The utility of an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is now widely accepted however the challenges that bring organisation to the realisation that they need to go down this path remain varied.

That’s the view of David Irecki, director, solution consulting, APJ for Boomi, a Dell Technologies business.

We asked Irecki to describe some of the common problems companies need iPaaS to overcome and to provide real-world examples of the kinds of benefits these organisations can realise.

He told Which-50, “Many businesses lack the ability to deliver a seamless and timely customer experience. The end result is that those customers ultimately go elsewhere. Another big issue they face is Legacy systems add complexity and costs to management for IT, and this prevents them from going ahead with new business initiatives.”

“For others’” he said, “The problem could be data consistency issues, and getting the right data to the applications at the right time. Or they may have made a decision to  shift to cloud apps and infrastructure, due to the shackles of legacy debt, and they need to tame a complex hybrid environment that may also be hamstrung by too many manual processes, or where there is a significant need to simplify the application landscape.”

To illustrate the point, we asked Irecki to describe three iPaaS implementations he was familiar with so as to demonstrate the challenges and the benefits that ultimately accrued to the customer.

  1. American Express

When American Express spun off part of its travel business in 2014, the new company — American Express Global Business Travel (AmexGBT) — had a singular vision. Start fresh, with the freedom to innovate, and grow the business by moving to best-of-breed technologies and platforms.

Yet the new entity still had to protect its parent company’s intellectual property, gained from years of running a global travel business. To successfully hand-code these complex integrations would typically take an experienced team of developers months to scope, and even longer to implement. But AmexGBT’s IT team was given only three months to stand up new platforms and a year to complete the entire integration, with limited resources available.

In three months the team at American Express were able to architect, build, test and deploy a new, global IT infrastructure and they executed 120 different integrations. Importantly in that time the business realised nearly immediate ROI. The end result was that the spun-off the company quickly re-established itself as a $20 billion business by ensuring minimal disruption to its operations.

  1. University of Melbourne

Melbourne University needed to migrate many of its older on-premise applications to modern cloud versions. But it needed to do this while still supporting integrations across its growing mix of 700+ applications and data sources, including data pulled from the Internet of Things (IoT). 

Its legacy approach to integrations involved segregating each application team to manage its own integrations, but this delivered a tangle of “spaghetti” connections that lacked a cohesive architecture across the company, he said.

“By adopting the Boomi platform Melbourne University was able to accelerate the rollout of new services to students across its seven campuses.” As part of its digital modernisation efforts, it focused first on eliminating data silos. It then moved to unlock data services as internal APIs for different domains in the organisation.”

As a result of its efforts, within a year the university’s integration team was orchestrating a huge volume of data and servicing as many as 5 million API calls a month on the Boomi Platform. 

  1. Sky

The giant UK media and entertainment business Sky set itself the goal of providing its customers with the ability to check the health of their broadband services, in particular, the speed of Wi-Fi to various devices.

The Boomi based system, which Sky executives describe as an intelligent black box allows the business to make simple changes to configurations and instantly scale them. As a result, a quarter of a million customers a week are able to self serve.

The business benefits were significant with £6 million worth of savings in the first year, driven by a 40 per cent decline in support service costs.

“Customers certainly seemed to like the result, with the net promoter score increasing by 10 points,” said Irecki

These examples demonstrate the kinds of benefits we consistently see from businesses that successfully implement iPaaS, he said.

“The organisations not only accelerate time to market they also improve speed to value, a key considering in any innovation project. But by getting their data utilisation sorted they also be confident of more accurate decision making, more effective resource allocation which in turn leads to improved customer retention and rapid growth.”

“Then of course there is the efficiency gains from cost savings through leaner IT teams and process improvements.”

About This Author

Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which Boomi is a corporate member. Members provide their expertise and insights for the benefit of our readers. Membership fees apply.

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