Last Friday we ran our first webinar. Just to remind you, the topic of the webinar was how an Inc 500 company, and precisely Star2Star Communications, used iPaaS to accelerate time to market of their own cPaaS (Communication Platform as a Service) offering.
To be entirely honest, although we all knew what Sergey Galchenko, the CTO of Star2Star would be talking about in general, we were truly excited to actually hear his presentation, as he basically defined the whole content of it on his own. And I must say, it was much more than talking about time-to-market and iPaaS.
Communication Platform as a Service: it’s all about simplicity of use
First of all, Sergey explained how his company’s vision of their cPaaS offering differs from the traditional approach. Their major point was the simplicity of use of such platform, both for line-of-business users as well as developers. According to him, the API-first approach is one of the key elements: “We really have to provide it [API] for fairly complicated integration scenarios. We have been thinking about making integrations more achievable by traditional companies.”
Most important thing about integrations is that you should be able to re-use them
Following that, Sergey shared why an integration middleware should be considered as an important part of Communication Platform as a Service offerings. Although Communication Platform as a Service is quite a stand-alone solution covering all types of business communication scenarios, it is inevitable that it needs to be connected to corporate data sources like CRM systems, and website elements like web forms. Sergey actually presented several concrete use cases to illustrate his considerations, one of which even involved a chatbot.
However, building integrations is not enough. Especially for large companies like Star2Star that have a substantial amount of customers, integrating their products with their clients’ systems is a resource-consuming process. Mainly because none of the previously accomplished integrations can be replicated on a larger scale.
The problem for a service provider is that when integration is done, it needs to be done in such a way that, since I invested time and effort into this integration, I should be able to reuse it for other customers.
Sergey continued explaining why Star2Star decided to incorporate a third-party iPaaS offering into the overall Star2Star Communication Platform as a Service architecture:
Like in any business, you need to decide what you are good at, and what you are not good at. At Star2Star we are very good at providing high quality voice and video services on a very large scale. But there is also a demand for integrations with all kinds of external applications.
Different usage scenarios of Communication Platform as a Service should be leveraged by its architecture
After that, Sergey demonstrated the Communication Platform as a Service architecture, and how iPaaS fits into it. At the same time, he pointed out that Communication Platform as a Service will be very likely used by different consumer groups. Depending on the consumer, different capabilities and features will be required, and therefore, Communication Platform as a Service architecture should be able to support all of those.
For example, if we work with developers or with integration partners who perform custom software development, we expect them to utilize a combination of react components and Star2Star APIs, but they can also utilize some functionality provided by iPaaS.
Strict requirements for iPaaS if to be used as part of Communication Platform as a Service
In his presentation, Sergey also shared what exactly they were looking for in third-party iPaaS offerings in order to be able to use iPaaS for their own product. For one, it was important that iPaaS UI is easy to understand and to utilize by a power user. Another important point named was short cycle from having a concept or an idea to its implementation. Watch the webinar or read the transcript to learn about other requirements.
Using iPaaS makes integrations a much less bureaucratic process
Having iPaaS as part of the Star2Star own product for quite some time now, Sergey was also able to outline some unexpected benefits from it:
An interesting side effect of using iPaaS, is that you start thinking about your integrations differently. In traditional enterprise, if you would like to integrate anything with anything, it usually becomes a very long and bureaucratic process. By using integration platform as a service, you have much faster time to value, and you will be able to move from large-scale application to application integrations to user-level integrations for improving their daily cycle.
How you can use iPaaS to speed up time to market
At the end of his presentation, Sergey shared with webinar participants a few recommendations with regard to exploring iPaaS for their own integration needs. His first advice was to find some projects that are small but beneficial, in other words, present a quick win for the company as a whole or for a certain department. He also suggested working closely with so called power users. Watch the webinar or read the transcript to find out more about Sergey’s recommendations.
In the last 15 minutes of the webinar, Renat Zubairov, the CEO of elastic.io, covered the differentiation features of the elastic.io integration platform as well as presented two other use cases of the implementation of iPaaS for product development.
I hope that webinar participants enjoyed our first webinar, because I sure did even though I was actually aware of the contents of the webinar:-) For those who for some reason missed our webinar announcement or didn’t make it to the webinar, we uploaded its recording on our website, together with the transcription summary and full transcription downloadable as PDF.