Productized integration processes – are we crazy?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you can productize specific business processes into a packaged integration solution.

This is something that regularly perplexes die-hard integration architects and at the opposite end of the spectrum regularly astounds SMEs when they find out there aren’t pre-built integrations between every application.

Who needs it?

SMEs now have access to tools and products at a fraction of the price they were years ago.  They can have best of breed solutions to run their business, BUT, who can afford to pay for a custom integration solution to integrate their data?  The applications are bleeding edge, but it doesn’t save you time and money if they aren’t in sync.

How to do it?

Our approach to this is ReadyMade, pre-built integration solutions that solve standard integration requirements between common applications.

Some history

We thought that there has to be some common business processes between applications.  So we spent some time looking at applications we know well, like salesforce.com.  We then looked at what accounting packages people use to connect to Salesforce and discovered that MYOB and Saasu were very popular in the Salesforce community in this part of the world.

So, we then took a look at how customers use MYOB on-premise and how they use Saasu in the cloud and used these observations to determine if there were common functions and processes that could be automated to save time and money.

And of course there are common processes that if integrated would provide the biggest bang for buck.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy to first work out the common integration processes, identify the right tool, develop the solution, price it right, market it, sell it and then back it up with support.

Well why do it?

Because we like to solve problems in the simplest way possible and we see the potential of SaaS but we also understand the role of existing applications to a company.  Let’s not fix something that isn’t broken.

The end result

Our ReadyMade solutions allow an SME to run the best of breed applications without the need to re-key data or deal with data inconsistencies and errors.

They don’t solve every integration process, they’re not meant to, that’s what custom integration solutions are for, they simply provide a productized integration for standard business processes between 2 defined applications and they do it at a low-cost.

Basecamp Integration

Researching some new ReadyMade possibilities for integration to Basecamp.

Seems Basecamp is hugely popular, as we’ve had some requests to take a look at how it might be integrated with a couple of key applications, such as Salesforce and Saasu.

Here’s my proposed flow between the Basecamp and Salesforce objects:

Integrate Basecamp with Salesforce

Basecamp Direction Salesforce
Project < Opportunity
Todo <> Task
Contacts <> Account/Contacts
Hours (by project) > Opportunity

Integrating Basecamp to an online accounting application such as Saasu is different, here’s the objects and process I think will work.  Any feedback would be great, if we can validate the process flows and objects involved we can then design the solutions and build them.

Integrate Basecamp with Saasu

Basecamp Direction Saasu
Timesheet > Timesheet
Contact <> Contact
Todos <> Todos
Hours (by project) > Order/Invoice

Open source data management

Now that’s cool.  Talend announced today they’ve acquired all rights to the Master Data Management (MDM) technology of Amalto Technologies http://www.talend.com/press/Talend-Announces-First-Open-Source-Master-Data-Management-Solution.php.  This will enable organisations of any size to consolidate their data and tackle data management without spending a hefty sum.  This will present a viable alternative to the big guys, could be interesting.

Business Catalyst to MYOB integration

Working on a ReadyMade for Business Catalyst -> MYOB Accounting for cash sales, here’s the basic process:

Business Catalyst to MYOB integration

This is in response to requests to automate the entry of ecommerce sales into MYOB, eliminating the need to manually key in each invoice.  It takes about 2-3 minutes for each invoice to be manually entered into MYOB, for companies entering even 20 invoices this can be painful.

We should be ready to test in early October, let us know if you are interested to participate in our beta cycle?

If you are interested in different Business Catalyst or MYOB integrations that we don’t have on our website, then why not suggest them to us and we can do some research and blog about our plans and findings.

LDAP connector for Boomi

We have built an LDAP Connector using the Boomi Atomsphere SDK.  The requirement was for Active Directory (AD) to Netsuite application integration for the synchronisation of Contact and authentication information between the client’s AD implementation and their Netsuite customer portal.  We chose to build an LDAP Connector for the solution. The Connector  can create, modify and activate users. It also can create Active Directory OU’s and groups and add the users to the groups. The connector supports SSL as well as non SSL communications

With the LDAP connector we can now integrate LDAP with other hosted or on-premise solutions such as SalesForce, RightNow, Sassu and many more.

For more information contact us.

Cloud messaging anyone?

Looking for asynchronous messaging on-demand, cloud-based and at a price that won’t break the bank, check out Linxter.  Linxter features include:

  • Message Polling
  • Transactional Queues
  • Endpoint Reconfiguration
  • Communication Channel Management
  • Internet Connection Retries
  • Non-repudiation
  • File Chunking

At a price point starting as low as 5/mth – not bad.

Expanding our solution offerings with Talend ETL

We’ve been working with the Talend Open Studio for some time and we like the product.  We’ve expanded our capabilities with an OEM of the Talend ETL product to enable us to build out rapid integration solutions for our customers at a low-cost point.  Thanks to Talend for working with us to make this happen, this will enable us to deliver ETL solutions to any market at the right price.