Showing posts with label middleware. Show all posts
Showing posts with label middleware. Show all posts

Friday, December 06, 2013

As Big Data Pushes Enterprises into Seeking More Data Types, Standard and Automated Integrations Far Outweigh Coded Connections

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how creating big-data capabilities are new top business imperatives in dealing with a flood of data from disparate sources.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Scribe Software.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the top new business imperatives: Creating big-data capabilities and becoming a data-driven organization.

We’ll examine how business-intelligence (BI) trends are requiring access and automation across data flows from a variety of sources, formats, and from many business applications.

Our discussion focuses on ways that enterprises are effectively harvesting data in all its forms, and creating integration that fosters better use of data throughout the business process lifecycle.

Here now to share their insights into using data strategically by exploiting all of the data from all of the applications across business ecosystems, we’re joined by Jon Petrucelli, Senior Director of Hitachi Solution Dynamics, CRM and Marketing Practice, based in Austin, Texas. Welcome, Jon.

Jon Petrucelli: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: We’re also here with Rick Percuoco, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Trillium Software in Bedford, Mass. Welcome, Rick.

Rick Percuoco: Hi, Dana. Thank you.

Gardner: And we're also joined by Betsy Bilhorn, Vice President of Product Management at Scribe Software in Manchester NH. Welcome, Betsy. [Disclosure: Scribe Software is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Betsy Bilhorn: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: Betsy, let me start with you. We know that more businesses are trying to leverage and exploit their data, helping them to become more agile, predictive, and efficient. What's been holding them back from gaining access to the most relevant data? What's the roadblock here?

Bilhorn: There are a couple of things. One is the explosion in the different types and kinds of data. Then, you start mixing that with legacy systems that have always been somewhat difficult to get to. Bringing those all together and making sense of that are the two biggest ones. Those have been around for a long, long time.

That problem is getting exponentially harder, given the variety of those data sources, and then all the different ways to get into those. It’s just trying to put all that together. It just gets worse and worse. When most people look at it today, it almost seems somewhat insurmountable. Where do you even start?

Gardner: Jon, how about your customers, at Hitachi? What are you seeing in terms of the struggle that they're facing in getting better data for better intelligence and analytics?

Legacy systems

Petrucelli: We work with a lot of large enterprise, global-type customers. To build on what Betsy said, they have a lot of legacy systems. There's a lot of data that’s captured inside these legacy systems, and those systems were not designed to be open architected, with sharing their data with other systems.

When you’re dealing with modern systems, it's definitely getting easier. When you deal with middleware software like Scribe, especially with Scribe Online, it gets much easier. But the biggest thing that we encounter in the field with these larger companies is just a lack of understanding of the modern middleware and integration and lack of understanding of what the business needs. Does it really need real-time integration?

Some of our customers definitely have a good understanding of what the business wants and what their customers want, but usually the evaluator, decision-maker, or architect doesn’t have a strong background in data integration.

It's really a people issue. It's an educational issue of helping them understand that this isn't as hard as they think it is. Let's scope it down. Let's understand what the business really needs. Usually, that becomes something a lot more realistic, pragmatic, and easier to do than they originally anticipated going into the project.

In the last 5 to 10 years, we've seen data integration get much easier to do, and a lot of people just don’t understand that yet. That’s the lack of understanding and lack of education around data integration and how to exploit this big-data proliferation that’s happening. A lot of users don't quite understand how to do that, and that’s the biggest challenge. It’s the people side of it. That’s the biggest challenge for us.

Gardner: Rick Percuoco at Trillium, tell us what you are seeing when it comes to the impetus for doing data integration. Perhaps in the past, folks saw this as too daunting and complex or involved skill sets that they didn't have. But it seems now that we have a rationale for wanting to have a much better handle on as much data as possible. What's driving the need for this?

Percuoco: I would definitely agree with what Betsy and Jon said. In dealing with that kind of client base, I can see that a lot of the principles and a lot of the projects are in their infancy, even with some of the senior architects in the business. Certain companies, by their nature, deal with volume data. Telecom providers or credit card companies are being forced into building these large data repositories because the current business needs would support that anyway.

So they’re really at the forefront of most of these. What we have are large data-migration projects. There are disparate sources within the companies, siloed bits of information that they want to put into one big-data repository.

Mostly, it's used from an analytics or BI standpoint, because now you have the capability of using big-data SQL engines to link and join across disparate sources. You can ask questions and get information, mines of information, that you never could before.

The aspect of extract, transform, load (ETL) will definitely be affected with the large data volumes, as you can't move the data like you used to in the past. Also, governance is becoming a stronger force within companies, because as you load many sources of data into one repository, it’s easier to have some kind of governance capabilities around that.

Higher scales

Gardner: Betsy, it sounds that as if the technology has moved in such a way that the big-data analytics, the platform for doing analysis, has become much more capable in dealing at higher scales, faster speeds at lower costs. But we still come back to that same problem of getting to the data, putting it in a format that can be used, directing it, managing that flow, automating it, and then, of course, dealing with the compliance, governance, risk, and security issues.

Is that the correct read on this, that we've been able to move quite well in terms of the analytics engine capability, but we're still struggling with getting the fuel to that engine?

Bilhorn: I would absolutely agree with that. When you look at the trends out there, when we talk about big data, big analytics and all of that, that's moved much faster than capturing those data sources and getting them there. Again, it goes back to all of these sources Jon was referring to. Some of these systems that we want to get the data from were never built to be open. So there is a lot of work just to get them out of there.

The other thing a lot of people like to talk about is an application programming interface (API) economy. "We will have an API and we can get through web services at all this great stuff," but what we’ve seen in building a platform ourselves and having that connectivity, is that not all of those APIs are created equal.

The vendors who are supplying this data, or these data services, are kind of shooting themselves in the foot and making it difficult for the customer to consume them, because the APIs are poorly written and very hard to understand, or they simply don’t have the performance to even get the data out of the system.
The vendors who are supplying this data, or these data services themselves, are kind of shooting themselves in the foot and making it difficult for the customer to consume them.

On top of that, you have other vendors who have certain types of terms of service, where they cut off the service or they may charge you for it. So when they talk about how it's great that they can do all these analytics, in getting the data in there, there are just so many show stoppers on a number of fronts. It's very, very challenging.

