iPaaS 2.0? Dell Boomi's vision for the future of integration

Digital transformation priorities shift all the time, but one of the biggest technologies underpinning it might be changing too. Dell Boomi outlines why they think the iPaaS vendors of today are the data management vendors of tomorrow.

Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) may not be the most glamorous of technologies within the enterprise IT space, but data and application integration remain some of the most important imperatives for many contemporary B2B organisations. The technology has come a long way from the early days when simply connecting and integrating your enterprise data from Salesforce and SAP was top of mind, developing into an ecosystem of different technologies from a wide range of vendors.

When iPaaS first came along, cloud, at least in the sense of widespread adoption, was still in its infancy. Fast forward to now, and cloud-driven digital transformation is having a profound effect on all facets of business. Ensuring that the disparate services, processes, applications, and data can all speak to each other in a useful and somewhat coherent manner has the capacity to drive some serious value gains, and this has become increasingly recognised as time goes on. It's this sense of market recognition that led to Salesforce's massive $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft, which was completed in May of last year. 

iPaaS vendors have also started to offer more ubiquitous, hybrid-based integrations, which has opened the market to those larger firms with more complex IT environments who might be looking to connect both on-prem, and private/public cloud. As well as this, modern iPaaS vendors now offer capabilities that extend beyond simple integrations, to things like API and EDI management, which have become central offerings for many leading vendors. This is because APIs and cloud-based systems integration are two unique concepts that are, in many ways, inextricably linked.

Taking all of this into consideration, there is no doubt that iPaaS - both as a software platform and technology market - is evolving. This is partially a result of market consolidation, which Gartner says is leading to fewer big-budget players that are able to buy out other smaller names to integrate with or supplement their existing services. This is also leading to a market where vendors are trying to wedge themselves in front of each other as a means to innovate and lead a transformation of the technology.

One such big player is Dell Boomi (formerly just ‘Boomi'), which Dell acquired way back in 2010. Boomi was one of the first vendors to offer integration services through the cloud, bringing the concept of iPaaS into the limelight. The company's vision for the future of iPaaS is firmly based around the value of data, and linking an organisations' entire ecosystem of software, hardware, and even partners/supplier ecosystem. This was one of the key takeaways from the company's Boomiworld conference, which IDG Connect attended in September. At the event, Boomi positioned iPaaS as less of an integration machine, and more of an intelligent data management platform.

Transforming a transformation platform

While ‘data management' already describes a healthy, populated ecosystem of different tools and vendors, Dell Boomi hopes to approach this concept in a way that only an iPaaS vendor can. One of the principal ideas, here, is that DB can use their existing integration capabilities to harvest valuable information, and patterns about an organisation's crucial business data. The company says iPaaS is well-positioned to do that because it is connected to whatever important data that an enterprise wishes it to be, meaning the potential for dragging knowledge out of this data is already there.

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