The recent sale of Mulesoft indicates one thing: the data integration/iPaaS market is booming and more and more organizations are looking to buy data integration solutions.
In my opinion, this deal is a significant move In our industry: it proves that large enterprises realized that they need to be able to integrate disparate systems, applications, data, and even devices to ensure that the information can be shared in real-time.
However, this post hasn’t been written to talk about the sale of Mulesoft to Salesforce, but to give you a practical guide for when you are looking to purchase a data integration solution.
The buyer’s guide to the complex world of data integrations
The market is extremely crowded and you need to evaluate many different options before you can make a decision. You may as well have already an integration provider, however, if you are here, chances that you need a new angle are big. You could also use your resources better than hand-coding complex integrations.
Why is a data integration solution a must?
Previously, the price and complexity of data integration solutions have discouraged many from the investment. However, modern data integration platforms have evolved and can complement the integration strategy of organizations of any size. We are not going to go into details about the integration platform in this post, for more, see one of our previous articles.
If we had to name only three reasons why you cannot neglect buying integrations, it would be:
1. Massive volumes of data
It’s not a surprise that we are talking so much about big data. Data volumes are growing faster than ever before. Therefore, you need to ensure data integrity and adequate data management. As the amount of data is starting to be overwhelming, a data integration solution can come in handy.
2. Need to improve relationships with stakeholders
Your ecosystem is growing too and business-to-business data sharing is the key to success. Sharing the data in real time will benefit everyone: you will be able to develop your processes and fine-tune them, work with more efficiency, and become more cost-effective together with your partners, third parties, manufacturers, suppliers, and customers.
3. Integrations don’t need to be a headache: they can be developed easily, quickly, in an agile way
Partnering with a data integration vendor (or with more, if you prefer) can really simplify your life and free you from the burden of building integrations and using your resources for maintenance.
How can buying data integration solutions give you an edge?
If a data integration solution is not yet part of your repertoire, you must take a look at the list below and evaluate how it can make your life easier and give you an edge.
All those different products out there on the market come with a different set of features. However, most of them can give you the following below that can truly make a difference.
Integration platform – it is all you need
Let’s not be too technical about this. iPaaS is everything in one package that you need when you need connectivity for transferring data between organizations. That sums it up pretty much well.
It can accelerate your digital transformation by helping you to build out connectivity faster, improve and simplify processes and communication, and reduce the overall costs of integrations.
If you are interested in iPaaS in more depth, keep on browsing our blog posts and our Resource center for more.
Know-how and integration architects and full support
Your IT team may not be able to deliver integrations at the same rate as a vendor with an iPaaS. iPaaS certainly has a lot of cool features (pre-built adapters, protocols, integration scenarios and templates, automated EDIFACT converters, etc) that help the job of the integration architects. (If you have a team already, you also know how difficult it is to find integration experts!) This saves a lot of time and energy and maintaining the solutions becomes a lot more simple.
Experts that utilize an integration platform can drive you through the whole process: they help you to map out the scope of the project, plan a pilot case with you, develop the integrations, end-to-end test it together with your team, deploy it into production, and adjust it according to your needs.
You don’t need to worry about maintenance and monitoring, as your vendor can simply take the weight off of your shoulders.
Faster connectivity – on-premise, hybrid, in the cloud
New connections need to be built out rapidly. This can be challenging and time-consuming when you are coding all your integrations.
First of all, you may need to develop on-premise to on-premise connections. This is a more traditional approach and easier to execute than when you need to build hybrid connections between legacy on-premise technology and cloud software or applications.
If your connectivity needs are less challenging, APIs can be the right thing for you. We have previously written about how building on a robust API infrastructure can give you an edge and why would you choose a partner to host, create, and maintain your APIs.
EDI in the cloud
Once you have built out the connectivity with your ecosystem, you can move your EDI to the cloud. This is a lot efficient than traditional methods, such as EDI VANs or point-to-point integrations.
It’s important that you share timely and high-quality data with your network while you maintain the highest security. On the long-term, you will be able to save a lot on EDI – and it is clearly beneficial when the messaging volumes are growing.
Data management with high security
Despite some concerns, the cloud is a secure method for sharing information with your stakeholders. You need to define who are you sharing data with and exactly what data, but once you’ve done that you can rest assured that you still own your data.
Cooperation with your network is a lot easier when the data format is automatically changed to the preferred format of the other party and vice versa. Meanwhile, the data can be also validated and forwarded back for enrichment, saving you time.
Tailor the solution to your needs
The data integration platform and the solutions need to be able to support the execution of your integration strategy. To do that, the integration expert works closely with you and your team to define the best approach for moving forward.
Data integration can save the day
It is always a pleasure to get feedback from happy customers – and the road to customer satisfaction in the data integration business is long. To ensure satisfaction, we like to work with you closely from the very beginning, when you just research your different alternatives.
A data integration project requires commitment and great communication from both parties – when it’s given, investing in an integration platform can be the best decision you’ve ever made.
We provide you with product and solution demos, explain core features of the platform, answer your technical team’s questions, scope the first pilot together, define how we should move forward from there and the goal is always to develop the best possible solution.
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