Cloud integration is the seamless connection and coordination of diverse software applications, data, and services across multiple cloud platforms, enhancing efficiency and facilitating digital transformation within an organization.
Last year, Digibee released our first annual predictions for 2023. If you want to see how I did, here’s what I predicted 12 months ago. I’m excited to repeat that exercise in this blog post, as 2024 promises to be an exciting year for our customers and us at Digibee.
Johnson Brothers (JB), the 4th largest wholesaler and 3rd largest wine distributor in the US, manages over 27,000 unique alcohol products, each subject to different regulations, pricing structures, and distribution rules. JB partnered with Digibee and leveraged our cutting-edge technology to successfully tackle their integration challenges.
In the ever-evolving landscape of information technology, trends come and go. From the Y2K frenzy to the buzzword bonanza of big data, cloud computing and microservices, tech vendors often find themselves riding the same bandwagon, whether the solutions truly warrant the enthusiasm or not. Today, the wave we’re all surfing is Artificial Intelligence (AI). It seems like everyone has an AI marketing message, but how many are releasing features that genuinely deliver real value?
In my recent blog post, I shared some of the interactions I had with IT leaders and architects at the Gartner Symposium in October. One clear takeaway was the level of frustration experienced by users of legacy integration technology.
Working at Digibee, I spend a lot of time traveling to events where I interact with a broad range of people. As noted in previous posts, this is a part of my job that I really enjoy. The recent Gartner Symposium in Florida was no exception.
Since I’m engaging with people who are interested in evolving their integration strategies, many of the discussions focus on the inefficiencies of existing integration infrastructure and the need to modernize what isn’t working. Top of the list is the massive imbalance in resources required to simply maintain the status quo.
Gartner® recently published interesting research titled Integration Platform Pricing Evaluation for Software Engineering Leaders. It’s a well-written overview of how integration platform pricing and licensing models are currently structured, and all the variables that organizations need to think through to navigate this complex set of buying decisions.
Digibee has conducted similar research into the complicated pricing models used by legacy integration technology platforms such as MuleSoft. If the MuleSoft pricing model reflects the standard for traditional integration products, then the Gartner research will be very helpful to organizations burdened with (or about to invest in) these solutions.
Platform pricing is a complicated topic, with users required to navigate extremely complex pricing models that use a variety of metrics. For example, vCore, per seat or per user, endpoint connections, network load, instance based capacity, etc. In turn, these may be charged by tier, usage, and volume–all potential factors in determining the costs of different integration platforms.
According to the Digibee State of Enterprise Integration report in 2023, there are additional costs of maintenance and training, which consume almost 40% of integration budgets. There is a whole world of cost and complexity beyond just licensing.
We’ve gained permission through Gartner to make this research report available to all. Frankly, we believe that the more information IT and architecture teams consume on the complexities of legacy iPaaS pricing and licensing, the easier it is to show the benefits of Digibee’s approach.
Integration shouldn’t be so complicated
Gartner does a great job laying out the complexities of pricing for various technology models, and we can certainly vouch that most legacy enterprise integration vendors fit this bill.
When planning to obtain a new technology solution, we believe that software engineering and development leaders should be focusing on technology requirements, features, functionality and desired outcomes. Comparing pricing shouldn’t be so complicated as to distract from the real needs and goals.
Accurate comparisons are especially challenging when these exercises could incorporate up to nine different pricing metrics across various pricing models. Most importantly, you can’t limit your calculus to your current state. Future changes in consumption must be considered. You don’t want surprises down the road, and you can’t be in a position where your integration budget is a gating factor in your plans for development and innovation.
Now multiply these exercises based on however many solutions are under consideration and the scope of the work becomes clear.
I would argue that this is a waste of valuable resources that should be focusing on innovation instead.
The Developer’s Choice
The need to empower software engineering and development leaders to actively participate in critical decisions relative to strategic investments is a business imperative.
Let’s face it, without software engineers and developers, enterprise integration would not be possible.
“Integration platforms are development tools, and like any software development process, you should plan for a staged delivery process – untested deployments to production will eventually cause a catastrophic failure of key business processes and systems.”Integration Platform Pricing Evaluation for Software Engineering Leaders, Gartner
Unless your company has very simple integration requirements, for example supporting a single point-to-point use case, your IT environment is complex, requiring a highly skilled workforce that understands the technology and–most importantly–your business.
These are the people best-suited to provide technical guidance and to participate in the decisions that inform both your immediate and longer term integration strategy.
At Digibee, we call this Developer’s Choice, the autonomization of developers. Enabling these talented workers to focus on digital transformation that accelerates innovation and ensures the company consistently achieves its business objectives is our goal.
Estimates show that the majority of integrations use custom coding. This coding time and effort is largely wasted, and it forces developers to do work that lacks scale and governance. Being the developer’s choice means providing a platform for all developers to use – to replace mundane coding and work that must be continually repeated.
Sadly, for many organizations saddled with legacy integration products, these valuable resources spend inordinate amounts of time performing this work. For example, upgrading on-premises integration tools, redundant coding, and other lower value tasks (such as building complex pricing comparisons).
With contemporary born in the cloud technology, integration is democratized. Complicated workflows and time-consuming work are no longer a requirement. All developers are empowered to contribute, freeing up bandwidth and allowing developers to truly flex their muscles and innovate for the sake of the business.
Modern enterprise integration
If your software engineering and development leaders are sinking significant time into product and pricing comparisons, then you may want to reconsider the complexity of your IT environment.
A Digibee pricing comparison takes minutes. Our all-in-one pricing model is enabled using three SKUs (yes, you read that right), with no limitations. Support, maintenance, and training are included in the subscription price at no additional charge. We help you build your first integrations, and train your developers quickly, without a professional services charge that can too often be a budget buster.
The Digibee Integration Platform streamlines convoluted workflows, providing a technology model that is accessible to all developers. With a 10-day learning curve (at no cost), even the most junior developers are building integrations within weeks.
The role of developers within your company’s integration strategy is undeniable. Not only to guide purchasing decisions, but to develop and execute upon an integration strategy that delivers what your business needs today and into the future.
Next steps with Digibee
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you have an integration story you’d like to share or you’re in the midst of a project you’d like to discuss, please reach out to me directly on LinkedIn.
For a better understanding of how to produce comparisons of complex pricing models during your integration technology selection process, download your complimentary copy of the Gartner research. The templates in particular will be helpful to you in carrying out such intricate work.
Gartner, Integration Platform Pricing Evaluation for Software Engineering Leaders, Andrew Comes, Keith Guttridge, 17 May 2023
GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
The Forrester Technology and Data Strategy event in Austin TX occurred earlier this month. I was especially pleased to attend and co-present with Alec Irwin, lead integration developer at Johnson Brothers, a prominent wine, beer, and spirits distributor in the US.
Digibee has partnered with Johnson Brothers on a significant enterprise integration implementation, helping the company transition from its on-premises solution (in place for six years) to Digibee’s born in the cloud iPaaS.
The work is particularly exciting in that we’ve achieved such impressive results. For example, modernizing six years of on-premises integrations to Digibee’s iPaaS in less than six months. Plus, the implementation was 70% faster versus upgrading to the new version of the legacy product.
Integration has become an essential component for businesses to achieve their strategic goals. But, not all integration solutions are the same. Digibee’s innovative iPaaS solution offers essential benefits that traditional integration providers can’t match. Check out this infographic highlighting six ways leveraging Digibee’s platform can support your digital transformation strategy – saving you time, money, resources, and frustration.
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.