CLoud Elements Live from Dreamforce

By Hannah Shain in SaaS Integration, Enterprise Integration Posted Sep 26, 2018

We’re here LIVE at Dreamforce for our Powered by Integration Lounge just steps away from the chaos of the Moscone center. During setup, while our exterior branding may not be at the scale of hiring a blimp, we were able to avoid any major violations for sidewalk graffiti (with CHALK, calm down!!). And last night we capped off the evening with several rounds of beer pong.

Cloud Elements Dreamforce Lounge Cloud Elements Team Cloud Elements Beer Pong

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Today we hosted an Enterprise Integration fireside chat with Dan Lahl, VP of Product Marketing at SAP and Adam Tiberi, VP of Product at Western Union. Later in the afternoon, our VP of Marketing, Ross Garrett, led a session on How to Build Platforms, Not Products. Here is a recap of today’s highlights and conversations:

DIGITAL ENTERPRISE INTEGRATION: CONVERSATION WITH WESTERN UNION & SAP
Why is integration vital to your business?
"Customers want a seamless experience, and we (Western Union) don’t want to be known as an island of data. Asking our customers to reprocess the data across multiple endpoints is a nuisance, so integration was vital for us to create an experience where customers can connect and automate that process as fast as possible,” Adam Tiberi of Western Union. "Customers don’t want integration; they want to solve the automating of business processes; and they don’t want to go to IT to solve - they want to solve it with technology. Customers are thinking more strategically about integration, asking less technical questions around how it gets done, and focusing more on here’s s the business process i need to fulfill."

“For us (SAP) it used to be point-to-point, and very tactical. I agree, we’re seeing that our customers are making strategic moves and moving their COEs (center of excellences) up to the CIO and hiring (or investing) in new roles like API product managers. To me, this is clear indication that integration is strategic to digital enterprise,” Dan Lahl of SAP.

Integration is never the end of the road … it’s the path along the way, it’s the process of continuous iteration.

- Dan Lahl, SAP

Why did you choose to partner with Cloud Elements for integration?
"We don’t want to build point to point integration ourselves - we want one integration point, and let some else deal with being the integration experts. To further expand. We’re not in the business of integrating systems, we want to be in business of enabling business processes to be automated. And integration can not be limited to one area, like API management. Integration is far more advanced -  data orchestration, complex event process, data security, etc."

Cloud Elements with SAP and Western Union

What are you trying to actually achieve?
"Integration is talked about in the boardroom; but in essence, they are not trying to actually solve integration  - your customers, for example, just close their quarter more effectively, recognize revenue more effectively. (Which can be enabled by integration)."

Adam Tiberi of Western Union, “We’re working with SMBs, in 40 countries - many of these small businesses are simply processing payments and paying invoices. Often these SMBs have one FTE manually chasing down vendors to collect payment and reconciling receipts… these small businesses are not in the business of processing payment, and their time would be better spent focusing full time employees on their core business. It’s hugely valuable for them to free up that full time person from business processes that can be automated with integration."  

BUILD PLATFORMS, NOT PRODUCTS WITH ROSS GARRETT
How did we evolve from a software company to a platform. A lot of organizations start down this journey - by thinking about their APIs. So much so, that now there has been a massive proliferation of APIs. The pendulum has swung to where we are now - solving how to drive API adoption. There are not enough developers on the planet to consume all the APIs available today - your API is not enough.

Integration is more than the developer community. It’s not just a developer problem. Be a platform. Building better experiences on top of your API to reach a broader market.

A platform is something that lifts you up upon which others can stand. Same is true in business. By building a digital platform, others can easily integrate their business with yours.

Why are we thinking about a platform strategy?
Platforms offer greater utility - creating an integration fabric that enables users - democratizing integration and making it accessible. Integration is a big theme at Dreamforce this year - in the past, it was this ugly burden that no one wanted to solve. Now it’s at the forefront of our everyday lives - IFTT for example, is creating integrators out of all of us.

WHAT'S NEXT?
If you're attending Dreamforce or in the Bay Area, swing by our Powered by Integration Lounge at Trou Normand. You can find the full lounge details here. Here's the awesome lineup for Thursday:
Cloud Elements Dreamforce Lounge Agenda

Additionally, space is limited so make sure you save your seat by registering here. We look forward to another day of filled with integration insights, best practices, and advice from the industry's experts!