SAG_Twitter_MEME_11facts_Feb18.jpgEveryone is claiming to be an expert in cloud integration these days. With a cluttered market of providers – and some posers, it can prove frustrating and downright confusing as to whom to trust with your cloud integration efforts.

To help you see through the clutter, we have created a guide with hints and tips to help you navigate through the cloud integration jungle - and avoid getting bit by any hidden snakes. 

  1. It’s a mad, mad pure cloud integration world.

The pure cloud integration market is cluttered with a variety of vendors both large and small.  New ones pop up daily, while others just disappear off the map.  The race to the cloud has created a flurry of iPaaS providers that want to lock you into their platform, so THEY can cash in. Most aren’t profitable and have an uncertain future as a result.

Hint #1 - Ask your vendor if it is profitable. 

  1. It’s all about that ba$e.

Unpredictable pricing models are the norm and they are subject to change - frequently. The majority of pure cloud integration vendors are in a battle to establish and build up a base of customers. Once they have a sizable customer base, they hike up their prices or change the pricing structure. Some initially publish their pricing models publicly – then, after gaining customers, the pricing models vanish – never to be seen again.

Hint #2 - Ask your vendor if it had published a price list in the past.

  1. It’s an SMB world after all.

Yes, there’s a sizable market for most cloud integration providers in small-to-medium businesses – that is their legacy and where they got their start.  So, if your hybrid cloud integration vendor claims expertise and long-time experience in the “enterprise” space, warning bells should go off in your head.  Most pure cloud integration vendors are not able to handle complex enterprise needs and the demands of enterprise-class integrations.

Hint #3 - Ask your vendor if the majority of its customer base is SMB.

  1. It’s a hip start-up…with a square parent.

Some pure cloud integration providers want to appear cool, nimble and new, but they may not be autonomous entities – owned or invested in by larger parent companies.  Often, it is a way for the parent companies to dip a toe into new markets and build up a customer base, without tarnishing the existing brand.  Ironically, certain cloud integration vendors still have their parent companies using the webMethods Hybrid Enterprise Integration Platform for all mission critical integrations. 

Hint #4 - Ask your vendor if its parent company uses webMethods – and why. 

  1. Integration requires tools for both IT and business.

Pure cloud integration vendors evolved from solving departmental needs; they lack experience in solving enterprise-wide problems and have never built a platform for both business and IT. As a result, there are side effects: a lack of IT tools - companies need tools for IT and business to build and deploy integrations of all complexities.

Hint #5 – Ask your vendor if its platform can deliver high performance and solve problems faced by both IT and business.

  1. Integration needs to be hybrid.

Pure cloud integration vendors focus primarily on cloud apps and show significant weakness when it comes to connecting with on premise, mainframe and other legacy systems. The reality is that some applications and systems will stay on premise for the foreseeable future.  As a result, cloud integration needs to include hybrid use cases where on premise applications are integrated with the newer cloud apps.

Hint #6: Ask your vendor if it provides a complete hybrid platform to connect cloud apps with existing on premise, mainframe and legacy apps.

  1. Hybrid supports microservices and devops.

All applications are not made equal. Some applications are customer-facing, systems of record or mission critical - while others are not. The need to scale each application is different too. Hybrid is key; it supports microservices and devops. Some vendors provide a “one size fits all” approach to integration where all applications scale together – the same way. This does not support microservices and individual devops.

Hint #7: Ask your vendor if it provides full support for microservices architectures and includes automated testing and local development capabilities to deliver devops.

  1. Enterprises need complete API management.

Pure cloud integration vendors can lack complete API management capabilities, which give your business complete control over your API process. Enterprises need a way to expose strategic APIs and monetize them. Four API capabilities to look for include: API portal, API gateway, API lifecycle management and API consumption management.

Hint #8: Ask your vendor if it provides complete support for all exposing and monetizing APIs.

  1. Hybrid integration delivers critical B2B support.

As companies build digital ecosystems, B2B integration becomes even more essential. While hybrid integration platforms support B2B integration use cases, most pure cloud integration platforms don’t. Even the vendors who support B2B use cases provide only rudimentary support that is wholly insufficient for enterprise grade B2B.

Hint #9 – Ask your vendor if it can process millions of B2B documents daily.

  1. Integration is more than just connecting cloud apps.

Hybrid integration platforms do much more than just connect apps. They provide a high-performance platform for the development of future IT apps. Some attributes of the modern hybrid integration platform include and underlying in-memory platform; the ability to detect patterns and perform streaming analytics on top of fast moving data; predictive analytics and machine learning to predict and influence business outcomes; and the ability to build responsive and agile applications using low code, robotic process automation and business rules.

 Hint #10 – Ask your vendor if it provides capabilities to build responsive enterprise applications using low-code, business rules, streaming analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotic process automation. 

  1. Hybrid integration powers IoT and digital.

Today, every enterprise has two common goals:  innovate faster and transform quickly. As a result, IoT and digital transformation are on everyone’s radar – from the C-Suite down. Pure cloud integration vendors often lack the IoT and digital capabilities to make a meaningful impact on a business strategy and remain point solutions that lack direction and a future.

Hint #11 - webMethods is part of Software AG’s Digital Business Platform and works with Software AG’s Cumulocity IoT platform to deliver Digital and IoT.

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to conclude that webMethods is the right choice for enterprise hybrid integration.

Now you know the whole story.  At first glance, pure cloud integration presents a compelling case, and, theoretically, it can fill an urgent need to get to the cloud fast.  But now you know you need more than just cloud integration. Don’t go with a pure cloud integration provider and assume the risks.  Go with webMethods Hybrid Integration Platform from Software AG and get the rewards that come with selecting the market leader.

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