Spring 2017 Release: Self-driving integration, field cryptography, MS Dynamics 365 CRM and more

Today the Spring 2017 release is available and featuring artificial intelligence (AI) technology that promises to dramatically reduce the time and cost of cloud, analytics, and digital transformation initiatives. The first AI-powered feature is SnapLogic Integration Assistant, a recommendation engine that delivers expert step-by-step guidance to improve the speed and quality of building a data pipeline — with up to 90% accuracy. Integration Assistant is available to all of our customers starting today at no charge.

SnapLogic’s Spring 2017 release also introduces new and enhanced software that helps our customers jumpstart their CRM, HR, and cloud data warehouse software projects. Finally, the release has added platform-wide features designed to save time and increase productivity.

New or enhanced capabilities in the Spring 2017 release include:

  • SnapLogic Integration Assistant: The SnapLogic Integration Assistant is a recommendation engine that uses machine learning to predict the next step in building a data pipeline for the cloud, analytics, and digital initiatives – with up to 90% accuracy. It is part of SnapLogic’s “Iris” technology – an industry first in applying artificial intelligence for enterprise integration. See how it works in this video.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration: A new Snap Pack is available to help users create, read, and update records in the cloud and on-premises versions of Microsoft Dynamics. Also, users can delete a record based on account ID and also search with various filter options.
  • Workday integration: The Workday Read Snap now supports page number and page size and shows great performance improvements. The Workday Write Snap now supports bulk operations for many objects and has improved performance from hours and minutes to just seconds.
  • Confluent integration: The updated Confluent Acknowledge Snap greatly reduces potential data losses, eliminates duplicates, and externally acknowledges each message.
  • Enhanced Snaps for Amazon Redshift, Anaplan, Tableau, Apache Hive + Kerberos.
  • Field encryption and decryption: The Transform Snap Pack now includes new Snaps to encrypt and decrypt field values for sensitive data, or entire documents, providing a greater level of data security.
  • Platform enhancements: These updates save time and enhance productivity, including Snaplex restart; enhanced Asset Search with Snap labels; network statistics display to aid troubleshooting and performance optimization; and parameterizable accounts that make it easier to automate or dynamically assign environments in a development lifecycle.

SnapLogic is committed to continuous innovation and the features in the Spring 2017 release for the SnapLogic Enterprise Integration Cloud are examples of how we continue to make integrating data warehouses, applications, IoT, and big data streams faster, easier. and more powerful. To learn more, go to www.snaplogic.com/spring2017.

SnapLogic Live: NetSuite Integration

This SnapLogic Live session features NetSuite Application Integration services for customers seeking rapid integration to connect NetSuite to a CRM or a myriad of other cloud and on-premises application, databases and files.

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Integration Now Essential for Today’s Digital Marketer

The Three Stages of Digital Marketing Maturity

Products, services, new releases and offers get pushed out faster than ever, requiring that today’s digital marketer stays on top of trends, takes advantage of opportunities and analyzes data to a greater extent than has been required before. Essentially, the modern digital marketer’s role and responsibilities are becoming increasingly complex and require management of various online channels while staying on top of a constantly changing market and discovering more and more new ways to market. Many of these new and expanding marketing tactics – through social channels, applications, analytics sources and more – provide individual value but fail to give the marketer on all-inclusive and fully comprehensive view of what they’re doing right, and what can be done to do better.

This is why enterprise integration needs are now essential for today’s data-driven digital marketer. SnapLogic Director of Product Marketing Maneesh Joshi was recently featured in the Wired Innovation Insights blog for his expertise on the modern digital marketer and the benefits of adopting an integration solution for “the real insights [that] are often hidden in data across multiple applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation systems, in complex spreadsheets or locked in an enterprise data warehouse.” In the article, Maneesh presents the following questions as difficult for digital marketers to answer when pulling reports and analytics from various data sources:

  1. What is causing a spike in sales of a certain product that we’re not actively promoting?
  2. How do we take advantage of this opportunity before it evaporates?
  3. How do we minimize our response times to such trends in the future?

