Data transformation and mappingLast week we had the second TechTalk of our bi-weekly webinar series featuring tips and tricks for the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform, focusing this time on using the SOAP Snap. A few talking points below on what was covered in this training:

  • Use cases for the SOAP Snap
  • SOAP Snap functionality
  • Configuring the SOAP Snap
  • Building a pipeline with the SOAP Snap as an endpoint that can be triggered as a RESTful service

A recording of yesterday’s TechTalk can be found here, and be sure to check out the slides below for more of the key points discussed.

Our TechTalks are designed for SnapLogic customers and partners and serve as interactive ask-the-experts training sessions. We invite you to register here for future discussions, and come with any questions you may have. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A 30-minute session focused on a specific topic where your questions will be answered by our cloud integration specialists
  • A review of some of the recent Q&As submitted on the SnapLogic Developer Community Forum

Next week’s TechTalk will cover data mapping and transformationcheck it out!

There’s no doubt that the topics of “Cloud Integration” and “Cloud Analytics” are gaining market and customer awareness, interest and momentum. Check out the Google Trend summary and a few of the headlines from just last week:

Last week I participated in a SnapLogic webinar focused on integrating Workday HCM with the rest of the enterprise. What became clear to me in the discussion is that line of business users of specific applications, regardless of whether it’s HCM, CRM, SCM, Finance, etc., always look first to the specific application provider (or in the case of integration, to the systems integrator that implemented the application) to address intra-application requirements. Often referred to as “operational integration” and “operational analytics” the customer first wants to get a basic level of functionality (point to point) from the application and/or platform they’ve purchased.

From the perspective of the end-user business application solution provider, however, delivering enterprise-class intra-application integration and analytics, not to mention a robust set of APIs, requires significant R&D commitment and resources. Delivering inter-application integration (multi-point), which powers a broader set of analytics that include data from disparate (big and small) sources is even more of a challenge. It typically lands in the lap of the enterprise IT organization to ensure that hard-wired application silos aren’t introduced (SaaS silos) that limit how much relevant information an application/platform delivers to end users.

Ultimately, customers need day-to-day operational integration and analytics (intra-app integration) and broader enterprise connectivity, visibility and multi-channel, source and system insight (inter-app integration) to gain competitive advantage. “Cloud integration” and “cloud analytics” are hot and getting hotter and I suspect we’ll continue to see these trend lines move up and to the right in the new world of SMACT - social, mobile, analytics and big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things.

Here are a few posts where we’ve outlined some of the new requirements for both intra and inter-application integration and analytics in the cloud:

FaceBook_484x252_workdayWebinarYesterday’s webinar focused on Workday integration with the rest of the enterprise and the need for an elastic integration platform as a service (iPaaS). We’ve highlighted some key details and a portion of the Q&A discussion from the webinar below, and you can also check out the recording here. Before jumping into a SnapLogic cloud integration demonstration, the team touched on the topics of Human Capital Management (HCM) as it moves to the cloud, exploring integration options specific to Workday and some questions around integration’s role in driving adoption and customer success.

Perhaps most important to note is that Cloud HCM is becoming an unstoppable trend, worth the risk and making HR better in many ways. A 2014 Cloud HR technology survey from Human Capital Media Advisory Group asked what kind of Cloud HR software companies currently use, plan to purchase in the next year and plan to purchase in the next three years. Workforce management (Workday, for example) was the most currently used type of Cloud HR software, and the interest in making systems “mobile-friendly” was listed highest as software that companies plan to purchase in the next three years. When asked about an organization’s motivations for exploring cloud-based software services, the top five mentioned were accessibility, cost savings, mobility, productivity and scalability.

All of this means that HR departments are moving along with the adoption of SMACT (social, mobile, analytics and big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things) like the rest of the enterprise and will need to adapt as they adopt new applications and tools to help these departments run. Integration therefore will be critical to Cloud HCM adoption and success, contributing to some or all of the following:

  • Migrating data from legacy HR systems to the cloud
  • Optimizing recruitment and employee engagement programs
  • Automating employee on-boarding
  • Attracting and retaining employees through multi-source talent management and analytics
  • Synchronizing employee information across front and back-office apps
  • Connecting candidate sourcing and screen applications via Web Services, FTP
  • Modernizing employee compensation
  • Expanding from HR to Finance

The webinar also featured a Q&A session with John Sandhu, who has over 10 years of integration experience working with Workday, SAP and other enterprise applications. Some key questions and answers below:

In your experience, wheScreen Shot 2014-09-17 at 4.12.54 PMre do Workday customers typically start?
I typically see 3 common scenarios:

  1. Migrating from on-premises HCM applications like PeopleSoft, which requires the new Cloud HCM solution to adapt to existing processes.
  2. Consolidating disparate HR applications into the new HCM platform.
  3. Adopting an HCM platform for the first time, which requires new processes and the greatest amount of change management both from the business and technology perspective.

