CTC-Aspire Dataroom: Review

This VDR is a document management system with an information request center, access control capabilities, and document libraries uploading. This UK-based software offers auditing, collaboration, data protection, due diligence management, role-based permissions, and data storage management that will fulfil nearly any business’s virtual data room needs.

This software is made by CTC-Aspire (UK) Limited,who specializes in secure virtual data room solutions, along with a number of other industry solutions from marketing, SEO, pay-per-click advertising, and website building and development.

Intended Users

Clients of this CTC-Aspire’s VDR software includes businesses and companies ranging from investment brokers, insurance companies, law firms, property companies/real estate, oil/gas firms, mining companies, solar energy companies, and more — as well as public sector organizations.

CTC-Aspire is intended for Small-Medium Businesses (SMBs).

  • Due Diligence
  • IPO & Exits
  • M&A (Buy and Sell Sides)
  • Post Merger
  • Litigation
  • Fundraising
  • Legal
  • Real Estate
  • Oil/Gas/Coal
  • Insurance

…and a range of different businesses in a number of industries.

Platform

  • Online, Web, Cloud, SaaS
  • Mobile

Mobile

Since CTC-Aspire is an online-based virtual data room, you can access your VDR and your data/files from anywhere across the globe 24/7. As long as you have a web browser with an internet connection, the CTC-Aspire’s built-in security features will make sure you can login from a mobile device safely and securely.

Features:

  • Document Scanning
  • Corporate Data Room Features
  • Virtual Data Rooms for M&A
  • Document Archive
  • Cloud-Based Data Backup Solutions

The VDRs for M&A is aimed at companies that are involved in due diligence for M&A processes.

Corporate Data Room offers access to company-wide information and is ideal for company intranet, home workers, remote workers, and organizations that have unusually high data storage needs.

Document Archive provides access to historical documents such as: accounts records and employee records.

Document Scanning offers a comprehensive document scanning service for users that can be carried out on-site or at your location or from the CTC-Aspire office.

Cloud-Based Backup

This software offers a secure, cloud-based data backup and recovery solution for business owners. There are different Backup Packages to choose from that will suit different business budgets and needs

Total Backup

The Total Backup plan backs up all of your data n a daily, incremental schedule. This is the recommended backup package, because it will ensure that all of your folders and files remain safe no matter what happens.

Partial Backup

This backup option backs up system files and critical files only — omitted certain pre-defined folders or file types (can substantially reduce volume of data that is backed up).

Dataroom Security

The security of this dataroom incorporates the highest security levels with only authorized personnel being able to access the system.

All of your data is encrypted before being stored, and is protected by 256 Bit SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Encryption during transfer to and from the VDR.

A full audit trail of document downloaded/viewed is made available on a person by person basis.

The VDR system also offers an Information Request Center (essentially, a Q&A), which allows interested parties to get with the project management team and make requests for information and/or to see fully documented replies to their inquiries without the need to send this information through unsecured methods such as letters or emails.

Dataroom Setup

CTC-Aspire offers same- and next-day setup for all M&A Datarooms for accelerated mergers and acquisition deals. This setup takes no more than four hours.

  • Set up a secure domain in a name of your choice from which the Dataroom will be accessed (running 256 Bit SSL Encryption).
  • Add all features such as Information Request Center and Audit trail which you will have requested and prepare your Datarom for use.
  • Set up User Groups and Group Permissions defining which folders users can see.
  • Prepare registration page to which all users will be sent before being given access to Dataroom. Users will agree to your T&C of dataroom use before being assigned their usernames and passwords.
  • Customize appearance of the Dataroom to include your logo and corporate colors.

 

When Adding Documents to Your Dataroom, the procedure is as follows:

  • Prepare an index of documents to be uploaded to the Dataroom (you will likely want to do this yourself, but customer service will help as needed).
  • Scan all documents to your hard disk and convert them to PDF format (CTC-Aspire can quote for this if you require it).
  • Upload the documents to the VDR. Documents can be uploaded individually or in bulk. All documents added to the Dataroom will be indexed for easy retrieval via online search.
  • Check the integrity of the Document Tree to ensure it matches your original index and that it is complete.

 

When Sending People to Your Dataroom, CTC-Aspire recommends that users of the VDR register and agree to the Confidentiality Agreement before being access to your VDR. To achieve this, we will provide you with a web address to send people to — together with a Pincode, which when entered, will take them to your Confidentiality Agreement. Login details will be sent via email.

Main Features of M&A Dataroom

  • Index of Documents

This is a structured directory of documents (such as Adobe PDF format, Microsoft Word, Excel, etc…), which users can maintain and be viewed or downloaded by authorized visitors to the website.

