What Salesforce acquisition of Mulesoft means for your enterprise

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Your Data Integration and Analytics practice

You may have seen this week that Salesforce acquired Mulesoft for $6.5 Billion. I always like to think about “what does this mean to me?”.
To answer that we arranged a conference call with Richard Ganley, SVP of Digital Transformation with Informatica this morning. He has been with Informatica for more than 13 years and seen this industry evolve and shift each and every year.

First, here is a good article summing up Salesforce’s perspective:
Salesforce announced Tuesday it has signed an agreement to buy data integration vendor MuleSoft for $6.5 billion as the backbone for a new Integration Cloud.
With more than 1,200 client companies in 60 countries, San Francisco-based MuleSoft offers a platform for building application networks that connect apps, data and devices.

In a statement, the CRM-centered giant said the acquisition will allow it to “unlock data across legacy systems, cloud apps and devices to make smarter, faster decisions and create highly differentiated, connected customer experiences.”

The new Integration Cloud will offer an Integration-Platform-as-a-Service that is intended to let enterprises access any data anywhere.
Doesn’t Salesforce already have the capability to integrate data from anywhere?

Kelsey Mason, a senior analyst with research firm Technology Business Research, wrote in a blog post today:
While the front-office aspect of digital transformation is important, true enterprise-wide digital transformation cannot occur without access to back-office systems that Salesforce lacks within its own portfolio and the insights that come from those systems and solutions. Though Salesforce could acquire its way into the ERP market, legacy giants SAP and Oracle, as well as custom-built ERP systems, will continue to occupy the majority of large enterprises’ back office IT environments.

She added that MuleSoft’sAnyPoint Platform, which can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud, helps enterprises create and manage APIs (application programming interfaces) that can connect with legacy and cloud systems, as well as with the wide diversity of Internet of Things devices.
Analyst David Raab, founder of the Customer Data Platform (CDP) Institute, told me that it wasn’t clear yet what synergy Salesforce-plus-MuleSoft offers that wasn’t available before to a client that was a customer of both companies. But the ability to connect to the growing number of diverse Internet of Things devices, and to share data across vendors and enterprises, is now inside Salesforce.

Now let me paste in the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant on Integration Platform as a Service:

You can see that Informatica is substantially above Mulesoft on Execution and also in front of Mulesoft on Completeness of Vision.

But wait there’s more …
Informatica also has the Gartner very top offering in Data Integration, Master Data Management, Data Protection, and Data Quality Platforms. Mulesoft does not.

Back to our call this morning, Richard Ganley has seen this before – with IBM’s acquisition of Cast Iron and with Oracle and SAP acquisitions. He believes that the breadth of Informatica’s offerings combined with the higher quality offering they have in iPaaS and the fact that Informatica basically invented Enterprise Data Management 20 years ago … that this acquisition may be a great thing. As Mulesoft (with their uniquely wonderful culture) get absorbed into Salesforce there will be “Change Capital Spent” at Mulesoft and acquisitions like this always come with risk of key people eventually leaving.

This acquisition could be one of the best things to happen to CMI just as we are starting to launch our Data Integration and Analytics practice.

Blockchain

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It’s Future in Enterprise Information Technology

Blockchain - company logoWhen you choose Enterprise Information Technology for your career you virtually guarantee two constants in your work life:

1. There will be a continuous inflow of new ideas and new technologies that will be important and disruptive.
2. You will be so busy with your job that finding the time to review, understand and assimilate those new ideas and technologies will be very difficult.

It is because of these two dynamics that I (along with many of my peers not in Fintech) looked at the birth and growth of Bitcoin with amusement rather than deep professional interest. However, it now seems nearly inevitable that Blockchain, the enabling technology for Bitcoin, will be a significant disruptive technology for Enterprise IT.

More than 1,300 professionals made their way to New York City in the first week of May to attend “Consensus 2016,” a convention built around realizing the application of the Blockchain technology. This was not a gathering of fringe enthusiasts. In fact, the Governor of Delaware announced that he was directing his state to enable Blockchain applications to make it easier to do business in Delaware. Deloitte, a very large accounting firm, also used the conference to announce 5 new strategic partnerships focused on Blockchain.

Blockchain is essentially a distributed data base platform with a very hardened and continuously growing list of data records. It becomes a distributed ledger containing tamper-proof transactions. The block chain consists of blocks that hold timestamped valid transactions. Each block contains the hash of the prior block that effectively links the blocks together, forming a chain. The Bitcoin application was one for financial interchange but the platform itself is basically a giant network of connected computers that are all operating together to form a version of the truth, what has been called “a global trust machine.”

The platform can potentially be used for any number of applications where trust and identity are vital. Deloitte’s newly announced strategic partnerships are focused mainly in financial applications but Gem, a Blockchain solutions company, is working on applications in health care such as a Patient Wellness Application, Global Patient Identification and Secure Electronic Health Records. Just this past March 2016, the nation of Estonia partnered with Guardtime, a Blockchain company, to secure and facilitate interoperability for its nationwide Electronic Health Records system.

IBM had already offered a cloud-based Blockchain but also announced at the end of April that they released a framework for running Blockchain networks. This framework securely enables enterprise players in industries, such as financial services, healthcare and government, to conduct work on a Blockchain in compliance with relevant security regulations.