Gardner: Let's think about what we are doing in terms of expanding the requirements for business activities and values here. Customer relationship management (CRM), I imagine, paved the way where we’re trying to get a single view of the customer across many different data type of activities. But now, we’re pushing the envelope to a single view of the patient across multiple healthcare organizations or a single view of a process that has a cloud part, an on-premises part, and an ecosystem supply-chain part.

It seems as if we’ve moved in more complexity here. Jon Petrucelli, how are the systems keeping up with these complex demands, expanding concentric circles of inclusion, if you will, when it comes to a single view of an object, individual, or process?

Petrucelli: That’s a huge challenge. Some people might call it data taxonomy, data structuring, or data hygiene, but you have to be able to define a unique identifier for your primary object in the data. That’s what we see. Sometimes, businesses have a hard time deciding on that, but usually it jumps out at you.

The only things that will transact business with you in the world are people or organizations, generally speaking. A dog, a tree, or an asset is not going to actually transact business with you.

Master key

We have specialists on our team that do this taxonomy, architects that help our organizations, figure out what a master key is, a master global unique identifier for an object. Then, you come up with a schema that allows you to either use one that’s existing or you concatenate a bunch of the data together to create one. That becomes the way that you relate all of the objects to each other that sets the foreign key that they hook up to.

Gardner: I think that helps illustrate how far you can go with this. It seems, though, as if you have to get your own house in order -- your own legacy applications, your own capabilities -- before you can start to expand and gain some of these competitive advantages. It seems that the more data you can bring it to bear on your analytics, the more predictive, the more precise, and the more advantageous your business decisions will be.

I think we understand the complexity, but let's take it back inside the organization. Rick, tell us first about what Trillium Software does and how you're seeing organizations take the steps to begin to get the skills, expertise, and culture to make data integration and data lifecycle management happen better.

Percuoco: Trillium Software has always been a data-quality company. We have a fairly mature and diverse platform for data that you push through. Because for analytics, for risk and compliance, or for anything where you need to use your data to calculate some kind of risk quotient ratios or modeling whereby you run your business, the quality of your data is very, very important.
With the advent of big data and the volume of more and varied unstructured data, the problem of data quality is like on steroids now.

If you’re using that data that comes in from multiple channels to make decisions in your business, then obviously data quality and making that data the most accurate that it can be by matching it against structured sources is a huge difference in terms of whether you'll be making the right decisions or not.

With the advent of big data and the volume of more and varied unstructured data, the problem of data quality is on steroids now. You have a quality issue with your data. If anybody who works in any company is really honest with themselves and with the company, they see that the integrity of the data is a huge issue.

As the sources of data become more varied and they come from unstructured data sources like social media, the quality of the data is even more at risk and in question. There needs to be some kind of platform that can filter out the chatter in social media and the things that aren't important from a business aspect.

Gardner: Betsy Bilhorn, tell us about Scribe Software and how what Trillium and Hitachi Solutions are doing helps data management.

Bilhorn: We look at ourselves as the proverbial PVC pipe, so to speak, to bring data around to various applications and the business processes and analytics. Where folks like Hitachi leverage our platform is in being able to make that process as easy and as painless as possible.

We want people to get value out of their data, increase the pace of their business, and increase the value that they’re getting out of their business. That shouldn’t be a multi-year project. It shouldn’t be something that you’re tearing your hair out over and running screaming off a bridge.

As easy as possible

Our goal here at Scribe is to make that data integration and to get that data where it needs to go, to the right person, at the right time, as easily and simply as possible for companies like Hitachi and their clients.

Working with Trillium, one of the great things with that partnership is obviously that there is the problem of garbage in/garbage out. Trillium provides that platform by which not only can you get your data where you need it to go, but you can also have it clean and you can have it deduped. You can have a better quality of data as it's moving around in your business. When you look at those three aspects together, that’s where Scribe sits in the middle.

Petrucelli: We used to do custom software integration. With a lot of our customers we see lot of custom .NET code or other types of codesets, Java for example, that do the integration. They used to do that, and we still see some bigger organizations that are stuck on that stuff. That’s a way to paint yourself into a corner and make yourself captive to some developer.

We highly recommend that people move away from that and go to a platform-based middleware application like Scribe. Scribe is our preferred platform middleware, because that makes it much more sustainable and changeable as you move forward. Inevitably, in integration, someone is going to want to change something later on.

When you have a custom code integration someone has to actually crack open that code, take it offline, or make a change and then re-update the code and things like -- and its all just pure spaghetti code.
We highly recommend that people move away from that and go to a platform-based middleware application like Scribe.

With a platform like Scribe, its very easy to pick up industry-standard training available online. You’re not held hostage anymore. It’s a graphical user interface (GUI). It's literally drag-and-drop mappings and interlock points. That’s really amazing, being this nice capability in their Scribe Online service. Even children can do an integration. It’s a teaching technique that was developed at Harvard or MIT about how to put puzzle pieces together through integration. If it doesn’t work, the puzzle pieces don’t fit.

They’ve done a really amazing job of making integration for rest of us, not just for developers. We highly recommend people to take a look at that, because it just brings the power back to the business and takes it away from just one developer, a small development shop, or an outsourced developer.

That’s one thing. The other thing I want to add is that we see integration as critical to all of the successor projects at the high levels of adoption and return on investment (ROI). Adoption by the users and then ultimately ROI by the businesses is important, because integration is like gas in the sports car. Without the gas, it's not going to go.

We want to give them one user experience or one user interface to productive users -- especially sales reps in the CRM world and customer service reps. You don’t want them all tabbing between a bunch of different systems. So we bring them into one interface, and with a platform like Microsoft CRM, they can use their interface of choice.

They can move from a desktop, to a laptop, to a tablet, to a mobile device and they’re seeing one version of the truth, because they’re all looking into windows looking into the same realm. And in that realm, what is tunneled in comes through pipes that are Scribe.

Built-in integration

What we do for a lot of customers is intentionally build integration into it using Scribe, because we know that if we can take them down from five different interfaces, you're looking at getting a 360-degree view of the customer that’s calling them or that they’re about to call on. We can take that down to one interface from five.

