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Combatting Organizational Software Silos with IBM Transformation Extender for Integration Servers

By Connor Smith | Wed, Jul 17, 2019

In this blog post, I will explore the IBM Transformation Extender (ITX) extension for IBM App Connect Enterprise (ACE, formerly IBM Integration Bus, IIB), highlighting how taking advantage of these two products in harmony can achieve operational efficiency.

 

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Understanding App Connect Enterprise as an API Microgateway

By John Hawkins | Thu, Apr 11, 2019

One of IBM's best-known secrets is that they have two solutions that can act as API Management microgateways.

This is a short post to highlight the various ways that you can expose APIs using IBM products and, in particular, the IBM App Connect Enterprise (formerly IIB) microgateway functionality.

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Want a 360-Degree View of Your Customers? Look to APIs.

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Feb 05, 2019

It’s no secret that customers want a connected, on-demand experience—but companies often fall short of delivering on those expectations.

According to the Consumer Connectivity Insights 2018 report, 81 percent of consumers are frustrated with what they perceive to be a disconnected experience, and more than two-thirds of consumers say a disconnected experience would make them consider switching service providers.

Part of this may be because 65 percent of consumers also want to interact with companies via messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but a large part of the disconnected experience is because companies don’t have a 360-degree view of the customer.

The research found that less than 10 percent of companies have a 360-degree view of the customer. They only have access to a fraction of customer information in real-time, which not only hampers customer service levels but also makes it challenging to create personalized Web and mobile interfaces, applications and other tailored experiences for their customers.

However, organizations often face challenges when attempting a 360-degree view of the customer, usually due to their current IT architecture. Manual aggregation is too time-consuming and doesn’t deliver data in real-time. The data changes quickly, making it difficult to process in a timely fashion. Their static data lakes are not flexible enough to allow companies to get the most from their data, and integrations can be complex and brittle due to the number of disparate systems and the data silos they create.

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6 Shocking Truths About the Real Costs of Data Breaches

By Lightwell | Wed, Jan 09, 2019

After its massive data breach, Equifax estimated that its related costs would total $439 million by the end of 2018—but the real costs could be upwards of $600 million after dealing with government investigations and civil lawsuits. While this could be the most expensive data breach in history, the sheer volume of records drove up the costs exponentially.

Data breaches are costlier than most people think—and the cost keeps on growing. The 2018 study Ponemon Institute Cost of a Data Breach Study found that the average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, an increase of 6.4% over 2017.  According to the overall findings from the study, data breaches continue to be costlier and result in more records being stolen year after year.  And no matter the size of a company, records are at risk.

Data breaches are the most expensive in the US and Canada, averaging $233 and $202 per capita, respectively, according to the Ponemon Institute. While cost fluctuates across industries and countries, the number clearly shows a dire truth: data breaches cut significantly into a company’s profits, often deeply.

But the real cost of data breaches goes much deeper than just the data lost; factors at play include missed opportunities, lost customers, and costs associated with remediating the data breach. In addition, certain factors like third-party involvement can increase the cost of data breaches. Let’s explore some of the additional costs.

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3 Ways Financial Services Companies Are Capitalizing on APIs

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Jan 03, 2019

While some financial institutions may not be known for being on the cutting edge of innovation, several powerful forces have been driving the need for digital transformation, the development of new products and services, and more compelling customer experiences in the financial services industry.

Market conditions like an uncertain economy and increasing regulations, combined with increased customer expectations and agile new entrants to the market, have led financial institutions to move forward with digital initiatives to help be on the leading edge of technology.

However, this has not come without its pains. Business leaders are under pressure to deliver digital transformations faster, along with reduced costs. IT leaders must deliver increased volumes of projects, remove IT as the bottleneck to innovation, and move the focus of the department from keeping the business running to growing the business. Application architects face pressure to incorporate new digital technologies into legacy stacks (including the trusty mainframes) in an agile, flexible way to avoid creating brittle integrations that require constant maintenance. The IT department is being called upon to drive change.

