Platforms are great, but people are better

Integration of disparate applications is problematic for many reasons and there’s various ways of going about it.

Firstly, a team may attempt to complete the integration themselves, which draws internal resources away from their day to day activities, which in turn might be valuable billable time for an engineering team. During this period, the nominated integration architect would have to evaluate different methodologies, with only a high-level idea or goal of what the final integration should look like. Once a decision is made, a learning process begins, whereby the architect is tasked with learning a new technology skill from scratch, new technical terminology and the intricacies of how to create a successful Integration.

There is a rule of thumb with integrations that follows the 80/20 ratio. The majority of the work is logical, and to a degree, easy to design and implement. The devil, alas, remains in the detail – i.e. the remaining 20% – the translation of data between the applications, the complex logic needed to maintain data integrity and the processes needed when something goes wrong.

This is where many internally driven projects come screeching to a halt. The outstanding 20% is often unattainable, resulting in an integration that does not meet the requirements fully, or has gaps and pitfalls. Often the benefits of the integration are almost completely nullified by the manual processes that are still required to ensure the correct data is where it is needed at the right time. It is at this point, with a lot of effort expended by the individual or team that the project is abandoned, or “put on hold indefinitely” to quote one of our customers after I described this scenario. I received the following comment from him that he had sent to his team:

The legacy project (for this integration) has been going for six months now and we don’t even have specifications yet, so using the 80-20 rule, this should take 2 years to get going properly if we decided to go internal.

Secondly, an organisation may wish to use a 3rd party platform to assist with the integration. Choosing a platform or provider is in itself a time consuming process, especially if they appear to be talking in a language from a different planet. That platform then has to be learned, and the architect is still responsible for the design, implementation and testing of the integration. After all, being provided with a platform is only a gateway to software to enable systems to connect. The platform doesn’t understand the way you use the specific applications, what you want to achieve or provide guidance on best practice. Help doesn’t come cheap either – many platform providers charge over $1000 per day for integration assistance, so in addition to paying for a platform, you have to pay more for assistance on how to use, manage and keep the integration optimised. When the original architect leaves and another takes over responsibility for the integration, confusion often occurs because the new owner almost certainly questions why things were done in a certain way. As a result, BAU updates and optimisations to the integration become problematic, especially as the platform provider doesn’t know either – they have provided software, not a solution.

To summarise, both approaches have their drawbacks, so Recursyv has a unique approach in assisting clients with Integrations. As we like to say – “Platforms are great, but people are better”.

At Recursyv we work to identify the requirements and document them upfront, providing guidance along the way based on our experience of applications, data, API’s (their strengths and limitations) and the intricacies of integration. Once a design is agreed upon, our engineers create the integration using the Recursyv platform and hand over a pre-built integration for testing and optimisation. When the final tweaks are made and tested (and there are always tweaks!) the integration can be unleashed on live production data. We find the best integrations are the ones you don’t notice, they just happen – you set it, then forget it. Full documentation is provided and retained both with our customers and in our encrypted environment, so if a change is required, or responsibility for the integration or application moves from one person to another, the answers to questions are a phone call or email away, not buried deep within an internal system, or the brain of somebody who is no longer with the business.

This human/technology hybrid provides many benefits – someone who knows ‘integrations’ is involved from the start, there’s a real person at the end of the phone to talk to, there’s no new platform to learn, no coding required and no management of API’s with vendors, to name just a few. It also works out vastly more affordable both in the short and long term.

Use cases are plentiful, maybe you have acquired another business and need to connect your service desks or CRM systems, or a mixture of the two? Often we assist organisations, especially in the MSP world, who need to connect their service desk with a customer or supplier’s, automating tickets and updates to meet SLA requirements and add value to their clients. Another large area of growth we are experiencing is in the business intelligence and data warehousing space, where multiple data sources are pooled into a single system to enable organisations to create reports with speed, efficiency and accuracy.

If anybody has any queries about integrations, we’d love to hear from you. Our engineering team and CTO love to discuss idea’s and challenges, so please do feel free to have a chat with us, we’re based in the UK, although we have instances of Recursyv and clients all over the world.

Recursyv Ranked as a “High Performer” in G2’s iPaaS Software Category

Recursyv’s managed integration platform has been recognised as a High Performer for iPaaS in the G2 Winter 2021 Report.