They’re really going to like that. Their adoption is going to be higher and their  productivity is going to be higher. If you can raise the productivity of the users, you can raise the top line of the company when you’re talking about a sales organization. So, integration is the key to drive high level of adoption and high level of ROI and high levels of productivity.

Gardner: Let's talk about some examples of how organizations are using these approaches, tools, methods, and technologies to improve their business and their data value. I know that you can’t always name these organizations, but let's hear a few examples of either named or non-named organizations that are doing this well, doing this correctly, and what it gets for them.
If you can raise the productivity of the users, you can raise the top line of the company when you’re talking about a sales organization.

Petrucelli: One that pops to mind, because I just was recently dealing with them, is the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA basketball team. I know that they’re not a humongous enterprise account, but sometimes it's hard for people to understand what's going on inside an enterprise account.

Most people follow and are aware of sports. They have an understanding of buying a ticket, being a season ticket holder, and what those concepts are. So it's a very universal language.

The Thunder had a problem where they were using a ticketing system that would sell the tickets, but they had very little CRM capabilities. All this ticketing was done at the industry standard for ticketing and that was great, but there was no way to track, for example, somebody's preferences. You’d have this record of Jon Petrucelli who buys season tickets and comes to certain games. But that’s it; that’s all you’d have.

They couldn’t track who my favorite player was, how many kids I have, if I was married, where I live, what my blog is, what my Facebook profile  is. People are very passionate about their sports team. They want to really be associated with them, and they want to be connected with those people. And the sports teams really want to do that, too.

So we had a great project, an award winning project. It's won a Gartner award and Microsoft awards. We helped the Oklahoma City Thunder to leverage this great amount of rich interaction data, this transactional data, the ticketing data about every seat they sat in, and every time they bought.

Rich information

That’s a cool record and that might be one line in the database. Around that record, we’re now able to wrap all the rich information from the internet. And that customer, that season ticket holder, wants to share information, so they can have a much more personalized experience.

Without Scribe and without integration we couldn’t do that. We could easily deploy Microsoft CRM and integrate it into the ticketing system, so all this data was in one spot for the users. It was a real true win-win-win, because not only did the Oklahoma City Thunder have a much more productive experience, but their season ticket account managers could now call on someone and could see their preferences. They could see everything they needed to track about them and see all of their ticketing history in one place.

And they could see if they’re attending, if they are not attending, everything about what's going on with that very high-value customer. So that’s a win for them. They can deliver personalized service. On the other end of it, you have the customer, the season ticket holder and they’re paying a lot of money. For some of them, it’s a lifelong dream to have these tickets or their family has passed them down. So this is a strong relationship.

Especially in this day and age, people expect a personalized touch and a personalized experience, and with integration, we were able to deliver that. With Scribe, with the integration with the ticketing system, putting that all in Microsoft CRM where it's real-time, it's accessible and it's insightful.

It’s not just data anymore. It's real time insights coming out of the system. They could deliver a much better user experience or customer experience, and they have been benchmarked against the best customer organizations in the world. The Oklahoma City Thunder are now rated as the top professional sports fan experience. Of all professional sports, they have the top fan experience -- and it's directly relatable to the CRM platform and the data being driven into it through integration.
It’s not just data anymore. It's real time insights coming out of the system.

Gardner: Great. You can actually see where there is transformational benefit. They’re not just iterative or nice to have. It really changes their business in a major way. Rick Percuoco, any thoughts there at Trillium Software of some examples that exemplify why these approaches are so powerful?

Percuoco: I’ve seen a couple of pretty interesting use cases. One of them is with one of our technical partnerships. They have a data platform also where they use a behavior account-sharing model. It's very interesting in that they take multiple feeds of different data, like social media data, call-center data, data that was entered into a blog from a website. As Jon said, they create a one-customer view of all of those disparate sources of data including social media and then they map for different vertical industries behavioral churn models.

In other words, before someone churns their account or gets rid of their account within a particular industry -- like insurance, for example -- what steps do they go through before they churn their account? Do they send an e-mail to someone? Do they call the call center? Do they send social media messages? Then, through statistical analysis, they build these behavioral churn models.

They put data through these models of transactional data, and when certain accounts or transactional data fall out at certain parts, they match that against the strategic client list and then decide what to do at the different phases of the account churn model.

I've heard of companies, large companies, saving as much as $100 million in account churn by basically understanding what the clients are doing through these behavioral churn models.

Sentiment analysis

Probably the other most prevalent that I've seen with our clients is sentiment analysis. Most people are looking at social media data, seeing what people are saying about them on social media channels, and then using all different creative techniques to try and match those social media personas to client lists within the company to see who is saying what about them.

Sentiment analysis is probably the biggest use case that I've seen, but the account churn with the behavioral models was very, very interesting, and the platform was very complex. On top, it had a productive analytics engine that had about 80 different modeling graphs and it also had some data visualization tools. So it was very, very easy to create shots and graphs and it was actually pretty impressive.

Gardner: Betsy, do you have any examples that also illustrate what we're talking about when it comes to innovation and value around data gathering analytics and business innovation.

Bilhorn: I’m going to do a little bit of a twist here on that problem. We have had a recent customer, who is one of the top LED lighting franchisors in United States, and they had a different bit of a problem. They have about 150 franchises out there and they are all disconnected.
Sentiment analysis is probably the biggest use case that I've seen.

So, in the central office, I can't see what my individual franchises are doing and I can't do any kind of forecasting or business reporting to be able to look at the health of all my franchises all over the country. That was the problem.

The second problem was that they had decided on a standardized NetSuite platform and they wanted all of their franchises to use these. Obviously, for the individual franchise owner, NetSuite was a little too heavy for them and they said overwhelmingly they wanted to have QuickBooks.

This customer came to us and said, “We have a problem here. We can't find anybody to integrate QuickBooks to our central CRM system and we can't report. We’re just completely flying blind here. What can you do for us?”

Via integration, we were able to satisfy that customer requirement. Their franchises can use QuickBooks, which was easy for them, and then through all of that synchronized information back from all of these franchises into central CRM, they were able to do all kinds of analytics and reporting and dashboarding on the health of the whole business.

The other side benefit, which also makes them very competitive, is that they’re able to add franchises very, very quickly. They can have their entire IT systems up and running in 30 minutes and it's all integrated. So the franchisee is ready to go. They have everything there. They can use a system that’s easy for them to use and this company is able to have them up and are getting their data right away.

