SaaS Migration and Integration: The Unexplored Human Element

SaaS Migration and Integration: The Unexplored Human Element

It’s a funny thing about people.

They’re independent.

They’re unpredictable.

And their creative genius, unique perspectives and insights, and ability to make tough decisions are crucial to moving your business forward.

There’s a funny thing about businesses, too, though.

Enterprises today are coming to rely more and more on automated processes for just about every aspect of business.

But the people choosing and using those apps still have a huge impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of those automated processes.

It’s something that’s not often talked about, but understanding and addressing the human element of business process automation and SaaS migration is the key to unlocking its full potential.

Independence and the Quest for Improvement

How many SaaS apps does your organization use right now? And can you answer that with complete confidence?

The ease of downloading and trying out SaaS apps means that employees in any given department might be testing out or even outright adopting new apps at any time, without necessarily going through the proper channels or letting all the right people know.

And while their goals of increased efficiency and productivity are laudable, the fact that these employees haven’t integrated these SaaS apps with the rest of your organization’s systems means one of two things. Either your team is wasting time manually transferring data from your databases to that app and back, or your IT department is going to have to get to work again writing custom APIs to integrate that app with all your existing systems.

This is happening every. single. time. someone else thinks to themselves, “Hey! This app looks like a great way to save time and improve processes! I’m going to try it out!”

It’s almost enough to make CIOs want to stifle that constant drive for improvement – which is exactly what you don’t want in business!      

Integration Is Key
So what can organizations do to address this human element of business process automation?

Get smart about integration.

An API management platform like our Illuminate app makes the adoption of new SaaS apps a nonissue.

5 different departments wanting to try out 5 different new apps? Go for it.

Programmers too busy to get around to the custom coding it’d take to integrate 2 new apps you’re adding to the mix? Not a problem.

Illuminate is the simple, elegant way to integrate not only your new apps and your existing systems – but your processes and your people.   

Here’s how it works.

Illuminate automatically configures APIs that integrate each and every SaaS app and program your business uses, so that your programmers don’t have to.

It enables each to communicate instantly and seamlessly with all the other apps, and leaves the door wide open for new additions down the road.

This means that popping a new SaaS app in to try it out, or adopting several new apps at once, isn’t a hassle or a waste of time at all. It’s just a matter of tossing them into the API management platform, and letting it do its thing.

And that means that the people on your team can keep up that search for improvement, indulge that independent streak, and embrace that beautiful human unpredictability – because that’s exactly what will help your organization thrive.  

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Why Higher Ed Needs HIPs

Why Higher Ed Needs HIPs

Hybrid Integration Platforms, or HIPs, allow citizen integrators to calibrate and manage APIs, set security layers and cross walk variables without coding or help from IT. What this means in plain language is that an HIP can help solve integration problems by allowing users to establish data flows between SaaS, PaaS and on-premises applications and data systems at their discretion.

For colleges and universities, the need for HIPs coincides with the change from legacy ERP systems to hybrid, cloud-based ERP. These cloud-based apps are being added as needed, rather than the traditional heavy customization of monolithic, on-premise ERP solutions. Basically, that means that all of these disparate apps need to be able to communicate with each other effectively, and this isn’t always the case. That’s where HIPs come into play.

At N2N, we’ve designed our Illuminate platform to be the first commercially available HIP for the higher education market. Illuminate acts as translator, enabling different cloud-based apps to seamlessly and securely communicate with each other. So when students use a mobile device to check grades, schedule classes, or look at financial aid, they are able to do so safe in the knowledge that their information is being kept private, and only being used by apps that need their data.

This is important for colleges and universities around the country because in coming years, more and more of their ERP solutions are going to be cloud-based. Adding apps every year doesn’t seem like a good solution unless you can find a cost-effective way to integrate them together.

And that’s exactly what Illuminate provides. App developers work with us because they know they can market their product as flexible and secure, and colleges love us because we help them realize the dream of a fully integrated campus. Students may not know what goes on in the background when they open their mobile apps, but they still reap the benefits of HIPs like Illuminate. Students expect to find cutting edge technology on campus when they get to college, and falling behind can cost a school in enrollment and the quality of the students they attract.

And because Illuminate was built with the security of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), you can rest easy knowing that apps are using the highest levels of cloud-security available. We know you need integration, but we also know that it’s useless if it isn’t secure. Using OCI means Illuminate is the safest HIP on the market today.

At N2N, we understand the trends developing in ERP implementation, and that’s why we built Illuminate, to help educational institutions solve their integration problems. When students have access to fast and secure mobile apps, it enhances their education and everyone wins. Adding the newest apps on campus can be difficult for colleges, but with Illuminate, it doesn’t have to be.