The Three Stages of Digital Marketing Maturity

When operating at cloud speed, like most marketers are today, frustrations can arise because of the inability to understand, analyze and engage with target audiences and qualified leads in a timely fashion. But with the constant communication channels across social media and other online platforms, this becomes a necessity. In the Wired post, Maneesh goes on to explain the three stages of digital marketing, including how digital marketing matures and what the digital marketer ultimately can accomplish. The stages are:

  1. Aggregation and Integration – includes the importance of cross-channel visibility and gathering information across those multiple channels, as well as taking a comprehensive approach to aggregating data to deliver winning insights.
  2. Automation –  addresses responding to the trends detected in Stage 1 and, based on those insights, deciding for example to increase or decrease spend across channels and free up marketing resources to focus on strategies rather than tedious data analysis.
  3. Self-Optimizing – recognizes the ideal to go beyond automation to create systems that implement strategic tactics to ensure that ever-changing market opportunities are never lost.

The increasing demands for business intelligence across all online marketing channels are robust and require a whole new way to look at digital marketing. Learn more about how SnapLogic can be used for marketing, including CRM integration and solutions for Social Media Integration. Our full whitepaper on this topic is available here, and you can view our recent webinar on the SnapLogic Integration Cloud for the latest on our elastic iPaaS solution for digital marketers.

The Integration Imperative for Salesforce.com Customers

Recently Jeff Kaplan from THINKstrategies published a whitepaper called, The Integration Implications of the Internet of Things in a Connected World: Why Application and Data Integration is Even More Important, and Why it Demands a More Modern Approach. He also wrote about Selling the Internet of Things on the Sandhill.com blog and wrote about the new whitepaper on his blog. A key section of the paper drills into some of the specific use cases for Salesforce.com customers. Here’s an excerpt:

The integration imperative is clearly illustrated by the emerging data challenges associated with Salesforce.com’s three areas of primary focus:

Sales Cloud: The main use cases for the Sales Cloud ensure the sales team has a single customer view and processes such as the opportunity-to-order workflow are streamlined so that you have better alignment between front office and back-office operations. In some cases, this means the initial CRM to CRM migration from a legacy system like Siebel to Salesforce.com. But migration, and specifically manual data loading, is not really integration. The integration process begins with the synchronization of the account information, but also requires better access to financial systems to ensure alignment across sales and finance where the master data is typically housed. Cloud migration and integration processes can be complicated even further when an organization decides to also move to a Cloud-based financial management system such as Intaact, NetSuite, or FinancialForce. Now, mission critical ERP data must be moved from legacy systems powered by SAP, Oracle EBS, Microsoft Dynamics AX, etc. Truly achieving the single customer view across all of these systems and ensuring that your sales team is highly productive and Salesforce is well adopted is easier said than done. Being able to tackle the multi-faceted integration challenge at cloud speed is the key driver to CRM success.

Salesforce1

Marketing Cloud: The Marketing Cloud represents a fundamental shift to a more dynamic, digital marketing approach that is driven by a deeper set of analytics from multiple channels. Generating, collating and interpreting real-time data from various marketing programs can produce valuable insights about customer preferences based on their priorities and buying behavior. Tracking this behavior, measuring its impact and monitoring how it is affected by various marketing campaigns and triggers is essential to win and retain customers. Unified application, process and data integration is critical to turn subjective marketing ideas into scientific marketing techniques that can produce quantifiable results.

Service Cloud: Organizations of all sizes across nearly every industry are recognizing that properly supporting their customers is critical to long-term success in today’s ‘subscription economy’. Providing quality services can ensure customer satisfaction, reduce churn, increase the lifetime value of the customer and encourage cross-sales opportunities and referrals. This is the premise which has driven the growth of Salesforce.com’s Service Cloud. And, once again, pulling together the data generated from an organization’s helpdesk operation with that gathered from its CRM, marketing automation and financial systems will give an organization valuable information about the needs of individual customers and unique insight into potential new market opportunities. A growing number of Cloud/Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) players, such as ServiceNow, are also focusing on the service management space, compounding the need for powerful and proven cloud service integration requirements.

Pulling all these pieces together, along with a myriad of connected objects and devices, is the key challenge facing organizations of all sizes across various industries today.

To read more, download the whitepaper here.

