It seems appropriate that the solution to rescuing Cloud CRM would come from the cloud itself. Application integration is critical to the success of Cloud CRM solutions. Traditional integration approaches, however, are a poor fit for Cloud CRM. Traditionally, companies had just two choices for solving application integration problems—use complex software platforms or write custom code. But this rich functionality makes these platforms very expensive to procure, install, deploy and maintain. Finally, custom code requires upfront investments in time and resources that will delay the benefits of using a Cloud CRM solution.
With Cloud Integration (Part 2)
Solving integration problems with either of these software based approaches produces results that contradict the benefits expected by companies when they choose a Cloud CRM in the first place. These integration solutions substantially undermine the value of choosing a particular erp vendor, and frustrate users who expect quick results. The poor fit between traditional integration approaches and the requirements of a Cloud environment have created the need for a new type of integration solution: Integration as a Service.
Integration as a Service is a better choice for Cloud CRM because it offers the ability to remove the complexity and the overhead associated with traditional integration solutions. This approach to rapid integration is gaining in popularity because it results in greater efficiency and lower costs when used to solve integration problems, particularly with Cloud CRM solutions. Importantly, and as an indication of the future of cloud computing, one of the pioneers and leading proponents of Integration as a Service is IBM itself.
Integration as a Service can be provided in a number of ways depending on customer requirements, including whether the majority of integration is for on-premise applications or those provided on demand. Integration as a Service reduces complexity by doing only what is needed—connectivity, transformation, workflow and management—to rapidly integrate two or more erp applications. By distilling application integration problems into these four steps, Integration as a Service delivers simplicity and eliminates the need to write any code to implement integration projects.
Integration as a Service requires that the integration solution is completely self-contained and includes everything needed to complete integrations in one place. This progressive approach to integration makes no distinction between local and remote applications because they establish connectivity to the end points through native application protocols. The advantage of this approach is that no adapters are required and there is nothing to install or change at the end points. The only choice necessary is whether organizations require connectivity to on-premise applications, which can be solved by the use of a physical or virtual appliance managed within a local data center, or Cloud to Cloud integration, which can be provided as an on demand cloud-based service. Integration as a Service is flexible, scalable and reusable. It can be used for multiple integration projects for solving problems between any combination of Cloud or on-premise applications and other on-demand solutions. The ease of using Integration as a Service matches the simplicity delivered by a Cloud CRM solution. Both eliminate the need to write any code, do not require installation or deployment of software and provide configuration capability.
Continued in Part 3