Dell Boomi bringing startup mentality to hybrid cloud market

CEO Chris McNabb wants to get word out that its integration-platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) can really scale to enterprise heights

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We deliver economies of skills for organizations. We have an ease of use in our platform; it’s drag and drop. I take this connector off, I right click, I answer questions about it and now I’m connected and interchanging data with Salesforce. It’s very easy to use. It leverages the fact that we have a pure cloud architecture. We have things that Boomi suggests, which is a feature. Every single integration process ever built in the history of Boomi by every customer worldwide is in a single database.

When you come along, let’s say to connect Salesforce to SAP, we can look up and mine all the metadata associated with that and suggest a process to you almost instantly, literally within a second or two. We can map it out: Here are the 92 data elements that people map to these fields in SAP and this is how you transform it, literally with a single click. You can’t have that kind of capability if the scope of your product is organization wide. It’s only if it’s market wide. Our cloud architecture enables that kind of a thing for people and that is also patented to us.

In December, a new version of the platform came out. Can you talk about some of the most recent enhancements?

We continue to broaden our connectivity. As an integration platform for our customers, it’s about all the various endpoints you can connect to. We continually enhance that. We literally have over a thousand unique endpoints in production for our customers at any point in time and we will continue to deliver on that. Also, a lot of EDI capabilities came out in the last release. This is a big area for us. Candidly, I didn’t see this coming two years ago but many Fortune 250s still have a very large EDI integration challenge.

A lot of that technology is 20-, 30-some years old and now they’re asking: How do I take this EDI file and communicate it to my cloud finance system so I can generate an invoice? It’s becoming very complicated. Very large scale Fortune 50 kinds of organizations can start transitioning to our EDI capabilities with some of the new features around trading partner management and how you onboard them, etc.

We have more dynamic integration capabilities. These are not design time things but run-time configuration changes we’re able to implement to make your integration capabilities very robust and dynamic, and event based. You can connect different microservices and, based on what event is occurring, go to different things on the fly, not having to design them up front. Then we had some new API management capabilities as well. It’s been a very robust [release] for us.

What kind of opportunity is there around internet of things for you?

The opportunity space is very large. Just look at the sheer number of devices that are getting connected and that are on the internet every single day, it’s a mess. I don’t know what your home is like but I feel like I’ve got new IoT devices in my home every day. As a business, how do we connect them and integrate? We are in the early days but we are getting into some very robust projects with some of our larger customers around how we can help them with IoT. IoT in the construction industry is driven by safety first. How can we make sure that people at certain stages of construction aren’t getting into the wrong places and we can prevent accidents before they occur?

The IoT beacon on their helmet lets us know who they are, where they’re at, whether they’re allowed there or not. Our platform provides a lot of the data interchange and rules [that bring] a much higher degree of safety for those organizations, which is key.

Could you talk about a customer who is benefitting from the platform today?

We have a very large consumer packaged goods company and they have completely transformed their business by centralizing, essentially, on Salesforce and Boomi as their key enterprise technologies. This is a multi, multi, multibillion dollar organization. They not only leverage our integration technology but also our master data management capabilities, as well as our API creation and management capability. They used the full suite of our products and they have dramatically changed how they run their business.

They have a tremendous number of part-time employees and they onboard them and offboard them at various time throughout the year. They’ve connected their cloud-first enterprise, 30-some odd cloud applications centered around Salesforce, with Boomi as a hub to move and manage all those changes. There’s a simple sort of tracking they were doing around employees, an aggregation from various locations, and they went from 10 FTE [full-time equivalents] to aggregate the spreadsheet on a weekly basis to half an FTE leveraging purely our technology. We’re providing a huge benefit for them at enterprise scale across their business.

Can you talk about how you work with the major cloud providers to benefit customers?

We’re very partner-centric. We have a huge channel in Boomi. It’s a force multiplier for us. Many of our partners embed our technology in a white-label kind of way. Major cloud providers that are very common, premier sorts of SaaS providers leverage our technology to solve integration [challenges] when they sell their product. They white-label Boomi so when they sell their product a little Boomi comes along for the ride.

Also, we do this through technology alliances. Companies like Workday, ServiceNow and Amazon have marketplaces and they want to certify partners for them. We have offerings in those marketplaces. The final side is the SIs [systems integrators], the Deloittes and Accentures. When they get engaged to implement something like Salesforce, we’re part of that solution set.

My last question is can you give us a road map of the future? Where are you taking the technology and the company?

We look to leverage cloud technologies to create what we call a virtual suite. We want to give people an ERP-like feel even though they have this very hybrid IT environment. We’re going to create that virtual suite in organizations of all sizes. In doing that we’re going to be world class at every kind of integration that you need to be able to do. Your data management and data quality services come on the same platform. All kinds of governance capabilities and provisioning capabilities will be a part of that as well and there will be other sorts of service modules to come. But we will be a one-stop shop, middleware-as-a-service provider that will be the reference implementation for organizations of all sizes so they can leverage the benefit of hybrid IT and not have to worry about all the challenges that come with it. We will take those challenges off the plate for them and make it much easier, faster and better for them.

I think one thing that’s important [to focus on] is scale. A lot of people think integration-platform-as-a-service providers like Dell Boomi are for smaller, simpler things. That’s just not true. It’s a myth that’s been busted for a long time. We have customers that are doing thousands of transactions a second on our integration platform. It is enterprise grade. Well more than 25 percent of the Fortune 500 leverages our technology, many of them on an enterprise scale. We solve very big, enterprise-scale problems worldwide for the largest organizations in the world. It’s not because it’s easy to use and it’s simpler to do, it is a product that is at scale today and available to all sizes of organizations.

This story, "Dell Boomi bringing startup mentality to hybrid cloud market" was originally published by Network World.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

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