Overview

The role of enterprise data integration in the modern enterprise is of paramount importance. In a world where nearly everything is measured, data is the lifeblood of businesses. Without timely, consistent, rich, and accurate information, it is impossible to have a 360 view of your business. And without this insight, opportunities get missed, customers churn, plans and forecasts are inaccurate, and valuable time and resources are lost.

Find out everything you need to know about EDI, including deployment strategies, the ability to interface with virtually any data source, data transformation, data clean-up, and the proper controls that empower functional business users to create true enterprise data integration.

Section 1

EDI Deployment Strategies: Point and Run

Begin the data integration journey with simple ways you can start with little to no time investment.

Typically, enterprise data integration does not happen overnight. It is a phased approach that often starts with leveraging existing automation and processes. It is then built out over time by including more systems, data, and advanced process control.

In the absence of an enterprise data integration solution, companies generally are limited to the following two choices: manually interacting with applications or custom integration scripting that can then be scheduled. Neither are robust nor scalable solutions, as they are error-prone, and often result in severe organizational inefficiency.

While the costs of these inefficiencies are rarely measured, they can be significant and should not be ignored. Fortunately, to begin the data integration journey, there are simple ways where companies can get started with little to no time investment. This is called the Point-and-Run approach where scripted integrations are centralized in a common management interface that can run, monitor, schedule, and control the custom code, and it results in immediate efficiency gains.

Whether you want to manage a simple batch or shell script, or the more programmatic Python or R programs, OneCloud supports a Point-and-Run approach and provides a quick win on the road to enterprise data integration.

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Section 2

Connecting Data Islands

Easily connect nearly any data source so the data can be dynamically shared.

Data is located virtually everywhere: across applications, on-premises, and in the cloud. It’s also in an array of disparate formats. In its natural state, data often lives on their own data island providing insight into a single area of your business, such as financial results, sales pipeline value, or customer information. On its own, this data already provides good insight, but what about going from good to great? 

To achieve that, these data islands need to be connected so the data can be dynamically shared. To easily connect data islands, OneCloud Integration Studio has a large number of native application connectors and generic interfaces to connect nearly any data source. In consideration of the functional side of the business, OneCloud has strong support for applications that focus on enterprise and sales performance management, corporate reporting, consolidation, and accounting.

Functional application domains can be elegantly integrated with OneCloud’s native adapters for technologies including:

  • Anaplan
  • BlackLine
  • Oracle Hyperion
  • Oracle Essbase
  • Oracle EPM Cloud
  • IBM Planning Analytics ( TM1)
  • Salesforce
  • MS Dynamics CRM
  • HubSpot
  • Snowflake
  • Oracle ADW
  • Tableau
  • Power BI 
  • ERP systems from Oracle, SAP, NetSuite, and Sage Intacct

 

For the thousands of other areas where vital data can exist, OneCloud can interface with: 

Any file in a tabular, XML, JSON or EBCDIC formats using the Tabular, XML, JSON, and File Utilities BizApps.

Section 3

Data Harmonization

Harmonize data so that it can be converted into actionable and prescriptive information.

As soon as your data islands are connected, the data is most likely presented in a format, granularity, or dimensionality that is inconsistent across sources. This can create a challenge when combining and ultimately realizing the value of the information. 

As such, we will need to harmonize the data so that, for example, a single customer record will provide a 360-view of the customer’s past, current, and future profitability, its contribution to bookings as well as cash flow, and if that customer is happy or a churn risk. 

It is imperative that all viewpoints are harmonized so the data can be converted into actionable and prescriptive information. To support data harmonization, OneCloud can perform a rich range of data transformation.

OneCloud Data Prep

Access an easy, intuitive, and interactive grid interface to harmonize data between systems. OneCloud Data Prep is a suite of comprehensive and powerful features that cleanses, transforms, and maps data, ensuring cross-dimensional relationship validation. It also ensures that inconsistencies caused by varying data definitions are harmonized into a single reporting standard, and provides visibility into the data transformation process. 

Users of OneCloud Data Prep can preview transformations as they are being applied. This streamlines the process of data preparation by making it less iterative. Comprehensive version history is provided to ensure that all changes to transformation rules can be audited, standardized, and shared. 

