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Cloud Computing Insights

Tim Vibbert

Podcast session with Boomi

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On March 31 I conducted the third session of the Cloud QCamp podcast series with Rick Nucci Chief Technical Officer of Boomi.  Here is the audio and transcript from that session.


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Announcer: Welcome to another ebizQ podcast.

TV: Híŋhaŋni wašté. (Good day) and welcome to the Cloud QCamp Podcast Series. I'm your host Tim Vibbert. This podcast series is being conducted by Red Eagle Services in conjunction with the ebizQ Cloud QCamp Virtual Conference being held April 7th. I would like to welcome my guest today, Rick Nucci, Senior Director of Product Marketing from Boomi. Welcome Rick.

RN: Good morning, how are you?

TV: Rick can you tell us a little bit about who Boomi is for those who may not be familiar with Boomi.

RN: Yeah, absolutely. Boomi is provider of cloud integration so we are focused exclusively on integrating SaaS and cloud applications and services primarily with on-premise applications residing behind customer's firewalls.

TV: Great. Now you mentioned that Boomi provides Integration-as-a-Service solutions and they cover best of breed applications as well as web services technology. Rick can you give the listeners a brief description of the Boomi solution?

RN: Yeah, absolutely. Effectively what we built is a platform whereby from web browser you can sign-up, and login, and work in a web based developed environment and you're presented with a library of connectors to applications and it would be -- on the SaaS, I [indecipherable] usual suspects, Salesforce, NetSuite, RightNow, Taleo, SuccessFactors, all of the sort of common or popular SaaS applications and then correspondingly on the on-premise side, additional connectors for those applications. And what the connectors do is they provide effectively pre-built or packaged connectivity to those apps so that you as the Boomi user don't have to learn the details of those technical APIs.

And then from that browser you orchestrate the movement of data if you will between these applications. And so we're doing things like application integration or things like data integration and automating the movement of data. At the end of the day, we kind of look at it holistically as enabling business processes so we are sort of the app-to-app integration layer that can make a lead-to-cash business process work. And we do integration sort of from the front to the back of that type of business process as a good example. So from marketing automation on the front end, to CRM, to finance, to project management, shipping systems, things like that, there'd be anywhere from 2 to 12 different applications that might comprise that lead-to-cash and Boomi will help customers plug into all those different apps and integrate all those -- data crush all those systems.

One of the big focuses or differentiators for Boomi is the fact that we built the product with the specific requirements of integrating SaaS and cloud in mind. In other words, we didn’t take a traditional integration product and build out connectors for Salesforce.com. So there's a lot of inherent differences and capabilities as a result of that. And one of the best examples of that is this idea of the fact that a lot of companies are operating in a hybrid environment and they will for a long time. Where they're going to have a number of assets residing on-prem and a number of assets residing in the cloud and how do they mediate those firewalls, integrate those applications in a secure and auditable way and be able to have the same type of real-time integration in things that are critical to make these business processes work.

TV: Great. Quick question. If I have kind of a homegrown on-premise application that web services based, following all the web services standards, can Boomi allow me to take that application and integrate it with as you said a cloud based, say like a SaaS application, Salesforce or something along those lines? Are there APIs that I can take and understand from the technical sense to do that integration?

RN: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. And the nice thing is if it is web services based as you mentioned then we have connectors that understand those standards already and can enable you as the user to point to those web services, import things like WSDLs to be able automatically setup the business object that you want to interrogate or write to that application. [Indecipherable] the need to have to learn complex technical APIs and even systems that sort of pre-date web services or just don’t support web services.

In a lot of cases, we built and package connectors so that you kind of get that same benefit of not having to learn the technical details of the API, but in that case, it's obviously not a web service based approach. I mean we've done everything from [indecipherable] JMS to [indecipherable], whatever the app exposes from an interface standpoint we'll be able to support. And we provide an open STK so if you think about that universe of connectors we have, and it now is something north of 75. We actually only build half of the new connectors that come out. Our community is building the other half and so you kind of go back to the traditional EAI days.

One of the big problems that faced these integration vendors is they get on the connector treadmill because they'd have to build more, and more, and more connectors and then maintain more, and more, and more connectors. And what happens is they end up choking their ability to innovate their own platform because they have to put a lot of their engineering resources on their connector maintenance. For Boomi, I have less of an issue with that because, again, I can rely on the community to build applications that they have core competency in and maintain their individual connectors as the applications change.

