The emerging cloud architecture (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS…iPaaS)

The emerging cloud architecture (SaaS, IaaS, PaaS…iPaaS)

Throughout the history of IT, new technologies have necessitated new software architectures. Almost like clockwork, every decade brings a new trend that has ushered in a new architecture for the enterprise: online transaction processing in the 1970s, client/server models in the 1980s, three-tier component computing in the 1990s, and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) in the 2000s. As a result, the structure of business systems is again undergoing a shift.

The emerging IT software stack has three layers, each delivered on-demand as a cloud service:

  • • Software as a Service (SaaS): Application software. This provides the user-facing applications that enable business. For eg: Salesforce, GEP, Office365, Gmail, etc
  • • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): A virtualized environment on which systems can be deployed. This provides the underlying computing resources for the deployment of enterprise systems.
  • • Platform as a Service (PaaS): Application infrastructure, both for the development of single applications and integration between multiple applications. The middleware that enables the development of advanced applications.

MENA eSolutions are currently partners to and offer following SaaS solutions: GEP and Salesforce

GEP: Leader in Procurement and Supply chain solutions

GEP: A global procurement and supply chain consulting powerhouse, Leader in direct and indirect procurement software and a Best-of-breed provider of managed procurement services

GEP offers the perfect blend of strategic and advisory services, pace-setting technology and managed services, with a laser focus on procurement and supply chain transformation to help clients achieve their business goals.

Unified Supply Chain Solutions

GEP’s unified approach to procurement and supply chain solutions delivery — integrating strategy, software and managed services — helps clients achieve their strategic, operational and financial objectives.

GEP have built a unified framework of integrated sourcing, procurement, spend management and supply chain capabilities, unrivaled in its depth and scope, supporting customers and their needs now, and as they evolve.

As a leader in digital innovation, GEP leverages the disruptive potential of emerging technologies to create step changes in performance and results. We work with legacy systems, or deploy our own unified source-to-pay platform for direct and indirect procurement — GEP SMART™ — to help enterprises drive greater value from their investments in digital procurement and automation technologies.

GEP SMART™ is a unified procurement software platform built for procurement professionals by procurement experts. Drive greater efficiency and performance with a comprehensive solution for direct and indirect procurement designed to streamline and automate all your source-to-pay processes. GEP SMART unifies upstream sourcing and downstream procurement operations into one state-of-the-art cloud platform with a powerful, complete set of capabilities for direct as well as indirect spend management.

GEP has been named a Leader in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for Procure-to-Pay Suites. We believe GEP’s placement in the quadrant reflects our focus on delighting customers with powerful, intelligent and easy-to-use procurement software that people love to use, along with superior customer service and technical support.

Salesforce: a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Salesforce: a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution that brings companies and customers together. It's one integrated CRM platform that gives all your departments — including marketing, sales, commerce, and service — a single, shared view of every customer.

Delivering personalized experiences your customers expect by using the integrated CRM platform: Salesforce Customer 360. It provides powerful, connected products for improving your marketing, sales, commerce, service, IT, and more.

Salesforce Customer 360

An all-in-one solution that can incorporate precisely as many capabilities of the Platform as matches the needs of the particular customer:

  • • Sales Cloud
  • • Service Cloud
  • • Marketing Cloud
  • • Commerce Cloud
  • • Engagement (Heroku cloud services and developer experience)
  • • Customer 360 Apps
  • • Integration (MuleSoft)
  • • Analytics (Tableau)
  • • Einstein

What does it mean for businesses? Customers are enabled to connect clients' data, authenticate identity, govern privacy, segment audiences, and personalize experiences.

iPaaS: Integration for the Cloud

Integration platform as a service represents the next generation of application integration

No trend in the world of IT has had more impact on businesses than the move to cloud computing. From enterprise applications like Salesforce, to infrastructure platforms like Amazon EC2, to social media services like Facebook and Twitter, the cloud is changing the IT landscape. However, as companies move their applications en masse to the cloud, they are hitting a major roadblock for success — namely, integration. While these same organizations have spent the last 15 years integrating their enterprise applications to break down silos of information, they are now seeing a renewed problem of "cloud silos” and facing the dark side of SaaS integration. With little to no barrier of entry in adopting SaaS, companies are deploying numerous SaaS applications without IT involvement, resulting in hundreds of applications and services in the ecosystem, all siloed off and unable to communicate seamlessly with one another.