This not only reduces the cost of data management and compliance, it also increases the confidence in the data, allows functional business areas to make better decisions based on higher quality data, and enables you to build a truly Connected Enterprise.

Section 4

Benefits of Integration for Functional Business Users

Empower business users to analyze data versus spending time preparing, loading, validating, and waiting on data.

Functional business users who support financial planning and analysis (FP&A), reporting, accounting, and sales performance management (SPM), need a way to do more with less. Their skills should be leveraged to interpret and analyze data and not spend precious time preparing, loading, validating, and waiting on data. 

Research indicates that nearly 80% of finance professionals spend a significant amount of their time on these non-value-added tasks. In addition to the enormous time sink, the quality of the data can not be guaranteed due to human error, out-of-date information due to latency, or content lacking depth and granularity.

OneCloud supports these functional business users with a code-free, intuitive and graphical way to connect applications, transform data, and automate tasks. This class of user is typically a subject matter expert on the application(s) they need to integrate with and can easily leverage OneCloud’s out-of-the-box application- aware connectors (known as BizApps) to build their own automation Chains and Pipelines. 

To get a feel for how enterprise data integration can be accelerated visit the OneCloud Quick Start guides or if your organization uses Anaplan, see the Anaplan Quick Start. Once OneCloud Chains and Pipelines are linked together and published, a broader ecosystem of business users can be enabled with secure and auditable self-service integration through the use of the OneCloud secure web interface, self-service ActionLinks, or OneCloud Slack integration.

Finally, business users will receive notifications when the data integration process is complete. Using OneCloud’s monitoring and notification tools, any user provisioned for a particular integration can be added to receive a summary or detailed insight directly from within a web browser or mobile device.

Section 5

Security, Control, and Audit

Carefully manage and control sensitive and confidential data during any enterprise data integration initiative.

For any enterprise data integration initiative, security, control, and audit capabilities are imperative. Rudimentary approaches to system integration will often result in integration scripts that are deployed on an insecure shared network drive lacking encrypted system login credentials. 

This is common practice where a culture of shadow IT develops in functional business areas and raises obvious concerns when it involves sensitive or confidential data that needs to be carefully managed and controlled. Another common challenge for shadow IT is the implementation of robust life-cycle management. 

Incorporating quality assurance checks and updates to integration script logic is, at the very least, challenging and brittle, and so often changes are made directly to production. This approach can create unintended consequences that will impact data and system quality and availability. Without a proper source code control system, it is also impossible to audit changes and quickly trace back who changed what, where, when, and how.

Starting with the initial point-and-run topic in this article, OneCloud addresses all these enterprise integration challenges with ease with OneCloud’s integrated automation repository. OneCloud’s integrated automation repository provides full source control capabilities to track changes to any automation artifact and has the ability to replace sensitive login credentials with encrypted secrets. Using a point-and-run script or a fully built OneCloud Chain or OneCloud Data Prep Pipeline, integration processes can be developed and then tested in a non-production OneCloud environment before they are promoted to a production environment through the OneCloud Chain promotion wizard. In addition to OneCloud Life Cycle Management (LCM), OneCloud also incorporates rich audit tracking of all changes across all the major OneCloud components including Connections, Chains, and Workspace configuration and Resources.

Finally, OneCloud supports functional business areas through granular security provisioning. This is an important aspect of enterprise data integration to ensure that only authorized users are provisioned with the proper access. Leveraging OneCloud's structural components that include Workspaces, Environments, and Chains, a granular matrixed security scheme can be easily configured and deployed for finely tuned end-user security.

Section 6

Conclusion

See how you can take the first step toward enterprise data integration.

In summary, enterprise data integration is a complicated process that requires a technology that is highly scalable, flexible, maintainable, usable, expandable, and auditable to address the many requirements that connect enterprise source and target systems. 

OneCloud is a trusted, powerful, and secure iPaaS platform that can accelerate major corporate enterprise data integration initiatives with ease, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. 

To learn more, don't hesitate to contact us:

info@onecloud.io
+1 212 749 2220

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