For many companies, enterprise integration is an essential service. Relied upon to keep the business connected, the technology enables streamlined functionality across IT systems and processes. With a real-time, big picture view of the business, organizations respond with agility to changes in the market while optimizing efficiencies (and profitability).
But as with any enterprise solution, there is always a breaking point where the cost of a product outweighs its benefit to the business. For many MuleSoft customers, the ongoing investment simply to use the product is becoming untenable, siphoning IT budget and resources from higher value work. Let’s take a closer look.
Associated Costs of Integration
In the Digibee 2023 State of Enterprise Integration report, CIOs, CTOs, system architects, and web developers broke down their integration spend:
While direct investments for product, infrastructure, and resources make sense, the biggest ticket items are essentially product support, with close to 40% of the spend devoted to maintenance and training.
From Digibee’s perspective, this traditional cost model doesn’t make sense. It reflects a critical imbalance in what the customer paid versus what they’ll have to pay, with the lion’s share of the investment directed to keeping the product operational. Limited innovation, plenty of work.
Traditional versus Modern Cost Models
While software licensing is a big line item with any MuleSoft deployment, this post focuses on the maintenance, training, and support costs you must pay.
For more on the full picture of how MuleSoft’s legacy licensing model stacks up to Digibee, read this white paper.
MuleSoft Maintenance (traditional)
When it comes to maintenance, MuleSoft customers certainly pay for it, investing significant time and resources to stay on top of all the different MuleSoft maintenance policies.
This complicated landscape includes policies for Mule Runtime (the runtime agent for MuleSoft’s Anypoint™ Platform), Anypoint Flex Gateway, MuleSoft Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Anypoint Connectors, and other components.
A good example of inefficiency is the convoluted end of life (EOL) workflows, impacting resourcing and even product functionality. For instance, when a Mule Runtime product version is winding down, failure to update on MuleSoft’s imposed timeline lessens the functionality of the product, disabling the ability to create or restart apps in CloudHub, the MuleSoft integration platform.
With little choice, software engineers and developers must abandon priority projects to focus on lower-value EOL tasks. This is typical of legacy integration solutions, so it’s no surprise that maintenance was the top integration spend in the Digibee survey.
Digibee Maintenance (modern)
We wish we had more to say here, but it’s hard to expand on a simple, effective, customer-oriented maintenance and support model.
With Digibee, the cost of the subscription for our hosted iPaaS includes all support and maintenance, 24/7/365, with streamlined delivery of new features and updates as they happen.
Whenever you log into Digibee, you’re accessing the newest, most capable version of the technology. No EOL clock ticking away, no need to invest additional time or resources. With Digibee, you’re never out of date.
MuleSoft Training (traditional)
If you’re a MuleSoft customer, you’re very familiar with the large (and ongoing) investment required to enable your software engineers and developers to use the technology.
With seven different MuleSoft certifications (each costing up to $500), mandatory recertification requirements every two years, and significant time commitments that sideline team members for weeks at a time, training for MuleSoft is undeniably expensive.
But it’s not like you have a choice as you must have “designated customer support contacts” on your team. These are software engineers and developers certified at the Integration and API associate (or more advanced) levels. Without them, the MuleSoft support personnel will not engage with you. In fact, MuleSoft specifies just how many advanced, certified people you need before you can talk to them, based on the number of cores in your deployment.
While it might seem easier to simply hire people already certified in MuleSoft (while still paying for recertification cycles), these are expensive resources. According to Salary.com, the average annual compensation for MuleSoft developers in the US is $118,728. When you compare this to the average salary for software developers ($76,290), MuleSoft-certified developers cost about $42K more per hire. If an enterprise chooses to hire 10 MuleSoft developers, it will pay almost half a million dollars more than the market average.
Digibee Training (modern)
Digibee customers will never pay to learn. Instead, we provide all training free of charge. Plus it’s a one-time scenario.
With our hosted iPaaS platform, our customers don’t have to continuously install and be certified on new features and product versions. Instead, we deliver our latest innovations seamlessly, as soon as they’re available, within the Digibee-hosted iPaaS. Log in and you’re there. Our dynamic UX makes it easy for anyone to get the hang of new capabilities without expensive and time-consuming training cycles.
MuleSoft Support (traditional)
Traditional enterprise integration technology has been around for years, and so has its support model. You know the one. It starts at gold, moves to platinum, and finally, titanium.
While the MuleSoft support team is happy to be your friend, it comes at a cost. The more you pay, the friendlier (and more accessible) they’ll be. This could mean 8 hours a day/5 days a week. Or, if you’re willing to pay the big bucks and you’re dealing with a system outage, the support team will be there for you 24/7/365.
However, if your incident is less urgent, then you’re back to 8 hours a day/5 days a week. Fortunately, MuleSoft provides a helpful guide where they’ve already assigned levels of severity to your issues so you’ll know where you stand and when you can expect a response.
Digibee Support (modern)
We hate to repeat ourselves, but it’s back to our simple, effective, customer-oriented maintenance and support model.
With Digibee, the cost of the subscription for our hosted iPaaS includes all support and maintenance, 24/7/365, with streamlined delivery of new features and updates as they happen. Regardless if you’re dealing with a system outage, require a workaround, have usage questions–we’re here for you. Just drop us a line or give us a call. Any time. Really.
My hope is that this blog is eye opening – and affirms things you already know about your MuleSoft deployment. But, we all know that the prospect of ripping and replacing one platform for another can be more trouble than it’s worth. I can assure you, in this case the decision is worth it, as stated by our many customers who are former MuleSoft users.
But don’t take my word for it, start the conversation and discover for yourself. If you’d like to connect directly, please reach out to me on LinkedIn. For a deeper dive on the differences between MuleSoft and Digibee, check out this white paper, MuleSoft vs Digibee: People, price and productivity.