MuleSoft simplifies SaaS and enterprise apps integration with iPaaS

OVUM VIEW

Summary

MuleSoft has announced new cloud-based application integration products and packaging for systems integrators and SaaS vendor customers that will present interesting opportunities for IT executives at large enterprises and public sector organizations. Mule iON SaaS Edition is an integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) product that has tools to make creating and managing integration apps and connectors more effective and efficient. An important feature of the product is the SaaS Operations Center, which has dashboards, service-level agreement (SLA) monitoring, and proactive alerts for monitoring the status of the integration. Mule iON SaaS Edition is targeted at SaaS vendors that want to reduce the burden of custom integration by enabling the creation of pre-packaged integration with other SaaS or traditional applications. MuleSoft is also targeting systems integrators looking to move up the value chain from low-level integration work with a new QuickStart Plan that offers packaging and pricing for small, fast-growing SaaS vendors and systems integrators.

Proliferating SaaS and traditional applications make integration difficult

The dark side of SaaS and cloud is that while theyare relatively easy to procure and deploy, it is difficult to integrate them with existing enterprise applications and other SaaS offerings. What makes integration even more challenging is the proliferation of SaaS deployed within an organization as line-of-business managers procure point solutions to their specific needs that really should be integrated with other systems in order to maximize value and manageability. This becomes a challenge for IT and the vendors whoare faced with a plethora of public and private APIs that require brute force to integrate. Integration is expensive, with estimates of $8 of integration work for every $1 of SaaS subscription or software license.

Vendors should explore MuleSoft to flip the cost of deployments

For SaaS and traditional enterprise applications, MuleSoft’s Mule iON SaaS Edition offers the ability to create pre-packaged integration modules that will give them a compelling story during the sales cycle without dramatically increasing costs or long-term maintenance. For example, HR talent management SaaS vendor PeopleMatter used Mule iON to create a new hire onboard module that connects with ADP payroll processing through ADP’s private APIs.

For systems integrators, Mule iON SaaS Edition offers the ability to create reusable connectors for a variety of horizontal and industry-specific applications and SaaS. This not only reduces the cost of integrations, which can be a competitive advantage in a sales cycle, but also gives the SI the opportunity to sell more value-added consulting as the focus of sales discussion moves away from brute force integration to maximizing the business value of enterprise applications or SaaS.

IT should encourage SaaS vendors to investigate MuleSoft

Thereare two plays for IT organizations with regard to Mule iON SaaS Edition. The first is to acquire the iPaaS offering to be used by IT’s internal development team. The more interesting opportunity is that IT should be pushing SaaS and enterprise application vendors to look into Mule iON SaaS Edition to create the needed connectors and integration apps. This approach could reduce IT’s integration burden by shifting it to vendors who have in the past shied away from assuming this responsibility.

However, it is not enough for IT to communicate to vendors the potential of Mule iON to reduce integration burdens. Because lines of businessare increasingly acquiring point solutions via SaaS, IT should reach out to colleagues and educate them on the advantages of pushing Mule iON to potential SaaS providers. IT will need to position MuleSoft-style integration connectors as of value to the lines of business, such as the fact that integration between various SaaS offering and existing on-premise applications will make the LOBs more efficient and effective.

APPENDIX

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