Interview with Michael Morton, CTO, Dell Boomi
Q. So what new capabilities can Dell Boomi AtomSphere customers expect?
A: Let’s start off with a little background. Dell Boomi has a unique opportunity to help our customers be more efficient, more effective and more productive in ways we have only begun to employ.
Given Dell Boomi AtomSphere iPaaS has a 100% cloud-based multi-tenant architecture, we can capture and aggregate metadata from our thousands-strong base of customers and provide unique capabilities. For example, today we have Boomi Suggest which provides crowd-sourced data mappings. We know this accelerates our customer’s development as around 90% of the time the data mappings in Boomi Suggest are accepted. Then there is Boomi Assure which is crowd-sourced regression testing that allows customers to pre-test integrations against future releases and save testing resources.
Because of Dell Boomi AtomSphere’s single-instance, multi-tenant platform, the possibilities of capitalizing on this in order to provide new value-add for our customers are endless. Boomi Resolve, announced with our Spring ’14 release, is our next example of this.
Boomi Resolve is crowd-sourced error resolution. To compare Boomi Resolve error resolution to traditional software, as customers use traditional on-premises software and encounter issues, this typically necessitates the manual process of searching for a resolution. With Boomi Resolve, customers can capitalize on the knowledge from other users’ experience, as we map issues that have previously taken place with resolutions that have been documented.
So Boomi Resolve provides a huge time to value benefit for customers as they have easy access to resolutions of problems that others have already faced and solved. On an average, 70% of time spent integrating is spent on operational tasks, like maintaining integrations. And 80% of the total errors experienced are the top 100 errors. So by providing a speedy resolution to those top 100 errors, Boomi Resolve can help customers save a lot of time. And this will continue to improve and evolve given the maturity of our platform and our large and growing customer base so we have a lot of insights to share.
Q. Are there other innovations you’re announcing given Dell Boomi’s single-instance multi-tenant platform that can benefit Dell Boomi customers?
A. Well, another unique capability that our platform enables is Predictive Assistance, for which Boomi has been granted a patent. It enables our customer success team, which in turn benefits our customers. So Predictive Assistance is about mining the metadata we store from how our system is being used by customers, and we compare this metadata to key metrics such as, “Is data flowing between applications? If so, what is the volume?”, or “Have integration processes been running?”, or “Have they slowed down?” and so forth. We set thresholds that detect if key metrics are not being met and flags appear in a dashboard visible to our customer success team. By being able to determine this is happening, our customer success team can then reach out to find out how we can help.
Q. I understand Dell Boomi AtomSphere uses dashboards and visual displays to help customers create and manage integrations, and you have a new dashboard. Can you tell us more about that?
A. Customers, because of their dependency on running their business through services interfaces, have a critical need to have insight into the performance of these services. And Dell Boomi has paid a great deal of attention to helping customers maximize the performance of and ensure their web services are operating at peak performance. Our new SOA Dashboard adds to these capabilities as customers can monitor and make sure low-latency web services, such as those used for user-facing applications that are leveraging data from a web service, are indeed operating at peak performance and they can quickly see if they are experiencing any issues. Here’s what it looks like:
A good mention here that ties back to a previous question is the fact that if a customer is seeing errors occurring with their web services from the SOA Dashboard, here is an opportunity to leverage Boomi Resolve to quickly gain insight into what the potential problem may be and minimize services disruptions.
Q. You’re also including new native functionality in the Dell Boomi AtomSphere platform. Can you talk about this?
A. Certainly. Message Queuing is really important for customers. Now that we have native message queuing capability as part of our core platform, we fulfill a number of requirements that people need as they continue to transition from traditional middleware to an integration platform as a service. This powerful, built-in message queuing functionality means customers can now develop integration processes with native queuing/asynchronous enablement, without the need to invest in installing, learning, and maintaining a standalone message queuing solution. And they can use the skillset they’re familiar with from using Dell Boomi AtomSphere. This gives our customers powerful functionality with greater ease of use and faster time to value as they develop asynchronous integrations. Another point I want to make is that this capability is not just designed for integrations that are deployed on-premises, it will also be supported for customers who choose to deploy integrations to the cloud.
Q. You’re also including new functionality to support application modernization?
A. Yes. We’re announcing with Spring ’14 JSON/XML Translation. XML and JSON are probably the two most popular data exchange formats in the web arena today. By providing improvements to more easily convert between these data formats right in our platform, we are increasing the time to value our customers experience when they need to convert XML and JSON to each other. Typically, developers would have to painstakingly write conversions and stitch things together. Customers increasingly need to integrate a combination of applications that speak XML and JSON to run their business, as well as develop modern applications for mobile, social and big data. We now help them do this faster.
Q. Anything else to add?
A. Just as application integration is, at its core, about the flow of information, interestingly enough, so is communication. Customer input and feedback is invaluable to us as we determine the path we take to incorporate new capabilities.
Q: Thanks, Michael. To our readers, we’re always interested in and welcome your input and your feedback. Please contact us or share your comments below.
Michael Morton is the CTO of Dell Boomi, where he is responsible for product innovation. Read his full bio.