ABSI - far beyond system integration

On 19 March 2014     By Doubi Ajami      Cloud , Salesforce , Data-Integration , System-Integration , Dell

Dell Boomi: A game changer in Enterprise Integration

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As surprising as it may be, Michael Dell and the new private Dell are executing and delivering in an area where nobody was expecting them to deliver. Dell is changing the rules in the most critical area of Enterprise IT : “Data and application integration” with Dell Boomi.

Most of you never heard about Dell Boomi. ABSI discovered Dell Boomi AtomSphere® about 1 year ago, and started training our data architects, consultants and developers on this multi-tenant Integration platform. AtomSphere is actually a pure cloud Integration Platform as a service (iPaas) that was acquired 2 years ago by Dell. My current view is that Dell Boomi will change the world of Enterprise Integration in the same way that Salesforce transformed CRM about 10 years ago. Here is why.

Dell Boomi is a leading iPaaS for both Gartner and Forrester

Last month Dell Boomi was ranked amongst the “Leaders” in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service and, as we all know, the Gartner quadrant is based on ability to execute and completeness of vision. Additionally the Forrester report “The Forrester Wave™: Hybrid Integration, Q1 2014”, named Boomi as a leader in an array of integration scenarios. These were “wide” integration for heterogeneous integration, “deep” for traditional on-premise integration and “cloud” for when applications are mainly in the cloud. This report assessed 14 of the major enterprise integration vendors in a comprehensive analysis of integration capabilities.

LinkedIn praise for Dell Boomi integration

I am not alone thinking that Dell Boomi will shake up the integration landscape. In a video interview about LinkedIn use of Boomi AtomSphere, Andres Bang, Head of Global Sales and Operations Systems at LinkedIn, says  “Dell Boomi is doing to the integration industry what Salesforce did to the CRM industry 10 years ago”. He remarks that Dell Boomi  has a “phenomenal tool” that can handle complex, customised integrations with speed and agility. He explains how Dell Boomi’s AtomSphere integration capabilities are used within LinkedIn to “stitch together” multiple enterprise platforms, such as Eloqua, Salesforce.com, Oracle Financial suite, Data Warehousing, proprietary applications with Oracle or SQL databases and more. All are integrated together via AtomSphere  “into a single pane of glass”. From a  sophisticated technology company such as LinkedIn, it makes a convincing reference.

Changing behaviours behind Enterprise Software acquisition

In the past 2 decades, the CIO's main objective was to consolidate a number of disparate  business application around one Enterprise Resource Application (ERP) like Sap or Oracle. Enforcing a consolidated application landscape resulted in a slow down in agility and in speed of business innovation in many cases. The reaction from business managers and Lines of business owners was to subscribe to best of bread cloud based / SaaS solutions to meet their immediate needs, sometimes against the will of the CIO. The upshot is that to get such cloud solutions operational, integration challenges must be solved. This may require integration with the other on-premise enterprise platforms or other cloud based solutions. Thus there is a growing need for flexible integration and, as timescales of SaaS implementation are short, fast integration is also a key requirement.

LinkedIn is a good case in point. Andres Bang remarks that LinkedIn has a federated, innovative model for systems acquisition along business lines, and not that of the traditional CIO led model. He believes that this will become the industry norm. The federated model of purchasing enterprise IT solutions with a business agenda, rather than a technology agenda, will surely give a big boost to the enterprise integration market. I wrote recently on the Internet of Things, another IT revolution, and believe it is another IT wave about to gain momentum and it will also drive growth in integration demand.

Dell is executing

At the start of 2013 I asked if a private Dell would be as disruptive in the Corporate IT as it was 20 years ago in the PC market? My answer was a resounding yes. Dell secured time to make changes by its leveraged buy-out. Also their strategy of purchasing innovative technology, such as Dell Boomi AtomSphere, and investing heavily in R&D, convinced me that Dell would be a positive disruptive force in enterprise IT markets.  Later in 2013 in my article “A step in the Transformation of Dell” I suggested that Dell could be as innovative as Salesforce.

So why is Dell Boomi so game changing?

The strength of Dell Boomi AtomSphere is that it can deliver fast, scalable, enterprise-class integration completely in the cloud at a fraction of the total cost of ownership of its competitors. It can connect any combination of integration in timescales of days or weeks not months or years as in the old scenarios of traditional middleware. The way Dell Boomi continues to innovate and its capability across a wide spectrum of integration scenarios was also noted in the Forrester report. Though Dell Boomi was closely trailed by Informatica, in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for iPaaS it is worth noting that Boomi costs about 10 times less!!

Chris McNabb, General Manager of Dell Boomi, commented on the Gartner report and sums up the current integration need. “To take competitive advantage of the cloud, companies are desperately looking for ways to accelerate the development of integration flows between their various cloud, on-premises and mobile applications. Dell Boomi AtomSphere® answers this need with a secure, easy-to-configure and easy-to-use solution that enables new integrations to be developed in hours or days, not months or years, improving productivity, achieving business agility and time to value.” In the view of ABSI Solution Architects, Dell Boomi is on a great track, and on top of Integration it offers a complete MDM (master Data management) hub fully in the cloud. There will be more  about this important topic in a blog later this year.

The overlooked opportunity: On-premise integration in the cloud

Cloud Based Integration (CBI) or Cloud Service Integration (CSI) is integration that happens 100% in the cloud. However it can be an extremely speedy and cost-effective approach for integrating on-premise to on-premise applications. The Forrester report notes that “Especially Dell Boomi is a surprise. Although very few customers use its CBI offering to implement on-premises-to-on-premises integration scenarios, the solution is capable of delivering this in a lightweight style”.

Dell Boomi does this with a small agent, termed a Boomi atom, in an on-premise application. The Boomi Atom is now patented technology and is “a lightweight runtime engine that includes all the components needed to execute an integration process”.

Conclusion

ABSI has been delighting customers by solving data and application  integration challenges in all our large Salesforce projects. Our developers adore Dell Boomi because of the results it produces but also because it offers time saving  tools to speed up development, testing and operation. ABSI was the first Salesforce partner in BeNeLux in 2002 and my belief in Salesforce paid off. We have helped multiple customers achieve success with what is now the world’s #1 Sales and Service Cloud platform.  I wonder what I’ll be saying on Dell Boomi, The #1 Integration Cloud™, a decade from now! In any case I am sure it’s going to be an exciting period in enterprise integration.

If you do not agree with the blog title do not hesitate to to tell me by writing a comment below.

Doubi Ajami