Keste Blog Series: Integrated Cloud Solutions - Bridging the Integration Divide across Cloud and On-Premise Applications
By Tanu Sood on Aug 14, 2013
By Sri Ayyeppen, Keste CTO and Co-Founder
I recently authored a whitepaper entitled, "Migrating Applications to Engineered Systems: A Strategic Roadmap to a Cloud Integrated Platform," which discusses how companies can capture significant business impact through an integrated cloud-based solution. Over the course of this blog series, I’d share some of these findings with you and will also hone in on use cases with organizations looking to take advantage of integration with applications, especially Oracle Applications, Fusion Applications, custom Oracle Applications, among others.
Many companies are taking advantage of the proliferation of cloud-based SaaS applications (Salesforce®, Workday®, etc.), yet the need for on-premise applications isn’t going away. In order to find a solution for integrating across applications and platforms, companies need to take a broader, comprehensive and standardized approach to bridging this divide.
An integrated cloud solution is a great fit for companies that need more out of their applications environment. For example, companies that need to incrementally expand their IT application footprint, or companies that need to quickly and confidently scale their IT infrastructure without impact to performance (e.g., SaaS companies whose products depend on IT for delivery). Integrated cloud solutions can take many forms, but most often I find clients need to link their existing IT applications together, such as:
- Existing cloud applications—like social media, networking, or marketing sites
- On-premise applications—like HR, ERP, service, and support programs
- Mobile apps—for smart phones, tablets, or other mobile devices
- Partner or business-to-business applications—connecting vendors, suppliers, or distributors
- Devices—any end-point that could potentially integrate with a cloud such as cars, satellite receivers, smart phones, HVAC systems, communication or utility grids, etc.
Over the past several years of working with customers to develop integrated cloud solutions, I have found that it's very important to start by documenting the current and future business use cases that the IT environment must support. Understanding these business requirements allows me to analyze both the business and data integration needs for my clients:
- Business integration needs—understand the required service processes such as orchestration, mediation, and service routing to meet key business requirements/outcomes.
- Data integration needs—analyze the transactional processes such as batch vs. real-time, ETL, and data replication requirements to ensure the right data is passed to the right application at the right time.
This leads me to a key step in supporting my customers’ integrated cloud journey—developing an IT reference architecture. This ‘IT blueprint’ ensures that the integrated cloud solution will meet both current and the future business needs. The reference architecture shows optimal transaction design patterns and the configurations of hardware and software. It also provides a well-defined feedback loop that allows IT staff to monitor and adjust transaction parameters as necessary.
I also find the reference architecture as a useful tool to determine the best product mix for organizations looking at cloud and on-premise integration, including:
- Oracle SOA Suite—which offers the middleware tools and capabilities to create a fully scalable, integrated cloud-to-cloud or cloud-to premise platform, such as Oracle API Gateway for external cloud communications, Oracle Service Bus for internal service virtualization, and Oracle Coherence to speed data transaction processing.
- Oracle BPM Suite—which supports design and implementation of all process types and case management flows, delivering immediate and impactful ROI and driving enhanced customer experience and intelligent operations.
- Oracle Data Integration— products like Oracle GoldenGate, which offers real-time data integration, transactional data replication, and data comparison across heterogeneous systems.
And for organizations with Oracle Applications or custom applications built on Oracle technologies, there are obvious advantages to leveraging Oracle for cloud integration—these include lower total cost of operation (TCO), a standardized platform, and a proven solution built on industry best practices, among others.
After helping dozens of companies implement integrated cloud solutions, we have found that we can deliver these new architectures in as little as two to three months, making the leap to this next generation IT solution fast, without disrupting current business capabilities.
In the coming weeks, I’ll continue my discussion on the business value that integrated cloud computing can provide by showcasing a series of customer experiences. We'll discuss specific use cases for cloud integration deployment based on real world implementations like those at Aramark, JDSU, and other organizations. The series will continue to focus on implementation strategies and best practices while highlighting the business impact of this new technology paradigm.
About the Author:
Sri Ayyeppen is chief technology officer (CTO) and co-founder of Keste, a leading worldwide Oracle solutions provider based in Dallas. As the CTO, he is responsible for leading teams delivering solutions with Oracle Applications, technology and infrastructure. His primary focus is on applications and business process integration through service-oriented architecture (SOA) technologies and highly available enterprise deployment with Engineered Systems and Oracle Cloud. Within this role, some of his key areas of responsibilities include leading Enterprise Architecture team for Keste customers, driving principles and practices around creating best-in-class architecture leveraging present-day technology like enterprise software, business integration products and mobility.
Sri is a well known industry expert and you can find him discussing IT on @SriAyyeppen and LinkedIn: SriAyyeppen