Sterling Data Room
Sterling Technology is a European virtual data room provider. Based in London and established in 1995, the company veered towards data rooms in 2010. They have since then become a prominent name in the data room industry, with offices in India and six countries in Europe.
Supporting thousands of data rooms across 160 countries, the Sterling solutions are used for closing deals across a wide spectrum of industries. That includes real estate, private capital, banking, legal, energy and infrastructure, pharma, and other fields. Besides VDRs, Sterling also offers other solutions for corporate work, including a platform for background checks.
The Sterling virtual data room solutions cater to businesses of small sizes. Multiple collaboration tools, access permissions, and audit trails help create a secure and easy-to-use platform that is perfectly suited for all kinds of data-intensive operations, including M&A, company restructuring, IPOs, fundraising, or issuing board reports or company audits.
Sterling deployment and support
There’s a good deal to be said about the Sterling deployment capabilities, as well as what it offers in terms of support.
The Sterling data room is mainly deployed as a web-based solution — it requires no software or app downloads, instead launching through your browser on any computer or mobile device.
Because it’s based on the cloud, like most virtual data rooms, it also doesn’t store data locally. Instead, it hosts your data in its own data centers in the UK, mainland Europe, and China. This gives users the added benefit of choosing where to host their data, ensuring compliance with any relevant local legislation.
Should you prefer to use a dedicated app, that option is also available. An app can be downloaded for both Android and iOS operating systems; besides, the Sterling VDR software can also be installed for PCs or laptops. It’s compatible with any Windows operating system from XP up, and with any Mac (10.5 or later).
Sterling also integrates with Adobe and Microsoft Office solutions for downloading, viewing, and editing content.
The Sterling customer support is available 24/7/365 in several languages — users can contact a live representative through landlines in any of the following countries:
- The Netherlands
They also have an email option, but there isn’t a live chat option currently available. Other support options include:
- Online webinars (available for download)
- Blog with a multitude of how-to’s and other resources
- Detailed FAQ section
- Product documentation
- Live training (on request)
Sterling also assigns every customer a dedicated Relationship Manager, helping clients get set up, onboard users, and familiarize themselves with the ins and outs of the Sterling data rooms.
Unlike the majority of virtual data rooms, the Sterling pricing system doesn’t work with a prefigured, feature-based plan. Instead, pricing hinges on the specific needs of the client in terms of storage volume, quantity of users, and other resources.
Potential clients are encouraged to submit a quote through a form on the Sterling website. There is also a 14-day free trial available for testing out the platform.
Without a powerful set of security features, a virtual data room is nothing but a glorified folder. This is why Sterling invests heavily in all security aspects, from features designed to protect individual users to privacy restrictions that you can apply to different folders and files.
The concern with security is specially present in the deployment of the Sterling cloud, which can be based in different locations according to your data hosting needs. This helps address questions of data sovereignty and supports compliance with legislation such as the GDPR.
For the individual user:
- Strong password requirements. Users are required to create strong, hard-to-crack passwords
- Multiple-step verification. Before logging in from a new device, a user must verify their identity through another means (such as an email or SMS confirmation, or an authenticator app)
- Timeout. Software access is set to time out, so that if a user leaves the app running on an unprotected device, their account will automatically log off after some time
- Audit trail. One of the key security elements in any VDR, this gives the admin an overview of everything that happens within the virtual data room. This includes logon data (IP, time of access), files viewed and edited, and so on
- Access permissions. Files have different levels of confidentiality, so you should be able to store them accordingly. This feature allows you to assign files and folders different levels of protection, from least confidential to need-to-know. Depending on the level of permission they get, individual users will be able to access a greater or smaller part of the data room
- Offline document protection. Safeguard your files against copying, editing, printing, and other ways of sharing. This works even after files have been downloaded by users
- Automatic expiry. Set up a specific date and time for your files to self-destruct. Like Mission Impossible, but without the bang
- IP block. Prevent specific IP addresses from accessing your data room
- Custom watermarking. When viewing a watermark-protected file, users will see their own information as the watermark. This way, if a user shares a screenshot of the file, they’ll be sharing their own data, making it easy to stop leakers
Besides these and other security features, Sterling also ensures a protected environment for your files. Data is encrypted both in motion and in rest, and the platform is compliant with the main data protection certificates, ISO 27001, SOC-1 and SOC-2, as well as with relevant data protection frameworks such as the GDPR.
Sterling VDR services
|Automatic Numerical Indexing of Files & Folders||yes|
|Drag & Drop Upload of Multiple Files and Folders||yes|
|Archives Upload & Extraction||no|
|Document Version Control||no|
|Multilingual Documents Index||yes|
|Granular Document Permissions||yes|
|Prevention of Download, Print and Copy||yes|
|Remote Shredding of Documents||yes|
|Customizable Document Watermarks||yes|
|Secure Fence View||yes|
|Document Access Expiry||no|
|256-Bit SSL/TLS Encryption||yes|
|Data at Rest Encryption||yes|
|99.9% Uptime Guarantee||no|
|ISO 27001 Certified||yes|
|SOC 2 Certified||no|
|SSAE 16 Certified||no|
|Mobile Device Management||no|
|Granular User Permissions||no|
|Access Limitation by IP Address||no|
|Scroll-Through Web-Based Document Viewer||no|
|Web-Based Excel Spreadsheets Viewer||yes|
|Mobile Device Interface||yes|
|Search by Name||yes|
|Search by Content (Full Text Search)||yes|
|OCR (Optical Character Recognition)||no|
|Filtering by Parameters||yes|
|Basic Questions & Answers Module||yes|
|Advanced Questions & Answers Module||no|
|Secure User Messaging||yes|
|New Document Email Notifications||no|
|Files & Folders Notes||yes|
|Tracking of All User Activity||yes|
|Real-Time Audit Trail||no|
|Exporting Reports to Excel||no|
|Tracking of Document Viewing Time||yes|
|Branded User Interface||no|
|Custom Login Page||yes|
|Custom User Invitation Letter||no|
|Custom Agreements for Accessing Data Room||yes|
|Active Directory Integration||no|
|Single Sign-On Integration||yes|
|Customer-Managed Encryption Keys||yes|
|Integrations Through APIs||no|
|Custom Workflows and Features||yes|
|Business Hours Support||yes|
|24/7 Email Support||yes|
|24/7 Phone & Email Support||yes|
|Online Help Center||yes|
|Dedicated Project Manager||no|
|Data Room Archive on DVD or USB Drive||yes|
|Multiple Datacenter Locations||yes|
|Price||All price categories|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|