Muhimbi's customer base spans all industries, organisational sizes and geographical locations. Different industries and countries have different rules and regulations, for each industry that has no reservations about documents being processed in a secure manner by an automated third party system, there is an industry that does not allow documents to be accessed by third party systems at all, period! No matter how secure the underlying technology is.
Unfortunately, when it comes to SharePoint Online's architecture, as well as other online services such as Power Automate, Azure Logic App and UiPath, there is little you can do. These environments don't come with native PDF processing facilities and do not allow third party software to be installed on their servers. Therefore third party solutions must be hosted on external servers.
So how does that work for SharePoint from a security perspective? When a customer's SharePoint environment instructs our software to process a file (convert, merge, watermark, OCR, etc) our servers retrieve the document from the SharePoint site using a secure connection. The file is then processed after which the processed file is sent back to the SharePoint environment. It is then deleted from our servers. Muhimbi does not store or retain customer files once the operation has completed and our software cannot access customer systems unless the request is initiated by the customer.
For other platforms including Power Automate and custom software that directly invokes our REST API, our servers have no access to customer environments at all. All data, including the file that needs to be processed, is sent to our servers alongside the request. The results are returned in response, Muhimbi's servers do not store your files and all traces of intermediate files are thoroughly scrubbed away.
At Muhimbi we are very much aware of the limitations, and strengths, of Online platforms, which is why we offer a number of different solutions to customers with strict security or regulatory requirements:
- Shared Servers in a region of your choice: Customers with an Enterprise Subscription can choose the geographic region to process files in. Ideal for companies who must process their data in their own territory (currently US / Canada / Europe / Australia, with other regions including Asia / South America and Germany available on request via Custom Subscriptions).
- Dedicated Servers hosted by Muhimbi: Using this solution Muhimbi sets up separate servers for exclusive use by a single customer in a geographic region of their choice. Servers are hosted by Microsoft and managed / maintained by Muhimbi.
- Dedicated Servers hosted by Customer: Using this solution customers host the servers in a facility of their choice (internal or external). Both the hard and software are maintained by customers' internal IT staff.
Solutions 2 and 3 are only available to customers subscribing to the Custom subscription level. Please contact us to discuss your exact requirements.
Please keep in mind that for all 3 options, there is always a shared element, regardless of where the back-end servers are hosted. As it is an online service, the initial request is always sent to a Muhimbi hosted front-end server, from here on the request will be dispatched to the appropriate servers as per the 3 scenarios listed above.
If your security policy does not permit ANY shared element, then there is always the option to deploy Muhimbi's PDF Converter Services product on your own servers, either local or cloud based. This product is a traditional 'on-premise' product, but you can - with a little bit of effort - integrate it with your own local or remote cloud service. It won't be as nice or user friendly as Muhimbi's standard cloud-based service, but you can achieve the same functionality. Contact us if this is of interest.