Integration across the enterprise is becoming a huge challenge for not only business end users but also for providers of SaaS and cloud services. This new set of integration problems requires a new platform for solving them. A new category of cloud integration solutions is emerging called integration platform as a service (iPaaS). For more information about this category, take a look at Gartner's report on enterprise integration.

iPaaS: The next generation of integration software

iPaaS is now emerging as the next generation integration platforms for integrating cloud applications with one another and with on-premises and legacy applications. Simply put, an iPaaS is a cloud integration platform as a service, enabling connectivity to SaaS and cloud services and providing a secure method of accessing on-premises applications behind a firewall. An iPaaS can solve the problem of cloud silos by providing businesses a way to integrate cloud-based services with each other as well as with on-premises enterprise applications in a hybrid integration model.

There are many essential elements of an iPaaS solution. First and foremost, it must have a robust set of connectors for SaaS and cloud services, with an ability to quickly add more as new services emerge in the fast-changing environment of cloud technologies. It should also recognize that most organizations will have a mix of on-premises and cloud-based assets, and provide a secure method of integrating with existing on-premises applications and infrastructure, including legacy systems (e.g., CICS, AS400). The ability to connect legacy systems and cloud applications to support on-premises and cloud integration in a hybrid architecture is vital to businesses, and key in effective iPaaS solutions. In contrast with inflexible "black box" SaaS integration tools on the market, an iPaaS should be open enough that integration solutions can be built and customized to address the nuances of typical SaaS integration scenarios. Developers must also be able to use familiar tools and processes to build and configure integration-style applications, without changing the way they work.

In addition to meeting developer needs, there are essential “nuts and bolts” requirements for an iPaaS. Such solutions must be based on a robust core integration engine and be highly available, reliable, and secure. There must be powerful management tools to understand the performance of applications, monitor them and provide auditing and alerts. It must allow for seamless and transparent ramp-up of more capacity as the demand grows. Finally, an integration platform must be future-proof and API ready, so as to easily adapt to the changing ecosystem and grow with changing business needs.

iPaaS is emerging as the next-generation integration technology, gradually replacing traditional forms of integration middleware. iPaaS will provide the last essential component to realizing the benefits of a cloud architecture.

Even as this new architecture takes shape, however, the transition will not be immediate. Businesses have generations of existing systems and it is crucial that they integrate with these new services. These legacy applications must be accounted for in any new architecture and a seamless transition is required. According to Gartner, “Users should plan for a gradual shift from on-premises IT architectures toward a hybrid model in which these architectures coexist and interoperate with public cloud-based architectures.” While the evolution will not immediate, businesses need to begin the transition process today.

CloudHub: the world’s first global iPaaS

CloudHub is the first iPaaS offering to meet all of the requirements outlined above. It is a fully cloud-based solution, enabling customers to take advantage of the economics and elasticity of the cloud for their integration infrastructure. As the iPaaS component of MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform™, the only complete platform for SOA, SaaS integration, and APIs, CloudHub and additional integration solutions such as Mule as an ESB, Anypoint Studio, and API Manager provide a true unified connectivity platform for developers to build packaged integration applications.

Integration for all

For systems integrators, CloudHub can eliminate the most time-consuming and repetitive part of client implementations: integration with other systems. With CloudHub, integrators create competitive differentiation through faster implementation times and more robust cloud integration solutions. The cloud integration platform helps system integrators to deliver business value to clients, rather than wasting time writing custom code.

Anypoint Platform represents a major improvement over custom point-to-point integration, as the platform offers tested, reliable, and supported connectors and integration templates. Organizations that use MuleSoft’s integration solutions avoid the maintenance costs and headaches associated with “spaghetti architecture.” They gain visibility and control into the integration performance and integration itself can easily scale and change with business demand.

With Anypoint Platform, developers can be up and running in hours, while ensuring that they have the scalability, flexibility, and manageability that thousands of leading enterprises have come to expect from MuleSoft. With a library of out-of-the-box Anypoint Connectors and Anypoint Templates to integrate with popular SaaS applications, systems, and services, getting started with integration has never been easier. Anypoint Platform provides a secure gateway to enterprise, allowing application teams to integrate and orchestrate their enterprise applications along with their cloud-based services. The platform is architected with ultimate high availability and reliability in mind, and gives IT staff full manageability and visibility into flows, messages and other services. Moreover, end-users get the full benefits of the cloud, including multi-tenant isolation for data security and integrity, elasticity to scale with demand, the convenience of self-service sign-up and provisioning, and a cost-effective pay-as-you-grow model.

Take a look at Gartner's Magic Quadrant report on iPaaS and learn why MuleSoft was designated a Leader in this category. Discover Anypoint Platform today and learn how you can connect what you want, when you want, whether it’s on-premises or in the cloud.