Cloud integration is rapidly becoming one of 2018’s top software trends. Andrea Tucker, Business Applications Head (R&D) at e4, says that developing data integration is proving to be a ‘must-have’ for cloud-focused enterprises and service providers. There is a universal understanding that the more a software system is integrated, the better it functions, and it is on this basis that data strategies need to be developed.
Gartner, in its ‘Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service’ report, discusses the rise of iPaaS (integration Platform as a Service) and its boost in market share within the data integration sector. According to Tucker, the importance of cloud is vital when it comes to business to business (B2B) integration and data.
Tucker says that through recent cloud implementations, e4 has proven how data integration within the cloud holds many benefits: “It essentially negates the need for any hardware or software needed between applications. By applying an iPaaS approach, the system and company becomes more agile and highly scalable, with the benefit of increasing the speed to market for a new organisation. Changes can be made more quickly and easily, providing greater accountability in the long term.” She says that the combination of cloud and iPaaS will also ensure the client always benefits from the feature updates and there are no upgrade or update costs.
In its report, Gartner predicts that by 2021, enterprise iPaaS will be the largest market segment in application integration middleware, potentially consuming the traditional software delivery model along the way. Tucker says that this is an exciting market and one where e4 is well placed to assist clients with the required integration.
“We have had several successful integration projects recently and the advantages this provides is immediately visible, while the scalable nature of the implementation is understood from the outset. The end user of the platform will find it easy to operate, and the approach is suitable for multiple integration scenarios, including data and application integration,” says Tucker.
The approach is not industry-specific either, which according to Tucker is another beneficial feature: “While e4 has implemented a conveyancing solution, the iPaaS approach is not restricted and can be applied to all verticals and industries, as well as learnings from previous implementations.
From a management perspective, Tucker says the solution will be upgraded and updated by the vendor or software partner and only the client-specific solutions that sit outside the integration will be the responsibility of the company. The responsibilities of each party are understood upfront and upgrading can be managed in a more seamless manner with this upfront understanding.
Tucker warns that while the integration seems simplistic, it is important to appoint a partner that will develop and manage a customised solution: “This is not software you can just buy and install, it is a highly configured approach to an existing system and the integration required to the other. While it may take time at first, the immediate return on investment is what makes this trend one of the fastest growing globally.”
e4 is an innovative technology company specialising in the provision of software solutions as a service. They endeavor to form strategic partnerships with clients to provide meaningful and continued value as technology experts over the long term. Their end to end offerings are fully supported throughout the entire service lifecycle.
The introduction of Convergence Partners and Stockdale Street as new investors in April 2016 has enabled the e4 Group to accelerate growth through new product and services development, and further expand its geographic footprint.
Convergence Partners is an investment management firm focused on the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector in Africa. It has a proven track record of developing new investment opportunities as well as adding value to investments across the entire life cycle of ICT assets. Stockdale Street manages the Oppenheimer family’s South African private equity interests invests alongside strong management teams in established companies that have sustainable competitive advantages and favourable growth prospects.