Consistency and quality

So that’s a little bit different. Big data is not social, but it’s a problem that a lot of businesses face. How do I even get these systems connected so I can even run my business? This rapid repeatable model for this particular business is pretty new. In the past, we’ve seen a lot of people try to wire things up with custom codes, or every thing is ad hoc. They’re able to stand up full IT systems in 30 minutes, every single time over and over again with a high level consistency and quality.

Gardner: Well we have to begin to wrap it up, but I wanted to take a gauge of where we are on this. It seems to me that we’re just scratching the surface. It’s the opening innings, if you will.

Will we start getting these data visualizations down to mobile devices, or have people inputting more information about themselves, their devices, or the internet of things? Let's start with you, Jon. Where are we on the trajectory of where this can go?

Petrucelli: We’re working on some projects right now with geolocation, geocaching, and geosensing, where when a user on a mobile device comes within a range of a certain store, it will serve that user up, if they have downloaded the app. It will be an app on their smartphone and they have opted into those. It will serve them up special offers to try to pull them into the store the same way in which, if you’re walking by a store, somebody might say, “Hey, Jon.” They know who I am and know my personalization, when I come in a range, it now knows my location.
Integration is really the key to drive high levels of adoption, which drives high levels of productivity.

This is somebody who has an affinity card with a certain retailer, or it could be a sports team in the venue that the organization knows during the venue, it knows what their preferences are and it puts exactly the right offer in front of the right person, at the right time, in the right context, and with the right personalization.

We see some organizations moving to that level of integration. With all of the available technology, with the electronic wallets, now with Google Glass, and with smart watches, there is a lot of space to go. I don’t know if it's really relevant to this, but there is a lot of space now.

We’re more in the business app side of it, and I don’t see that going away. Integration is really the key to drive high levels of adoption, which drives high levels of productivity which can drive top line gain and ultimately a better ROI for the company that’s how we really look it integration.

Gardner: Where are we on the trajectory here for using these technologies to advance business?

Percuoco: You mentioned specifically location information, and, as Jon mentioned, it is germane to this discussion. There’s the concept of digital marketing, marketing coupons to people in real-time over their smartphones as they’re walking by businesses, and so forth. That’s definitely one of the very prevalent use cases for location objects.

Shopping patterns

There’s also an interesting one that kind of goes on top of that, where you evaluate web traffic shopping patterns of people, using Google location objects. For large ticket items, you can actually email them, in real time, competitor coupons. For example, a mile down the street, this one company has something for $100 or $200 less.

It's another interesting use case kind of intelligent marketing through digital media in the mobile market. I also see the mobile delivery of information being critical as we move forward.

Pretty much all data integration or BI professionals are basically working parents. It’s very, very important to be able to deliver that information, at least in a dashboard format or a summary format on all the mobile devices. You could be at your kid’s Little League game or you could be out to dinner with your wife, but you may have to check things.

The delivery of information through the mobile market is critical, although the user experience has to be different. There needs to be a bunch of work in terms of data visualization, the user experience, and what to deliver. But the modern family aspects of life and people working are forcing the mobile market to come up to speed.
It’s very, very important to be able to deliver that information, at least in a dashboard format or a summary format on all the mobile devices.

The other thing that I would say is in terms of integration methods and what Jon was talking about. You do have to watch out for custom APIs. Trillium has a connectivity business as does Scribe.

As long as you stick with industry-standard handshaking methods, like XML or JSON or web services and RESTful APIs, then usually you can integrate packages fairly smoothly. You really need to make sure that you're using industry-standard hand-offs for a lot of the integration methods. You have four or five different ways to do that, but it’s pretty much the same four or five.

Those would be my thoughts on the future. I also see cloud computing, platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS) really taking hold of the market. Even Microsoft and some of the other platform tools like Office 365 and the email systems in CRM, are all cloud-based applications now, and to be honest, they’re better. The service is better, and there’s no on-premise footprint. I really see the market moving toward PaaS and SaaS to the cloud computing market.

Gardner: What is Scribe Software's vision, and what are the next big challenges that you will be taking your technology to?

Bilhorn: Ideally, what I would like to see, and what I’m hoping for, is that with mobile and consumerization of IT you’re beginning to see that business apps act more like consumer apps, having more standard APIs and forcing better plug and play. This would be great for business. What we’re trying to do, in absence of that, is create that plug-and-play environment to, as Jon said, make it so easy a child can do it.

Seamless integration

Our vision in the future is really flattening that out, but also being able to provide seamless integration experience between this break systems, where at some point you wouldn’t even have to buy middleware as an individual business or a consumer.

The cloud vendors and legacy vendors could embed integration and then be able to have really a plug and play so that the individual user could be doing integration on their own. That’s where we would really like to get to. That’s the vision and where the platform is going for Scribe.

Gardner: Well, great. I’m afraid we’ll have to leave it there. We've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast discussion on how business intelligence and big-data trends are requiring improved access and automation to data flows from a variety of sources.

We've learned of ways that enterprises are effectively harvesting data in all it's forms and creating integrations that foster better use of data throughout the entire lifecycle. The result has been the ability to exploit data strategically among more aspects of enterprise businesses and across more types of applications and processes.

So a huge thanks to our guests Jon Petrucelli, Senior Director of Hitachi Solutions Dynamic CRM and Marketing Practice. Thanks so much Jon.

Petrucelli: Thank you, glad to be here.

Percuoco: Also Rick Percuoco, Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Trillium Software. Thank you so much, Rick.

Percuoco: You’re welcome, Dana.

Gardner: And Betsy Bilhorn, Vice President of Product Management at Scribe Software. Thank you, Betsy.

Bilhorn: Thank you again, Dana.

Gardner: And also a huge thank you to our audience for joining this insightful discussion. This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Don’t forget to come back and listen next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes. Download the transcript. Sponsor: Scribe Software.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how creating big-data capabilities are new top business imperatives in dealing with a flood of data from disparate sources. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2013. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cloud and SaaS Force a Rethinking of Integration and Middleware as Services for Services

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast of the role of cloud and SaaS in the changing landscape of application integration.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: Workday.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect. Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on how major trends around cloud, mobile, and software as a service (SaaS) are dramatically changing the requirements and benefits of application integration.