  • Information Request Center

A facility which can enable interested parties to liaise with the Buyer, request answers to specific questions and see fully documented replies to your requests.

  • List of Authorized Representatives

A full list of all authorized users of the Dataroom, with a full audit trail of documents viewed/downloaded.

  • Draft Agreements

Area where draft contracts can be uploaded and viewed (on request).

 

Benefits

The online backup solution is perfect for businesses in any industries, as well as for personal users. This is because this feature offers a range of benefits that traditional backup methods don’t offer.

  • Data is fully encrypted
  • Mirrored to two UK-based data centers (in Reading and Bracknell)
  • Eradicates need for “off-site” backups
  • Reduces the need for on-site visits
  • Reduces costs of maintaining your IT systems
  • Restore data from any location

Document Security

  • 256 Bit SSL Encryption
  • Data Backup
  • ISO 27001 Certified

Audit / Report

  • Audit Logs
  • Document Version Control

Access Security

  • Permission Groups
  • Set User Permissions

User Interface

  • Branded Website
  • Bulk Uploads
  • Full Text Search

Accessibility

  • Multi-Language Support

Plans & Pricing

Packages

The M&A Dataroom is available in 4 different packages. The prices reflect the cost in GBP (British Pounds). When you call CTC-Aspire to inquire about a plan, you can ask about USD payment options and pricing.

Each plan offers pricing or monthly, a price for every three months, a six month price, and a one year/annual price.

 

SME Dataroom:

Price Plans: 1 Month for 75 GBP / 1 Year for 650 GBP

  • Up to 5 Users
  • 1 GB of Storage
  • SSL Encryption
  • Data Encryption
  • Bulk Upload and Download
  • Free Tech Support
  • Dedicated Account Manager

Business Dataroom:

Price Plans: 1 Month for 200 GBP / 1 Year for 1,250 GBP

  • Up to 10 User
  • 5 GB of Storage
  • Data Encryption
  • SSL Encryption
  • Bulk Download and Upload
  • Free Tech Support
  • Dedicated Account Manager

Business Pro Dataroom:

Price Plans: 1 Month for 300 GBP / 1 Year for 1,950 GBP

  • Up to 30 Users
  • 10 GB of Storage
  • Data Encryption
  • SSL Encryption
  • Bulk Upload and Download
  • Free Tech Support
  • Detailed Account Manager

Enterprise Dataroom:

Contact CTC-Aspire for Price and Plan.

  • Unlimited Users
  • 50 GB of Storag

You can also use the following link in order to request a consultation: http://www.ctc-aspire.co.uk/request-a-consultation-vdr-115.html

 

Free Demo

You can enjoy a free demo of these plans upon request.

Contact Information

To get information on how this VDR software solution can help your business, you can fill in a form with your inquiry at the following CTC-Aspire link: http://www.ctc-aspire.co.uk/contact-us-8.html

You can also call CTC-Aspire at the following number (be sure to enter the international code at the beginning if you do not live in the UK: +44 (0)1491 410305.

You can also fill out an Inquiry Form at this link: http://www.ctc-aspire.co.uk/contact-us-8.html

CTC-Aspire (UK) Limited is physically located at:

The Farmhouse

Highlands Land

Henley-on-Thames

RG9 4PR

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Choosing the Highest Rated VDR for your Business

The Growth of the Virtual Data Room Industry

Virtual data rooms (VDRs) are a specialty niche of the cloud computing and cloud storage industry.

Businesses have relied on data rooms since executives started buying and selling companies. Data rooms provide a secure and controlled environment to conduct due diligence.

VDRs are used by businesses to help store and share business documents. Frequently, businesses leverage VDRs to host proprietary business information required for high profile business objectives, such as mergers and acquisitions, fundraising or during the sales cycle.

Often, companies will set up VDRs during merger and acquisition discussions to host and share materials between various internal and external parties. There are many documents that require review from executives, lawyers, accountants and bankers, among other parties.

Due to the highly confidential and sensitive nature, VDRs are set up because they offer strict security controls and customizable options to help manage the organization and operational requirements of sensitive projects. Businesses can leverage software that maintains tracking and audit trail, along with version control and security features that previously occurred with physical data rooms.

As business leaders continue to gain from the benefits of cloud computing, software providers began to develop virtual data rooms. The best vendors provide software that replicates the strengths of a physical data room.

VDRs continue to gain momentum in the business community because through the power of software, companies can receive the same benefits at a reduced cost.

VDR Market Opportunity

The virtual data room software niche continues to grow at a steady pace. In particular, VDRs have hit their stride over the past five years.

From all industry reports, the VDR market has grown around 16% per year over the last five years and shows no signs of slowing down.

Analysts indicate that there are over 200 businesses that employ close to 3,500 people involved in the VDR market.