TV: Now you mentioned the community, when someone builds --when someone in the community builds a kind of customized connector, do they add that back into the overall community or is it just kind of [indecipherable] sort of thing?

RN: Yeah, so it's really up to them so we do support a publishing capability. So we built a whole layer of functionality around the idea of doing a publish of your connector so the entire community has access to it. And then there's a formal security review process that Boomi conducts to ensure both the quality and the security viability of the connector before it goes into our community. But the other benefit of doing that for the connector author is they then get a revenue share every time that connector get utilized by any of our other customers so it gives the developer a nice incentive to keep their connector up-to-date and provide a third level of support if needed that Boomi may need to escalate to them.

With that said; if they prefer to keep it private which some of our partners do, then they certainly can do that and we have a notion of a private community as well where only their specific customers will see the connector.

TV: Speaking of customers, can you provide us with an example of how a customer has implemented a new cloud solution?

RN: Yeah, absolutely. I'd say there's sort of two broad categories of customers today, Boomi, so I'd kind of take a good representative example of each categories. So we have customers that are where we're selling kind of to the line of business and they have a -- they're buying CRM, maybe Salesforce.com. They need to connect that with something on-premise. And then the other category would be a more IT or centralized approach where a customer is looking to connect a number of things across department and there you're dealing more with sort of a central CIO type of resource.

And so customer like Kepware would be a great example whereby they're running Microsoft Great Plains internally, they're buying Salesforce.com for their CRM, and they need to automate the order-to-cash workflow. And so using Boomi, they’re able to connect that SaaS application, Salesforce.com to on-premise environment, Microsoft Dynamics, Great Plains in this case. And that type of project they'll typically be able to complete in under two weeks. I'm not talking about setup because the setup will just take a couple of days. I'm talking about actually being able to bring that into production, do testing, do organizational readiness, everything that needs to be done to make that work so it's an extremely rapid timeframe.

And then, another example where you'd see a more centralized deployment of Boomi would be a company like Ingres. And Ingres is also among other SaaS customers a Salesforce.com customer. They also run [indecipherable]; they run Xactly, and ADP. And basically, what's gotten Ingres a lot of press is they have moved something like 95% of their applications to the cloud at this point.

So from their perspective, they're looking for a central integration strategy so that they can connection -- that line of business example is I need to quickly bring my Salesforce.com implementation live. I need to have it integrated. I need a fast solution. This is a very different approach where, hey, I have cross-departmental need to integrate over time dozens of applications and I need to do some in a faster and reliable way. I need a total cloud based approach. I can't be installing on-premise software packages, or hardware appliances, things like that so utilize Boomi to connect from HR to sales department to marketing, all the different applications resident in those departments together.

TV: Rick how might someone find out additional information on your solutions and success stories?

RN: Yeah, the best thing to do is our website, which is Boomi.com, B-O-O-M-I.com. There's a customer's link front and center right on the website. We definitely put a ton of energy into making sure our customers I have an awesome experience with Boomi and then encouraging them to talk about it and let us represent their case studies so that there's a ton of information there. There's also a free 30-day trial right on our website. Within an hour, you can have an integration setup and working. You can login, sign-up, begin using the product right away. And we also have a lot of other assets, white papers, demos, things like that.

TV: Its good to know. Well, that concludes this session of the Cloud QCamp Podcast Series. I want to thank my guest Rick Nucci. Pilamaya yelo (thank you) for tuning in and be sure to tune into our next session in the Cloud QCamp Podcast Series. Thank you.

Announcer: This has been an ebizQ podcast.

Tim Vibbert

Tim Vibbert is the CTO of Red Eagle Service. Red Eagle Services is a leader for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)and Cloud Computing (CC) expertise and professional services. As a thought leader and authority on SOA and Cloud Computing, Red Eagle Services provides its clients strategic, adviory, and professional services.

Tim has over 15 years of experience in Enterprise IT in several industries including (Health Care, Legal, Manufacturing, Media Distribution, Government, and Retail). Twitter : @soachief

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Tim Vibbert

Tim Vibbert is the CTO of Red Eagle Service. Red Eagle Services is a leader for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)and Cloud Computing (CC) expertise and professional services. As a thought leader and authority on SOA and Cloud Computing, Red Eagle Services provides its clients strategic, adviory, and professional services.

Tim has over 15 years of experience in Enterprise IT in several industries including (Health Care, Legal, Manufacturing, Media Distribution, Government, and Retail). Twitter : @soachief

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