iPaaS Value

Discover the 7 Use Cases of an iPaaS

Creating fast, flexible and future-proof integrations
An iPaaS makes all your connections visible and understandable on its user-friendly graphical interface, makes it easy for system integrators or agencies to quite literally be on the same page with project managers and C-level, when planning tweaks, improvements or budget allocations on their system integrations.

Discover the 7 Use Cases of an iPaaS

Why use an iPaaS or integration software?

The most effective means for enterprises to achieve digital growth is in connecting their businesses with various cloud applications, eCommerce platforms, PIM, CRM, WMS systems, or other SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions. An iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) acts as the perfect middleware platform that helps integrate a multitude of these software from one central, cloud-based platform, in a fast, flexible and future-proof way. 

Software integrations are traditionally created using custom code or plugins. In contrast, an iPaaS is a no-code solution that allows you to create, maintain, and monitor your integrations from one dashboard, and it also makes it easy for you to connect third-party software and relations. But what use cases does an iPaaS provide to simplify integrations and accelerate digital growth? 

The 7 use cases of an iPaaS: 

  1. Integrate two or multiple systems
  2. Centralize Integrations on one platform
  3. Connect relations via EDI, cXML and JSON
  4. Migrate old systems to new
  5. Automate business processes
  6. Create data insights for BI, ML & AI
  7. Monitoring (quality hub)

Discover the 7 Use Cases of an iPaaS

How an integration platform helps digitalize your businessCreating system integrations is one part of the story, how you manage, monitor, and add new connections is the main part of the challenge. For instance, integrations created by custom code can only be understood or monitored by senior developers or professionals with coding expertise. On the other hand, integrations created by plugins increase your third-party dependency when looking to modify or troubleshoot your integrations. The more software connections you add with custom code, the more data silos get created and the more tangled your IT landscape is likely to become.In contrast, an iPaaS is designed to be a more holistic way of creating, managing and monitoring integrations from one platform. In fact, one of the reasons why agencies and system integrators use an iPaaS is because it helps simplify, speed up and future-proof the development and management of integrations through the following use cases:

1. An iPaaS integrates two or more systems

As a cloud-based, no-code integration platform, an iPaaS offers ‘self-service integration’ features that allow businesses to develop, govern and orchestrate software integrations themselves, with minimal IT support.

An iPaaS allows you to integrate any two or more systems, software, or data sources, from one user-friendly interface, without any coding expertise required. Some critical cloud applications and software that an iPaaS helps businesses integrate are eCommerce, ERP, PIM, CRM, WMS, Marketing systems, and more. Centralizing all your integrations and data on one platform, an iPaaS allows you to seamlessly add or interchange software connections without losing data integrity. In other words, where you once needed Senior Developers to create and manage software integrations with custom code, an iPaaS significantly simplifies the integration process for data experts or Junior Developers to do the same by clicking through an intuitive dashboard. This frees Senior Developers to focus on more complex problems that require custom coding, allowing companies to grow their integrations with minimal IT support and significantly less expensive resources.By making all the data between your connected systems visible and accessible on one intuitive dashboard, an iPaaS allows project managers, customers and developers to quite literally be on the same page while planning integrations.

How an iPaaS helps when integrating 2 or more systems:

  • Visible tools to create, manage and fix integrations yourself
  • Automatic logging and monitoring features
  • Performance, scalability and compliancy
  • Marketplace eco-system to build faster connections with pre-built elements

2. Centralize integrations on one platform

Avoid data silos by centralizing all your integrations via one platform. Create a future-proof, compliant and secure IT landscape for connecting data & software integrations. Quickly add and manage software quickly by integrating APIs on a user-friendly interface, enabling the adoption of API-driven business strategies, and connect with emerging technologies like AI and Machine Learning.

