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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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EDI + APIs: 3 Ways to Create Greater Value Together

By Michael Cardillo | Wed, Sep 30, 2020

My colleague, Jim Cantin, recently wrote an excellent article on “Why APIs and EDI Are More Complementary Than Competitive.”

This is an interesting topic and we get many inquiries from clients who want to explore how they can integrate these two platforms and improve the synergy from both a business and IT perspective.   I would like to take this discussion to the next level and offer concrete steps that outline how you can look for opportunities in this space.

Let’s start with a simple view of where to look for synergies.   I’ll focus on three areas:

  • Where can you supplement your EDI with APIs and give your trading partners access to a suite of transactions and capabilities?
  • Where can you improve your EDI success rates by utilizing APIs to add supplemental data to inbound or outbound transactions?
  • Where can you combine support processes to both save money and improve the trading partner experience?

Now let’s look at how you can answer these questions to enhance your capabilities.

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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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Navigating Change and Disruption with Enterprise Architecture

By Michael Cardillo | Thu, May 21, 2020

As I work from my home amid the COVID-19 crisis, I can’t help but think that the need for Enterprise Architecture is greater than ever. Now is a time when organizations need to be thinking about the changes they need to make in order to survive and eventually to prosper in this new world. 

Many business leaders may overlook the role of Enterprise Architecture in these changes, believing it to be mainly a technical concern.   

In reality, Enterprise Architecture is about alignmentaligning people, processes, and technologies to achieve business goals. It's also about aligning to navigate significant change and disruption successfully.

Unfortunately, as I shared in my "What is Enterprise Architecture?" post, this is broken in most organizations, and they'll struggle to leverage EA effectively—even during the times they need it most.

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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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Why Now is the Time to INVEST in Your Strategy

By Michael Cardillo | Thu, Apr 02, 2020

I just listened to a podcast about an automobile parts company that was facing significant challenges in the current COVID-19 crisis.  With auto plants all over the world shut down, they were facing an unprecedented crash of all orders and sales. 

To their credit, rather than laying people off and contracting, they looked for new opportunities.  It turns out that one component they manufacture is pistons for various automobile applications. It just so happens that ventilators use pistons—ventilators that are now in unprecedented demand.

This company was able to shift its production to producing ventilator-sized pistons quickly.  They already have partnerships with several manufacturers and a huge backlog of orders.  That’s a pivot of a business model that will enable the company to not only survive this crisis, but to actually grow their revenue in 2020.  

I’ve noticed that many organizations are taking the opposite approach.  They are canceling projects and investments to create a surplus of cash.  That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the question is, do you sit on that cash…or do you re-think your strategy—and thus your investments?

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What is Enterprise Architecture and What are its Benefits?

By Michael Cardillo | Mon, Mar 23, 2020

Understanding Enterprise Architecture (EA)

Welcome to the first post in our Enterprise Architecture blog and video series. In this series, we'll explore the importance of EA in achieving business goals, highlight best practices, discuss pitfalls to avoid, and examine how organizations are leveraging EA to maximize value from their technology investments.  Check out the video or read the transcript below. 


My name is Mike Cardillo, and I run the Enterprise Architecture practice for Lightwell. I've been in IT for about 30-35 years, and I've been doing Enterprise Architecture for about 20-25 years.

I've spent the last 10 years in consulting in Enterprise Architecture and have helped companies with creating and running EA programs, as well as building strategies such as digital strategies, transformation strategies—and how we use Enterprise Architecture to drive the business.

 

Enterprise Architecture is about how you align your business investments—your projects essentially—with your business goals and objectives, and that is broken in most organizations.

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