G2 is a business product review and ranking platform for verified users to share experiences, thoughts, and feedback on various services and technologies. Rankings are based on how likely users are to recommend the service to others, satisfaction of users and the popularity of the product.

 

“The team here are delighted to be recognised in the Winter 2021 iPaaS Report” commented Peter Newman, Chief Revenue Officer at Recursyv. “The incredibly positive reviews provided by our customers are invaluable as they are a testament to our obsession with delivering a market leading solution with excellent customer satisfaction. We are extremely grateful to all of our highly valued customers who provide feedback via the G2 platform”

 

For more information about integrating any applications, be they cloud-based or on-premise, please get in touch with us here: contact us.

For reviews of the Recursyv MiPaaS platform, please visit our G2 product page here: G2 Reviews.

Recursyv Announce App Connector for Datto RMM

Recursyv are pleased to announce the addition of a new connector to the already comprehensive list of available applications for the Recursyv Managed Integration Platform.

Datto Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is a fully-featured, secure, cloud-based platform which enables MSPs to remotely monitor, manage, and support every endpoint under contract, reducing cost and increasing service delivery efficiency.

 

For more information about connecting any applications, be they cloud-based or on-premise to Datto RMM, please get in touch with us here: be in touch.

For reviews of the Recursyv MiPaaS Platform, please visit our G2 product page here: G2 Reviews.

Recursyv Sponsors ‘In Reserve’ Podcast

Recursyv are delighted to announce our Sponsorship of the “In Reserve: The Prosperity Podcast”  – hosted by Michael.

In Reserve provides a guide to understanding how Reserve are helping citizens in countries suffering from hyperinflation, via the use of blockchain technology and a simple to use app, currently available on Android devices, and currently in beta testing in Venezuela, Argentina, Columbia and most recently, Panama.

Reserve has created a secure, stable, decentralised currency that provides protection against hyperinflation and enables low-friction, cross-border transactions, which are surprisingly hard to do in many cases today.

You can listen to the podcast here: https://anchor.fm/reserveprotocolpodcast.

We wish Reserve great success in this altruistic endeavour to bring financial stability to those most at danger from the economic impact of hyperinflation and are looking forward to supporting Michael and In Reserve: The Prosperity Podcast for future episodes of this highly informative show.

Smart Decisions

It’s 2020 and business is tough. The world is in a state of semi-lockdown and confusion and making decisions is hard. In these sorts of times decisions need to be smart and targeted, and often no decision can be as detrimental as a bad one. Sales performance and forecast, forward order book, customer health and staffing are all critical factors in enabling business leaders to make decisions and make them considered.

Decisions made based on good data have been demonstrated time and again to have greater long term benefits that those made on gut instinct. In a data vacuum instinct is all you have and integration is a vital tool in eliminating those data vacuums.

Recursyv are helping Core to further improve accuracy of data across the business, and provide management information reporting to their senior management team (SMT). Core, like almost every business, have a number of systems serving different functions; CRM, finance, professional service management, helpdesk and HR just for starters. And also like almost every business, Core found that making data based decisions using the information in those separate systems was difficult and time consuming.

As Core’s integration partner of choice, they asked Recursyv to help bring those data together into one single standardised view. Recursyv’s platform is pulling data from those sources into a single cloud database to enable fast and reliable reporting, proving a single view on Core’s business. Information is now at the SMT’s fingertips enabling them to make smart data driven decisions.

Additionally, some of that information is being fed out to other systems in the ecosystem, meaning that manual data entry and its associated error proneness has been reduced and those previously disconnected systems are being kept seamlessly up-to-date.

The integration went live a couple of weeks ago and the SMT are already benefitting from great, up-to-date and reliable information.

MiPaaS vs iPaaS

In order to explore the differences between iPaas and MiPaas, let’s first understand what they are.

iPaas – Integration Platform as a Service – is “a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration”

MiPaas – Managed Integration Platform as a Service – similar to iPaaS but where the service provider manages the whole solution lifecycle for you, hence ‘Managed’.

So where’s the differentiation?  That little word ‘managed’ totally changes the way the end consumer interacts with and thinks about such a service; technically, commercially and from a security perspective.  Integration solutions’ very purpose is to reduce workload or cost but iPaaS solutions frequently end up moving both problems to somewhere else within the business, often to a development or IT team.  Rather than play musical chairs with cost, MiPaas is designed to remove it from the business altogether, putting the problem in the hands of someone who’s entire focus is integration.