In fact, Forbes identifies the virtual data room market as one of the Hot Industries to Watch.

Why?

In the global marketplace, more and more companies are composed of virtual teams or colleagues in different locations that are needed to complete deals. Far-flung virtual teams and increasingly global deals make it harder for dealmakers to get in a room to view confidential documents, so companies must rely on secure online data sharing.

In addition to the global pace of business, there are a few other tailwinds at the back of the VDR market, such as:

• Price of data storage continues to decline.
• Reduced operational costs, such as paper and physical storage.
• No transportation costs for key parties to conduct due diligence.
• Immediate access to review business documents.
• Ambiguous use across various industries, such as accountants, attorneys and bankers.

In general, whereas physical rooms require transportation to the site and on-site security, virtual data rooms negate this hassle. Interested parties can access information from their own computers using security credentials given to them and managed by the hosting party, with usage statistics tracked and monitored.

Due to the significant time and money savings that VDRs offer, their usage has experienced dramatic growth over the past five years.

As companies continue to increase cross-border transactions, the competition to complete deals increases, which requires high bandwidth and is expected to fuel the demand for virtual data rooms into the future.

Yes, the VDR the industry is poised for its continued growth over the next five years. The current trends and transition away from physical data rooms only support the VDR market.

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The Current VDR Market

Multiple industry analysts peg the VDR market growth around 16% per year. In 2012, the VDR market was roughly $625 million.

According to research firm IBIS, located in Santa Monica, CA, the VDR market is expected to reach over $1 trillion by 2017.

Additionally, IBIS also reports that the general margins are roughly 7.5% due to high employment costs. Part of the growth in the VDR market is ensuring the security of corporate information. VDR providers must hire highly trained technology staff, mainly programmers, to ensure the software remains safe and secure.

As the market continues to expand, then the competition will likely increase as well. Currently, there are about a dozen major VDR vendors, which include large public companies (like RR Donnelley and Merrill Corp) and smaller focused niche software providers (like HighQ and CapLinked).

Why the VDR Market is Expanding

The current VDR market has some positive long-term trends and intriguing potential.

Only the most luddites would argue that businesses will move away from web-based technology. It simply makes too much sense because technology and software increases the speed of business and reduces costs.

In the VDR market, there are certain segments that contribute towards the expansion. VDR vendors can target different customers or sectors, which means more specialization or customization and a larger industry scope. Segmentation can be based on things customer organization type or market size.

For example, some VDR providers focus on the legal or accounting profession. While other vendors provide data rooms specifically for mergers and acquisitions or fundraising.

There are plenty of customers, such as investment banks, law firms and government service providers or any company that needs to share documents with outside parties, including potential customers and/or potential buyers.

Plus, there are virtual data room solutions that target startups to small businesses to enterprise level companies. The VDR market offers companies with a few different pricing tiers and levels of expected customer service to compete and find significant customer traction

Add in that the VDR market is lightly regulated and the foundation for promising growth is evident.

As the industry expands, there are opportunities to provide more niche markets that only contribute to the rising the tide of the overall market.

In fact, Global Industry Analysts, Inc. highlights some of the global growth drivers for virtual data rooms.

1. Significant Venture Capital

Over the past five to ten years, venture capital firms flocked to cloud computing companies. Household names such as Dropbox and Box were funded with hundreds of millions of dollars in VC investment.

To date, most venture capital firms have not investing in many pure play virtual data room providers, but analysts expect that trend to change. As newer VDR software companies continue to grow and need to raise money, VC firms should find a sufficient market opportunity to invest.

As an added benefit, many investors like to invest in product they know. Venture capitalists rely on virtual data rooms to conduct due diligence on investment opportunities, so there is plenty of synergies in potential investments.

However, online data security is a key concern hindering the market growth. Companies across the globe are innovating solutions to have enhanced secure access to the digital data. Furthermore, cloud services for virtual data rooms are emerging as a key trend for companies to invest in this market.

2. Urgent Need for Data Security

Virtually every day the media reports about another data breach that compromises confidential consumer information.

Due to the increased security risks and in-depth focus on providing a secure environment, VDRs are the next-generation of cloud-based document storage and business repository systems.

The best VDR solutions are based on a foundation of security, which contributes to the strong interest and adoption among enterprises.

The compelling benefits of VDR driving its adoption include:

• Automatic Data Backup
• Superior Security Controls
• Permission-Based User Accounts
• Comprehensive Document Control
• Secure Mobile Access
• Industry Level Security and Encryption Measures

Simply, VDR solutions provide companies with a level of security that traditional cloud storage companies do not provide.

3. Continued Need for Collaboration

The expected growth in the VDR market also means more competition. For consumers, this is a good thing because technology development and innovation will continue to remain the two major pillars supporting growth in the market.