So contact N2N Services today if you’d like to hear more about Illuminate and how our experts can help you with all of your integration needs.

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What Is A Hybrid Integration Platform?

What Is A Hybrid Integration Platform?

And why will you need one in the next few years?

Increasingly, educational institutions are moving away from their highly customized ERP solutions, and towards more flexible, cloud-based solutions. In fact, according to Gartner, by 2018, at least 30 percent of service-centric companies will move the majority of their ERP applications to the cloud. That’s because the cloud offers greater flexibility that monolithic, postmodern ERP simply doesn’t provide.

The needs of educational institutions are constantly changing as technology marches forward because colleges and universities are expected to be on the forefront of any new technology. Students come to college expecting the latest tech and apps to supplement their education, and this can be difficult to accomplish with a legacy ERP system that isn’t flexible enough to meet changing educational and business needs.

So the solution seems to be moving ERP applications to the cloud, and embracing a hybrid approach that keeps a small core of on-premise ERP functions, combined with cloud point solutions. These loosely coupled suites of cloud functionality will bring with them integration challenges for the institutions that adopt them.

That’s where N2N and our Illuminate platform step in. Illuminate acts as the plumbing between an educational institution’s cloud-based apps and their legacy ERP systems, providing seamless and secure data transfer from each system. Illuminate takes each department’s existing, disparate systems and acts as a translator, allowing them to communicate with each other.

Illuminate allows users to calibrate and manage APIs, set security layers and cross walk variables without coding or help from IT. This is known as a Hybrid Integration Platform. Illuminate is special because it’s the first commercially available HIP in the higher education market. With Illuminate, colleges and universities have a simple, low-cost solution to for all their integration needs, and they can rest easy knowing that they can add any cloud-based application as needed. So when the next great mobile app comes calling, colleges will be able to easily integrate and implement the app on campus.

At N2N, our goal has always been solving the integration problems of institutions, no matter what market they are in. It won’t be long before more institutions make the switch to the cloud to solve their ERP problems, and when they do, they’re going to need a smart, inexpensive integration solution.

Contact us today if you’d like to learn more about Illuminate and to set up a demonstration for you and your team.


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N2N and Modo Labs – Changing the face of mobile apps in higher education

N2N and Modo Labs – Changing the face of mobile apps in higher education

At N2N, our goal is to solve the systems integration challenges of educational institutions and support an integrated digital campus. We achieve this by helping our partners and their clients with all of their integration needs, using our state-of-the-art Integration Platform as a Service. Now, colleges and universities are able to easily integrate new, cloud-based apps with their existing IT apps and systems in a cost-effective manner. Illuminate acts a translator for these disparate apps and systems, allowing them to integrate seamlessly with each other.

Students and faculty may not know it, but when they use their mobile apps, they’re accessing information from several different departments, and this information has to get to them quickly and securely. At N2N, we want those apps to be as safe and effective as possible, and that’s why we’ve teamed up with Modo Labs to combine our services and make it easier than ever for colleges and universities to develop and implement their own mobile apps.

Using their Kurogo Platform, Modo Labs is putting powerful mobile implementation and development capabilities directly into the hands of non-developers. So instead of hiring costly app developers or expensive consultants, higher education institutions can develop mobile apps that are ideal for their campus’without the traditional costs. Kurogo’s unique combination of data access, powerful pre-built functionality, and ease-of-use dramatically reduces mobile development time and costs.

The combination of Kurogo and Illuminate provides colleges and universities with the ability to design mobile apps that fit their needs, and to make sure that those apps will be effectively integrated with their present systems. The broad range of disparate data sources faced by most universities can be easily integrated and accessed through N2N’s powerful Illuminate data engine, and in turn, quickly mobilized into a rich mobile experience through the Kurogo mobile app assembly platform.

Kiran Kodithala, President and CEO of N2N Services, puts it like this. “Students, Administrators and Faculty at campuses have been looking for a comprehensive mobile app that they can use for student engagement and student success. This partnership gives institutions of higher education the best of all worlds. While N2N provides secure enterprise data access, Modo Labs offers the best-of-breed front-end mobile experience that makes it possible to quickly leverage that data on any device.”

The partnership between N2N and Modo Labs is a dramatic step towards our goal of a fully integrated campus, where students can access their information at any time, and be sure that their personal data is safe and secure on the app they are using. Kurogo and Illuminate are two powerful platforms that together are changing the way colleges and universities think about their options for mobile applications.

