room. This information will be very handy should some dispute arise if any information was leaked.
The final criteria is the quality of the user support the company provides. Certain brands willl go above and beyond to help their customers, which means being available around the clock without any holidays. Furthermore, the assistance that they offer should come from a machine or some automated service. You deserve to speak to a real person when you call in and they should be able to solve your problem within a matter of minutes. Also, they should offer a free demo which will allow you to see everything that could be done. This way, you will be able to input some data and then play around inside in order to get a feel for it. This is really the only way to determine if a particular data room is the right fit for you.
Virtual Data Room Solutions
While there may be multiple solutions the data room offers, it should, at the very least, offer the following solutions:
This process requires a lot of organization and recordkeeping. You must constantly be aware of the documents you have assembled and prepared as well as the ones you still need to get.
This is one of the most complex types of solutions and will require a lot of communication and usability features in order to make all of the processes run smoothly and get the deal done with the allotted time frame.
Since all of the board members might be dispersed among different continents, the data room solution must be able to bring everybody together, as if they were all in one room.
Analysis of Features of Virtual Data Room Services
One of the reasons that companies enjoy data rooms is due to the fact that it connects all of the participants regardless of their geographical location and allows them to work on a project as a cohesive unit. Imagine not having to physically appear at a specific location or send documents through a courier service. Such processes waste a lot of time and resources causing the project to be delayed. You can upload any documents that are required into the data room and they will be made available to all of the participants instantly. This is much safer than using cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive since they do not even come close to the security standards and features that a lot of the data rooms offer nowadays.
Also, by keeping your documentation and communication together, it is possible to avoid a lot of confusion and save time since everybody will be on the same page. For example, if you have a question about a certain piece of information, you can ask everything inside the data room. All of the participants will be able to see this question and the answer and will not have to ask this question again. The data room can even produce a Q&A sheet for you. Conducting communication outside the data room is not secure and you could be violating certain security regulations since there are government security standards for handling information as well. A virtual data room allows you to mitigate the risk of any potential lawsuit of the government getting involved from the very beginning.
It is worth noting that the data room will still be useful to you even after the project is over. It can be used as a convenient central document repository which holds all of the documents that were uploaded during the deal and it offers enough storage, both cloud and on-site, to handle all of your storage needs in the future. This way you will no longer have to waste time searching for documents, requesting someone to send you certain information and then having to wait some more for them to grant you permission to view the document which is the way Google Docs work. It will facilitate your current workflow and keep you organized.