Cloud fluency: Does your data integration solution speak the truth?

There’s been a lot of cloud-washing in the enterprise data integration space — vendors are heavily promoting their hybrid cloud services, yet for many, only a skinny part of their monolithic apps has been “cloudified.”

In an era of “alternative facts,” it’s important to make technology decisions based on truths. Here is an important one: A big data integration solution built on genuine, made-for-the-cloud platform as a service (PaaS) technology offers important benefits including:

  1. Self-service integration by “citizen integrators,” without reliance on IT
  2. For IT organizations, the ability to easily connect multiple data sets, to achieve a bespoke enterprise tech environment

These are in addition to the traditional benefits of cloud solutions: no on-premise installation; continuous, no-fuss upgrades; and the latest software innovation, delivered automatically.

Why “built for the cloud” matters

You can’t get these benefits with “cloudified” software that was originally invented in 1992. Of course, I’m referring to Informatica; while the company promotes its cloud capabilities, the software largely retains a monolithic architecture that resides on-premises, and does most of its work there, too.

In contrast, SnapLogic is purpose-built for the cloud, meaning there are no legacy components that prevent the data and application integration service from running at cloud speed. Data streams between applications, databases, files, social and big data sources via the Snaplex, a self-upgrading, elastic execution grid.

In more everyday terms, SnapLogic has 100% cloud fluency. Our technology was made for the cloud, born in the cloud, and it lives in the cloud.

The consumerization of data integration

Further to point 1 above, “citizen integrators,” industry futurists like R. “Ray” Wang have been talking about the consumerization of IT for more than half a decade. And that is exactly what SnapLogic has mastered. Our great breakthrough, our big innovation, is that we have consumerized the dungeon-like, dark problem of data integration.

Integration used to be a big, boring problem relegated to the back office. We’ve brought it from the dungeon to the front office and into the light. It is amazing to see how people use our product. They go from one user to hundreds of users as they get access to data in a secure, organized and appropriately access-controlled manner. But you don’t have a cast of thousands of IT people enabling all this; users merely help themselves. This is the right model for the modern enterprise.

“An ERP of one”

As for the second major benefit of a true cloud solution — a bespoke enterprise tech environment, at a fraction of the time and cost of traditional means — here’s a customer quote from a young CEO of a hot company that’s a household name.

“Look, we’ve got an ‘ERP of one’ by using SnapLogic — a totally customized enterprise information environment. We can buy the best-of-the-best SaaS offerings, and then with SnapLogic, integrate them into a bespoke ERP system that would cost a bajillion dollars to build ourselves. We can custom mix and match the capabilities that uniquely fit us. We got the bespoke suit at off-the-rack prices by using SnapLogic to customize our enterprise environment.”

To my mind, that’s the big payoff, and an excellent way to think about SnapLogic’s value. We are able to give our customer an “ERP of one” faster and cheaper than they could have ever imagined. This is where the world is going, because of the vanishingly low prices of compute power and storage, and cloud computing.

Today you literally can, without a huge outlay, build your own enterprise technology world. But you need the glue to realize the vision, to bring it all together. That glue is SnapLogic.

Find out more about how and why SnapLogic puts best-of-breed enterprise integration within every organization’s grasp. Register for this upcoming webinar featuring a conversation with myself, industry analyst and data integration expert David Linthicum, and Gaurav Dhillon, SnapLogic’s CEO and also an Informatica alumnus: “We left Informatica. Now you can, too.”

SNP_Thumb_Informatica

Gaurav Dhillon is CEO at SnapLogic. Follow him on Twitter @gdhillon.

The ‘Cloudification’ Tipping Point: Why Integration Matters More than Ever

enterprisetech-logoI wrote an article on the Enterprise Technology site this week. You can read the full article here: At the ‘Cloudification’ Tipping Point, Application Integration Matters More Than Ever 

Here’s a summary:

“The cloud does indeed eliminate many of the costs and concerns of on-premises IT, but the challenge of enterprise data and application integration persists. In fact, “cloudification” can make solving that challenge more urgent than ever. The right approach to integration is the key to unlocking the transformative potential of your cloud investments.”

cloud_tipping_point“With all of the well documented benefits of adopting the cloud it’s easy to see why you might think you don’t have to worry about integration. But there you’d be wrong.

