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Digital Transformation 8 min

What is iPaaS

And how to choose your iPaaS Solution? The need for iPaaS in the current digital landscape and which platform is the best fit for your purpose.

RZW pasfoto 2020
Ruben van der Zwan
CEO & Co-Founder
What is iPaaS

And how to choose your iPaaS Platform?

The need for iPaaS in the current digital landscape and which platform is the best fit for your purpose.

What is an iPaaS?

Taking Gartner’s definition for iPaaS:

Integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) is a suite of cloud services enabling the development, execution and governance of integration flows connecting any combination of on-premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations.

If we chop that up in a more comprehensible language we get this: An iPaaS, or integration Platform-as-a-Service, is a platform that standardizes how applications are integrated into your organization, allowing for the automation of business processes and safely sharing of data across multiple applications and systems.

What problems do integration platforms solve?

So much of our lives are intertwined with the digital world. That counts for people individually and modern societies at large – think of industrial sectors, manufacturing, shipping, governments etc. etc. The countless streams of digital information that circle the globe are unfathomable and at the same time we need to make sense of it, and handle it adequately to create a more efficient and liveable society.

If we zoom in on an organizational level, a lot of these goals can be achieved through software solutions such as applications. And there’s a plethora of business applications available in the market that allows organizations to meet every possible challenge with a (third-party) solution. Most of these apps are simple to use, easy to set up, and offer great interfaces.

Because they are so easy to deploy, IT teams are no longer responsible for the implementation of applications. Nowadays, individual departments maintain a best-of-breed strategy and handpick apps to tackle specific challenges. This decentralized approach has led to an explosion in the number of SaaS apps.

The challenge of a decentralized approach is that it creates data silos. Individual data flows and processes that are not integrated into a wider, holistic overview of the organization. Because these systems themselves can also be greatly diverse and not interoperable with the applications. Think of legacy on-premise systems built decades ago, modern cloud-based solutions or even hybrid applications. All these systems and applications also operate with a variety of protocols and data formats that complicates the integration process. That easily leads to a lack of overview and visibility.

Multiply this challenge by all the data touchpoints from various suppliers, providers, and user services and you’ve got a complex network of systems, data streams, manual processes, workflows, and possible security risks. But somehow you need all of them to collaborate in harmony.

A fluid exchange of information is therefore crucial for any organization, especially those on the path to digital transformation.

This is where integration platforms wave their magic wand and bring it all together in a single efficient platform. In an integration platform all your data streams, applications, and workflows can be finetuned, tested, deployed, and managed. Whether it’s simple processes such as ordering furniture or complex networks that affect millions of end users and stakeholders.

And thus we come back to our earlier definition of integration Platform-as-a-Service: An iPaaS is a platform that standardizes how applications are integrated into your organization, allowing for the automation of business processes and safely sharing of data across multiple applications and systems.

Vendor-based iPaaS solutions

When it comes to implementing an integration platform there are two strategies to choose from:

One path is for your organization to build its own integration platform. This gives you all the control and customization. The major downside however is that it puts a heavy dependence on your IT resources. And most likely it is not in your core business to build integration platforms. In addition, the transferring of knowledge is more challenging as your teams change or your organisation scales up.

The more obvious route is to go with a vendor-based iPaaS. These are integration platforms built and managed by integration specialists like us at Yenlo. Going with a vendor-based iPaaS gives you an easy-to-implement, out-of-the-box solution that is fit to handle a wide range of integration use cases.

The following vendors are some of the best integration technology providers on the market today. Each fitting a unique need depending on your business focus.

  • Connext Platform
  • WSO2
  • Boomi
  • Mulesoft
  • Microsoft Azure

Connext Platform – Harnessing and advancing the power of WSO2

In our own words: “Connext Platform is for WSO2 veterans for whom a 24/7 scalable integration platform is the right solution.”

Connext Platform is a fully Managed Middleware Platform-as-a-Service concept that runs in the Cloud. Connext Platform integrates tools for API Management, Enterprise Integration (both ESB and micro-ESB), Identity Management (IAM, SSO and federated authentication), and advanced Real Time Data Analytics.

Because it is highly efficient and scalable, the platform grows with the success and budget of your company. Moreover, it not only ensures a secure exchange of data for companies and their employees and partners but also greatly simplifies the workflow for IT professionals.

One of the most important functions of Connext Platform is to unlock services, processes and data for external parties and internal information systems and to make them of added value for your services.

We do this by offering API subscriptions to our customers, Identity and Access Management for information systems and advanced ways of system integration through a high-quality Enterprise Service Bus, including message queuing or real-time streaming.

Connext Platform is all about “Doing more for less”.

