This past week over 1200 attendees ascended upon San Francisco to attend Connect and APICon (a sister conference). If you are interested in checking out the company recap of Connect you can check that out here. The purpose of this post is to highlight some of my thoughts from the event.
This was my first time attending Connect and I had a great time chatting with attendees, customers and other Muleys about everything currently going on in the industry. I also had the opportunity to co-present in two sessions. Whenever I speak at a conference like this I generally provide a post conference write up and figured I would take this opportunity to share some of the details from my sessions.
The Connected Insurer
In this session I shared the stage with Aaron Landgraf (Product Marketing Manager) where we discussed some of the themes that are taking place in today’s Insurance Company.
The first point is that the Insurance landscape is changing:
- Organizations are trying to differentiate themselves via Customer Service. This may include the ability for customer self service via the Web or Mobile.
- Omni (or multi) Channel engagements. No longer are customer interactions going to occur within one particular channel but may start over social media, continue over email and conclude through the web.
- Lastly there should be one view (or 360 degree) view of the customer. Regardless of the system that is being used to service the customer, all contextual information needs to be made available within that view. This information may be pulled from a variety of systems in real time and aggregated while setting the appropriate context.
Another aspect of the presentation was to discuss some of the current challenges within this industry vertical.
- Customers are looking for improved customer service while organizations are trying to reduce costs.
- Any new solution will likely need to interface with existing (or legacy) assets.
- Delivering solutions needs to be done in a very timely manner.
Next I discussed a high level architecture where we can address some of these challenges by providing RESTful APIs modeled in RAML, A Service Orchestration layer hosted by Mule ESB that is capable of orchestrating back end services.
An actual implementation of this architecture can be found in the next image. More on this solution towards the bottom of the post.
Integrating the Heterogeneous Enterprise
The next session I co-presented with Ken Yagen (VP Products) where Ken walked us through some trends occurring within the industry including:
- 36% of IT’s time is spent maintaining legacy systems and 67% of global execs said IT will spend the same or more time on these systems.
- Cloud Services are used to augment current services. 65% of CIOs have deployed cloud solutions as a way to bolster existing services.
- Enterprise Mobility: 45% of organizations will spend at least 500K on mobility projects over the next 12 to 18 months.
The reality of the current state that we are in is that organizations are being forced to integrate with heterogeneous environments. No longer can organizations say we are an “ABC” shop or an “XYZ” shop. While Enterprise Architectures may push for reducing technical diversity, the increasing adoption of Mobility, SaaS, Cloud and Social platforms are disrupting traditional architectures. As a result a flexible, yet comprehensive platform is required to address these needs. At MuleSoft, we feel that our AnyPoint Platform is the answer when integrating heterogeneous environments.
I put together a demo that addressees a lot of the challenges and trends that were discussed across these two presentations including:
- RESTful APIs (modeled in RAML)
- Service Orchestration via MuleESB
- Integrating Heterogeneous systems (SQL Server, WCF Services, .NET and SalesForce)
- Also took the opportunity to introduce some of the new features of the AnyPoint Platform May 2014 release including Scatter-Gather, Web Services Consumer and enhanced DB connector which supports Data Sense)
Here are a few of the screen shots from the Windows 8 Mobile App that was built using C#/XAML.
AnyPoint Studio – MuleESB solution (well part of it – didn’t fit in one screenshot)
Overall it was a great week with a lot of interesting sessions and conversations. Whether you attended it or were unable to attend, the good news is that the London edition of Connect is right around the corner from September 24 – 26th. You can sign up for more details here.