Archive for the 'SaaS' Category

6 Requirements of a Modern Integration Platform

In 2009 I worked with data and application integration guru David Linthicum on a whitepaper called, “What to Look for When Evaluating Cloud Integration Solutions.” The 6 requirements were:

  1. True multitenant versus hosted offering
  2. Ease of use
  3. Try and buy / rapid deployment
  4. IT or LOB usability
  5. Scalability
  6. Vendor viability

While I don’t think I’d change this list too much in 2014, I’ve been putting together a series of posts on the SnapLogic blog summarizing the requirements of a modern integration platform. Now commonly known as integration platform as a service (iPaaS), the 6 primary requirements are:

  1. Fully-Functional Cloud-based Service (based on a Software-Defined Architecture)
  2. Single Platform for Big Data, Application and API Integration
  3. Elastic Scale
  4. Built on Modern Standards (REST, JSON)
  5. Broad Cloud and On-Premises Connectivity
  6. Self-Service for Citizen Integrators

Let me know if you agree or disagree with the list. I’ve embedded a demonstration of the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform below if this is an area of cloud computing that is new to you.

Cloud Application, Analytics and Integration Drivers and Barriers

Last week I hosted a webcast that reviewed the results from a recent SnapLogic TechValidate survey on cloud integration. You can download the complete results of the research here. The webcast also featured a deep dive demonstration of the SnapLogic Integration Cloud. I’ve embedded the recording below.

Why the ESB is the Wrong Approach to Cloud Integration

This week Maneesh Joshi from SnapLogic posted an article on Wired Insights called: Why Buses Don’t Fly in the Cloud: Thoughts on ESBs. It’s a pretty deep post, summarizing the vision of a services oriented architecture (SOA) and why the concept of the enterprise service bus (ESB) has reached its limits in the era of Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud and the internet of Things (SMACT). Here are a few snippets:

“Long implementation cycles, inability to absorb change, and high costs have made it difficult for these ESB solutions to keep up with fast evolving business requirements and often resulted in unmet expectations.”

“The ESB as an agile integration layer has been exposed as the long pole in project plans and customers are looking for alternatives.”

“On-premise ESBs or cloud integration platforms that are natively XML-based but apply translations to JSON at its extremities to keep up are going to fall short in the world of SMAC.”

“REST and JSON together are increasingly replacing SOAP and XML, making ESBs less relevant in today’s enterprise SMAC architecture.”

“Sticking with legacy technologies such as ESBs will only hamstring organizations from innovating rapidly and capitalizing on emerging opportunities.”

Do you agree? Do you see integration platform as a service (iPaaS) as complementary or a long-term replacement of the ESB as more and more of the applications and platforms are delivered in the cloud?

Cloud Integration on the Whiteboard

Check out this chalk-talk series with the head of engineering at SnapLogic talking about application and data integration delivered as a cloud service (aka iPaaS):

Going Beyond Point-to-Point Cloud Integration

SnapLogic Integration Cloud Architecture in Review

The series of whiteboard presentations is posted on the SnapLogic blog.

2013 SaaS Industry Report

Here’s some interesting research published earlier this year on the software as a service (SaaS) market: Siemer and Associates Summer 2013 SaaS Industry Report. It includes useful regional projections as well as a breakdown by application categories: CRM, ERP, HRM. The appendix also outlines the key SaaS metrics and includes some public company comparables as well as financing and transactions.

2014 Cloud Integration Predictions from @SnapLogic

SnapLogicIntegrationCloudManeesh Joshi from SnapLogic shared his 2014 cloud integration predictions last week. They are:

  1. iPaaS makes ESBs obsolete
  2. API management and iPaaS jointly displace Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) in enterprise IT
  3. IT dinosaurs face extinction; the citizen developer emerges
  4. Digital Marketing platforms take over the world
  5. The rise of the cloud data warehouse

Here’s a powerpoint overview:

SaaS Videos from a Couple of #Cloud Gurus

Check out two great new videos posted by my friends at Host Analytics.

