virtual data room technologySince the internet and cloud computing have offered businesses an online alternative to physical data rooms, the benefits of opting for a virtual data room (VDR) provider has boomed.

VDRs are the technology of choice for a wide variety of business transactions, and are the perfect way to share and store confidential documentation during international deals.

We take a look at the humble beginnings of the data room, and how the capabilities of these essential business tools have skyrocketed in recent years.

Before: Physical Data Rooms

Pre-internet, corporations from all over the world would be summoned to a single meeting place, to liaise directly with each other and share private financial information. The physical meeting room would be booked for a number of days, or weeks in some cases, until both the buying and selling parties had observed the documents they needed to and were ready to come to a negotiated settlement.

This was often an expensive endeavour, both for the seller who was forced to hire the meeting space and the buyer/interested party who needed accommodation for the duration of the meetings, as well as transport to and from the venue. This was especially costly when completing overseas business deals.

After: Virtual Data Rooms

Now the buyer and seller have access to an online data sharing platform, they can upload, share and view essential business documentation regardless of country or time zone.

VDRs offer all the security benefits of physical data rooms, including restricting buyers from copying, printing of forwarding information without the sellers consent, but without the vendors needing to be present. Some virtual data room providers, including Imprima, offer the option to watermark documents too, so your documents will always be copyright protected.

An easier, quicker and more secure alternative to posting, emailing and faxing, many VDRs also permit sellers to observe who has looked at which documents, how long they were opened for, if the buyer printed the document – when they were allowed to do so – and at which times interaction took place.

Each person involved in the buying process is granted their own login ID and password details for individual accessibility. Buyers can designate and restrict access depending on who needs to see each of the various files. This is especially important when multiple stakeholders are involved in the merger, acquisition or transaction.

Overall, the VDR process is cheaper, faster and more efficient compared to its age-old counterpart.