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How to Keep (Happy) Feet on the Ground with Cloud Integration: Four Key Considerations

by Betsy Bilhorn
Vice President, Product Management, Scribe,

As businesses continue to adopt cloud and online business applications, it seems like déjà vu all over again for integration. How do I access and share online data with the rest of my business? How do I avoid going back to manual processes because I can't get my cloud applications to talk to my other business applications easily?

Most cloud vendors claim that their offerings integrate with this, that, or the other. That definition of "integrate" varies from vendor to vendor. Typically when you dig beneath marketing content, it usually means the cloud vendor offers an API and it's up to you to integrate from there. Better cloud vendors will have some level of pre-built integration with one or two popular business applications, a marketplace where third parties can offer integration solutions, and/or recommended commercial vendors with branded connectivity to their product.

Cloud integration is not much different from premise integration. There are standard protocols - web services have been around for a while and there are skilled development resources should you choose to custom code. Almost all commercial integration offerings have SOAP and REST web services support and many have specific application connectors for popular cloud applications which make it as simple as mapping fields between your cloud application and your other endpoints. As with premise applications, there are a number of viable options to approach cloud integration.

That said, there are unique considerations with cloud integration that you need to be aware of particularly in the evaluation, planning, and design of your integration. Research and planning around these considerations will avoid painful or failed cloud integration projects.

All APIs are Not Created Equal

Cloud vendors control the access to your data and what you can ...

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About Betsy Bilhorn

As Vice President, Product Management Betsy Bilhorn is responsible for leading Scribe's new product initiatives.

Prior to joining Scribe, Bilhorn held several leadership positions at SaaS pioneer WebTrends, including participation in the evolution of WebTrends OnDemand. She has also held leadership positions at system integrator, Lease Dimensions, where she managed large deployments of global CRM, ERP, and financial systems, including acquisition and integration.

Betsy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Mount Holyoke College.
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