Virtual Data Room Guide: Top 5 VDR Features to Help Your Business Succeed

Online collaboration has become essential in the business world. With many players in different places working on the same project, it is nearly impossible to coordinate the old standard of meetings that take place in a shared, physical space. Today, there are many different options for cloud-based, collaborative work-spaces. But what if you are working with sensitive information that needs extra security? This is where virtual data rooms can be a helpful business tool.

Virtual Data Rooms

What is Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs)?

A virtual data room, or VDR, is an online system for document storage and sharing. What sets virtual data rooms apart from common file sharing services are extra layers of security. By using a VDR, you are limiting access to files to a select group of users. You are also limiting how documents can be viewed and edited. For example, if you are looking for feedback on a document without outside changes, you can make that document viewable but not editable in the VDR. This makes virtual data rooms an excellent solution for financial discussions, mergers and acquisitions negotiations, managing legal documents and real estate transactions.

How Can Virtual Data Rooms (VDRs) Help Your Business?

Virtual data rooms help businesses by giving them an increased level of document security with the flexible collaboration that only an online platform can provide. The business world lives in a global economy, where face-to-face meetings are not always simple to arrange. Yet, deals still need to be made; sensitive information still needs to be handled securely. Virtual data rooms are a practical solution to the security needs of modern, global businesses.

There are some standard expectations a business should have when looking for a VDR service. There should be high levels of encryption. Some VDR services offer as much as 256-bit encryption for document safety. However, there is more to a VDR service than encryption alone. Here are Top Five Must-Have VDR Features to consider as you look for a VDR provider.

1. Strong Security with Controlled Permissions

After encryption, the most important security feature for a VDR is permission control. As the administrator of the data room, you want to know who can access information and what they can do with it. Advanced providers offer a variety of ways to handle permissions. Permissions can be role-based. Here, access to documents in a data room is permitted on a need-to-know basis. Those with advisory roles may only be able to view documents, while more active participants are permitted to edit documents. Another organizational possibility is allowing team leaders to access all files while team members only see files relevant to their place on the team. Some providers also include time-based permissions. If you have a consultant who is working with a team for a day, he or she can have access that expires when the day ends.

2. User Activity Tracking

In order to keep work organized, your VDR provider should give administrators the ability to keep track of how the room is being used. A user audit will give you the ability to see who accessed the room, when they were online and what they did while they were in the data room. This becomes very important when keeping track of document changes over time. Sometimes, as negotiations reach a sticking point, it can be helpful to go back a few steps, returning to the last point that there was agreement. By accessing the activity audit, the room administrator can help get negotiations moving forward.

3. Comprehensive Document Options

One of the challenges of working with technology is the number of formats that are available. Files may come from several sources, from PDFs to spreadsheets to assorted word-processing formats. An important feature of any data room is the ability to accept and display files in a multitude of file formats. This allows users the flexibility to use the formats with which they are comfortable while still having access to the information they need.

Another important document feature of advanced VDR providers is the use of virtual watermarks. Every document, regardless of format, automatically displays information such as the current date and the user’s email address. This discourages taking screenshots for unauthorized sharing.

4. Tools for Easy Collaboration

The basic purpose of a data room is collaboration. In the past, teams would sit in a meeting room looking at documents together. You want the same kind of joint work to happen online with a VDR. Some providers offer important tools to aid in the work process. For example, they allow the administrator to set up an FAQ section, preventing the need to deal with basic or redundant questions. Providers may also allow for online message posting, allowing suggestions and conversations to be logged in real time.

5. A Personalized Interface

As part of your business, you want a VDR that represents your company. The best providers of virtual data rooms are willing to allow the client to be the primary focus. They do this by offering their platform as a white page product, giving the client the ability to custom-design the space. When users log on from another organization, they will immediately know they are in the right place when they see the official client logo and a design scheme consistent with the client’s web page. The interface will also be user-friendly for less tech-savvy clients, making sure that technical issues do not interrupt the work at hand.

As business becomes more global and remote work practices become standard, the need for tools for communication and collaboration will continue to increase. Virtual data rooms are one solution to the challenges of connecting people in the modern workplace, especially when there is a need for security and confidentiality. The best virtual data rooms will combine strong security with practical flexibility. By partnering with an experienced VDR provider, your business can increase communication and accountability for internal teams, external contract negotiations, and many other situations.

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TechGlobeX: Virtual Data Room Guide: Top 5 VDR Features to Help Your Business Succeed
Virtual Data Room Guide: Top 5 VDR Features to Help Your Business Succeed
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