Posted in Cloud app integration news, Salesforce by Mike Ponta on Dec 14 2010
Salesforce.com expands PaaS offerings at Dreamforce event
Salesforce.com announced several major updates to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings at DreamForce last week.
Salesforce unveiled Force.com 2, the next iteration of its proprietary development platform. For the most part Force.com 2 seems to simply wrap up existing Salesforce offerings—SiteForce, AppForce, Vmforce, and ISVforce—into a single package, but there are a few new changes.
Database.com, the cloud database that operates Salesforce.com services and applications, will be available for public use. That means that it can manage data from applications created independently of the Force.com platform as well as those made within it. Data integration between Force.com applications and non-Force.com apps should become simpler as a result.
Salesforce.com also announced the purchase of Heroku, a Ruby PaaS provider. Ruby is a popular language for lightweight, fast applications and is known for its ease of use and active development community. Heroku supports the Ruby on Rails application framework.
Database.com, Heroku buy get varied reviews from observers
Read more… »
Some SaaS application databases have limited functionality compared to relational database with SQL
While many major cloud applications offer a database as part of a service, that database option may limit what can be done with the data.
We spoke with Jitterbit CTO Ilan Sehayek about the use cases for cloud data replication. He says that cloud data replication allows users to improve data usability. One example of how data usability can be improved with cloud data replication is by putting Salesforce.com data into a relational database.
“That way they have relational access to that data,” said Sehayek. “The query language in Salesforce doesn’t give the types of information that [some customers] are looking for,” said Sehayek.
Read more… »
Stock sell-off a reminder that cloud computing is not immune to market pressure
Recent news suggests that enthusiasm and expectations for Software as a Service (SaaS) adoption does not match the bottom line for investors and customers.
A recent stock market correction among cloud computing stocks sent shares of many SaaS providers tumbling. The sell-off seemed to have been triggered by reduced revenue forecasts from data center operator Equinix and infrastructure software provider Autonomy.
The correction was not wholly unforeseen. Read more… »
Posted in Cloud app integration news by Mike Ponta on Sep 30 2010
NetSuite today released several new features to OneSuite, its cloud ERP tool. According to the author, OneSuite is now better targeted at larger, multinational corporations, not SMBs. The OneSuite enhancements include single-sign integration on with GoogleApps, including Google Calendar and GMail. Read original press release on OneSuite enchancements.
This blog post looks at the advantages of using pre-integrated SaaS tools as compared to integrating best-of-breed SaaS applications in-house. The blog explains how access to platforms can allow for customization of pre-integrated systems, for example, but proprietary development tools can be unfamiliar to third-party users.
SaaS integration service provider Jitterbit today announced Jitterbit Connect, a software wizard designed to simplify Salesforce.com integration. The Jitterbit Connect wizard is built into Jitterbit Enterprise Edition and is aimed at helping non-IT users integrate Salesforce.com with other applications.
Get cloud app integration news in your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter!
Posted in Cloud app integration news by Mike Ponta on Sep 13 2010
Telegraph Media Group, publishers of the UK’s The Daily Telegraph will use Cordys Platform to orchestrate cloud services and applications. Cordys will be used to create processes and applications that work across applications on multiple platforms, including Google Apps and Salesforce. The platform will also be used for the creation of mashups.
E-commerce and telesales tool provider Rainmaker Systems Inc. today announced
general availability of its SaaS e-commerce platform. The offering includes rules engines, support for 41 global currencies, and multiple file delivery methods. For SaaS integration, the offering contains hundreds of independent API calls and the ability to create custom work flows.
While a lot of the hype around cloud computing centers around easy integration between SaaS applications, take-only-what-you-need storage, and no more vendor lock-in, the reality can be quite different. For blogger Arthur Cole, it seems that a truly open cloud may be more trouble than its worth. He suggests that sticking with your own infrastructure may give you greater flexibility when you begin to incorporate software services.
As convenient as cloud computing can be, it’s important to remember that the convenience comes from passing on difficulties to someone outside your organization. Problems arise when their difficulty–say, trouble integrating with another third party provider you’ve enlisted–has a direct effect on how you do business. News from today suggests you can prevent these issues such by handling cloud integration early and often.
In a blog post today about cloud silos and integration, David Linthicum advocates doing integration in a step-by-step manner as a cloud-based system is built instead of waiting until after the pieces are in place. Failing to integrate in an iterative way will lead to silos. Siloed systems in a cloud computing environment, Linthicum says, can have worse consequences than siloed sytems on premise.
For in-the-trenches proof of the importance of early integration, consider New Zealand-based nonprofit St. John, whose SaaS CRM integration is profiled as part of a feature article on cloud implementation. St. John IT direct Peter McDowall is quoted in the story as saying, “We focused on integration upfront, but we could have put even more emphasis on it.” McDowall’s company combined Salesforce CRM with existing on-premise software. The organization used Pervasive for cloud data migration.