At N2N, we pride ourselves on our partnerships with some of the most innovative companies in higher education, and we’re not done yet. If you’d like to hear more about how partnering with N2N Services can help your business, then contact us today.

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Illuminate – Not Just For Academia

Illuminate – Not Just For Academia

At N2N, we’re proud of our background in higher education and the service we provide to colleges and universities around the country. Illuminate is an invaluable asset to colleges that are running more and more apps and systems each year, and looking for a way to securely integrate them all. We know Illuminate is a boon for higher education institutions, but that’s not the only place it can work. Yes, we pride ourselves on helping colleges, but we also pride ourselves on our ability to make our services work for a diverse group of businesses and institutions.

Now that businesses are using the cloud without the reservations that they once had when it first came onto the scene, there are certain issues that almost all businesses face ones that aren’t limited to colleges. The cloud allows businesses to easily store and access data and applications using any device, without having to deal with expensive hardware purchases. This boosts productivity and efficiency, while driving down costs. With the growth of cloud-based applications, companies ended up using these apps along with older on-premise legacy applications. The trick is getting all of these to work together, whether they’re cloud-based or on-premise.

And that?s exactly what Illuminate does. Illuminate is what’s called an iPaaS, or Integrated Platform as a Service. It acts as a central hub to integrate all of the applications a business uses, whether cloud-based or on-premise. So there usually isn’t any hardware to install, and our “concierge approach” means that we provide integration as a service, with no lengthy training required for implementation. No matter what combination of legacy, on-premises systems and cutting-edge SaaS applications your business uses, Illuminate acts as a central hub to integrate them all. It allows each program to communicate with every other program seamlessly and securely, and makes it easy to accommodate the addition of as many new applications as may be necessary in the future.

One dashboard within Illuminate allows administrators to view and monitor transactions that pass through the system, to ensure that information input into any one application will instantly be shared with all other participating applications as well, so that all systems are always up-to-date and coordinated.

Don?t think that all these transactions lead to less security, though. Illuminate allows for central management and monitoring of data transfers, helping to ensure compliance with all regulations.

At N2N, we know a college can,t be run just like a business, but we also know that businesses today face many of the same challenges as higher education institutions as they look to the cloud to handle their applications. With Illuminate, no longer will employees need to update several different systems with new data, or search through several different applications to find information. Illuminate automates those tedious tasks, freeing up resources for other projects.

If you?d like to hear more about how Illuminate can benefit your business, contact N2N Services today.

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Wireless Displays- The Next Big Thing On Campus

Wireless Displays- The Next Big Thing On Campus

In a typical college classroom or study area, displays and TVs have replaced whiteboards and markers as the easiest way for students and professors to share information and collaborate with each other. For a long time, these displays were wired to desks or perhaps a podium at the center of a room. Anyone wishing to share something from a laptop or device had to connect to the display from that one position in the room.

But increasingly, colleges are beginning to experiment with wireless display technology that allows professors and instructors to walk around freely with their devices and lets students share videos and projects with the rest of the class.

If you think about it, this is really just the next logical step. Smartphones and tablets have become so common on campuses that we don?t think twice about seeing students operating one or more devices. Wireless display technology is simply capitalizing on the fact that students and professors have their projects and data on hand, and want to be able to share them quickly and easily.

Wireless display technology offers plenty of benefits that help simplify and enhance the learning experience. WiDi technology eliminates the need for cables, and allows students and instructors to move freely, or stay exactly where they are. There?s no need to change seats or exchange one laptop for another. This in turn reduces expenses for cabling and switch equipment.

But one of the real benefits of WiDi technology is that it improves collaboration and makes it easier than ever for students to share videos, pictures, presentations, and any other information critical to their studies. This is important in the classroom, but other areas like libraries and study rooms can benefit from the same technology. Students gathering together to study can easily compare notes, watch presentations, or collaborate on group projects?without the hassle of constant plugging and unplugging from wired displays. It even gives students and instructors the convenience of dual-screen multitasking. They can now stream a video from their smartphone, and while it?s playing, open email or search the internet.

With WiDi technology, colleges and universities can add another component to the technological innovations that are driving education. At N2N, we understand the complex relationship between technology and the higher education world. More technology can certainly be a boon for colleges, but it can also create problems as more and more apps and systems are added each year. That?s why we?ve created the N2N Integration Cloud specifically for higher education institutions. The NIC integrates all your existing apps and systems, and acts a translator, providing seamless and secure data transfers across all systems. Adding new apps is easy, and the NIC can be scaled up or down depending on the needs of your particular institution.

If you?d like to learn more about the NIC and the intersection of technology and education, contact N2N Services today.

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