Premiership Rugby has improved data security and business efficiency by adopting a web-based content collaboration system.
Premiership Rugby, which represents the 12 professional rugby clubs in England that play in the Aviva Premiership, the European Champions Cup and the European Challenge Cup, routinely shares confidential information with sponsors, media firms and other business partners.
“When I joined the organisation 14 months ago, I saw there was a need to focus on the control of commercially sensitive content and confidential documents such as contracts,” said Paul Sherrell, head of partnerships at Premiership Rugby.
“Using traditional communication channels like email and courier services, there is no way of knowing where shared content ends up or who gets access to it, which is why I wanted to streamline those processes that were rather clunky and not that secure,” he told Computer Weekly.
Security is important to the business, said Sherrell, noting that Aviva Premiership Rugby has seen tremendous growth on and off the pitch in 2015 and its brand reputation relies on its ability to nurture commercial relationships.
“Intralinks VIA enables us to set different levels of control, so when communicating with a potential partner, I can make content available but ensure it is not downloaded, copied, printed, screen-grabbed or shared, and then withdraw access after a set time,” said Sherrell.
By setting controls, Premiership Rugby can ensure that the various people involved in a partnership get access only to documents and other content that is specifically intended for them.
“In the past, when information was shared through a printed manual, everyone involved in the partnership was able to access all the information,” he said.
The system also enables users to share content with third parties with the permission of the content owner, who can still control and monitor access.
“With 135 games in a season, there is a lot going on, which is why speed and efficiency are also very important,” said Sherrell.
To meet the goals of increased security and efficiency, he looked at best-of-breed enterprise content sharing and collaboration systems, identifying the Intralinks VIA system as a top contender.
“Intralinks is used by organisations in highly-regulated industries where protecting data and valuable IP is critical, such as legal firms dealing with data relating to mergers and acquisitions,” said Sherrell.
He set up a meeting with Intralinks based on a personal recommendation and the company’s reputation, and decided to implement the system after going through the security processes in detail.
“Intralinks VIA is robust and secure, enables us to exchange and work on documents on any device anywhere in the world, and yet it is also easy to use and implement because it is web-based and does not require any software installation by organisations you are sharing content with,” said Sherrell.
This flexibility and ease of use is important to Premiership Rugby because it has partners around the world from different cultures and in different time zones.
Having spearheaded the adoption of Intralinks VIA, the partnership division is the first to adopt the system to collaborate with central partners and prospects, but other divisions of the business are set to follow.
“Sharing confidential information, such as contract negotiations, presentations, guidelines, image banks and critical processes is much easier and more efficient because it enables a streamlined workflow and everyone involved in a project knows where to find the info they need,” said Sherrell.
“Previously, when were sent content for advertising display boards, we would have to download it before it could be checked and repackaged to send on to the display company, but now I can access the shared content on the system to check it without having to download it first and it is then immediately available on the system to the display company.”
Dave Wareham, senior vice-president for Intralinks in Europe, said Premiership Rugby understands the importance of using technologies, such as Information Rights Management (IRM), to protect its confidential assets.
“It also recognises that consumer-grade solutions can easily compromise everything it has worked towards as an organisation. We’re proud that it has selected Intralinks to support its document collaboration needs,” he said.