In many respects, the emphasis now on building hybrid business processes from a variety of far-flung sources forces a rethinking of integration and middleware. Integration capabilities themselves often need to be services in order to support a growing universe of internal and external constituent business process component services.

Here to explore the new era of integration-as-a-service and what it means for the future is David Clarke, Director of Integration at SaaS ERP provider Workday, and who is based in Dublin. Welcome, David. [Disclosure: Workday is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

David Clarke: Hi, Dana. Good to be here.

Gardner: As I said, the past is necessarily prologue when it comes to integration. Why have the platforms, applications, and data of the past forced a certain approach to integration, and why is that ill-suited to what we are expecting and seeing more of every day with cloud and SaaS?

Clarke: One thing is that historically applications were built, structured, and architected in very different ways. When you tried to knit those things together, there was quite a diverse set of requirements, which needed to be addressed. And, there was a very wide variation in their architectures. So that implied a very general-purpose middleware that had to cope with many different and very diverse scenarios. That was one factor.

A second factor was that the middleware and the integration tended to come as an afterthought. So, it couldn't really influence or inform the way that the application platforms themselves were designed.

Those two things together made it more difficult than it needed to be. Then, what we're starting to see -- and what we are certainly hopeful of seeing in this generation built around cloud -- is that those two things aren’t necessarily the case. So, we can benefit more from having integration designed in upfront, and having a more consistent overall architecture, so that it’s essentially easier for it to plug into.

One third variable might be that customers historically also discounted or underestimated the likely impact or complexity of doing integration. They tended to come to them as an afterthought and then struggled with them. This time around, to some extent, they've been burned by previous generations. So they're more wary, and are additionally including integration more in their upfront planning.

Gardner: We're not necessarily talking about throwing the baby out with the bath water here. We're still going to be doing integrations in the traditional way. It's just that we need to add another category, and it seems that there is a benefit in that. We can use many of the tools, many of the underlying technologies that supported traditional middleware, and extend that into this services environment.

Clarke: Correct. There’s nothing fundamentally new, in some sense. I've worked in several generations of integration and middleware technology, and each one is a refinement of the past, and you're standing on the shoulders of giants, to badly paraphrase Newton.

Packaged and presented

lot of the underlying technology you're using for integration, a lot of the underlying concepts, are not that new. It's just the way that they're being packaged and presented. In some cases, it's the protocols that we're using, and certainly some of the use models. But the ways you're accessing them and consuming them are different. So, it is in that sense [this is] evolutionary.

Gardner: What has probably changed the most are the requirements. The problem set that we're addressing has changed. How has it changed? Perhaps this would be an opportunity for you as well to explain what Workday is, what it does, and how you came to be a part of the Workday team.

Clarke: Historically, integration technology was sold as a stand-alone and on-premise offering. Companies would buy or build applications, and then, as their business processes evolved, they found a need to integrate them and connect them together. So, they would license middleware and use that to achieve that.

There have been a couple of generations of middleware technology companies that have helped customers do this. They shared some of the characteristics around certain generations of technology.

So you had companies like TIBCO Software in the early days, folks from the financial sectors. Then you had companies like BEA Systems focused on the Java generation of middleware and application servers. And then, you had more XML and web services-centric companies.

As a middleware vendor, you're trying to solve essentially any and every problem.

You had those three generations, but what was common to them all was that they were quite divorced from the application experience. And that was my background in pure middleware, building and selling that technology.

A strength and a weakness of that was that it was very general purpose. As a middleware vendor, you're trying to solve essentially any and every problem. To draw on the Eclipse Foundation's motto: middleware is a general-purpose platform that can do everything or nothing. In many cases, people ended up spending a lot of money on this general-purpose middleware and essentially achieving nothing, which was frustrating.

Workday is an applications company. We're an on-demand apps company and we build and serve human capital management (HCM), financials, and enterprise resource planning (ERP) application suites.

Cape Clear, which was my former company, was acquired by Workday about three years ago. We were partners, but as Workday’s business expanded significantly, they saw that providing a compelling and a differentiated integration experience in the context of this new cloud architecture was going to be something that was very important to them. So they acquired Cape Clear and we became part of the overall Workday organization.

The first surprise to me was that I had always worked for companies where it was difficult essentially to explain what we did. You couldn't really go to your grandmother and describe middleware technology, whereas you could at least go and explain financial systems or HCM systems.

Overarching context

That then flowed all the way down through to how we positioned, thought about, described, and marketed the technology. It has certainly been my experience that it's a lot easier to describe, position, plan, and explain integration technology when you have this overarching context of an application domain.

That's been very instructive and has interesting implications in the future for the nature, or indeed the existence, of a stand-alone in the middleware market. That might be an interesting topic we could talk about later.

The other observation is that the consistency of these use cases make our jobs somewhat easier. What's also been interesting is the nature of the load and the scale profiles that we're seeing.

A lot of middleware applications that we used to see were technically complex to achieve, but were often relatively low volume or relatively low scale. But, in large-scale companies, when you're dealing with their core systems of record around financials and HCM, you're looking at very large data sets, with very significant scalability requirements, and very significant performance constraints. That has interesting implications for how you think about and implement your middleware solutions.

Gardner: So there seem to be two fundamental things going on here. One, is taking integration to the on-demand or SaaS domain, but second, there is also this embedding integration functionality into the application.

One of the perpetual holy grails of the middleware industry, when it was a stand-alone undertaking was to find a way to express and expose middleware and integration concepts in a way that they could be used by mere mortals.

People, when they use Workday -- whether they are human resources professionals or employees in these organizations, whether they're partners or suppliers to these enterprises that are using Workday -- they're not thinking about integration. They're thinking about human resources, benefits, payroll, and insurance.

Tell me how this shift to on-demand, as well as embedding into the application, changes the requirements. How does someone like yourself who is crafting the middleware integration capabilities need to shift their thinking in order to go “to the cloud,” but also become part-and-parcel with the application?

Clarke: One of the perpetual holy grails of the middleware industry, when it was a stand-alone undertaking, was to find a way to express and expose middleware and integration concepts in a way that they could be used by mere mortals, by business analysts, by people who weren't necessarily very deep technologists with deep technology expertise.