An iPaaS helps businesses organize all their system integrations or software connections from one central platform. This helps eliminate the data silos that would result from various point-to-point integrations, created and managed via multiple integration partners. But most importantly, it allows for seamless data sharing across the IT landscape and allows business users to manage, monitor or modify their integrations from one dashboard. Companies, agencies or systems integrators can therefore use the iPaaS as their one central tool, to add, replace or interchange cloud applications or software solutions to their IT landscape without any loss of data integrity. The iPaaS dashboard provides a holistic visual overview of all data flows, 360-degree customer insights and a variety of integration tools, which can be used to tweak and improve integrations.

The current situation for many organizations is that their software is only partly connected for some critical data sets, for example, eCommerce (if there is an eCommerce solution in place), but this certainly does not cover all areas of the business. Furthermore, the customer does not care that you use multiple pieces of software for different activities online, they want a short and seamless journey. An iPaaS enables you to have a coherent ecosystem and a complete overview of all your connected software, working as one central tool to integrate all the software you need and to unify all the essential parts of a business’s IT landscape.

Among the key benefits of an iPaaS, is that it benefits your IT landscape through the centralization and data normalization of all your integrations, by:  

  • Giving you complete control over your data and integrations
  • Presenting a user-friendly interface/dashboard to run integrations yourself
  • Detecting integration errors via automated monitoring and logging
  • Enabling caching of data to ensure business continuity
  • Streamlining external & internal workflows
  • Unlocking data silos and delivering key data insights across connections
  • Being secure and compliant with regulations

3. Connect customers and suppliers

Do you simply want to set up a connection via cXML yourself? Does your organization wish to digitalize processes by creating file-to-file connections between your IT software and your relations or suppliers? By using the Message Broker features of Alumio’s iPaaS, you can control this process yourself.

Most businesses revolve around trading partner relationships and customer connections. However, the challenge of integrating customers and suppliers is that their data is stored in different file formats. For example, XML or cXML (commerce eXtensible Markup Language) is a language protocol that’s designed to facilitate B2B data exchange. Apart from integrating any system or software, an iPaaS also allows you to map data across many file formats such as JSON, Edifact, X12, CSV, XML, cXML, helping you seamlessly integrate and facilitate data exchange between suppliers, partners, customers, and manufacturers. This helps eliminate data silos and makes it easy to obtain holistic, real-time data insights across your business ecosystem, by enabling you to seamlessly connect the data across all your connected systems on one platform.

How an iPaaS helps connect relations and digitize business processes:

  • Use visual mappings tools to connect data formats like EDI, cXML, XML, JSON, CSV
  • Access a toolbox to work with authentication formats such as AS2, SFTP, SSH, HotFolders, REST, Soap, and mail
  • Get automatic logging and monitoring features

4. ETL: migrate & import data

When connecting different systems, importing and migrating data from one source to the other is still needed for many use-cases. The traditional way to carry out this data migration involves using ETL (Extract Transform Load) software. Apart from helping create software and data integrations in real-time, an iPaaS also presents a more holistic set of techniques for data migration, making it the next-gen successor for ETL tools. 

As the name suggests, data migration involves moving data from one point to another without any data loss and minimal recreation of data. As a web-based integration platform, the ideal iPaaS supports data migration from on-premise systems as it does from cloud applications, regardless of the operating system. An iPaaS allows you to unlock and unify data from legacy systems, and to help companies migrate the overload of data and accounts, contacts, and opportunities quickly and precisely, ensuring consistency in the data within the new system.

An iPaaS can include custom fields and data objects in the data migration process. Being designed for real-time access to data stored in all applications and locations, an iPaaS can simply do easier jobs such as migrating or integrating data from a file, a system, or various systems while accounting for schema and other data modeling considerations. It can combine different data objects and data sources, while providing features t transform data if needed. It is also equipped with effective data governance capabilities, providing a user-friendly dashboard to measure data quality, data profiling, and metadata management. Furthermore, iPaaS provides connectors via standard protocols such as RestAPI, GraphQL, and SOAP, to simplify and speed up integrations and data migration. 

How an iPaaS helps migrate or import data:

  • Implement a simple Mapping tool with a visual interface 
  • Map data objects as XLS, CSV, XML, cXML, JSON 
  • Combine and transform data
  • Store data temporarily
  • Import from and to FTP, sFTP, API, Web Services, Databases, etc. 
  • Access it as a realtime active streaming service that keeps running
  • Upgrade single import or migration scripts (configurations) to real-time connections
  • Monitoring error handling and notifications 

Discover more about the differences between ETL vs iPaaS as data integration solutions. 