1) Dave Kellogg, who is now an Enterprise Irregular, talks about the SaaS model and why vendors are so focused on customer success. (And no, it’s not just that they’re nice people.)

2) Jeff Kaplan, who runs THINKstrategies and can usually be found speaking at a cloud conference or at an airport, talks about how the SaaS model has enabled IT organizations to play the strategic role they were meant to play in the enterprise. He also makes a stinging point about on-premises vendors hosting crappy apps vs. investing in real, multitenant cloud services.

Good stuff guys!

Organizing your Salesforce Orgs

Does this sound familiar? You’re moving from an independent instance (or org) of Salesforce CRM to the consolidated corporate org.  While there will definitely be business benefits in terms of visibility, reporting, customer/prospect communication, support, responsiveness, enablement and general leverage of corporate resources, it still represents a potential loss of autonomy. But it’s the right strategy for your business. Or is it?

Whether you ended up with multiple Salesforce orgs through mergers and acquisitions, separate brands or divisions, or through organic growth: at some point your organization is going to need to determine what is the right approach to multi-org consolidation. Here is an overview of 3 approaches to consider.

Cloud Data Management in the Spotlight

This week I had the pleasure of hosting a webinar featuring two great subject matter experts on the topic of cloud data management in the era of hybrid IT:

Mike West outlined why “hybrid” (or highly interwoven) deployments are the new normal for enterprise IT. He reviewed how the coud is radically changing the role of enterprise IT and why data management must be a part of an overall cloud strategy. He identified 7 trends of the so-called Boundary Free Enterprise and pointed to these 5 best practices:

  1. Commit to (Cloud) Data Management
  2. Manage the Organizational Issues
  3. Partner with a Data Management Provider
  4. Manage Both Control and Access
  5. Approach Data Management as Value Creation

Andrew Bartels shared the story of how he led the transition at his company to “cloud first” and drove Salesforce adoption from a peripheral system to a key driver of business performance and success. Andrew spoke passionately about the need to treat data as an asseet and concluded with the following words of advice:

  • Communication is key
  • Focus on real needs not just philosophy
  • Establish a Data Committee
  • Become a partner & not an obstacle
  • Integration & accessibility is key
  • Be prepared for a long road

I’ve embedded the video below and posted the slides on Slideshare. There’s some great insight here. I hope you find the discussion interesting and useful – I sure did!

Congratulations to the 2012 Best of AppExchange Award Winners

English: salesforce.com Deutsch: salesforce.co...

Every year Salesforce announces the top partners by AppExchange category based on the quantity and quality of reviews. Today they blogged the winners. Congratulations to these partners who continue to demonstrate such a high degree of cloud customer adoption and success.

Sales: There are multiple winners in this category based on functional area.

Overall winner: Adobe EchoSign (They have now won 7 years in a row!  I actually thought the award had only been around for 5 years. Hmmm…. They have an astounding 2040 reviews for their electronic signature application.)

  • Reports and Dashboards: Hoopla Scoreboard by Hoopla Software (we have the big screens running in our office!)
  • Methodologies: Opportunity Management Optimizer by Sales Optimizer
  • Geolocation: Geopointe by Arrowpointe
  • Quotes and Orders: Configurator by Big Machines
  • Compensation: Xactly Incent by Xactly

Customer Service: Clicktools Surveys and Scripts by Clicktools

IT and Administration: Informatica Cloud Integration for Salesforce (Informatica has been recognized 5 years in a row as the top cloud integration solution!)

Marketing: Marketo (Big win over Eloqua in a very competitive category – congrats!)

Human Resources (HR): Jobscience for Professional Recruiting by Jobscience

ERP: Ascent by Precisio Business Solutions (I’m interested in feedback on this app. Thought you’d see Financial Force here.)

Collaboration: SpringCM Free Content Management from SpringCM

Analytics: Sales Pipeline Visualization by SalesClic (First I’ve heard of this app – looks interesting.)

Congratulations to all of the winners and thanks to the Salesforce users who took the time to post their reviews!

 

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