In my experience, the middleware industry never achieved that. So, they didn't really ever find a metaphor or a use model that enabled less skilled, but nonetheless technically savvy, people to use their products.

As you observe in the applications game, you absolutely have to get there, because fundamentally what you're doing here is you are enabling companies and individuals to solve business problems and application problems. The integration arises as a necessity of that or as a consequence of that. In and of itself, it isn't useful.

Designing applications

The most specific thing that we've seen is how we build, manipulate, and use extremely sophisticated integration technology. We spend a lot of our time thinking about how to design that into the application, so that it can be experienced and consumed by users of the application who don’t know anything about XML, Java, web protocols, or anything like that.

To give you one very simple example, the most common use case of all probably is people getting data, perhaps from our system, doing something with it -- a simple transformation -- and then delivering it or putting it somewhere else, perhaps into our system.

That model of "get, transform, and put" is intuitively straightforward, but historically that has always been realized in a complicated way in the middleware stack. We've built a very simple tool inside of our application, and it's now the most heavily used integration component in our system.

Business analysts can very easily and visually define what they are getting and putting it in terms of the business concepts and the business objects they understand. They can define very simple transformations, for example, going from a payroll input to a check, or going from a report of absences by departments to a payroll input.

They're consuming and using integration technologies in a very natural way in the context of their day-to-day working in the web layer in these systems. They're not programmers. They're not developers. They're not thinking about it that way.

It's quite empowering for the teams that we have had working on this technology to see if it's usable in that way by the business analysts here. It's the closest I've seen people get to capturing this unicorn of enabling integration technology to be actually used by business people.

It's the closest I've seen people get to capturing this unicorn of enabling integration technology to be actually used by business people.

Gardner: While you have put quite a bit of emphasis on the tool side in order to make this something that mere mortals can adjust and operate, you've also done a lot of heavy lifting on the connections side. You recognized that in order to be successful with an integration platform, you had to find the means in which to integrate to a vast variety of different types of technologies, services, data, and so forth. Tell me what you've done, not only on the usability, but on the applicability across a growing universe of connection points.

Clarke: That’s another interesting area. As you say, there are thousands or millions of different types of endpoints out there. This being software, it can map any data format to any other data format, but that’s a trivial and uninformative statement, because it doesn’t help you get a specific job done.

Essentially what we've been trying to do is identify categories of target systems and target processes that we need to integrate with and try to optimize and focus our efforts on that.

For example, pretty much the majority of our customers have a need to integrate to and from benefit systems for 401(k), healthcare, dental, visual plans, and so forth. It's an extremely common use case. But, there is still a wide diversity of benefits providers and a wide variety of formats that they use.

We've studied the multiple hundreds of those benefits providers that we've experienced by working with our customers and we've abstracted out the most common format scenarios, data structures, and so forth, and we have built that into our integration layer.

Configure your data set

You can very easily and rapidly and without programming configure your specific data set, so that it can be mapped into and out of your specific set of benefits providers, without needing to write any code or build a custom integration.

We've done that domain analysis in a variety of areas, including but not limited to benefits. We've done it for payroll and for certain kinds of financial categories as well. That's what's enabling us to do this in a scalable and repeatable way, because we don’t want to just give people a raw set of tools and say, "Here, use these to map anything to anything else." It's just not a good experience for the users.

Gardner: David, you mentioned that Cape Clear was acquired by Workday about three years ago, and Workday has been growing very rapidly. Have you been surprised by the adoption rate and pattern around SaaS, and now we're talking about cloud and hybrid cloud? Did this happen faster than you were expecting, because it certainly caught me by surprise.

Clarke: Totally. I remember when we originally became part of Workday several years ago, we were doing some sort of product planning and strategic thinking about how we were going to integrate the product lines and position them going forward. One of the things we had in our roadmap at the time was this idea of an appliance. So we said, "Look, we can envision the future, where all the integration is done in the cloud, but we frankly think it's like a long way off. We think that it's some years off."

For that reason, we articulated and embarked on a path of offering what we were calling an appliance, which essentially would have been an on-premise component to the integration stack or of the integration stack that would be deployed at customer sites. We thought the world wasn’t going to be ready soon enough to put the integration technology and stack in the cloud as well.

It just became clearer and clearer to us that there was an appetite and a willingness in our customer and prospect base to use this technology in the cloud.

Happily that turned out to have been incorrect. Over the course of the ensuing 12 months, it just became clearer and clearer to us that there was an appetite and a willingness in our customer and prospect base to use this technology in the cloud.

We never really went ahead with that appliance concept, it didn’t get productized. We never used it. We don’t need to use it. And now, as I have conversations with customers and with prospects, it just is not an issue.

In terms of it being any kind of philosophical or in principle difficulty or challenge, it has just gone away. It totally surprised me, as well, because I expected it to happen, but thought it would take a lot longer to get to where it has got to already.

Gardner: There is a certain irony, because we were all involved with service-oriented architecture (SOA) and kept waiting for that to get traction, and were a little bit distressed that it wasn’t catching on. Then, lo and behold, this concept of SaaS and cloud leapfrogs and catches on much faster than we thought. So, it is an interesting time.

When we go back to enterprises, we recognize that this “consumerization” of IT is taking place, where the end-users, the zeitgeist of expectations, is now at the point where they want IT in the enterprise to work as well and in the same manner as it does for their personal lives. How does that shift the thinking of an enterprise architect?

Clarke: Superficially, enterprise architects are under a lot of pressure to, as you say, to present technologies in ways that are more familiar to customers from their personal lives. The most specific example of that is the embrace of mobile technologies. This isn't a huge surprise. It's been a pretty consistent pattern over a number of years that workforce mobility is a major influence on product requirements.

Mobile devices

We've seen that very significant proportions of access to our system is via mobile devices. That informs our planning and our system architecture. We're invested heavily in mobile technologies -- iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and other clients. In my experience, that’s something that's new, with the customer enterprise architects. This is something they have to articulate, defend, and embrace.

Historically, they would have been more concerned with the core issues of scalability, reliability, and availability. Now, they've got more time to think about these things, because we as SaaS vendors have taken a lot of things that they used to do off of their plates.

Historically, a lot of time was spent by enterprise architects worrying about the scalability and reliability of the enterprise application deployments that they had, and now that’s gone away. They get a much higher service level agreement (SLA) than they ever managed to operate by themselves when they run their own systems.

