Cloud Billing

Thoughts on Cloud Integration

by Thomas Cong

Your applications are in the cloud – now what?

The IT infrastructure has been moving to the cloud in the last few years. The cloud is now a reality for business applications in the enterprise landscape. Salesforce has gained tremendous success as the pioneer for CRM in the cloud, and other enterprise applications are following suit.

Today you can find all the big-name application vendors in order management, financial, supply chain, human resources, cybersecurity among many other with native cloud application offerings. Many but not all applications are designed to be cloud native, and many more business-critical applications remain on premise.

For overworked CIO/CTO, you are faced with a lot of questions, how do I connect my CRM to my order management and fulfillment systems, how do I send that usage data to my billing engine and the revenue to my cloud ERP.  How do I connect and protect my various application integrations though a myriad of webhooks, queues and API?

Well, the immediately available integration is swivel chair, you can have your operations team manually enter data from one cloud application to another. It could be reasonably low cost and safe to start with, it will probably not scale or be your long-term solution. To solve the integration challenge systematically you can attempt to build some processes which combine manual and automated steps.

For example, the operations team download orders from CRM periodically, then trigger another process to push it to fulfillment and billing, they would handle any fallout or errors manually. Depending on the expected volume, this could work in the medium to long term and you have to invest in developing the utilities and the processes. In the long term a robust cloud integration needs to consider both synchronous and asynchronous mode of communication. It must guarantee message delivery and has the capability to handle duplicate requests/responses. Given the nature of Internet connection, the integration must have very robust error handling as well as top notch security to prevent payload tampering, identity spoofing. The cloud integration space is shaping up to be a major focus of all cloud software vendors.

Are you also wondering about the most prevalent cloud integration approach?

Let us know how you would handle cloud application integration:

  1. I have a team, swivel chair always works
  2. I build something and combine it with manual processes
  3. I use integration-as-a-service cloud solution

With 18 years in the business, we’ve helped many businesses like yours in their integration projects. We invite you to take a look at our platform today and reach out to our diverse team of 35 team members from around the world.

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