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Customers implementing an ERP solution must also carefully consider their integration and data management strategy. Moritz Roedel, Chief Technology Officer Western and Southern Europe, explains some of the factors that make for a future-proof integration strategy, and how the integration platform from Boomi can help.

The ability to connect different systems sits at the very heart of enterprise software. For many years, integrating ERP systems to connect to other data sources and applications meant customization—changing the core code. But the moment the ERP core is modified, and deviates from the standard, three long term consequences arise.

Firstly, developing and maintaining multiple point-to-point custom integrations is complex. They take time and resources to develop and must be very thoroughly tested. Secondly, because customizations modify the standard ERP core, they become costly and difficult to maintain over time. Plus, the systems you connect to are also subject to change and updates. Thirdly, customizations make modernizing your technology problematic; it’s hard, or often impossible, to update software regularly and stay ‘evergreen’—negating one of the major benefits of evergreen software such as IFS Cloud.

To enable organizations to always run modern technology and enjoy new IFS functionality and updates as they are released, IFS has, for several years, pioneered an open, RESTful API approach. Our open APIs make connecting, extending or integrating into the IFS core quick and easy.

Our customers can choose best-of-breed solutions, confident in the knowledge that IFS Cloud will readily connect to other applications and services while keeping the core standard. Our technology is one component in our customers’ total ecosystem of solutions and data, and our technology alliance partnership with Boomi supports our commitment to offering customers choice in complex data integration and faster time to value. IFS Cloud seamlessly connects to Boomi’s enterprise integration platform.

Boomi halves implementation time

Boomi is a unified, cloud-native integration Platform as a Service (iPaas) that lets customers connect other applications and services with IFS software. Currently serving 15,000 customers, Boomi enables some 2.2 billion integrations a month using 80,000 integration engines. Cloud-based, the subscription service can be connected to any cloud or on-premise system.

So, what makes Boomi attractive? Well, the platform eliminates point-to-point, tightly coupled application customizations. It decouples applications from each other, allowing any change, substitution or upgrade to occur without the need to code or maintain myriad legacy customizations over time. This, in turn, significantly reduces implementation time. In my experience working with IFS customers, Boomi typically reduces the time that would otherwise be spent writing code and testing by 50–70%.

Using Boomi, an application connects to the platform, and the middleware platform connects to another application. Unlike point-to-point integrations, the two applications aren’t physically connected. The benefits are far-reaching. Customers can choose solutions or services from any vendor and access legacy applications. And, since the IFS core remains standard, they can enjoy regular IFS updates and evergreen software.

Even better, the Boomi platform is a fast, low-code integration that doesn’t require a developer. Instead, an easy-to-use workflow interface allows any member of the team close to the strategy to draw end points to create connectors in the UI.

The freedom of choice for your application’s ecosystem

IFS has developed Boomi connectors which reduce the time and effort to connect IFS to other applications. The connectors handle things like authentication, error handling and message transformation. Any IFS customer subscribing to the Boomi service has access to all our connectors.

Don’t overlook your integration strategy

COVID was a sharp wake-up call: now every business knows it needs to be embracing technology that will allow it to quickly transform and adapt. Integration—and the application data landscape—is at the heart of this, and so requires a clear strategy going forward. How can your business best leverage its data to be responsive, agile, and quickly respond to change?

To deliver innovation quickly and adapt applications dynamically, organizations must deliver business outcomes and adapt to the pace of business change by reassembling capabilities themselves. Gartner calls this concept “the composable enterprise” and proposes the same principles should be adopted for ‘composable ERP’: a core of composable applications and software platforms that are highly configurable, interoperable, and flexible to adapt to future modern technology.

For example, what if your business doesn’t need a component of an individual application anymore? What if you want to adopt a new piece of Cloud technology instead? Using Boomi allows you to instantly unplug it from the application landscape and easily connect another one in its place.

According to a Gartner report, by 2023, organizations that have adopted a composable approach will outpace competition by 80% in the speed of new feature implementation.

Boomi further enhances the core IFS benefits of rapid time to value, low total cost of ownership and choice. The partnership in place between IFS and Boomi provides the opportunity for IFS customers to significantly reduce implementation time, establish a future-proof integration strategy, and eliminate costly point-to-point integrations with long-term maintenance burdens. Learn more about IFS and Boomi here.

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