So, while they have different and new things to think about because of the cloud and mobility, they also have more head space or latitude to do that, because we have taken some of the pain that they used to have away.

Gardner: I suppose that as implications pan out around these issues, there will be a shift in economics as well, whereby you would pay separately and perhaps on a capital and then operating basis for integration.

They also have more headspace or latitude to do that, because we have taken some of the pain that they used to have away from them.

If integration by companies like Workday becomes part-and-parcel of the application services -- and you pay for it on an operating basis only -- how do traditional business models and economics around middleware and integration survive? How do you see this transition working, not only for the functionality and the architecture, but in dollars and cents?

Clarke: I'd certainly hate to be out there trying to sell middleware offerings stand-alone right now, and clearly there have been visible consolidations in this space. I mentioned BEA earlier as being the standard bearer of the enterprise Java generation of middleware that’s been acquired by Oracle.

They are essentially part of the application stack, and I'm sure they still sell and license stand-alone middleware. Obviously, the Oracle solutions are all on-premise, so they're still doing on-premise stuff at that level. But, I would imagine that the economics of the BEA offering is folded very much into the economics of the Oracle application offering.

In the web services generation of middleware and integration, which essentially came after the enterprise Java tier, and then before the SOA tier, there was a pretty rapid commoditization. So, this phenomenon was already starting to happen, even before the cloud economics were fully in play.

Then, there was essentially an increased dependence or relevance of open source technologies -- Spring, JackBe, free stacks -- that enabled integration to happen. That commoditization was already starting to happen.

Open source pressure

So even before the advent of the cloud and the clear economic pressure that put on stand-alone integration, there was already a separate pressure that was originating from open source. Those two things together have, in my view, made it pretty difficult to sustain or to conceive a sustainable integration model.

A lot of the investment dollars that have gone into something like integration market are now going elsewhere in infrastructure. They're going into storage. They're going into availability. They're going certainly to cloud platforms. It would need to be a brave venture capitalist now who would write a check to a company coming in with a bright idea for a new on-premise middleware stack. So that business is gone.

Gardner: We're also seeing some investment around taking open source middleware and integration capabilities and extending them to the cloud. It's not as difficult for an open source company, because their monetization has been around maintenance and support, more of an operating expense. We certainly haven’t seen too much in the way of a general-purpose integration cloud from any of the traditional on-premises middleware vendors.

Do you think in 10 years, or maybe 5, we won’t even be thinking about integration? It will really be a service, a cloud service, and perhaps it will evolve to be a community approach. Those people who need to be connected to one another will either structurally move toward some standardization or, perhaps in a more ad hoc or organic way, provide the means by which they could more easily play well together?

Clarke: There are a couple of things that we see happening here. I'll make two main observations in this area.

There is an important difference between a general-purpose platform or integration platform and then a more specific one, which is centered around a particular application domain. Workday is about the latter.

First, at the risk of losing half our audience with the jargon, there is an important difference between a general-purpose platform or integration platform and then a more specific one, which is centered around a particular application domain. Workday is about the latter.

We're building a very powerful set of cloud technologies, including an integration cloud or an integration platform in the cloud, but it’s very focused on connecting essentially to and from Workday, and making that very easy from a variety of places and to a variety of places.

What we're not trying to create is a general-purpose platform, an associated marketplace, in the way that maybe somebody like is doing with AppExchange or Google with App Engine for app development. In a sense, our scope is narrower in that way, and that’s just how we're choosing to prosecute the opportunity, because it’s harder to establish a very horizontal platform and it’s just difficult to do.

I referred earlier to the problem that middleware companies traditionally have of doing everything and nothing. When you have a purely horizontal platform that can offer any integration or any application, it’s difficult to see exactly which ones are going to be the ones that get it going.

The way we're doing this is therefore more specific. We have a similar set of technologies and so on, but we're really basing it very much around the use case that we see for Workday. It’s very grounded in benefits integrations, payroll integrations, financial integrations, payment integrations. And every one of our deployments has tens, dozens, hundreds of these integrations. We're constantly building very significant volume, very significant usage, and very significant experience.

Developing marketplace

I can see that developing into a marketplace in a limited way around some of those key areas and possibly broadening from there.

That's one of the interesting areas of distinction between the strategies of the platform vendors as to how expansive their vision is. Obviously expansive visions are interesting and creating horizontal platforms is interesting, but it’s more speculative, it’s riskier, and it takes a long time. We are more on the specific side of that.

You mentioned collaborating and how this area of business processes and people collaborating in the community. I referred earlier to this idea that we're focusing on these key use cases. What’s arising from those key use cases is a relatively small set of documents and document formats that are common to these problem areas.

Lately, I've been reading, or rereading, some of the RosettaNet stuff. RosettaNet has been around forever. It was originally created in the early '80s. As you know, it was essentially a set of documents, standard documents, interchange formats for the semiconductor or the technology manufacturing industry, and it has been very successful, not very prominent or popular, but very successful.

What we see is something similar to RosettaNet starting to happen in the application domain where, when you are dealing with payroll providers, there is a certain core set of data that gets sent around. We have integrated to many dozens of them and we have abstracted that into a core documentary that reflects the set of information and how it needs to be formatted and how it needs to be processed.

These are very good vectors for cooperation and for collaboration around integrations, and they're a good locus around which communities can develop standardized documents.

In fact, we now have a couple of payroll partners who are directly consuming that payroll format from us. So, in the same way that there are certain HR XML standards for benefits data, we can see other ones emerging in other areas of the application space.

These are very good vectors for cooperation and for collaboration around integrations, and they're a good locus around which communities can develop standardized documents, which is the basis for integration. That’s intriguing to me, because it all derives from that very specific set of use cases that I just never really saw as a general-purpose integration vendor.

Gardner: Getting back to adoption patterns and economics, it seems as if what you are proposing, and what Workday is supporting, is this application-level benefit. A business process, like a network, is perhaps more valuable as the number of participants in the process increases, and become able to participate with a fairly low level of complexity and friction.

It's sort of a derivative of Metcalfe's Law, but at the business process level, which is quite different than trying to corral an integration community around a specific platform with the intent of getting more people on that platform and having a long-term flow of license revenue as a result.

