The IT world is expanding as large enterprise organizations and SMEs adopt more and more PaaS, IaaS and SaaS solutions. At the same time, on-premise solutions remain relevant in a lot of scenarios. This growth in solutions poses a major challenge. After all, how do you integrate the applications, data and processes? Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) software offers an answer to this. A recent Dell Boomi event showed how this iPaaS provider is taking steps to connect all these applications and environments as quickly and easily as possible.
What is immediately striking about Dell Boomi is its position within Dell Technologies. It is, of course, part of the parent company, but it is not as prominent as other companies. VMware, Dell EMC and RSA, among others, are very prominently positioned in Dell’s portfolio. According to Dell Boomi, you have to generate a certain annual revenue to be able to occupy a similar strategic position within Dell Technologies.
Dell Technologies is spreading the message that all solutions of their subsidiaries will meet every IT need of an enterprise organization or SME. Based on our experience, we believe that Dell Boomi is an indispensable part of this. This is because of the integrations that the company makes possible between the different services. This would allow Dell Boomi to be the glue which keeps the overarching portfolio together.
All kinds of integrations possible
In short, the Dell Boomi platform offers the possibility to connect every service. Today, integration between SaaS applications is particularly popular, and Dell Boomi claims it uses the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of those SaaS solutions for this. As far as we can tell, Dell Boomi supports almost every popular service, something for which it has had to acquire knowledge about a large number of APIs. By incorporating this support into the platform as a standard, the integration can, therefore, be carried out relatively easily and quickly. Large IT vendors such as Oracle and Google Cloud are logical names, but solutions such as Jira and Box can also count on support.
Dell Boomi sees various scenarios in which connecting data, processes and applications as standard is difficult. A specific example is the integration of ERP systems. In general, the APIs of ERP systems are too difficult to allow an average IT professional to take care of the integration himself. However, it is important to connect ERP with other systems and cloud solutions, as there is a lot of relevant data in it for other solutions. Dell Boomi knows the APIs of most ERP vendors and has therefore built connectors for the most common systems.
However, the reality is that many ERP systems are still running on on-premise infrastructure. ERP vendors obviously bring their systems to the cloud or are in some cases fully cloud-based. However, as with other solutions and applications, most of the systems still seem to be running on-premise. Dell Boomi states that it also has expertise regarding on-premise APIs, so there is just as much support for those systems. In principle, the company’s integration message was also born in the on-premise world, so it can fall back on experience from that era. Connecting cloud to cloud is probably easiest, but cloud with on-premise or on-premise to on-premise connection can also be arranged by Dell Boomi.
Low code on iPaaS platform
For Dell Boomi, it’s important to remove virtually all complexity of integration, whether on-premise to on-premise or cloud to cloud. That’s why the platform offers the Boomi Flow low code solution. More and more SaaS, PaaS and IaaS vendors are adding low code or no-code functionality to SaaS solutions. The fact is, you don’t simply add low code features to your platform. That’s why Dell Boomi took over ManyWho in 2017 and introduced Boomi Flow in the same year.
During our visit to Dell Boomi, we also had the opportunity to take a brief look at how Boomi Flow works. From what we’ve seen, this part of the iPaaS platform seems quite optimized and free of teething troubles. Dell Boomi is also proud of the many possibilities that this offers for companies, as now also non-IT professionals can solve integration issues. In principle, an HR employee should now be able to build workflows for, for example, onboarding and recruitment.
Of course, we do wonder to what extent Dell Boomi distinguishes itself from the competition, because the competition is quite big in the iPaaS market. Earlier, for example, we also spoke to Boomi’s competitor Mulesoft. That party offers a drag-and-drop editor to build schedules for what needs to be done in certain scenarios. With this, Dell Boomi and Mulesoft both achieve a certain degree of simplicity. Simplicity is indeed important for Dell Boomi to distinguish itself, but it also differs per competitor what it does differently. COO Christopher Port, for example, sees being able to deploy within short times as a method to distinguish itself from some competitors. Building a Dell Boomi process or application should be possible within five minutes, so to speak.
Developers can use customized ways to integrate
Port does, however, point out that this focus on simplicity may lead to a wrong image. The low code functionality can make it look as if the platform is not developer-friendly. Dell Boomi offers developers enough possibilities to encode so that a process can be fully customized. If a developer works at Dell Boomi, he can create detailed and highly customized integration processes. Several additional tools and features are available for developers. This includes testing and debugging custom connectors.
Total market coverage: a challenge
Ultimately, Dell Boomi wants to make its SDK as interesting as possible for everyone, especially developers and partners. Dell Boomi is extremely dependent on the latter group, as they build connectors for local players, for example. In some countries, local IT solutions will be very popular. In that case, Dell Boomi might have to call on partners who know these solutions in detail, so that they can bring good connectors to the market.
What may seem illogical to some users is the choice of partners and collaborations. In the ERP market, for example, Dell Boomi works very closely with NetSuite. Recently, the two companies came up with new accelerators that allow commercial users to generate revenue faster while at the same time making their work processes more efficient. Such close cooperation is of course a good thing, but SAP is of course the market leader in ERP. Dell Boomi offers possibilities for SAP, but not as much as NetSuite does. The reality is that most companies benefit more from a similar collaboration with SAP.
Nevertheless, Dell Boomi can provide good software that will meet the needs of most users. It is supported by Dell Technologies, so financial possibilities are also great. Regarding the parent company, it is also a matter of making Dell Boomi software as good as possible. In this way, not only their own portfolio can benefit, but IT solutions from all kinds of other vendors as well.