5. Automate Business Processes

As digitalization rapidly evolves, the only way to keep up with the digital transformation required to match it and stay competitive, is for organizations to optimize business processes. Replacing manual, repetitive tasks prone to human error is becoming significantly more manageable through the integration of software or cloud applications that automate these tasks.

By enabling companies to integrate with software, systems and even RPA (Robotic Process Automation), an iPaaS helps streamline and automate repetitive manual processes such as mails to systems, excel work, invoice processing, hiring & onboarding, inventory management, payroll or customer support, and many other processes.  

Automation through RPA and the iPaaS

Smart hardware can generate data based upon repetitive logic. This data can be connected to an iPaaS in order to be processed to certain connected system. In order to organise a human process to approve or enrich the data, the iPaaS can connect specific specialist software to arrange this process in a optimal way. By organizing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) via best of breed software you can optimize the number of software you need to connect to (RPA software and iPaaS software).

An iPaaS helps businesses automate the creation and management of software integration, and it helps create workflows to automate repetitive and regular tasks in the background. On the other hand, RPA or Robotic Process Automation involves software that uses robot (A.I.) workers to automate rule-based, manual, and repetitive tasks on an interface that a human worker would usually work on. For example, RPA could automate chatbots to deliver human-like responses on live chat support to repetitive questions or automate a wide variety of other UI-based tasks such as data entry, data validation, invoice processing, and updating user information.

So, how can an iPaaS help automate processes using robotic software? Here’s some examples of tools that implement robotic software to automate business processes, which an iPaaS can help integrate with other systems

  • Software that automatically sends Excel files to an API
  • OCR (pptical character recognition) - digitalizing hand-written text
  • Hand scanners
  • Mobile scanners
  • NCR chips 
  • Scanning software, 
  • IoT sensors, like heating sensors, sensors for automatic doors that are closed, etc.
  • Cameras
  • Videos can all be used to trigger a process

Integrating with robotic applications helps companies save significant time, money and resources by automating high-volume or time-bound tasks, allowing them to use their professionals to solve more creative or complex tasks. Automation through robotic software and creating workflows with an iPaaS also results in excellent customer satisfaction. Apart from automating processes and providing real-time data insights, it allows businesses to combine different services into one holistic customer experience.


How an iPaaS and RPA can trigger automation together 

One scenario in which an iPaaS and RPA can work together to automate processes is invoicing. It is common for invoices to come through various channels and to be converted to the desired format, for instance - invoices sent by paper are digitized using OCR software, and invoices sent by email in PDF are converted via intelligent software to a digital format (JSON), which are then sent to the API of an iPaaS. These digitized invoices are then matched to purchase orders and often need to be approved by different people for payment. 

Using an iPaaS** you can use RPA by creating effective workflows, where you can create logic to automate the sending of invoices to the right person for approval. At the same time, your associates can focus on the outliers. You can also automate the PO-matching process to mark any errors for further review before submitting the payment.

That’s just one example. Consider all the data entry and manual processing involved in accounting and finance. There are significant use cases for RPA which makes for a good starting point for many organizations attempting automation.

How an iPaaS helps you to automate business processes and upscale successfully **:

  • Connect Excel and XML files out of the box
  • Add logic to data to create business process
  • Use a simple mapping tool
  • Create notifications based on data and events
  • If available API Plugin + Integration template

**Note: not all iPaaS systems have the ability to send actions to people based upon data. Many iPaaS systems (like Alumio) offer an API that allows developers/ organizations to create such interfaces.

6. Create data insights & data lakes for BI, ML & AI

The ability to take data - understand, process and extract value from it, then visualize and communicate it for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence purposes  – will be an essential service in the decades to come.

In order to effectively use data, it has to be extracted from all connected systems without data silos and systems that are blackboxes. This is also necessary to help create an IT landscape where all connected systems communicate with each other, where data is able to abstract from one central hub, and that’s where an iPaaS comes in. 

