IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration

Integrating cloud applications
IBM WebSphere Cast Iron Cloud Integration
Easy implementation of applications that are offered as a software as a service (SaaS) and that can be configured and running in a matter of days.
  • Low cost solutions that can be paid for incrementally
  • A decline in the IT resource that is required for the maintenance of servers and infrastructure
  • A reduction of impact from software upgrades and maintenance
  • Providing a single view of customer information in cloud and on-premise applications, for example a cloud-based CRM system and an on-premise Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system
  • Using information from cloud marketing automation in e-commerce solutions
  • Providing connectivity between private cloud systems and business partner solutions 
  • Integrating separate insurance policy systems
Cloud computing has become a business evolution that is impacting all facets of business today, including sales, marketing, human capital management, supply chain, finance, manufacturing, quoting, ordering, service, support, email, and so on. As each of these functions move to the cloud they require migration and integration. Additionally, each vendor providing a cloud solution creates their own interface to the application. This fact creates a challenge in IT organizations in companies of all sizes and all locations globally as they challenge to understand and then manage these unique application interfaces and integrate applications from cloud to cloud and cloud to on ground. It is this for these reasons that Cast Iron is an important solution to a modern IT infrastructure.

Cloud computing can provide companies with the following capabilities to meet business needs:
  • Flexibility in working practices, for instance working from home, the office, or with mobile computing, which creates the need to admittance data and files from anywhere at any time.
However, the adoption of SaaS applications can mean that additional silos of information are created, which can lead to further different sources of information. These different sources create a challenge in that there is a hybrid architecture that consist of on-premise solutions and the new SaaS applications. Integrating these applications and data can be key to the efficiency of the business. Integration can make certain that business users have access to the information that they require with the least possible friction, thus maximizing productivity and improving customer interaction.

Integration can be beneficial in the following situations:

Migrating data to new SaaS applications

An integration solution must bridge the space between the on-premise existing systems and new cloud applications, platform, and infrastructure, providing a rapid and easy-to-use method of setting up the integrations.

WebSphere Cast Iron provides a solution that meets the challenge of integrating cloud applications with on-premise systems, cloud applications-to-cloud applications, and on-premise to on-premise applications, as illustrated in Figure . The WebSphere Cast Iron environment focuses on the business necessities, the applications, and the business user requirements. It removes the off-putting complexity of integration.

Figure  Cast Iron integration
Cast Iron Cloud Integration
Example use cases WebSphere Cast Iron was advantageous in the following typical use cases:
  • Exposing ERP information to sales agents
A company required to make sales order information that was stored in multiple ERP systems available to sales agents who used a SaaS-based CRM system. Integrating the ERP information with the CRM system provides the agents visibility to the necessary information and avoids the agents having to sign on to multiple systems. The company had only a small IT department, with no significant development capability, so they require a tool that business analysts can use.
The early project involved using WebSphere Cast Iron to create three orchestrations that took less than two weeks to develop. The orchestrations provided real-time integration of the ERP information into the CRM system. eventually, the integration capabilities were expanded. There are now over 150 orchestrations connecting a massive amount of systems that are running both in batch and on request.

An insurance company has multiple systems that are used to manage new business. Having one system that provides quotes for policies and an additional system that is used to administer policies occasionally resulted in duplicate data entry and as a result, produced error conditions. In addition, many of the workflows involved in bringing in new business are manual, and vendors must provide documents in multiple formats.
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