What are the technical differences?

It’s very common in the iPaas world for end users to implement the solutions themselves from beginning to end; many of the widely known platforms that are available today are self-design, self-build, self-monitor and self-fix solutions.  For many this feels like a good thing because technical people often like control, they like to understand the nuts and bolts of all the kit that’s in their estate.

On day one, when a requirement for integration is first recognised but not well understood, a sense of control provides comfort and the impression of lower risk.  That poorly understood requirement is bound to change, and a belief that the integration can be changed at the snap of the fingers provides the technical architects with confidence that they can stay one step ahead of the game.  Of course there’s a technical learning curve too, but they know this and can schedule the time it’s going to take to learn and implement into the next quarter.  Hey, there might even be some funky technology to add to the CV.

However on day n, once the solution has been in place for a little while and something needs changing or fixing, someone in development or IT has to remember how.  That tutorial video from twelve months ago seems a distant memory and no one can find the password for the orchestration portal.  A password reset later and some poking around, someone’s now staring at an integration wondering why their ex-colleague built it like that and how it ever worked in the first place.  Worse still, they daren’t change it in case the whole thing falls over and the CTO’s finger points directly at them.

MiPaaS turns these headaches into conversations.  When a requirement is recognised, the end user can pick up the phone to someone who knows integration, how best to solve it and how to avoid the pitfalls.  They can talk business language rather than techie which helps the user know they’re describing their need correctly.  A MiPaaS provider has the knowledge needed to implement something today; no learning curve and probably very little delay to get something up and running.

As the requirement evolves, the problem remains a conversation; an email or phone call explaining the changes.  The MiPaaS provider has probably seen similar before, will either know what to do with it or will at least pick up the phone and talk it through with the customer.  No forgotten technology, no passwords to forget, no unfamiliar portal – just someone who knows what they are doing and is there to take the problem away.  Control is not lost, in fact there is probably greater control – guided expert control and the IT teams have the freedom to get on with something else more interesting instead.

Which is more Secure?

Self-service iPaaS generally requires a customer portal.  It can take just one email to get a password reset link or maybe an ex-colleague still knows the password?  Either way, the business’s data flow is exposed through that portal; end points, data transforms and maybe even trace logs.

MiPaaS often negates the need for this exposure.  In fact some MiPaaS platforms carry no web exposure at all so there’s no passwords to capture, no risk of ex-colleagues leaving with access to data flows and endpoints, and no risk of data leaking through insecure web sites.

What are the commercial differences?

Commercially MiPaaS solutions may provide greater clarity and certainty than iPaas. Many of the iPaaS offerings are priced on transactional volume or consumption making it sometimes tricky to accurately predict monthly costs.  A good understanding of data volumes and usage and the iPaaS provider’s pricing model is essential in order to successfully gauge a monthly fee.  A fee that may turn out to be highly volatile; a bumper month of data might mean a bumper month of transaction consumption.

It’s not just about the monthly fee either.  Coupled with the learning curve and the need to ensure that someone in the business can support the chosen technology, hidden ongoing costs can be significantly higher than the flat rate that MiPaaS often provides.  And let’s not talk about the handover/retraining costs when the one person who knows how it works leaves – because those problems very often get ignored until something goes wrong!

MiPaaS allows the end customer to forget these headaches.  Sure, there might be an initial setup fee, but often the monthly recurring fee will be a flat monthly rate, or at worst a simple-to-understand sliding scale.  After all, it’s in the provider’s interests to make it easy to understand.  So the overall total cost of ownership is known in year one, two, three and onwards.  Small ‘fair use’ changes are often covered in the fees and a MiPaaS provider should be well placed to be responsive and supportive as the business needs evolve.  It’s what they do.

And finally… something that sits with both the commercial and technical considerations is when one of the apps that the integration is connecting with changes.  Vendors often update their APIs as their own services evolve, sometimes with little communication beyond their own partner community.  With little or no warning an iPaaS solution might stop working and it’s a race against time to understand why and how to get it back up again.  Suddenly development or IT are facing an un-budgeted, time-critical piece of work (hopefully not a rewrite) to get the business back in action, through little fault of their own.  Other projects might be impacted and there’s probably a re-learning curve for someone to climb in a hurry.

