Blog post

How Many SaaS Apps – and Trading Partners — Are YOU Integrating?

By Benoit Lheureux | January 31, 2011 | 1 Comment

SaaS IntegrationIntegration BrokerageCSBCloud Services IntegrationCloud Services BrokerageCloud ComputingCloudB2B

I have been having more discussions with clients lately about integrating SaaS functionality from multiple providers. One recently described integrating five different SaaS applications. Many IT-savvy clients leverage a combination of on-premise or cloud-based integration technology to implement the solution themselves (e.g., using Boomi, IBM, Informatica, iWay, Jitterbit, Microsoft, Pervasive, WebSphere, Tibco, etc.). Although these projects include cloud services these are often nevertheless still perceived as “A2A integration” because the application functionality, e.g., HR, procurement, payroll, benefits, order management, etc., are considered an extension of “internal” IT infrastructure.

A recurring theme with users integrating multiple SaaS applications is whether to put the integration solution ‘center of gravity’ on-premise – or in the cloud. And whether to implement the solution themselves – or with the help of an external provider. Building upon our recent special report on cloud services brokerage we’ll deliver more research on the outsourcing option in 2011. For example, we just published our definition of integration brokerage [subscription required], a form of IT outsourcing focused on Cloud services integration often delivered via cloud services brokerage. B2B integration specialists (e.g., IBM, GXS, Hubspan, Liaison) and cloud-focused system integrators (e.g., Appirio, Bluewolf, Celigo) offer cloud services brokerage.

Most integration brokerage is still delivered in conjunction with traditional ecommerce supply chain integration, e.g., typically you turn over customer or supplier integration project to a B2B integration specialist or system integrator who implements and runs that for you. Some integration brokerage is delivered in conjunction with SaaS – for example you may have a system integrator doing SaaS integration in conjunction with some custom SaaS development. I am interested in hearing from those of you with integration projects that involve both traditional ecommerce integration *and* SaaS integration. Perhaps you implemented order management as SaaS – and now need to get orders electronically from your customers. Are you addressing this with integration technology or integration brokerage?

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1 Comment

  • Very timely, Ben. I believe that cloud API brokerage by 3rd parties will be the preferred method to offset risks of committing to mission critical cloud IT services. Shortly before joining Loren Data Corp, I was consulting for a professional lines insurance group, and they were working up the actuarial models to offer underwriting on cloud IT continuity. My role was to investigate 3rd party, blind API brokerage – meaning that competitors would over instances for the insured services, without knowing who the client was, and with other safeguards for protecting the client / cloud provider primary relationships. It is coming to market now.