Being aware of the importance of software integrations, API connectivity, data, and AI is essential for a business to upscale. Performance is essential for integrations. A data lake allows businesses to store all their structured and unstructured data at any scale. An iPaaS helps organizations generate business value from their data and provides 360-degree data insights across all integrations.

An iPaaS is developed for:

  • Centralization of integrations
  • Making data available
  • Setting up combined data flows to multiple connections
  • Performance for unlimited scalability
  • Business process design

The future of technology is AI and Machine Learning, which are incredibly dependent on holistic data access. Therefore, apart from helping you integrate with any software or system, the ability of the iPaaS to centralize and normalize data across all the connected systems and software in your IT landscape, is what makes it future-proof.

How an iPaaS helps you to create a data lake or to be ready for BI, ML and AI:

  • Centralize data from across all connected systems
  • Enables you to create data lakes 
  • Adds the connected data to storages
  • Enables common data entity feature, to normalize data
  • Join data streams with mappers
  • Connectors (marketplace) to data lake tools like redshift, Azure, sql etc.

7. Monitoring (quality hub) for current and new integrations    

How can companies keep track of or monitor several software or system integrations, created via different technical solutions, running at the same time? An iPaaS doesn’t just help organize all your integrations on one platform, it provides monitoring features that give you a complete overview of all your software on one platform. An iPaaS is able to create a ‘gateway’ for each of your current integrations and enable logging and monitoring for these integration. 

As mentioned, an iPaaS provides a central integration platform through which you can centrally execute, govern and orchestrate your integrations and data, via a user-friendly interface. Therefore, one of the key aspects of an iPaaS is its dashboard and the monitoring features that it provides.

“An iPaaS can add monitoring and logging for your current integrations!”

If you configure your iPaaS to create logging and monitor your current integrations, you can activate central monitoring! The dashboard of an iPaaS provides a complete overview of the real-time status of all your working integrations, failed integrations, export logs, import logs, and disk space. It also provides a detailed overview of all your data routes, which are responsible for moving data entities from one connected system to another. For example, when integrating an ERP to an eCommerce, you can use the iPaaS to create the data-route ‘Prices’ to receive price updates from the ERP within the eCommerce platform. 

Additionally, by providling you with holistic logging information on all your integrations, an iPaaS helps you instantly detect integration errors and identify its cause. It also gives you real-time updates on systems that are down or not able to cope with the data that’s being pushed to them. Thus, an iPaaS’ monitoring dashboard gives you a great real-time overview and insights into the functioning of your connections, enabling you to stay one step ahead of integration errors and to create effective tweaks and improvements to your integrations, to meet business requirements. 

How an iPaaS helps monitor your (current and new) integrations:

  • Delivering a Proxy feature to use for old, current integrations
  • Automatic logging and monitoring features
  • Notification features & cockpit
  • Temporary data storage

Conclusion

While the iPaaS has established itself as a leading next-gen tool for integrating two or more software and applications to automate business processes, it also caters to various use cases to help businesses create a future-proof IT landscape. An iPaaS helps companies centralize all their integrations one platform, helps connect customer data across different formats, enables effective data migration, and presents a complete overview and control over all connected systems and data via one user-friendly interface.

For information on the benefits and use cases that Alumio's iPaaS offer, visit: https://www.alumio.com/platform/ipaas

1) Let the API Datapoints be created via SAP Consultants

Risk of low quality & performance errors
If your team will create the data points in the API’s for a fully blown SAP B2B portal, for the first time, the risk of forgetting data fields, the wrong type / logic of creating webservices in a way they will not perform is enormous.    

Let's give you 1 example and insight:   In order to create a customer or so-called self-service portal in your B2B eCommerce, where customers can have a look to their current stats of orders and deliveries, or the history of orders, you need to create 2 separate webservice to make sure you are not over requesting the SAP API. You need to create a separate web service which only requests the header information (invoice number,  for only the latest 10 items, etc and 1 separate which request the detailed information of an invoice. rserd customer will look for a list of first and only will have a look to 1 order/ delivery. The API call of the headers is exceptionally light, and the request of detailed information is a bit heavier. By using 2 APIs call for this feature, you are preventing to request all the detailed information for every user, which will visit the self-service portal. This way if building the API’s is 98% lighter than requesting all detailed information for all orders by all users!