At first glance, traditional, point-to-point integrations may seem like the most logical choice to link together disparate systems and provide access for customers and partners. However, these types of integrations are time-consuming, very system-dependent, and costly to maintain. Each additional system requires new coding and connections, and when the system needs an upgrade, developers and architects are left scrambling to ensure the code is compatible with the upgrade.

Is there a better way than this duct-tape approach?  Leading financial services institutions have already discovered it: APIs. With an API-led integration approach, these institutions are improving their expense to revenue ratios, attracting and retaining customers, and responding rapidly to industry threats. Furthermore, their API Management solutions provide important connectivity, security, and change management capabilities to meet the needs of line of business users, customers, and partners.

In this post, we’ll explore three real-life examples of financial services companies leveraging APIs and the advantages they have achieved.

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The Importance of Store Enablement in the Omnichannel Customer Experience

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Dec 28, 2018

As many of us rushed to find just the right gifts and have them in-hand in time for our holiday gatherings this year, we experienced first-hand the importance of retail stores in the overall omnichannel order fulfillment experience.

In some cases, after ordering online and opting to pick up in store, everything went smoothly and we had what we needed in-hand quickly, as expected. Wonderful! Everyone’s happy, right? (Unless your gift recipient is just that impossibly picky).

In other situations, we waited in long lines to pick up our orders or stood frustrated at the customer service desk as a frazzled store associate struggled to locate an item we ordered online for pickup in-store.

When I experienced this last week, it seemed that the retailer's online inventory information didn’t reflect reality, and there was no indication of a problem until I arrived to pick up my order.  After 30 minutes of watching multiple store associates making phone calls, getting help from managers, and running around the store looking for misplaced inventory, I had to cancel my purchase and found another retailer that had what I needed. It may be a while before I choose the "Buy Online, Pick up in Store" (BOPIS) option from that retailer again. 

Sound familiar? I hope not, but chances are, you have dealt with this type of frustration at some point.  Let’s explore the good and the bad of the in-store experience in Omnichannel, and why store enablement is so important.

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Data Literacy – What it is and Why it’s so Important

By Kyle Roth | Wed, Dec 05, 2018

What good is data if you can't use it? If you can't find it? If you can't make sense of it? What good is data if you are intimidated trying to interpret it?

People are human. We avoid things that make us uncomfortable. Well maybe that's not you. Kudos.

But what good is data if it works for you, but not your colleague on the floor above or the practitioner in the field? And why such a disparity between those who feel at home with data and those that don't?

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How to Choose the Right API Management Platform for You

By John Hawkins | Fri, Nov 30, 2018

Many of our customers are currently deciding which API Management Platform to use in their organization. With so many of them to choose from and a confusion of terminology, this is not an easy task.

I see RFPs with long lists of criteria, but I often think that the choice should be based on some other, softer, questions.

I'll outline here some thought processes I use to help our customers choose which API Platform is right for them.

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4 Business Benefits of Optimizing B2B File Transfer

By Lori Angalich | Mon, Nov 12, 2018

With the right file transfer capabilities and processes in place, you can simplify and enhance your interactions with customers, suppliers, and other trading partners—to the point where the business benefits help to accelerate you past your competition.

At a high level, speeding partner onboarding, reducing the time and effort involved in partner management, improving security and compliance, and enabling greater visibility—all can play a key role in driving increased revenue and customer satisfaction.

Let’s take a closer look at how this works.

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Cloud Spotlight: IBM MQ High Availability (HA) in AWS

By Connor Smith | Wed, Oct 31, 2018

With the rise of the cloud, in particular, AWS, how does ‘traditional’ IBM MQ High Availability (HA) compare against its AWS alternatives—and is there any point in using them in the cloud?

I'll explore this in topic this post.

 

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