Virtual data rooms (VDRs) are vital to various business and legal dealings. But first let’s clear up the question: what is a virtual data room?
A virtual data room all but replaces a physical data room (PDR). Data rooms have been around for years as a solution for all parties related to a business deal to be able to access vital documents and other data in a secure location. The data room would house all types of legal transactions, financial documents, company background info and other important data while the room is fully monitored.
Often data rooms are used during mergers and acquisitions but can also be used for legal, investment banking, accounting and really anything where a deal is occurring and both sides need access to related documents. In fact, the idea for a virtual data room originally came about in the legal profession where lawyers wanted to meet with clients and share documents. The services are the best one to get the right results in sharing of the documents. The virtual Data Room will deliver massive benefits to the business organizations. The allotment of money and efforts at the room is excellent to get the potential benefits. The legal profession is there with the clients and customers.
A virtual data room is technology’s way of making things a lot easier. While it provides a service much like the cloud, it’s so much more secure not to mention convenient what without the need to show up to the room in person.
These virtual data rooms are accessible through a website that contains very limited controlled access outside of the provider. The person requiring access (let’s say the bidder) can enter the room with a provided secure log-in. This log-in can be cancelled by the administrator if at any time the bidder withdraws from the transaction.
There are a few companies out there that lead the way in providing secure virtual data rooms. When searching for which one would work best for your needs you should look to ensure they provide the following services:
- Security of documents – The virtual data room must protect Microsoft Office documents and PDFs without the need for a plugin or anything to compromise the original form of the file.
- Mobile access – Being able to access the selling side of this virtual data room from your mobile device should not be underestimated. As certain matters in the M&A procedure are time-sensitive it may not always be feasible to get to a computer. You may need to change user permission settings or add or remove users or any number of other things. Accessing the room from just about anywhere is not only a convenience, it’s a necessity. Obviously it goes without saying, this must be secure.
- Consistent monitoring and tracking – It must offer 100% security. Monitoring a virtual data room is not as easy as a physical data room but it is possible. You want to know if they track everyone who accesses the room and what exactly they look at. Ideally they would only let one person access the room at a time. It’s worth asking about any other unique security and monitoring features they offer.
- Live support, preferably 24/7. This may seem like a “nice to have” but it’s a necessity. If for whatever reason the room is not running smoothly or there’s some sort of hitch you’ll need support to help fix it immediately. Without a 24/7 service you’ll be stuck waiting and unable to move on. That’s a no-go in business when you expect everything to flow smoothly and efficiently.
Those are the services that a virtual data room should provide, minimally. There are a number of providers out there and each one offers something a little different, some are better than others. But they all should offer the above. Maybe you can let the mobile access feature slide but if you’re someone who travels a lot, this is almost a must.
Another point to take into consideration obviously is pricing. There are some companies out there that charge exorbitant amounts to set up a virtual data room yet they provide the same services as another more affordable provider. Do your research before settling and make sure you’re not paying more than you need to be.
Virtual data rooms may not have completely replaced physical data rooms – yet – but they offer a convenience and efficiency that is unmatched. This is especially true for deals that are transpiring over great distances. As virtual data rooms expand their security and features they will become more and more the go-to option for secure business deals.