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Lori Angalich

Recent Posts

5 Ways to Improve Your Integration Strategy

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Today, companies need to deliver services quickly to avoid disruption and keep up with the rapid pace of change. This is leading many of them to adopt cloud-based technologies. Typically, this leads to a multi-cloud or hybrid approach, and by 2021, Gartner anticipates over 75 percent of organizations steering onto this course. But to successfully use cloud-based technology, integration strategy needs to come to the forefront of all discussions.

For organizations overwhelmed by the array of integration options, from platform software to proprietary vendor tools and custom code, developing an integration strategy will help focus efforts and narrow down integration tool choices. Here are ways to make sure you're setting up your organization for success.

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Connecting Hybrid Environments Requires a Well-Planned Approach

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Connectivity between systems is as much a part of doing business today as installing telephone lines was decades ago. Data from legacy systems, Software as a Service (SaaS) products, mobile devices, and even Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices needs to be collected, analyzed, and leveraged to get the most value from it. 

However, this poses a challenge for most organizations. A mix of complex in-house cloud-based software, solutions, services, and infrastructure can be difficult to connect and integrate. Add in the need to connect partner systems to unlock new opportunities with data, and it may seem like an impossible task. 

Many legacy systems weren’t designed with a connected future in mind, and connecting to SaaS products requires a flexible, agile approach to maximize the investment in these existing solutions. 

This means embracing a hybrid environment, where some systems are in the cloud, some are on-premise, and all of them are successfully integrated.

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5 Ways APIs Accelerate Legacy System Modernization

By Lori Angalich | Tue, Jun 16, 2020

What do bell bottoms and the mainframe computer all have in common? They both gained popularity over 50 years ago, but (hopefully) only one of them is still found in enterprises: the mainframe.

For many enterprises, the mainframe has been a solid performer—one that often still runs critical back-office accounting and ERP applications.

However, to keep up with the ever-increasing volumes of data, requirements for greater performance and scalability, and escalating customer demands—it has become essential to modernize legacy systems and applications like these. Modernization isn’t just for companies running systems from the 1960’s, but any company struggling to keep up with these requirements. It’s critical for being more competitive, accelerating innovation, and keeping costs down.

IT decision-makers agree. In the financial services sector alone, almost four-fifths of operations leaders at North American banks said they must update their technology to drive innovation—or risk extinction.

And as companies are trying to stabilize and adapt to changes resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, modernization has become an important part of increasing agility, reducing costs, and avoiding disruption. 

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Lightwell Honored as IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year at Think 2020

By Lori Angalich | Fri, May 08, 2020

With the prestigious IBM Excellence Award, Lightwell is being recognized for its exceptional performance, innovative solutions, and outstanding services around the IBM Sterling portfolio.

During the IBM Think 2020 digital conference this week, Lightwell was awarded the 2020 IBM Excellence Award for “IBM Sterling Business Partner of the Year.”

The IBM 2020 Excellence Awards recognize IBM Business Partners across the world who have exceeded expectations and delivered enhanced levels of business growth and innovation to clients.

This award recognizes Lightwell as the outstanding IBM Sterling Business Partner for delivering exceptional services, solutions, and support, along with superior performance and results in 2019. 

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Join IBM Think 2020 From Home

By Lori Angalich | Fri, Apr 24, 2020

If you haven't already, mark your calendars: Think 2020 is still happening! From May 5–6, 2020, everyone around the world can participate in this digital event experience from the comfort and safety of home.

What’s even better, it's absolutely free for you to join. 

While our team is truly going miss the excitement of the live event and connecting with our clients, partners, and friends in-person this time around, IBM is going a great job making the most of the event given the realities we're facing.

We hope you'll join us in participating in this event.  Here's the scoop.

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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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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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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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3 Essential Managed File Transfer Capabilities for Driving Growth

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Oct 04, 2018

Business growth can be a double-edged sword. While increased revenues are never frowned upon, the downside manifests itself in the burgeoning data volumes that the organization must manage—particularly files that must be transferred between the organization, its customers, and its partners.

These challenges add reliability issues, compliance concerns, and security risks related to moving data, as well as challenges managing the volume and size of files moving through the systems.

As partner networks grow, companies find themselves managing multiple solutions for file transfer—and lack visibility from end to end. The typical enterprise supports three or more file transfer platforms—and as a result, have many disjointed file transfer processes and blind spots. This severely limits their ability to support the company’s growth initiatives effectively. 

However, enterprises that leverage a managed file transfer solution can gain critical capabilities for enabling—even driving growth. A centralized, enterprise-grade managed file transfer (MFT) platform allows for full visibility into file transfers and provides a better user experience for line of business users and partners alike. It also includes the security and audit trail capabilities necessary in today’s ever-changing alphabet soup of regulations, from PCI-DSS to Sarbanes-Oxley and beyond. Let’s explore this a bit.

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