Top Virtual Data Rooms

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A Virtual Data Room is a cloud service that enables users to share and collaborate on documents in a secure manner.

Virtual Data Rooms have different use cases, but are commonly associated with due diligence activities related to financial transactions, such as Initial Public Offerings (IPO) and mergers and acquisitions. Ahead of a major transaction, content and contracts related to a financial transaction are assembled in a single secure room. This is the so-called data room, where participants can safely view the materials. The Virtual Data Room is the modern evolution of that concept.

The market for Virtual Data Room services is wide and varied. It includes enterprise file sharing and synchronization technologies as well as purpose-built services that focus on enabling financial transaction activities.

Virtual Data Room Features

There are a number of key features that are part of many virtual data room services.

  • Document upload and storage. Virtual Data Rooms provide or link to storage capacity for data and documents.
  • Access and Authentication control. Since the content can be sensitive in nature, virtual data room services all provide some form of user access control.
  • Collaboration. The ability to share documents with different groups is a key capability.
  • Audit logs. The ability to see how data was access and by whom is important for both security and compliance.

How To Choose a Virtual Data Room

When looking to choose a Virtual Data Room providers, there are a number of things that should be considered.

Use-case. Some Virtual Data Rooms are general purpose while others provide specific capabilities that can help with different types of activities.

Security controls. Simple access control might be enough for some use-cases, but not all. Some services offer more controls than others, with things such as document watermarks and time based access control.

Workflow. Looking beyond just the ability to share files securely, consider services that provide workflow capabilities that can help guide a process for document collaboration or a financial transaction.

In this top companies list, we spotlight the vendors that offer the top virtual data room services.

Ansaradaansarada

Value proposition for potential buyers. Ansarda is a purpose-built service for enabling virtual data rooms that is well suited for organizations of any size that require a service for sharing and collaborating on documents as part of a potential financial transaction.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Ansarda is the platform's artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities that enable a number of unique capabilities in the platform.
  • AI is used to help automatically organize files that users upload to the system, determining file type and correctly putting data in the correct order.
  • The AiQ bidder engagement score is another AI-powered differentiator for Ansarda, providing a bidder behavior predictor that can help users to understand the likelihood of a bidder completing due diligence as part of a the process required to complete a financial transaction.
  • Collaboration is enable with a sophisticated Q&A system that enables bidders to ask questions to execute due diligence operations, with full tracking of all content.

Blackberry Workspaces Blackberry Workspaces

Value proposition for potential buyers. Workspaces is a good option for organizations looking for a secure enterprise file share and synchronization capability.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Blackberry acquired Watchdox for $100 million in 2015 and has been expanding the technology in the years since, rebranding and integrating capabilities into Workspaces Content Collaboration.
  • Workspaces provides a very granular level of of security control with Digital Rights Management (DRM) at the file level, with full visibility into all activity with a given file including edits, viewing and printing
  • Integration with Microsoft is a key value, with connectors for Windows Files share, SharePoint and OneDrive.
  • Digital Board Room capability, enables administrators to securely provide access to executive briefing materials.

Box - Virtual Data Room box

Value proposition for potential buyers. Box is a well known option for organizations of any size to secure share and collaborate on data.

Key values/differentiators: 

  • Box is a solid general purpose option for file sharing and collaboration and it can be configured to be used as a virtual data room.
  • The Box Shield set of capabilities enables organizations to identify and organize confidential information, providing compliance and data loss protection.
  • Governance capabilities within Box can provide compliance with different regulation, as well as providing retention policies for how long a given piece of data should be available.
  • From a workflow perspective, the Box Relay capabilities provide automated workflow option which can be useful to enable virtual data rooms.

Citrix ShareFilecitrix

Value proposition for potential buyers. Sharefile is a good choice for organizations of any size looking to extend a general purpose enterprise sharing capability for virtual data room use-cases.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Citrix acquired Sharefile back in 2011, as an entry point into the cloud storage market, and has grown the service to add new capabilities.
  • The dynamic virtual watermark feature is a valuable capable that lets organizations put their own mark on documents.
  • A key differentiator is the full-text search, that goes beyond just making data available to users, to enabling different authorized individuals to search across data.
  • Also of note is the fact that while having all the data online is why people choose to use a virtual data room, Citrix also provides a DVD backup that can mail organizations an archive of a virtual data room's contents.