Microsoft formed a partnership with a New York-based startup called R3 CEV and will lead a group of more than 40 banks (including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley) in an effort to develop industry standards for Blockchain technology. The Hyperledger Project is another effort to develop standards. IBM, J.P. Morgan, CME Group, DTCC and others are contributors to that project.

It is actually exciting and interesting to see the traction that the technology is getting across different industries and the corresponding embrace from old and new technology companies.  Blockchain is certainly something to keep our eyes on as it potentially settles into the fabric of Enterprise Information Technology.

How To Build An Adaptable Enterprise

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Guest blog by ThinkApps

How-to-Start-a-Startup-front-cover-print“Enterprises are not going to be able to survive in the future if they do not get good at technology.”

This insight was offered by Box CEO Aaron Levie during his lecture for the “How to Start a Startup” course at Stanford University. The course was the basis for a new book of the same name produced independently by ThinkApps, an on-demand service for designing and building stunning apps for web, mobile, and wearables.

The “How to Start a Startup” book, which was nominated for Product Hunt’s “Book of the Year” award, is the ultimate reference guide to starting a successful tech startup. Below is an except from Chapter 10 on building for the enterprise, which features advice from Levie’s lecture.

Start Small

By finding tiny gaps in existing products, you can make that small space your niche, learn it inside and out, and completely own that wedge of the market.

“What you want to start to do is say, ‘We will take this sliver of a problem and we are going to make the user experience on that incredible,’” said Levie.

This way, you’re not even worrying about the big guys until you completely own your space enough to grow and branch out.

Spot Technology Disruptions

“You have to look for new enabling technologies or major trends … that create a wide gap between how things are done and how they can be done,” advised Levie.

This is not only key to finding that little sliver for your business to fit in, it’s also important for realizing new opportunities for your business before the competition catches on.

Find Asymmetries

There are lots of perks to being the little guy — find them and use them.

“You want to do things that incumbents can’t or won’t do because either the economics don’t make sense for them, the economics are so unusual, or because technically they can’t,” explained Levie.

Before you do this, though, do your research and find exactly where your incumbents can’t afford to drop their prices or personalize their UX. Then fill in those gaps.

Find Outliers

Examining those users around the cusp of your industry can give you just the edge you need to take your next steps.

As Levie put it, “Find the unique characteristics of those customers.”

“If you find customers that are working in the future, you will be able to work with them to find what is missing in the future.” Then ask yourself, “How do we build technology that supports all these new use cases that are going to emerge?”

If you work with those outliers as early adopters, you can study them to see how your product can evolve. This will also help you to distill your overall customer needs and narrow in on the best solution, which as Levie said, may be one that they need, not necessarily one that they want.

To learn more about the “How to Start a Startup” book and get your own copy, visit ThinkApps’ website.

To learn how CMI can assist with cloud management and cost to serve start up options, check out our ADC framework Introduction video or contact us to continue the conversation.

 

Enterprise Cloud Security

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Cloud Provider Compliance Programs

Key on cloud ; Cloud computing security conceptAs companies leverage the cloud in various forms such as SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS, your company needs assurance that the cloud provider has strong security for its offering. Cloud provider compliance programs are your company’s first steps in evaluating the maturity of the cloud provider’s security. Security standards can be international, industry-specific, subject-specific, or country-specific. Take a moment to consider the various security standards, as each standard has different objectives.

 

Your company shares security responsibility with the cloud provider. The cloud provider ensures the security of their offering, while your company must ensure security inside the cloud provider offering. Each company should look at the three broad objectives of Enterprise I.T. Security:

  • Confidentiality
  • Integrity
  • Availability

First, a company should define their desired and required risk profile for each objective. Of course, the type of data to be stored and processed in the Cloud-based applications is relevant as is the type of systems that the company will be using (and their criticality to the business). Secondly, a company will  classify the data and applications that may be moved to the Cloud and assign the applicable desired/required risk profile. This will help designate the applications and data that may be more ‘Cloud ready’ and, conversely, it will classify applications and data that the company is concerned about moving or unwilling to move to Cloud Providers based on their risk profile.

Once a company has outlined their desired/required risk profile and appropriately classified their data and applications and for the target data/apps that may move to the Cloud, they have the ability to evaluate the Cloud Providers. Here are four questions to evaluate the cloud provider’s security compliance program:

  • Which compliance certification has the cloud provider achieved?
  • Which compliance certification certificates can be provided for evaluation?
  • Which security controls are in-scope for the cloud provider’s compliance program?
  • Which security controls are the responsibility of the customer, versus the provider?

Some examples of cloud provider compliance programs are as follows:

Moving securely to the cloud can be daunting without a disciplined approach. We have outlined a pragmatic and successful process that helps to assure an orderly transition:

  • Define your risk profile
  • Evaluate your applications and data for suitability for cloud
  • Select the cloud provider appropriate to your risk profile requirements

Sounds simple on paper and works well when done properly.  CMI will work with you through each step to help assure you achieve the business outcomes desired from perspectives of cost-to-serve, agility, and security. You can be living the dream.


Michael Giraldo is a Security Architect at CMI.  You can follow him on Twitter @michaelgiraldo.