As traditional data rooms struggle to adapt to disruptive software companies that focus specifically on the VDR market, the standard software features also expands.

In addition to the standard security features, new VDR provides integrated additional collaboration based services into their VDR offering.

The new tools allow busy executives to share, comment and ask questions on all documents in a secure environment.

VDRs provide a cost effective method to securely store, manage and archive information in an easy to access platform.

4. Global Growth Market

The United State represents the largest regional virtual data room market. However, the expected growth should occur across the globe, and in particular, in the Asia-Pacific region.

Analysts report that Asia-Pacific ranks as the fastest growing global market with annual growth just over 20% in recent years.

Interestingly, the demand for VDR services actually increased during recent economic struggles in Europe. Reports indicate that companies attempted to eliminate the risks associated with currency fluctuations, geopolitical risks, cultural incompatibility and protectionism, by emphasizing a more structured approach to M&A management during market turmoil.

Global economic turmoil appears to be another long-term tailwind for the VDR market.

5. Heightened Compliance Concerns

Related to the economic concerns growing the demand for VDR offerings, governments around the world continue to make corporate compliance a priority.

In general, there is an increased focus on risk management across the global financial landscape. The importance of conducting proper due diligence benefits the VDR market.

The heightened emphasis on compliance impact many different industries because litigators around the world are armed with more information to attempt large class action suits. Due to the increase of readily available information, frequently referenced as e-discovery, corporations rely on VDRs to protect their proprietary information, such as:

• drug development.
• licensing collaborations.
• patent filing activity.

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Future of VDR

There are some significant and growing trends gaining momentum that support the VDR market. From concerns around consumer data and proprietary information to government regulated compliance measures, the VDR market provides a solution.

Successful businesses continue to grow through reducing costs, which means leveraging technology. Virtual data rooms are suitable replacements for physical data rooms because they provide the same services in a mobile environment.

Now that nearly everything has migrated to the Web, VDRs are applicable to basically every company that needs to share information with third parties. The market continues to expand with large new use cases, like:

• Life Science Companies
• Pharmaceutical Firms
• Healthcare Ventures
• Government Agencies

Rob Koplowitz, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, explains the underlying rationale why work is moving towards the cloud and into the hands of VDRs.

“The space around sharing content externally is being pushed by the nature of our work today across organizations, and pushed by the cloud, which is the natural place where content can be shared.”

The future of the VDR market looks to leverage data security with team collaboration.

The trend is very evident in the newer VDR providers compared to legacy solutions. The VDR providers that were designed for mobile consumption are gaining traction at rates higher than traditional data room offerings.

As the competition increases, look for more specialty focused VDR providers to focus on things like real estate, healthcare or fundraising.

In the current market, many companies rely on data rooms for one-time transactions, such as an acquisition or corporate restructuring, but look for that to change. Virtual data rooms are scalable, which means small companies can grow with the software.

Companies will only continue to store proprietary information online, which indicates that VDR business models will look more like traditional software-as-a-service model.

The current price breaks down to roughly $0.85 per page, but as companies grow, more data will be stored. For VDRs, the cost of storage should continue to decline, so they can maintain prices and expand their margins.

Torgny Gunnarsson, CEO of Imprima, which is a European virtual data room provider, discusses the history and future of the VDR market.

“As organizations and professionals look for efficient, secure and easy-to-use methods of sharing information, the demand for virtual data rooms (VDRs) has soared over the past 10 years.”

Cloud computing and online data sharing are common among consumers who wish to share photos and music with family and friends, which leads to the adoption in the business world. As people become more comfortable with software, they look to utilize the benefits in other parts of their lives.

However, it is worthwhile to note there are key differences between consumer cloud storage offerings and virtual data rooms.

Mainly, VDRs offer security features that provide the ability to structure private information alongside the ability to collaborate as a team.

Anything from secure documents to a complete due-diligence process can be managed and shared through a VDR, and users have ultimate control over who has access.

Gunnarsson validates the forecast that VDRs will continue to move towards collaboration as communication needs continue increase as business priorities.

“Although the traditional use for a virtual data room will always have its heritage in the M&A deal process, we have seen a growing trend in the need for online file sharing from many different sectors that require secure collaboration and communication.”

The future will continue to rely on the history because data rooms must maintain the highest levels of encryption and security.

The ability to store files and set user/group-specific permissions, along with the added benefit of a full reporting and audit trail, enticed several companies to move towards virtual data rooms as a corporate repository.

If virtual data room providers continue to provide secure environments, business leaders will continue to see their value in protecting company data and helping secure company communications and only expand the use of VDRs.

For VDR providers the future looks bright.