The risk of configuring your webservice in a way which will get a big load to your SAP is enormous. When requesting all products, B2B Prices, Orders or Invoices to your SAP using real-time calls via a wrong logic, it may cause serious  performance problems. It is  therefore extremely important to configure the webservice with the right logic, using a smart caching  mechanism, to not request data in real-time by using “call” requests to your  API webservices, however  use a push mechanism to prevent big load and performance issues

2) Use an off the shelf certified and proven SAP API Plugin

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iPaaS Value

Discover the 7 Use Cases of an iPaaS

Creating fast, flexible and future-proof integrations
Discover the 7 Use Cases of an iPaaS

Why use an iPaaS or integration software?

The most effective means for enterprises to achieve digital growth is in connecting their businesses with various cloud applications, eCommerce platforms, PIM, CRM, WMS systems, or other SaaS (Software as a Service) solutions. An iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) acts as the perfect middleware platform that helps integrate a multitude of these software from one central, cloud-based platform, in a fast, flexible and future-proof way. 

Software integrations are traditionally created using custom code or plugins. In contrast, an iPaaS is a no-code solution that allows you to create, maintain, and monitor your integrations from one dashboard, and it also makes it easy for you to connect third-party software and relations. But what use cases does an iPaaS provide to simplify integrations and accelerate digital growth? 

The 7 use cases of an iPaaS: 

  1. Integrate two or multiple systems
  2. Centralize Integrations on one platform
  3. Connect relations via EDI, cXML and JSON
  4. Migrate old systems to new
  5. Automate business processes
  6. Create data insights for BI, ML & AI
  7. Monitoring (quality hub)

Discover the 7 Use Cases of an iPaaS

How an integration platform helps digitalize your businessCreating system integrations is one part of the story, how you manage, monitor, and add new connections is the main part of the challenge. For instance, integrations created by custom code can only be understood or monitored by senior developers or professionals with coding expertise. On the other hand, integrations created by plugins increase your third-party dependency when looking to modify or troubleshoot your integrations. The more software connections you add with custom code, the more data silos get created and the more tangled your IT landscape is likely to become.In contrast, an iPaaS is designed to be a more holistic way of creating, managing and monitoring integrations from one platform. In fact, one of the reasons why agencies and system integrators use an iPaaS is because it helps simplify, speed up and future-proof the development and management of integrations through the following use cases:

1. An iPaaS integrates two or more systems

As a cloud-based, no-code integration platform, an iPaaS offers ‘self-service integration’ features that allow businesses to develop, govern and orchestrate software integrations themselves, with minimal IT support.

An iPaaS allows you to integrate any two or more systems, software, or data sources, from one user-friendly interface, without any coding expertise required. Some critical cloud applications and software that an iPaaS helps businesses integrate are eCommerce, ERP, PIM, CRM, WMS, Marketing systems, and more. Centralizing all your integrations and data on one platform, an iPaaS allows you to seamlessly add or interchange software connections without losing data integrity. In other words, where you once needed Senior Developers to create and manage software integrations with custom code, an iPaaS significantly simplifies the integration process for data experts or Junior Developers to do the same by clicking through an intuitive dashboard. This frees Senior Developers to focus on more complex problems that require custom coding, allowing companies to grow their integrations with minimal IT support and significantly less expensive resources.By making all the data between your connected systems visible and accessible on one intuitive dashboard, an iPaaS allows project managers, customers and developers to quite literally be on the same page while planning integrations.

