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What is iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service)?

In its recent report, Digital Businesses Demand Agile Integration, Forrester Consulting found that 80% of companies in the survey faced an increased volume of and variety of data while a further 65% believed the number of applications and systems in use in their organizations had spiked. Effectively integrating all these systems in the enterprise ecosystem is a challenge, that can lead to the loss of customer revenue, according to 93% of Forrester’s respondents. Integration Platform as a Service (IPaaS) provides an attractive platform for organizations managing an ever-increasing application ecosystem in a given IT environment.

According to Harvard Business Review, over 50% of Fortune 500 companies have gone bankrupt, been bought or ceased to exist due to digital disruption. Simply digitizing business processes is not sufficient; companies need to take a holistic approach to tackle ever-increasing data growth.

As enterprises increasingly move to the cloud and rely on Software as a Service (SaaS) providers, such as Salesforce, to provide specific applications, the need to manage and integrate on-premise, cloud-based and SaaS systems have grown in importance–and complexity. Delivered via the cloud, IPaaS delivers an efficient and cost-effective way to meet an enterprise’s integration challenges. Little surprise then that the global Integration Platform as a Service market is exploding, forecast to reach over $4 billion by 2022 at a CAGR over 40%.

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) definition

iPaaS is a Cloud-based integration service delivered by a third-party provider, which grew out of the need for Cloud integration. As organizations moved more of their computing requirements to the Cloud, management and integration became more complex. It also became clear that a similar thing was happening on-premise and that organizations had to find a way to effectively integrate their on-premise and cloud capabilities.

Why iPaaS?

iPaaS has developed into a range of automated tools to connect applications and data residing in different environments.  Organizations develop integration flows that connect applications in the Cloud or on-premises and then deploy them without installing or managing any hardware or middleware. Typically, an iPaaS software solution includes pre-built connectors, maps and transformations, business rules, and APIs that enable fast and efficient integration between virtually any system.

With on-premise and cloud integration, iPaaS delivers everything needed to deploy, manage, govern and integrate applications and services. The platform supports real-time application integration and provides a consistent model for all data integration requirements, reducing the time and costs spent on subsequent integrations.

How does iPaaS work?

iPaaS platforms are mostly Cloud-based solutions that seamlessly connect any two application endpoints—cloud, mobile, IoT, on-premises—and synchronizes data between them. With built-in data compliance and security for configurable connectors and adapters, these platforms enable connectivity across information and data silos while facilitating real-time information sharing.

With iPaaS tools, an organization will normally receive a range of integration capabilities within a single solution. Common integration types include Enterprise Application Integration (EAI), data integration, business-to-business (B2B) integration, Cloud service integration, mobile and social integration, and API management.

In some cases, the best iPaaS vendors will provide these integration capabilities as a managed integration service across the entire lifecycle of the integrations. A managed integration service reduces the operational complexity of managing integrations, increases compliance, promotes the certified implementation and ensures that the correct level of integration skilled resources are available when required from your IT organization.

What are some key iPaaS benefits?

When selecting Integration Platform as a Service vendors, you should expect the following benefits:

A single, simplified solution

  • iPaaS simplifies an organization’s overall IT environment. The platform brings all integration capabilities together in one place and delivers a single, consistent structure for connecting all applications and data–whether on-premise, Cloud, mobile or IoT. As all management is centralized, growing integration requirements are quickly addressed without adding cost or complexity to the iPaaS architecture and environment.

Faster time to market

  • The key advantage and benefits of iPaaS is in integration – the ability to reduce time and resources for integrating the application ecosystem within a given organization. By connecting the application ecosystem, a company get a consistent view of their data across enterprise.  For example, providing consistent customer information across marketing, customer relationship management, support management system, and other systems CRM system in a seamless manner. The best iPaaS enables companies to reduce the burden of connecting new applications, increase IT efficiency with greater change agility, reduce time to market, and reduce total cost of ownership both operational and financial.

Flexibility & scalability

  • Originally, integrations have taken place on a single point-to-point basis between two applications. This has inevitably led to a patchwork of integrations using different technologies and connectors. Deploying the best iPaaS platform enables any-to-any connectivity through standard connections that helps break down not only the silos created by earlier integrations but also the subsequent data silos where different systems can’t communicate with all other systems within the organization.

Improved operational efficiency

  • iPaaS enables data consistency and processing across all systems and data to enable fast, reliable and effective access to the application or information you require. It brings all the tools and systems together over a single platform to improve the efficiency of business processes and workflows.

Centralized Management

  • iPaaS platforms significantly reduce application connection management while reducing data loss and inconsistencies through a centralized system for all integrations inside and outside the organization. Organizations have a single view for managing all connections across the platform, which means teams spend less time switching between tools and technologies when managing integration capabilities.

Improved Security and Compliance

  • Security threats are inevitable in any environment, especially the cloud. iPaaS solutions–such as OpenText™ Alloy™ –offer a range of security features that make it easier to see where these threats are and respond adequately. The centralized platform helps with compliance, as changes only have-to be implemented in a single environment and iPaaS vendors provide built-in data compliance features in areas such as payment protection and personal health information.

What is Enterprise iPaaS?

Gartner has recently introduced the term ‘Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service’ (EiPaaS). The new term takes into account that most enterprises today have a wide range of integration requirements beyond application and data integration. Organizations are faced with B2B integration, IoT integration, mobile application integration, process integration and other. EiPaaS vendors bundled a number of these integration types onto a single platform. More than that, EiPaaS integration capabilities are support by the services that an enterprise needs for continual, global operations, such as high availability, disaster recovery, security and SLAs.

Why choose OpenText as your iPaaS vendor?

 OpenText is a leading provider of iPaaS. Our OpenText Alloy product is one of the most feature-rich enterprise iPaaS integration platforms available with an extensive range of capabilities which include:

Flexible any-to-any integration

  • OpenText Alloy connects any two application endpoints regardless of where they reside—cloud, SaaS, mobile, device or on-premises.

Data management and tokenization

  • The iPaaS platform allows you to secure data, whether at rest or in transit, with secure protocols, such as AS2, FTPS, HTTPS or SFTP.

Lens data lifecycle management

  • The Lens analytics solution delivers web-based visibility into all your integration operations to uncovers trends and spot errors with real-time.

Modern cloud platform

  • Leverages the OpenText cloud platform for economies of scale and agility. OpenText Alloy is a multi-tenant and microservices based platform that’s flexible and scalable to meet the most complex requirements.

OpenText Alloy is delivered as a managed service to enable you to off-load the day-to-day complexities of application integration operations while ensuring that you always have the correct levels of skill and resource on hand to handle the most complex of enterprise integrations.

Learn more about OpenText iPaaS Solutions.

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