At OpenText, our vision of the integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) space wasn’t always in step with that of most other solution providers and the analysts who cover the marketplace. Since its inception, the do-it-yourself model of iPaaS has dominated the sector, and analysts have focused on solutions that put tools into the hands of business units or “citizen integrators” so that they can more quickly and easily build their own point-to-point integration solutions.
Such integration agility is vital as organizations seek to digitally transform and optimize their business models and processes in response to changing demands of customers. Business units throughout enterprises are deploying an ever-expanding array of cloud-based applications in order to meet these needs.
As the number and types of integrations required continue to increase – and as more valuable data flows in from these many new applications and sources in a variety of formats – the prevailing view of iPaaS has started to evolve. Driving this change in perception is not only the complexity of the integration landscape, but also the need to now incorporate data management into the mix. Enterprises are finding that they must dedicate even more in-house resources to these combined tasks. And adding to the cumulative weight of this burden with traditional IPaaS models is the challenge of handling sensitive data and meeting data security and privacy regulations in a decentralized environment. So now we’ve come full circle, and the marketplace is recognizing the benefits, particularly to enterprise organizations, of the managed services approach to IPaaS that Liaison has advocated all along.
One of the recent proof-points of this shift is the 5 out of 5 score that OpenText (previously Liaison) received for the product strategy and market approach criteria in “The Forrester Wave™: Strategic iPaaS And Hybrid Integration Platforms, Q1 2019” report. According to the report, OpenText (previously Liaison) was designated a “Strong Performer” on the evaluation of OpenText™ Alloy™, which offers both integration and data management workflows as managed services on a unified platform.
In selecting the top strategic iPaaS and Hybrid Integration Platform (HIP) vendors to asses, Forrester considered only those that “provide a breadth of integration functionality,” including “application and data integration, B2B integration, and API management capabilities (or connection to such capabilities).” Along with two other inclusion criteria, the research also considered only providers that have “mindshare among Forrester’s enterprise clients” as evidenced by frequent appearance in “client inquiries, shortlists, consulting projects, and case studies.”
Many iPaaS providers are still invested in the DIY model, but we believe that delivering a managed services option that addresses the broader challenges of digital transformation is the best approach. In our view, this recognition by Forrester validates our managed services business model.
The Forrester report noted that:
“Liaison Technologies (now OpenText) provides an iPaaS managed service in the cloud. With its ALLOY Platform, Liaison Technologies provides a simplified environment for business users to build their data, app, or B2B integration, but the integration specialist and operations roles are both performed by Liaison’s employees. This approach allows companies to focus on getting the most out of data rather than dealing with maintaining skills in data management, data movement and preparation, or data governance (mainly the quality, data security, and MDM domains).”
This describes a significant advantage of an iPaaS managed services model. At most companies, in-house IT staff are already stretched thin, and time spent on integration and data tasks keeps staff from engaging in more strategic activities.
In naming Liaison (now OpenText) a “Strong Performer,” the Forrester report said our “customers choose Liaison when their digital transformation involves their ecosystem using B2B integration, EDI, or APIs, and they appreciate the ease of deployment, which Liaison fully manages. They also appreciate the quality of the relationship, seeing Liaison more as a partner than a software vendor.”
As the industry recognizes, integration is a prerequisite for digital transformation, and as companies evaluate their options to pursue their vision of a digital business, we know more will discover the advantages of a unified, data-centric platform like Alloy, which offers a full complement of managed services so that users can focus on core competencies and innovation by unlocking the value of data.
To learn more about Forrester’s view on the IPaaS market and on Liaison Technologies, be sure to download a complimentary copy of “The Forrester Wave™: Strategic iPaaS And Hybrid Integration Platforms, Q1 2019” report.