How an iPaaS helps when integrating 2 or more systems:

  • Visible tools to create, manage and fix integrations yourself
  • Automatic logging and monitoring features
  • Performance, scalability and compliancy
  • Marketplace eco-system to build faster connections with pre-built elements

2. Centralize integrations on one platform

Avoid data silos by centralizing all your integrations via one platform. Create a future-proof, compliant and secure IT landscape for connecting data & software integrations. Quickly add and manage software quickly by integrating APIs on a user-friendly interface, enabling the adoption of API-driven business strategies, and connect with emerging technologies like AI and Machine Learning.

An iPaaS helps businesses organize all their system integrations or software connections from one central platform. This helps eliminate the data silos that would result from various point-to-point integrations, created and managed via multiple integration partners. But most importantly, it allows for seamless data sharing across the IT landscape and allows business users to manage, monitor or modify their integrations from one dashboard. Companies, agencies or systems integrators can therefore use the iPaaS as their one central tool, to add, replace or interchange cloud applications or software solutions to their IT landscape without any loss of data integrity. The iPaaS dashboard provides a holistic visual overview of all data flows, 360-degree customer insights and a variety of integration tools, which can be used to tweak and improve integrations.

The current situation for many organizations is that their software is only partly connected for some critical data sets, for example, eCommerce (if there is an eCommerce solution in place), but this certainly does not cover all areas of the business. Furthermore, the customer does not care that you use multiple pieces of software for different activities online, they want a short and seamless journey. An iPaaS enables you to have a coherent ecosystem and a complete overview of all your connected software, working as one central tool to integrate all the software you need and to unify all the essential parts of a business’s IT landscape.

Among the key benefits of an iPaaS, is that it benefits your IT landscape through the centralization and data normalization of all your integrations, by:  

  • Giving you complete control over your data and integrations
  • Presenting a user-friendly interface/dashboard to run integrations yourself
  • Detecting integration errors via automated monitoring and logging
  • Enabling caching of data to ensure business continuity
  • Streamlining external & internal workflows
  • Unlocking data silos and delivering key data insights across connections
  • Being secure and compliant with regulations

3. Connect customers and suppliers

Do you simply want to set up a connection via cXML yourself? Does your organization wish to digitalize processes by creating file-to-file connections between your IT software and your relations or suppliers? By using the Message Broker features of Alumio’s iPaaS, you can control this process yourself.

Most businesses revolve around trading partner relationships and customer connections. However, the challenge of integrating customers and suppliers is that their data is stored in different file formats. For example, XML or cXML (commerce eXtensible Markup Language) is a language protocol that’s designed to facilitate B2B data exchange. Apart from integrating any system or software, an iPaaS also allows you to map data across many file formats such as JSON, Edifact, X12, CSV, XML, cXML, helping you seamlessly integrate and facilitate data exchange between suppliers, partners, customers, and manufacturers. This helps eliminate data silos and makes it easy to obtain holistic, real-time data insights across your business ecosystem, by enabling you to seamlessly connect the data across all your connected systems on one platform.

How an iPaaS helps connect relations and digitize business processes:

  • Use visual mappings tools to connect data formats like EDI, cXML, XML, JSON, CSV
  • Access a toolbox to work with authentication formats such as AS2, SFTP, SSH, HotFolders, REST, Soap, and mail
  • Get automatic logging and monitoring features

4. ETL: migrate & import data

When connecting different systems, importing and migrating data from one source to the other is still needed for many use-cases. The traditional way to carry out this data migration involves using ETL (Extract Transform Load) software. Apart from helping create software and data integrations in real-time, an iPaaS also presents a more holistic set of techniques for data migration, making it the next-gen successor for ETL tools. 

As the name suggests, data migration involves moving data from one point to another without any data loss and minimal recreation of data. As a web-based integration platform, the ideal iPaaS supports data migration from on-premise systems as it does from cloud applications, regardless of the operating system. An iPaaS allows you to unlock and unify data from legacy systems, and to help companies migrate the overload of data and accounts, contacts, and opportunities quickly and precisely, ensuring consistency in the data within the new system.

