Customer Stories: Securely send large files and replace FTP.

Acorda Securing data and ensuring adoption with a great user experience


Acorda Therapeutics is a pharmaceutical company that develops therapies for restoring neurological function and improving the lives of people with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, and other disorders of the nervous system. The company’s FDA-approved drug “AMPYRA” helps to improve walking in people with multiple sclerosis.



As a pharmaceutical company and a publically owned company, Acorda has to comply with stringent data-security regulations.


“Any important data – like clinical trial data, or communications about drugs going to launch – all that has to be on systems that are validated and regulated by IT,” says Acorda’s Assistant Director of IT Network Operations Josh Bauer. “It’s important that the lifecycle of our data is tracked and abides by our SOPs.”


Acorda employees, however, have a constant need to share Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, proposals, and other data with one another, and to access it remotely. To meet that need, Acorda’s people were independently signing up for their own Dropbox and Box accounts.


“When we saw people storing things on Dropbox and other cloud providers, we got really worried,” says Bauer, “because we had no control over that, and if that information ended up in the wrong hands, we’d be in trouble. We had to do something.”


For Acorda to convert its users from consumer-grade solutions to something more secure, that “something” would have to include a fantastic user experience. Given the company culture – with employees often on the go and working from tablets and smartphones – the new solution would also have to include a great mobile UX.



Security needs met

Acorda considered a number of popular file sync and share solutions but none could offer the control and security features that Syncplicity by Axway does. Today, Acorda meets its security needs with an on-premises deployment in its own data center. The data is encrypted, and IT team members can set their own policies and completely control access to it. Bauer says Syncplicity by Axway offers security controls that are “far more granular” than those offered by the competition, and a few features he can’t see doing without, like remote wipe.


“When an employee leaves the organization and we delete their account,” says Bauer, “all the data comes off of all their devices immediately. Being able to wipe data remotely is huge.”


A winning UX

To draw users from Dropbox, Box, and other consumer-grade solutions, and convince them to adopt a new solution, Acorda had to offer them a better experience than what they were used to.


“We ended up liking the interface and its features a lot better than Dropbox,” says Bauer. “Syncplicity’s solution really speaks for itself, and we haven’t had a hard time getting users to move off of other solutions. Once we show them how Syncplicity by Axway works, they say, ‘This is great!’ They’re not even thinking of compliance. They’re just thinking of the usability.”


The new Syncplicity by Axway iPhone app – with its innovative design, including a three-panel main screen view that offers unprecedented function and form – is taking off at Acorda. “The new iPhone app is a huge hit. The UX is innovative and refreshing. It’s really a perfect balance of form and function,” says Bauer.


“We ended up liking the interface a lot better than Dropbox. Syncplicity by Axway’s solution really speaks for itself, and we haven’t had a hard time getting users to move off of other solutions.”

-Assistant Director of IT Network Operations Josh Bauer


Ensured customer success

As it does for every enterprise customer, Syncplicity by Axway extended its white-glove customer success program to Acorda to ensure a successful deployment and wide user adoption.

“The onboarding process was incredible, and it’s nothing you’d ever get from a Dropbox or any other system out there,” says Bauer. “We had strategy sessions. We had training. We had access to marketing materials. It was amazing. The Customer Success team was fantastic and we were really, really happy about it.”



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