It’s a MiPaaS provider’s job to be on top of this.  They will be part of that vendor’s community and will likely know of the changes and has tested against them and changed their platform as necessary.  The end customer should almost never notice.  Nor should they need to care; they’re paying their MiPaaS provider to take the problem away.

Recursyv are one of the few providers who have invested in MiPaaS, providing managed integration services, advising and supporting numerous customers around the world across a varied set of applications and scenarios.  Recursyv believe that a true managed service should mean that the customer has freedom and control.  Freedom to concentrate on their business while having precise control over their integration needs when they want it.

Recursyv Reaches the Finals of the Prestigious Lloyds Bank National Business Awards

Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for the full shortlist.
Surrey based Recursyv has been shortlisted for the “Data Excellence Award & Business Enabler of the Year Award” at the prestigious 2020 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. Previous winners include fitness sensation Joe Wicks, Timpson CEO James Timpson OBE, DPD UK, Hotel Chocolat, dementia newspaper Daily Sparkle and online fast fashion success story Missguided.
Recursyv is a Surrey based data integration platform synchronising data between software applications for businesses all over the world.
Paul Caudell Recursyv CEO said,
“We are enormously proud to have reached this stage, which represents the culmination of our hard work and dedication since our inception.
“This has been a fantastic opportunity to put ourselves to the test against not just our competitors, but against the entire UK business community. The feedback we have received during the rigorous judging process has been useful to understand where we are as a business and in what areas we can improve.
“We look forward to attending the awards ceremony (in person or virtually) to celebrate our success with our team and the rest of the UK business community.”
“When it comes to business recognition, the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards are the ones to win. They allow any successful organisation to tell their story, from large private and public companies, to thriving entrepreneurial businesses, promising start-ups and established SMEs,” said Sarah Austin, Awards Director.
“Winning a Lloyds Bank National Business Award comes with significant business benefits, including increased brand awareness and reputation among customers and partners, valuable insight into best practice and employee recognition and retention.”
Visit www.nationalbusinessawards.co.uk for more information.

Recursyv Announce App Connector for Microsoft Dynamics Finance & Operations

Recursyv are pleased to announce a new App connector to the already comprehensive list of available applications for the Seamless Managed Integration Platform as a Service.

Dynamics 365 for Finance & Operations connects all of your processes and departments including procurement, sales, logistics, productions, projects, financial, service and business administration in the cloud to enable you to make better decisions quickly.

Previously known as Microsoft Dynamics AX, this powerful cloud-based ERP solution offers a complete set of adaptable manufacturing, supply chain, retail and finance capabilities with built-in predictive analytics and intelligence for real-time actionable insights into business performance. Dynamics 365 for Finance and Operations empowers you to run your business more efficiently, stimulate growth and achieve organisational agility.

For more information about connecting any applications, be they Cloud Based or On Premise to Dynamics365 Finance & Operations, please get in touch with us here: be-in-touch.

 

For reviews of the Recursyv Seamless MiPaaS Platform, please visit our G2 site here: G2 reviews.

Recursyv Seamless on G2

G2

Recursyv are delighted to have a presence on G2.com, the market leader for users to share business software reviews in real time, with an average 5 star review!

Seamless users from around the world are reviewing our Managed Integration Platform, including Integrations of Enterprise Applications Including Microsoft Dynamics, Datto Autotask and the Freshservice suite of products.

 

If you would like to read the review of Seamless on G2, please visit our listing at G2 reviews.

A list of Integration connectors is available here

If you would like to discuss your Integration requirements in more detail, we’d love to hear from you! be-in-touch.

Recursyv announce App connectors for Zoho & IT Glue

Recursyv are pleased to announce the addition of 2 new App connectors to the already comprehensive list of available applications for the Seamless Managed Integration Platform as a Service.

Zoho CRM – Zoho CRM empowers a global network of over 150,000 businesses in 180 countries to convert more leads, engage with customers, and grow their revenue.

IT Glue – IT Glue™ is a proven, best practices-driven IT documentation platform packed with features designed to help you maximize the efficiency, transparency and consistency of your team. With at least 20% of your business productivity lost each day in search of vital information, let IT Glue secure this information and start Freeing Minds™

With Seamless, customers can now synchronise data between Zoho, IT Glue and any cloud or on premise applications to increase visibility & productivity, reduce data sprawl & manual double entry of data and easily consolidate reporting via a single data repository.

For more information about Zoho, IT Glue and our other App Connectors, please contact us.

Recursyv – Data, where you want it.