So, if we make this shift to a Metcalfe's law-type of "the more participants, the more valuable it is to all of those participants," shouldn’t we expect a little bit of a different world around integration in the next few years?

Business process

Clarke: That’s right, because of the distinction you mentioned. We don’t really see or envisage this very transactional marketplace, where you just have people buying a round of maps or integrations and installing them. We see it happening in the context of a business process.

For example, hiring. As somebody hires somebody into Workday, there are typically many integration points in that business process -- background checking, provisioning of security cards, and creation of email accounts. There is a whole set of integration points. We're increasingly looking to enable third parties to easily plug-in into those integration points in a small way, for provisioning an email account, or in a big way, like managing a whole payroll process.

It’s that idea of these integrations as being just touch points and jumping-off points from an overall business process, which is quite a different vision from writing cool, stand-alone apps that you can then find and store from inside of our platform marketplace.

It’s that idea of an extended business process where the partners and partner ISVs and customers can collaborate very easily, and not just at install time or provisioning time, but also when these processes are running and things go wrong, if things fail or errors arise.

You also need a very integrated exception handling process, so that customers can rapidly diagnose and correct these errors when they arise. Then, they have a feeling of being in a consistent environment and not like a feeling of having 20 or 30 totally unrelated applications executing that don’t collaborate and don’t know about each other and aren’t executing the context within the same business process. We're keen to make that experience seamless.

You also need a very integrated exception handling process, so that customers can rapidly diagnose and correct these errors when they arise.

Gardner: I can also see where there is a high incentive for the participants in a supply chain or a value chain of some sort to make integration work. So perhaps there is an incentive toward cooperation in ways that we hadn’t seen before. I am thinking of, at least in the human resources field, where it’s in my best interest as an insurance company or as a payroll benefits provider, for example, to work with the SaaS or cloud provider in this regard -- to the betterment of our mutual end users.

Do you already see that the perception of cooperation for integration is at a different plane? Where do you expect that to go?

Clarke: Totally, already. Increasingly -- pick an area, but let's say for learning management or something -- if we integrate, or if multiple people integrate to us or from us, then customers already are starting to expect that those integrations exist.

Now they're starting to ask about how good they are, what's the nature of them, what SLAs can they expect here? The customers are presuming that an integration, certainly between Workday and some other cloud-based service, either exists already or is very easy and doable.

But they're looking through that, because they're taking the integration technology level questions for granted. They're saying, "Given that I can make such an integration work, how is it really going to work, what's the SLA, what happens if things go wrong, what happens when things fail?"

What's really interesting to me is that customers are increasingly sophisticated about exploring the edge cases, which they have seen happen before and have heard about them before. They're coming to us upfront and saying, "What happens if I have issues when my payroll runs? Who do I go to? How do you manage that? How do you guys work with each other?"

Consistent information

We, therefore, are learning from our customers and we're going to our ISV and services partners, like our payroll partners, our learning management partners, our background checking partners and saying, "Here is the contract that our customers expect. Here is the service that they expect." They're going to ask us and we want to be able to say that this partner tests against every single update and every single revision of the Workday software. They will handle a seamless support process where you call one number and you get a consistent set of information.

Customers are really looking through the mere fact of a technical integration existing and asking about what is my experience going to be and actually using this day-to-day across 50 geographies and across population of 20,000 employees. I want that to be easy.

It’s a testament to the increasing sophistication of the integration technology that people can take that for granted. But as I say, it’s having these increasingly interesting and downstream effects in terms of what people are expecting from the business experience of using these integration systems in the context of a composite business process that extend beyond just one company.

Gardner: Moving toward closing up our conversation, David, you have raised the issue here about that one throat to choke, if you will. When you have a massive, complex, integration landscape, does it makes sense to focus on the application provider as that point of responsibility and authority? Or does it have to be federated?

Have you seen any models emerge, something that we probably could not have predicted but needs to happen on its own, in a real world setting that indicates how that issue of trust and authority might pan out?

Clarke: What we are gradually feeling our way toward here is that for us that’s the central concept of this federation of companies. We think obviously of Workday being in the middle of that. It depends on what your perspective is, but you have this federation of companies collaborating to provide the service ultimately, and the question is, where do they choke?

And it's not realistic to say that you can always come to Workday, because if we are integrating to a payroll system on behalf of somebody else, and we correctly start off and run the payroll or send the payroll requests, and then there is an error at the other end, the error is happening ultimately in the other payroll engine. We can't debug that. We can't look at what happened. We don't necessarily even know what the data is.

As we run any integration in our cloud, there is a very consistent set of diagnostics, reporting, metrics, error handling, error tracking that is generated and that's consistent.

We need a consistent experience for the customer and how that gets supported and diagnosed. Specifically, what it means for us today is that, as we run any integration in our cloud, there is a very consistent set of diagnostics, reporting, metrics, error handling, error tracking that is generated and that's consistent across the many types of integrations that we run.

Again, as our partners become more savvy at working with us, and they know more about that, they can then more consistently offer resolution and support to the customers in the context of the overall Workday support process.

For us, it’s really a way of building this extended and consistent network of support capability and of trust. Where customers have consistent experiences, they have consistent expectations around how and when they get support.

The most frustrating thing is when you are calling one company and they're telling you to call the other company, and there isn’t any consistency or it’s hard to get to the bottom of that. We're hopeful that enlightened integrations around business processes, between collaborating companies, as I have described, will help me to get some of that.

Gardner: It certainly sounds like in the coming years the determining factors of who will be the winner in cloud integration won't be necessarily the one with the biggest, baddest platform -- although that's certainly important. But the one that demonstrates the trust, the SLA response, and maintenance, and generally who becomes a good partner in a diverse and expanding ecosystem will win.

Clarke: That's right. The technology is important, but it's not enough. People just don't just want technology. They want well-intentioned and an honest collaboration between their vendors to help them do the stuff efficiently.

Gardner: Very good. Thanks. You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on how major trends around cloud, mobile, and SaaS are dramatically changing requirements and benefits of integration. For more information on Workday's integration as a service, go to

I would like to thank our guest. We have been here with David Clarke, Director of Integration at Workday. Thanks so much, David.

Clarke: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks again for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: Workday.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast of the role of cloud and SaaS in the changing landscape of application integration. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.

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