Why Point-To-Point Is Inferior To Cloud Integration Solutions

I just spoke to a prospect that I've been in contact with for some months, and he elected not to opt for a cloud integration platform, but instead to code up a point-to-point solution.  Which got me thinking about the "Fred" problem.

This customer needed a point to point solution - needed data on sales opportunities and closes to flow from Salesforce to one of his operational systems.  It is a very common scenario - Salesforce is the 700 lb Gorilla in the CLoud, and many Boomi integrations we do have one endpoint as either a Salesforce "cloud", or one of the applications that are built native on the Salesforce cloud, like ServiceMax or FinancialForce.  

So the customer asked his Salesforce Admin/Developer, Fred, if he could code a point-to-point solution.  And Fred said "yes, of course, it will take a week or so".  So the customer went that way, and Fred implemented a point to point solution, saving the one-time and ongoing costs of the Boomi cloud integration platform.

This raises a few issues.  The first is that developers are optimists.  I know, because I am an optimist, and feel able to conquer any technical challenge.  It is a useful outlook to have in a profession where mistakes can be catastrophic, and every test run but the last one is a failure.  But that is another post - suffice it to say that Fred is an optimist as well.

Fred saw just the immediate need and solution, not the larger context. 

The Larger Context Around Cloud Integration Benefits

  • Handling changes to the APIs
  • Two-way communication and updates
  • Expanding the interface to include other objects and transactions
  • More complex lookups to connect child records to the transaction
  • Maintining shared external Keys on each side to match sets of entities
  • Additional interface processes to keep customer files and product masters in synch
  • Deployment of updates, scheduling and logging of runs and errors
  • Error handling and notifications
  • On-going maintenance of custom code, and the resource pool willing and able to take that on

My follow-up in these situations is six to nine months, when the value and functionality is growing, and the Fred problem is more apparent.

In some situations, a simple point-to-point interface is all that is needed.  If, however, the organizations IT architecture is headed towards multiple best of breed cloud applications, best to implement an integration platform like Boomi sooner rather than later.

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Larry Cone

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