You can learn more about the SnapLogic Integration Cloud for Salesforce here. I also wrote a blog post about what we call the Internet of Connected Customers…and Things and recorded this video with the Vidcaster team on the topic at Dreamforce 2013:

Digital Marketing is Like Hansel – So Hot Right Now

SnapLogic Digital MarketingIn their Top 10 CMO predictions, IDC predicts that digital marketing investment will exceed 50% of total program budget by 2016. According to Gartner VP of research Laura McLellan, “marketing is now the central engine of growth for many companies” and by 2017 the CMO will spend more on IT than the IT department. But while most marketers I know are bullish on data, they continue to struggle with basic data access and integration challenges. It’s not that they don’t have enough marketing applications or data that they could access – check out this great 2014 Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic. It’s pretty amazing…and also pretty scary!

The primary challenge faced by the majority of marketers I know is the inability to access high quality, highly relevant, and well integrated data from the growing number of marketing channels they’re investing in. They’re data rich, but insight poor. IDC recognized a number of data needs and challenges in their 10 Predictions on the Role of the Chief Marketing Officer. I’ve highlighted the predictions related to better data access, analytics and integration below:

  1. The CMO role becomes “open for definition” as today’s CMO job description becomes considerably more complex and critical
  2. Innovative CMO and CIO pairs will throw out the rule book when it comes to IT’s support of Marketing
  3. By 2020, the Marketing function in leading companies will be radically reshaped into three organizational “systems” – content, channels, and consumption (data)
  4. The best marketers will understand that “Content Marketing” does not equal “Thought Leadership”
  5. Multi-channel coverage becomes an opportunity and a challenge area, as CMOs integrate media silos
  6. 80% of customer data will be wasted due to immature enterprise data “value chains”
  7. By the end of 2014, 60% of CMOs will have formal recruiting process for people with data skills
  8. Only 20% of marketers will receive formal training on analytics and customer data management
  9. Fragmented marketing IT point products and low adoption rate will inhibit companies’ ability to win customers
  10. Digital marketing investment will exceed 50% of total program budget by 2016

So digital marketing is like Hansel – so hot right now and multi-channel marketing ROI is king (a French reference for my friend Dave Kellogg). But fundamental data access and integration continue to be major challenge. What to do? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Stop saying you’re “data driven” and start acting like it. You’ll find very quickly that it’s a lot easier said than done.
  2. Stop investing in more marketing channels if you can’t measure the results of your current mix.
  3. Stop investing in more analytical tools without investing in a truly agile analytics infrastructure. Increasingly this will be in the cloud.
  4. Ensure you have analytical people on your team. If you don’t, invest in training now.
  5. Establish a culture of self-service data access and integration with your IT organization. Without this, numbers 1-4 are irrelevant.

Digital marketing and the shift to data-driven marketing will be a hot topic in 2014. SnapLogic’s Maneesh Joshi went so far as to predict that Digital Marketing Platforms will Take Over the World!

What other suggestions do you have to overcome the data access and integration obstacles and barriers so many marketers face? Do you agree with my suggestions?

Happy New Year!

Related Resources:

Different Takes on Salesforce1 – Innovation or Lipstick?

Dreamforce is getting bigger every year. Our conversations with customers and prospects at the conference clearly reflected the success Salesforce has had moving up the value chain, from SMBs to mid to large enterprises. We spoke to many more enterprise customers than prior years who  are looking for a scalable integration platform that delivers integration solutions at cloud-speed. These enterprise customers are specifically looking for a flexible and user-friendly platform that is beyond just a point-to-point data loader and can scale with their rapid adoption of Cloud and SaaS applications. The Integrator’s Dilemma got a lot of nods and the story resonated for sure.

The biggest announcement for the conference was Salesforce1 and how it powers the “Internet of Customers.” There are a variety of reactions out there: some thought that Salesforce1 was just an old wine in a new bottle, with some mobility on the cheese platter. Some regarded it as their attempt towards mobile-enablement of their offerings of Sales cloud, Marketing cloud and Service cloud. And some thought that it was somewhere in between. Marc Benioff’s marketing genius is clearly working if you look at the range of contradicting reactions and the associated buzz this launch has brought forth. For example, while Gartner’s DeSisto has gone as far as claiming that Salesforce1 does not exist, and is just a branding exercise, InformationWeek is less skeptical and has lauded Salesforce’s attempt into the mobility space. And lastly, Forbes is calling this an ambitious attempt to redefine to sales and CRM.

My take is somewhere in between. I regard this as an attempt to rationalize the acquisitions and offerings Salesforce has made over the years that include ExactTarget, force.com, Heroku and more, with a single interface; and what better interface to use today than a mobile one? It kills two birds with one stone – gives a perception of an integrated suite of apps, plus mobile-enables Salesforce. Both are areas that Salesforce was clearly lacking in. (BTW, Salesforce has already upgraded my chatter mobile app to Salesforce1! Very cool!)