It may seem like an obvious notion, but taking an iterative approach to integration is not always done. And, given that many systems have been in place for years, it may not always be possible. But as more companies transition to the cloud, the opportunity exists—an opportunity that should be taken—for step-wise integration to occur as new systems are built out.
Posted in Cloud app integration news by Mike Ponta on Aug 16 2010
Central Desktop today released Central Desktop for Office, a Web-based collaboration platform that integrates with Microsoft Office. The tool allows users to collaboratively and simultaneously edit Word, Excel, and Powerpoint documents over the Internet. Central Desktop acknowledges that Office 2010 includes co-authoring capabilities, but says that its product is a cost-effective alternative to an Office 2010 upgrade. It is positioned as an alternative to SharePoint for SMBs.
IBM last Friday announced that it would acquire Unica Corporation for $480 million. Unica is a provider of SaaS and on-premise business analytics and process acceleration tools. It will be incorporated into the Business Analytics and Optimization consulting organization at IBM, where it will join recent acquisitions Coremetrics and Cognos, among others. Powerful SaaS BI integrations can be expected.
There’s a fine line between welcomed product updates and immediately deleted corporate spam, and it seems that most companies send the latter. So that a community-driven company like funny tee-shirt vendor Threadless can succeed with e-mail marketing seems to suggest the technology can now meet the needs of the not-so-heartless. Threadless used ExactTarget, a Web-based marketing platform that integrates with Salesforce CRM, Microsoft Dynamics, Omniture and Webtrends, to create successful e-mail and social network marketing campaigns.
Posted in Cloud app integration news by Mike Ponta on Aug 10 2010
Financial management SaaS provider Intacct today announced an integration partnership with work management provider Clarizen. The combined offering is designed to facilitate data delivery through work flow for invoicing, expense management, and analysis.
Cynical subheading aside, the survey supports a more widely held and rather indisputable notion: cloud integration of legacy accounting systems can be a headache. The FinancialForce Accounting application is natively built on the Force.com platform, so integration with Salesforce CRM is comparatively simple compared to legacy applications like Quickbooks. Of course, migration from legacy applications to cloud applications can also be a headache.
Hyper9 today announced the release of its Cloud Cost Estimator Lens, a dashboard that helps a user see how much it would cost to run its virtual machines on Amazon EC2. The version now includes integration with SharePoint and VMware vSphere.
Posted in Cloud app integration trends by Mike Ponta on Aug 5 2010
SaaS has been integrated into the call center for many years now, helping SMBs cut costs by providing scalable automation and workforce management. Recent news suggests call center SaaS providers are looking to make their products easier to integrate in a growing market.
Ringio recently completed a public beta of its “Rich Calling” service. The rich calling service uses improved data integration for caller-centric features, such as greeting callers by name and intelligent routing based on previous calls. The service now integrates with preexisting PBX extensions, meaning it doesn’t require as full an implementation as once before. Ringio plans to announce full integration with Salesforce.com CRM tools later this year.
Voxeo released an SaaS version of VoiceObjects, its self-service call center application management platform. The SaaS version can be more easily integrated into a customer’s existing CRM and IVR systems, and allows customer’s to scale use appropriately. It also supports SMS and Twitter.
Social tools like Twitter continually surprise people with their business functionality. So having read about call center SaaS all morning, hearing at the same time that Facebook now has a Voiceover IP(VoIP) capability inevitably begs the question: Can Facebook find its way into the call center? Because after all, doesn’t a customer profile in a CRM tool look a little bit like Facebook page? Is it only a matter of time?
Posted in Cloud app integration news by Mike Ponta on Aug 3 2010
Rod Johnson, general manger of the SpringSource division of VMware, gives an update on VMforce, the collaborative effort between VMware and Salesforce.com to create a cloud platform for Java developers. (VMware recently purchased SpringSource, creators of the wildly popular Spring Java development framework.) Johnson says that integration between Java apps built on Spring and data stored on Salesforce.com is the “killer app” of VMforce. He also points out that VMware collaborated with Google to let Java developers use Spring on Google App Engine.
The author summarizes a recent Forrester report which suggests cloud computing will adversely affect traditional IT services business models. That affect is the result of decreased demand for systems integration: While a strong market once existed for consultants who could perform systems and application integration work on site, much of that integration is now being handled in the cloud by the software vendors themselves.
Sales assistance software provider Inside|Sales announced a new version of Integration Suite and a new Application Programming Interface (API). The new version includes both REST and SOAP APIs for improved data access and sample code in numerous languages. InsideSales.com offers an automated dialer that integrates within SalesForce.com CRM applications.