Dealroomdealroom

Value proposition for potential buyers. Dealroom is positioned as being for merger and acquisition activity, helping to enable participants to execute due diligence with a virtual data room.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator for Dealroom is the integrated commenting capabilities for users while viewing documents.
  • Assignment tracking within Dealroom, lets executives task users with completing different activities related to help move a deal forward.
  • Another unique feature is the platform's integrated merger and acquisition checklists and templates which set up the flow for how a deal and its documents can be structured in the virtual data room.
  • Analytics for task tracking and how documents are being accessed is also a key feature, providing management with a view into what's going on.

HuddleHuddle

Value proposition for potential buyers. Huddle works for organizations looking for a solid enterprise-grade file sharing services that can be used for virtual data room applications.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Huddle can integrate with Microsoft Office and Google apps, to make it easier to share and collaborate on documents in a secured approach.
  • Version control features for document synchronization is a key capability for Huddle. Documents can be synchronized, with users getting the ability to see version history and compare versions.
  • Granular access control for shared and viewed documents, provides visibility into how data is being access and used.
  • Huddle has a file request feature that lets users request files and then track the progress of the data requests.

 iDEalsideals

Value proposition for potential buyers. For those looking for a focused virtual data room service, iDeals is a great option, providing all the key features organizations of any size might need.

Key values/differentiators:

  • Among the key differentiators for iDeals is the Secure Fence View capability that can allow access only to a very specific section of a document, barring visibility to sections that the the user is not authorized to see.
  • The search capability in iDeals is bolstered with an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) system that can enable searches across scanned data.
  • Secure spreadsheet viewer is another unique capability, rather than just simply allowing access to Excel spreadsheets, iDeals has a secured spreadsheet capability that adds watermarks and provides access controls.
  • The granular security controls can be so specific, that an administrator can restrict access to only certain periods of times for a given IP address.

Onehubonehub

Value proposition for potential buyers. Onehub is a purpose built virtual data room provider that works well for mid-sized to large organizations looking to have branded portals for securely sharing data.

Key values/differentiators:

  • The big key differentiator for Onehub is how it can enable an organization to create a portal for sharing data, that is easily managed and branded for customized look and feel.
  • Full audit trails for accessed content provides administrators with visibility into access.
  • Onehub is integrated with Google Drive, as an option for storage as well as sharing data.
  • Stealth mode is another key feature of Onehub which lets administrator setup binders of content that participants in a bidding process can see, without letting the different bidders see each other.

OpenText HighTailopentext

Value proposition for potential buyers .HighTail is well suited for larger organizations looking for an enterprise data file sharing and collaboration service, that can be configured for virtual data room use.

Key values/differentiators:

  • OpenText acquired Hightail in 2018, the company had been known from 2004 until 2013 as YouSendIt.
  • HighTail integrates collaboration capabilities that can be used for virtual data room as well as basic workflow with partners.
  • The system enables administrators to assign tasks such that followup and due dates are part of the collaboration process.
  • The integrated approval system is a key value of the platform, enabling a workflow with authorization for content items.

SecureDocsSecuredocs

Value proposition for potential buyers. SecureDocs is a purpose built service for virtual data room capabilities that is well suited to financial services and legal professionals involved in financial transactions.

Key values/differentiators:

  • A key differentiator is the platform's built-in electronic signature capability which is very useful for completing contracts.
  • The SecureDocs service provides full audit trail reporting which can provide alerts on when and where data is being accessed from.
  • Also of note is the NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) feature that can be setup to require users to agree to the terms of an NDA before getting access to content.
  • The included data room archiver is another key feature, letting an administrator download all the data from a data room at the completion of a transaction.

Vendor Comparison Chart

Features

Key Differentiator

Ansarda

AI powered data organization.

Integrated collaboration system.

AiQ artificial intelligence for bidder engagement.

BlackBerry Workspaces

Granular access control.

File access audit and visibility.

Microsoft suite integration.

Box

General purpose file share that can be customized for virtual data room.

Full governance capabilities.

Box Shield capabilities for data compliance.

Citrix ShareFile

General purpose file share that can be customized for virtual data room.

Full text search

DVD backup for virtual data room materials.

DealRoom

Commenting capabilities for documents.

Analytics for task tracking.

Integrated templates for different virtual deal room use-cases.

Huddle

Integration with Microsoft Office and Google Apps.

Version control for document synchronization.

File request feature that can track progress of data.

iDeals

Granular access control for time and IP address.

Secure Fence View can redact information and only allows access to specific sections.

Onehub

Audit trails for data access.

Integration with Google Drive.

Portal creation for customized data rooms.

OpenText HighTail

Data and document collaboration features.

General purpose enterprise share and synchronization capabilities.

Integrated approval system for document workflow.

SecureDocs

Data archiving features.

Advanced data access policies.

Built-in electronic signature capability.



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