Here at SnapLogic, we are seeing a lot of similar activity. Mobile access to information is a steadily increasing requirement that we get from our customers and prospects. Customers are thinking beyond the “Internet of Customers” – they are looking to tap into the “Internet of Things” opportunity as well. They regard SnapLogic as an ideal platform that can handle all styles of workloads – whether it is a single invocation to access a small set of data, or it is a need to stream large volumes of data in real-time.

As an example, a leading gaming company is leveraging SnapLogic to make their ERP and CRM data accessible to their salesforce over mobile devices. They particularly chose SnapLogic as their mobile-enabling platform because it is built on mobile-friendly standards such as REST and JSON, and can scale elastically with its Amazon EC2 underpinnings. Using this flexible platform, they could aggregate or join data across multiple applications and deliver it as a single entity to those mobile devices. The Salesforce1 mobile app will not be able to address use cases where data needs to be accessed from applications outside of the Salesforce ecosystem. Customers should consider SnapLogic for such use cases.

The other example describes how another customer is using the same SnapLogic platform to stream device data (internet of things!). This Fortune 10 customer streams virus scan data (Airwatch, Verdasys, Sophos, McAfee, Casper) from their 400,000 employee devices. This scan data, that is generated every minute in every device, is then streamed to a Splunk instance in real-time. Splunk does its analytics and raises red flags on suspicious activities in real-time as well. A business process orchestrated by SnapLogic is kicked off to automatically create, track and resolve incident tickets in ServiceNow. Although they are currently not doing so, this customer can mobile-enable the (management and monitoring of) business process with the flip of a switch.

To learn more, register for our free webinar on December 5th at 11AM PST. You can learn more about Dreamforce (#DF13) and its implications on your IT strategy. Industry pundits Jeff Kaplan of THINKStrategies and Darren Cunningham will discuss Salesforce1, mobile and cloud integration in greater detail.

Cloudforce Chicago 2013: Salesforce Knows How to Get it Done

Monica Froebe Demos SnapLogic at Cloudforce Chicago 2013
Monica Froebe Demos SnapLogic at Cloudforce Chicago 2013

By Maneesh Joshi – Senior Director, Product Marketing & Strategy

The SnapLogic team had a blast at Salesforce’s Customer Company Tour in Chicago last week (April 18th, 2013). Kudos to the Salesforce team for putting on such a successful show. A strong attendance despite the horrid weather conditions was a testament to the popularity of Salesforce as a company and the fantastic events they put together. Here’s a few observations from the event:

It’s All About the Customer
Customer Company Tour, as the name suggests, was all about the customer. CEO Marc Benioff’s keynote was very impressive where he invited on stage Salesforce customers who have appropriated

Marty Larsen 'Winning' at Cloudforce Chicago 2013
Marty Larsen 'Winning' at Cloudforce Chicago 2013

tremendous value out of the social, mobile, and cloud paradigms. There was Obama’s campaign team that discussed how they used Chatter for internal communication and the marketing cloud to keep a pulse of their audience during the 2012 presidential elections. And then there was Trunk Club that has gone all-Cloud and have no IT systems in-house (We are seeing a lot of such customers leverage SnapLogic’s Cloud Integration offering to integrate their cloud investments!). Trunk Club shared how they have done a tremendous job personalizing customer experience by making customer information available at their sales rep’s fingertips (mobile devices).

Maneesh Joshi Discusses the SnapLogic Platform at Cloudforce Chicago 2013
Maneesh Joshi Discusses the SnapLogic Platform at Cloudforce Chicago 2013

Business Users Taking Charge
We met a lot of business users at the booth. They are really taking “charge” (literally with their credit cards! 😉 ) of their systems. They’re focusing on making the enterprise sales force more agile, improving customer experiences and capturing customer sentiments via social media channels. The SnapLogic team is excited about this new trend because it is precisely this audience (the citizen developers) that needs a product as simple as SnapLogic to integrate the Salesforce instance with other SaaS and on-premises applications.

Last but not least, Salesforce really knows how to get it done! Food and wine was great. But, most importantly the playlist was awesome! It really helped keep the energy levels high and the spirits up despite the lousy weather outside.