An iPaaS can include custom fields and data objects in the data migration process. Being designed for real-time access to data stored in all applications and locations, an iPaaS can simply do easier jobs such as migrating or integrating data from a file, a system, or various systems while accounting for schema and other data modeling considerations. It can combine different data objects and data sources, while providing features t transform data if needed. It is also equipped with effective data governance capabilities, providing a user-friendly dashboard to measure data quality, data profiling, and metadata management. Furthermore, iPaaS provides connectors via standard protocols such as RestAPI, GraphQL, and SOAP, to simplify and speed up integrations and data migration. 

How an iPaaS helps migrate or import data:

  • Implement a simple Mapping tool with a visual interface 
  • Map data objects as XLS, CSV, XML, cXML, JSON 
  • Combine and transform data
  • Store data temporarily
  • Import from and to FTP, sFTP, API, Web Services, Databases, etc. 
  • Access it as a realtime active streaming service that keeps running
  • Upgrade single import or migration scripts (configurations) to real-time connections
  • Monitoring error handling and notifications 

Discover more about the differences between ETL vs iPaaS as data integration solutions. 

5. Automate Business Processes

As digitalization rapidly evolves, the only way to keep up with the digital transformation required to match it and stay competitive, is for organizations to optimize business processes. Replacing manual, repetitive tasks prone to human error is becoming significantly more manageable through the integration of software or cloud applications that automate these tasks.

By enabling companies to integrate with software, systems and even RPA (Robotic Process Automation), an iPaaS helps streamline and automate repetitive manual processes such as mails to systems, excel work, invoice processing, hiring & onboarding, inventory management, payroll or customer support, and many other processes.  

Automation through RPA and the iPaaS

Smart hardware can generate data based upon repetitive logic. This data can be connected to an iPaaS in order to be processed to certain connected system. In order to organise a human process to approve or enrich the data, the iPaaS can connect specific specialist software to arrange this process in a optimal way. By organizing RPA (Robotic Process Automation) via best of breed software you can optimize the number of software you need to connect to (RPA software and iPaaS software).

An iPaaS helps businesses automate the creation and management of software integration, and it helps create workflows to automate repetitive and regular tasks in the background. On the other hand, RPA or Robotic Process Automation involves software that uses robot (A.I.) workers to automate rule-based, manual, and repetitive tasks on an interface that a human worker would usually work on. For example, RPA could automate chatbots to deliver human-like responses on live chat support to repetitive questions or automate a wide variety of other UI-based tasks such as data entry, data validation, invoice processing, and updating user information.

So, how can an iPaaS help automate processes using robotic software? Here’s some examples of tools that implement robotic software to automate business processes, which an iPaaS can help integrate with other systems

  • Software that automatically sends Excel files to an API
  • OCR (pptical character recognition) - digitalizing hand-written text
  • Hand scanners
  • Mobile scanners
  • NCR chips 
  • Scanning software, 
  • IoT sensors, like heating sensors, sensors for automatic doors that are closed, etc.
  • Cameras
  • Videos can all be used to trigger a process

Integrating with robotic applications helps companies save significant time, money and resources by automating high-volume or time-bound tasks, allowing them to use their professionals to solve more creative or complex tasks. Automation through robotic software and creating workflows with an iPaaS also results in excellent customer satisfaction. Apart from automating processes and providing real-time data insights, it allows businesses to combine different services into one holistic customer experience.


How an iPaaS and RPA can trigger automation together 

One scenario in which an iPaaS and RPA can work together to automate processes is invoicing. It is common for invoices to come through various channels and to be converted to the desired format, for instance - invoices sent by paper are digitized using OCR software, and invoices sent by email in PDF are converted via intelligent software to a digital format (JSON), which are then sent to the API of an iPaaS. These digitized invoices are then matched to purchase orders and often need to be approved by different people for payment. 

Using an iPaaS** you can use RPA by creating effective workflows, where you can create logic to automate the sending of invoices to the right person for approval. At the same time, your associates can focus on the outliers. You can also automate the PO-matching process to mark any errors for further review before submitting the payment.

That’s just one example. Consider all the data entry and manual processing involved in accounting and finance. There are significant use cases for RPA which makes for a good starting point for many organizations attempting automation.