Depending on which scenario applies, this will help determine if you take a modular, scale-in approach to the Workday implementation or whether it’s more of a “big-bang” deployment.

What are the most common initial integrations / use cases?
Of course, this depends on many factors including company size, industry and file-based integration requirements, but some of the common HCM integrations are (with examples):

  • Benefits Providers (Aetna, Kaiser, Blue Cross)
  • Payroll (ADP)
  • Application Tracking Systems (Taleo)
  • Learning Management Systems (Cornerstone)
  • Custom applications and processes (probably the most common use case!)

How important is integration to Workday adoption / success?
Time and time again, integration has been recognized as the essential ingredient to SaaS application adoption and success. You don’t want to end up with a disconnected SaaS silo that fails to deliver end-users with all of the information they’re going to need to do their jobs. You need to be able to orchestrate an end-to-end business process, such as new employee on-boarding, which requires connecting with multiple systems, often in real time. Your integration platform must be flexible, not brittle and realistic, not rigid.

If you weren’t able to catch the live webinar yesterday, the recording can be found here as well as some additional resources below:

Every two weeks we’re running a TechTalk series where one of the SnapLogic cloud integration gurus dives into a specific topic, and reviews best practices. It’s a 30 minute, interactive, ask-the-experts training session that is designed for SnapLogic customers and partners. Topics come from the new SnapLogic Developer Community forum (requires customer login).

SOAP-SnapIn our most recent integration platform as a service (iPaaS) update, we introduced quite a few enhancements to our SOAP Snap. We encourage you to take a few minutes to join our live TechTalk this Thursday at 10:00 am PST / 1:00pm EST to find out what’s new and learn a few tips and tricks that will help you during your application and data integration development and deployment cycle. What you can expect to learn during this training session includes:

  • Use cases for the SOAP Snap
  • SOAP Snap functionality
  • Configuring the SOAP Snap
  • Building a pipeline with the SOAP Snap as an endpoint that can be triggered as a RESTful service

Joining me again will be Jason Slater, who runs pre-sales for the West Coast. We hope you learn something new. And if there is a specific topic you would like us to cover, please let us know on the community (or in the comments section below) and we will review it in an upcoming session. Don’t forget to register here and to log onto the SnapLogic Developer Community to share your integration insights, question and challenges. And check out some past recorded TechTalks that cover additional topics like scaling your integrations and SnapReduce 2.0.

According to industry analysts, within 5 years the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO. Check out our new infographic, which explains why CIOs are getting “SMACT” due to the adoption of Social, Mobile, Analytics and Big Data, Cloud Computing and the Internet of Things, and provides some compelling statistics in each of these categories. You can also learn more here about the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform, delivering real-time, event-driven application integration and batch-oriented and streaming big data integration for analytics in a single platform.

[Infographic] Why Are CIOs Getting SMACT?

Here are the sources for all of the SMACT Infographic stats:

In addition to downloading a PDF of the above infographic here, check out some additional SnapLogic resources below all about the new world of social, mobile, analytics and big data, cloud computing and the Internet of Things:

TechTalk graphicTo kick off our bi-weekly TechTalk webinar series featuring tips and tricks for the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform, yesterday’s session focused on scaling integrations. As discussed in the webinar, there are two basic approaches here – the first is using Child Pipelines when the work you want to parallelize is compute heavy. The second approach is to use a Splitter and Join Snap when the work is computationally light.

A recording of yesterday’s TechTalk can be found here, and be sure to check out the slides below for more of the key points discussed.

Our TechTalks are designed for SnapLogic customers and partners and serve as interactive ask-the-experts training sessions. We invite you to register here and come with questions. Here’s what you can expect:

  • A 30-minute session focused on a specific topic where your questions will be answered by our cloud integration specialists
  • A review of some of the recent Q&As submitted on the SnapLogic Developer Community Forum

It’s back to school for the kids and back to the conference center for technology companies and their customers, employees, and partners. With a focus primarily on cloud applications and platforms, big data and analytics, here’s a list of September events in the US that we’re tracking at SnapLogic. What are we missing? Where else should we be? This list of Big Data events is a helpful resource and there’s a good overview of cloud computing events here. Safe travels!