WSO2 – Open source as your key to agility and innovation

The secret to Digital Transformation lies in agility. Agility in technology, knowledge and finance. Agility can be created by, in our belief, an Open Source, API-first and Cloud-first strategy. And that’s why Yenlo chose to partner with the only 100% open standard and open source-based integration platform: WSO2.

Yenlo is a product leader and multi-award-winning Platinum Partner for WSO2. We don’t say that to boast but we say it to give you the certainty that when it comes to implementing open source solutions by WSO2 you’ve come to the right place. WSO2 brings true agility and freedom of choice to enterprises all around the world.

Boomi Atomsphere – A low-code integration solution

Drag-and-Drop User Interface

One of Boomi’s key characteristics is a user interface that’s both simple to use and 100% browser-based. The iPaaS software allows users to build integrations with speed by simple point-and-click and drag-and-drop gestures, without the need for coding in most cases. Users can log in from anywhere without the need for any special tools or software installations.

Native Connectors

Boomi uses ‘connectors’ to integrate source and target systems. A connector is a packaged API driver that can be easily configured and used in the Boomi environment without coding. Boomi offers many pre-built connectors for most known cloud environments, including Salesforce, Netsuite, Zuora and others.

Templates

In case you need standard integrations, for example, NetSuite customers to Salesforce accounts, Boomi has a set of pre-prepared templates that can be used. This is called the Boomi Process Library. These are readily available to all users, and simply need to be downloaded, installed and configured to the accounts being integrated.

Improved productivity

Boomi’s iPaaS solution eliminates mundane, time-consuming and error-prone tasks, freeing up users to focus on value-added tasks. Meaning faster integration, and accelerate data transformation. The Boomi platform removes the need to start tasks from scratch. It is much easier and faster to use processes that have already been built, and just add, adjust, or delete as necessary. Boomi’s cloud-native infrastructure allows users to rapidly deploy integrations within weeks, days, or even hours.

Microsoft Azure – Leverage the full range of Microsoft integration services

An abundance of Data Storage

Azure has more data centers and delivery points than almost all other cloud services. This allows Azure to deliver content faster and provide an optimal user experience. With Microsoft Azure you can store any type of data in a reliable and fast environment and share it across virtual machines (VMs).

Cost-effective

Azure’s iPaaS software doesn’t make you choose between your data center and the cloud. It easily integrates with your existing IT environment through secure private connections, hybrid databases, and storage solutions. Your assets stay where you need them. Moreover, this makes Azure cost-effective and less complex.

Smarter Business Decisions

Azure provides built-in support for analyzing data and key insights. Microsoft’s iPaaS solution provides managed SQL services, Machine Learning, Cortana Analytics, and Stream Analytics. Ultimately, leading to opportunities to make smarter decisions, improve your customer service, and explore new business opportunities.

A Hybrid Powerhouse

Azure stands out in the iPaaS marketplace for its incredible hybrid capabilities. Its hybrid services facilitate a reliable and consistent platform between on-premises and public cloud. Azure also provides a more comprehensive set of hybrid functionalities, including VPNs, file sharing, monitoring, content delivery networks (CDN), and point-to-point connectivity to improve usability and performance and make it easier for you to migrate apps or data and track usage.

MuleSoft Anypoint – For your most intricate integration challenges

The Anypoint Platform is a stand-out iPaaS software solution specifically for complex integration challenges. It is a hybrid integration platform (HIP) with which you can efficiently build a seamless network of applications, data, and systems.

API and ESB on a Single Platform

MuleSoft combines the functionalities of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) with API Management on a single iPaaS platform, creating a best-of-both-worlds powerful and complete solution for integration needs.

Decreased Points of Friction

Aside from hundreds of standard connectors offered through MuleSoft’s Anypoint platform. It also provides its own developer portal so that your IT teams can easily improve the performance or adjust the functionalities of existing connectors. The great visual interface allows for easy development and deployment, decreasing friction and improving time-to-market. Its configurable connectivity lets you opt for a “best-of-breed” strategy by selecting cloud apps and easily adding new capabilities to your ecosystem any time you choose.

Planned Scalability

Scaling is all about capability and capacity. With the Anypoint Platform, you can build a flexible IT infrastructure that lets you effectively handle growing transaction volumes and continuously innovate to meet the changing needs of your customers. In an average month, MuleSoft’s iPaaS software can process over 60 billion transactions — more than 30x that of other leading iPaaS solutions.

Need personalized support for your integration solution?

No iPaaS solution is made to fit seamlessly with just any organization. Especially when different business strategies and organization sizes are considered. And of course, your budgets regarding Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) have a sizable say in your decision-making. For a more in-depth and personal consultation on which iPaaS solution works best for your organization: Get in touch today and together we’ll pave the way for your digital transformation. 

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