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How API-Led Connectivity Addresses Digital Transformation Challenges

By Lori Angalich | Thu, Oct 29, 2020

Digital transformation challenges go far beyond what to run, what to move to the cloud, and what processes to streamline.

Digital transformation is vast, encompassing everything from cloud, integration, AI, data analytics, IoT, customer experience, innovation, and more—and touches all areas of the business. Companies are investing in their digital transformation initiatives for a variety of reasons, including improving operations, increasing the value they deliver to their customers and stakeholders, and/or outpacing their competitors. 

It's a major shift involving integrating digital technology into all functions, levels, and processes—as well as cultural, operational and organizational change.  The potential benefits are significant, including increased efficiency, accelerated innovation, superior products and experiences, and greater profitability.

Integration is a major component of digital transformation success. Most organizations find that, the further they go into their transformation initiatives, the more that they need to connect and integrate.

Everything as a Service (XaaS), the Internet of Things (IoT), and mobile require seamless integration for you to get the most out of your investment. However, the traditional point-to-point approach to integration won’t work for the rapidly increasing number of endpoints and the constantly changing IT landscape.

By putting a comprehensive integration strategy in place and adopting API-led connectivity, organizations can meet these challenges head-on and accelerate digital transformation success. Let’s explore what this looks like.
 

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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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Still Trending: APIs and EDI

By James Cantin | Wed, Sep 23, 2020

Why APIs and EDI Are More Complementary Than Competitive

One of our frequently viewed blog posts from a couple of years ago is “API vs EDI: Complementary, Not Competitive.” The article was a response to the question, “Can API’s replace EDI?”

In the years since we posted this, the interest and number of questions about the relationship between APIs and EDI have grown. The challenge has changed as companies look to modernize capabilities and derive greater value and insight from all types of B2B interactions.

The points made back then are still valid; the two complement each other more than they compete.  What has become more apparent is that business transformation projects need more flexible B2B integration solutions and faster results.

This requires rethinking of how managed file transfer and EDI capabilities are delivered and then merged with APIs and other enterprise integration capabilities.

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Technology Investment Advice: It's Not the Tool...It's the Team

By James Cantin | Fri, Jul 31, 2020

Construction and manufacturing projects often make use of jigs to simplify and accelerate complicated build processes. Jigs help position components, provide control of the tooling, and turn complicated builds into efficient, repeatable processes that can then be scaled to build the number of final assemblies needed.

Building IT solutions is very different than construction and manufacturing. Most of what we build is invisible. In fact, even after being implemented, we must use conceptual drawings to communicate how solutions works.

The solutions are ephemeral too. In part, because our building materials are digital 1’s and 0’s, and partly because the solutions support business needs that change quickly and use technology that is always evolving.

But just like construction and manufacturing, IT projects need a way to provide speed and agility in complicated situations, a way to mitigate risks and provide predictable results by leveraging prebuilt standardized functions that eliminate the need to start from scratch on every project. The right approach removes the constraints of heavy handed, centrally controlled processes and infrastructures resulting in development teams that are empowered and productive.

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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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Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation

By James Cantin | Tue, Feb 18, 2020


Part 1: Understanding Digital Transformation

This post is the first of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation."  Check out part 2, "The Disruptor" and part 3, "Implementing Modern Integration." 

The Lightwell office in downtown Rochester, NY, sits at the top of a 96’ waterfall, providing us with an incredible view of the historic High Falls neighborhood and the Genesee River gorge.

Years of Integration and Enterprise Architecture experience have also provided us with a unique viewpoint as to the role of modern integration in Digital Transformations.

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Integration Modernization Series Part 2: The Disruptor

By James Cantin | Tue, Feb 18, 2020

This post is the second of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation."  See our other posts: Part 1, "Understanding Digital Transformation," and Part 3, "Implementing Modern Integration." 

In the first article of this series, Understanding Digital Transformation, we used the examples of Kodak and Xerox; two companies where digital technologies proved devastating. Both struggled to step away from their legacy business while at the same time trying to understand and apply the new technology. Most importantly, leadership struggled to think differently and apply the capabilities to new business models.

For other companies, Digital Transformation is viewed as an opportunity. Let's explore an example of a company embracing Digital Transformation as they try to become the disruptor in their industry.

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Integration Modernization Series Part 3: Implementing Modern Integration

By James Cantin | Tue, Feb 18, 2020

This post is the third of our three-part series, "Why Integration Modernization is Essential for Digital Transformation."  See Part 1, "Understanding Digital Transformation," and Part 2, "The Disruptor." 

In the previous article in this series, "The Disruptor," we explored how one company has combined two disruptive technologies to create a trust-based marketplace that could potentially transform an industry. 

Chances are your experience with Digital Transformation will look very different. But there are steps we should take so that our organization is better prepared for the inevitable disruption new technology brings. We'll explore these below as "Integration Modernization Lessons."

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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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