“To leverage the elasticity and efficiency of the cloud, and to operate at the peak performance levels that your customers expect and demand, you’ll need to take a different approach to solving integration. A hybrid cloud iPaaS provides a modern and scalable architecture that seamlessly handles cloud constructs of JSON, REST, and APIs. It’s also easy for less technical users to use. In the past, integration tools required a “black belt” in the technology and a lot of code. Modern approaches are cloud-based, with the flexibility to perform integrations either in the cloud, on-premises, or even natively in a Spark or Hadoop cluster. If you want to retain some of your data on-premises, you can fully cloudify your technology and still keep your ties to hardware when necessary.”

Next steps: 

Here’s a demonstration of the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform integrating Salesforce and SAP in a Snap:

2015 Technology Predictions: Cloudification, Self-Service and Big Data ROI

It’s technology predictions season! In this video, SnapLogic co-founder and CEO Gaurav Dhillon shares his predictions for cloud computing and big data in 2015, including:

  1. Cloudification: More people in business will be using applications in the cloud, causing ”cloudification” to happen in a big way in 2015.
  2. Self-Service: There will be a greater expectation of self-service and consumer-friendly technologies; customers won’t put up with complicated ways of doing things and vendors will be expected to do the work.
  3. Big Data: The big data projects are going to have to get to a more straightforward ROI or die.

The Impact of SMACT on the Data Management Stack

I had the opportunity to present to the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the Data Management Association (DAMA) this week on the topic of the changes to today’s data management stack. We discussed why CIOs and IT organizations in general are getting SMACT and reviewed some of the new integration challenges of the enterprise:

  • Big data access and analytics,
  • Disconnected SaaS silos,
  • API proliferation,
  • and the brewing storm of data represented by the Internet of Things.

benioff_speed_df14We then reviewed some of the characteristics and challenges posed by what we call the Integrator’s Dilemma and why old approaches to data management and same old same old (SO, SO) approaches to cloud and big data integration are not going to cut in the modern enterprise. What’s different, you ask? Here are 5 changes we discuss with our customers and partners at SnapLogic:

  1. Speed: As Marc Benioff recently noted at Dreamforce 2014, “Companies are no longer competing against each other. They’re competing against speed.”  Speed was also identified as the #1 reason companies choose an integration platform as a service (iPaaS), according to our recent TechValidate survey.
  2. User (and Buyer) Expectations: Self-service is a hot topic in the world of analytics, big data integration and iPaaS. We’ve written about the rise of the citizen integrator regularly on this blog. Gartner has recently published a report on the topic: Embrace the Citizen Integrator Approach to Improve Business Users’ Productivity and Agility.
  3. The Data: Of all of the changes in information management infrastructure, what’s new when it comes to big data volume, variety and velocity has been the most widely covered. See the original post on this topic from Gartner’s Doug Laney here.
  4. Cloudification and Data Gravity: With 2015 technology predictions season about to kick in, with so much recent attention on the shift to cloud analytics, here’s what Forrester has to say about the state of cloud adoption:  ”In 2015, cloud adoption will accelerate and technology management groups must adapt to this reality by learning how to add value to their company’s use of these services through facilitation, adaptation and evangelism. The days of fighting the cloud are over. This means major changes are ahead for you, your application architecture, portfolio, and your vendor relationships.”
  5. Standard, Protocols and Architectural Styles: We’ve talked about why the enterprise service bus (ESB) doesn’t fly in the cloud and written extensively about JSON and REST.  We’ve also written about why an ELA with a legacy data management vendor in 2014 is like betting on COBOL in 1998. As Craig Stewart, our Sr. Director of product management likes say: “It’s easy to put rows and columns into a document, but vice-versa doesn’t work.”

So what’s the same? Successful cloud application and big data platform adoption requires the right plumbing. Whether it’s orchestrating and streaming data between applications in real time or acquiring, preparing and delivering big data to downstream analytics tools and users, it’s still all about the pipes. While many of the circumstances and pace have changed, the burden of ensuring your data is timely, relevant and trustworthy has not. Your integration solution must be an innovation on ramp, not a roadblock.

I’ve embedded the presentation below, which includes a few recommendations for data management practitioners. Feedback appreciated.

Bringing iPaaS to the Enterprise in Fall 2014

1000_749_EventPageIcon_Fall14At SnapLogic, we believe it’s time to re-think integration. It’s time for a single platform that can ensure your cloud and on-premise enterprise applications stay connected and don’t become data silos. It’s time for a data streaming and transformation platform that is built to handle the volume, variety and velocity of your big data. It’s time for Elastic Integration.