How an iPaaS helps you to automate business processes and upscale successfully **:

  • Connect Excel and XML files out of the box
  • Add logic to data to create business process
  • Use a simple mapping tool
  • Create notifications based on data and events
  • If available API Plugin + Integration template

**Note: not all iPaaS systems have the ability to send actions to people based upon data. Many iPaaS systems (like Alumio) offer an API that allows developers/ organizations to create such interfaces.

6. Create data insights & data lakes for BI, ML & AI

The ability to take data - understand, process and extract value from it, then visualize and communicate it for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence purposes  – will be an essential service in the decades to come.

In order to effectively use data, it has to be extracted from all connected systems without data silos and systems that are blackboxes. This is also necessary to help create an IT landscape where all connected systems communicate with each other, where data is able to abstract from one central hub, and that’s where an iPaaS comes in. 

Being aware of the importance of software integrations, API connectivity, data, and AI is essential for a business to upscale. Performance is essential for integrations. A data lake allows businesses to store all their structured and unstructured data at any scale. An iPaaS helps organizations generate business value from their data and provides 360-degree data insights across all integrations.

An iPaaS is developed for:

  • Centralization of integrations
  • Making data available
  • Setting up combined data flows to multiple connections
  • Performance for unlimited scalability
  • Business process design

The future of technology is AI and Machine Learning, which are incredibly dependent on holistic data access. Therefore, apart from helping you integrate with any software or system, the ability of the iPaaS to centralize and normalize data across all the connected systems and software in your IT landscape, is what makes it future-proof.

How an iPaaS helps you to create a data lake or to be ready for BI, ML and AI:

  • Centralize data from across all connected systems
  • Enables you to create data lakes 
  • Adds the connected data to storages
  • Enables common data entity feature, to normalize data
  • Join data streams with mappers
  • Connectors (marketplace) to data lake tools like redshift, Azure, sql etc.

7. Monitoring (quality hub) for current and new integrations    

How can companies keep track of or monitor several software or system integrations, created via different technical solutions, running at the same time? An iPaaS doesn’t just help organize all your integrations on one platform, it provides monitoring features that give you a complete overview of all your software on one platform. An iPaaS is able to create a ‘gateway’ for each of your current integrations and enable logging and monitoring for these integration. 

As mentioned, an iPaaS provides a central integration platform through which you can centrally execute, govern and orchestrate your integrations and data, via a user-friendly interface. Therefore, one of the key aspects of an iPaaS is its dashboard and the monitoring features that it provides.

“An iPaaS can add monitoring and logging for your current integrations!”

If you configure your iPaaS to create logging and monitor your current integrations, you can activate central monitoring! The dashboard of an iPaaS provides a complete overview of the real-time status of all your working integrations, failed integrations, export logs, import logs, and disk space. It also provides a detailed overview of all your data routes, which are responsible for moving data entities from one connected system to another. For example, when integrating an ERP to an eCommerce, you can use the iPaaS to create the data-route ‘Prices’ to receive price updates from the ERP within the eCommerce platform. 

Additionally, by providling you with holistic logging information on all your integrations, an iPaaS helps you instantly detect integration errors and identify its cause. It also gives you real-time updates on systems that are down or not able to cope with the data that’s being pushed to them. Thus, an iPaaS’ monitoring dashboard gives you a great real-time overview and insights into the functioning of your connections, enabling you to stay one step ahead of integration errors and to create effective tweaks and improvements to your integrations, to meet business requirements. 

How an iPaaS helps monitor your (current and new) integrations:

  • Delivering a Proxy feature to use for old, current integrations
  • Automatic logging and monitoring features
  • Notification features & cockpit
  • Temporary data storage

Conclusion

While the iPaaS has established itself as a leading next-gen tool for integrating two or more software and applications to automate business processes, it also caters to various use cases to help businesses create a future-proof IT landscape. An iPaaS helps companies centralize all their integrations one platform, helps connect customer data across different formats, enables effective data migration, and presents a complete overview and control over all connected systems and data via one user-friendly interface.

For information on the benefits and use cases that Alumio's iPaaS offer, visit: https://www.alumio.com/platform/ipaas

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