Next week we’ll be announcing new features and enhancements to the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform in our Fall 2014 Release. The release brings integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to the enterprise with an expanded set of capabilities for big data acquisition, preparation and delivery as well as productivity, performance and scalability updates for broader deployments.

Join us on Tuesday, September 30th at 10:00am PST / 1:00pm EST for a live webinar to learn more about our Fall release where we’ll cover the following:

Register here for the webinar and stay tuned for more details! In the meantime, check out some of our demo videos to see our elastic iPaaS in action.

SnapLogic Summer 2014: Connecting Data, Apps and APIs

Summer release webinarLast week we announced our Summer 2014 Release, focusing on powering the elastic enterprise with a unified integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to connect big data sources, cloud and legacy applications and APIs. This week we hosted a webinar for a more in-depth look at what’s new and how SnapLogic is working with IT organizations to accelerate the “cloudification” of their enterprise application portfolio and drive the adoption of new approaches to analytics and data warehousing. The webinar reviewed the latest features of the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform Summer 2014 Release and included a live demo from our product management team. To recap, new features in this release include:

  • New dashboards and insights for deeper and broader operational telemetry
  • User interface innovations and self learning
  • SAML 2.0 single sign on (SSO) support for user management and authentication
  • SnapReduce 2.0 to connect the SnapLogic iPaaS to on-premises and cloud-based Hadoop clusters for big data processing
  • 20+ new and updated Snaps for all customers
  • A new Snap development community for java developers

Mapper screenshotTo highlight one of these features, the user interface innovations refine and improve our current HTML5, cloud-based Designer for both advanced users and “citizen integrators” who require maximum ease of use and self-service with the introduction of:

  • A New Data Mapper (screenshot to the right) for easily creating and managing source and target mappings using a drag-and-drop interface
  • A New Expression Editor for creating advances expressions based on functions (array, date and string) and properties

For more details, check out the webinar slides below, view the recording here or check out our What’s New page featuring last week’s press release and more information on each of the new and updated features of the SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform. And stay tuned for another post coming tomorrow with the July update details, which will include official release dates and what’s available today for SnapLogic customers.

Powering the Elastic Enterprise with Summer 2014 Release

“A unified approach to connecting growing data volumes, types and sources as well as new and legacy business applications and proliferating APIs is essential to becoming a truly elastic enterprise. SnapLogic Summer 2014 is our most significant upgrade to date, introducing cloud platform, end-user and developer innovations that will enable our customers to get more value from all of their data, regardless of where it resides.” – Gaurav Dhillon, co-founder and CEO of SnapLogic

FB_Posts_SummerLaunch14_720x266Today we’re excited to announce our biggest release yet for powering the elastic enterprise with a unified integration platform to connect big data sources, cloud and legacy applications and APIs. The Summer 2014 release addresses two primary challenges faced by modern IT organizations: enterprise application portfolio “cloudification” and dealing with data gravity, as more and more business data resides off premises. As Gaurav mentions in his quote above, a primary goal of this release is to ensure that our customers can access and connect any and all data no matter what systems or applications it resides in, and whether it’s in the cloud or behind a company’s firewall.

02_SSO_OptBThe SnapLogic Elastic Integration Platform Summer 2014 release includes the following features (more details on our What’s New page here):

  • New dashboards and insights for deeper and broader operational telemetry
  • User interface innovations and self-learning for advanced users and “citizen integrators”
  • SAML 2.0 single sign on (SSO) support for user management and authentication
  • SnapReduce 2.0 to connect the SnapLogic iPaaS to on-premises and cloud-based Hadoop clusters for big data processing
  • 20+ new and updated Snaps for all customers
  • A new Snap development community for java developers

This release is an important one – as Carl Lehmann, research manager at 451 Research noted:

“Cloud integration is just getting started for many end-user enterprises, so the market for data and application integration across hybrid and multi-cloud architectures will be strong. SnapLogic is poised to capture some attention among big-data analytics buyers. Its design UI and tooling are attracting integration developers, and its time to value and flexibility to alter and change integration patterns are appealing to top-level IT executives.”

So what’s next? We’ll be talking more about the new challenges in enterprise IT – and a unified iPaaS as a solution – in our upcoming webinar, and you can read more in today’s press release or on our What’s New page.