The Rise of Packaged Integration Processes

When a vendor bundles an as-a-service integration for a specific purpose, that vendor creates a packaged integration process.

Packaged integration processes (PIP) certainly differ from homegrown integrations. But PIPs also differ from iPaaS (integration platform as a service), even as many iPaaS providers also offer PIPs. With iPaaS, the customer gets a platform. With a PIP, the customer gets the integration itself – delivered and maintained as a service.

According to Gartner, packaged integration processes made up 30% of integration projects in 2020. And by 2023, PIPs will more than double to make up over 65% of integration projects.

Why are PIPs taking over?

Benefits of Packaged Integration Processes

A PIP is especially useful for a common integration scenario, and it delivers a number of benefits. 

Delivers Faster Time to Value

When companies build their own integrations, the work frequently continues beyond the stated deadline. As time goes on, integration projects are plagued by scope creep, further delaying project completion. Many DIY integration projects fail altogether.

Because the development time is already built in, customers of PIPs bypass that usual extended development time. When they implement PIPs, they can accelerate their time to value by weeks or months.

Taps Expertise

Being integration specialists, PIP vendors see and account for the needs of a variety of customers. They accumulate best practices and further develop their expertise. PIP vendors build this expertise into new PIP releases, and communicate best practices to their customers.

Because of this deep knowledge, PIP vendors often anticipate common integration problems that in-house development teams do not.

Empowers the Layperson

With the development already completed and packaged, PIPs empower the non-coders at your company. This democratized approach makes integrations more accessible to a variety of personas. PIPs give those without specialized development knowledge a graphical environment to map and configure their integrations.

Makes the Provider Responsible for Support

A PIP puts the burden of responsibility on the provider for maintaining the integration, even through upgrades. The vendor ensures that the customer can change versions of their tools, giving the customer confidence that the integration will keep working.

Defines Expenses up Front

In addition to going past deadline, DIY integrations also commonly go over budget. Various unforeseen obstacles drive ongoing costs higher, including unexpected maintenance and platform changes that fracture the integration. When in-house teams scramble for compliance with security and privacy rules, costs rise even more. The total cost of ownership often leaves a company looking for another option. With a PIP, a customer can know in advance what initial and annual expenses will be.

Enhances Productivity

With a PIP in place, IT teams can devote in-house efforts to other areas that will help grow the business. Application administrators report that, at their companies, PIPs improve productivity between 40% and 70%.

Packaged Integration Processes in Action

The use of PIPs becomes clearer with an example. Fujitsu, the world’s seventh largest provider of IT services, uses PIPs called DataSync and Service Gateway. These PIPs integrate ServiceNow with other endpoints, enhancing service delivery for Fujitsu’s customers.

Before using PIPs, Fujitsu had been building their own integrations. But these DIY connections proved costly, complex, slow to create, and functionally lacking. Fujitsu had been resorting to an impressive developer workforce until they realized that the integrations they were building were too expensive and delayed time to value. 

Carey Blunt, the Chief Architect for Service Management Tools, says that Fujitsu wanted to “turn all these integrations into a cookie-cutter approach – to deliver something that’s lower cost but, more importantly, quicker.” Fujitsu made use of PIPs to deliver these nondifferentiated, “cookie-cutter” connections and saw advantageous results.

Delivering Faster Time to Value. With packaged integrations in place, Fujitsu could deliver new integrations rapidly, and reproduce those connections for other endpoints, helping both Fujitsu and their customers realize value quickly. In one extraordinary case, they used the PIP to create a new integration in just a couple of hours. “I sat on that conference call and watched it happen. And two hours later, … we had a working incident integration.”

Tapping Expertise. Fujitsu had tried extracting ServiceNow data for reporting in an external data warehouse. But as data volumes increased, any DIY solution they could create excessively impacted the performance of the ServiceNow instance. Fujitsu found a provider with expertise in automating both this extraction and service management processes. With a common data model, the PIP easily connects ServiceNow to various other ITSM systems. “So we don’t necessarily need to be an expert in Remedy or an expert in Cherwell. We can just put the … agent on and configure it, and a lot of the rest is taken care of for us.” Along the way, Fujitsu noticed that the PIPs’ built-in functions answered questions that many IT teams don’t even think to ask. Without that expertise, such teams notice those issues only when they become a problem, such as loss of data or compromised security. “And then we try and retrofit them in later, and that becomes difficult.” The PIPs solved that problem.

Empowering the Layperson. Originally, Fujitsu had entire development teams dedicated to integrations. “Any one time, I think we would have had at least 15 to 20 people just working on integrations, probably within just a single region,” among Fujitsu’s several regions worldwide. With that coding work removed by the packaged integration processes, developers could focus on more differentiated integrations.

Making the Provider Responsible for Support. Fujitsu benefits from the fact that their PIPs for ServiceNow are essentially integration as a service. “We’re not looking after the infrastructure. We don’t have to have specialist people to manage any of that stuff. We just worry about the endpoints and which data we want to send where, and it just happens transparently for us in the background.”

Defining Expenses up Front. For Fujitsu, homegrown development of integrations “took a long time, and it cost really more than we really wanted to pay. And we felt that we were repeating that same thing over and over again in a fairly unstructured, chaotic way.” The ServiceNow PIPs present a predictable amount of time and money that Fujitsu can anticipate and budget for.

Enhancing Productivity. By turning from their homegrown integrations to PIPs for nondifferentiated ServiceNow integrations, Fujitsu directed in-house developers to focus on “the real difficult integrations that still need to be bespoke – and not focusing on the basic incident ticket handling ones. So it just means we’re getting more out of those developers for the same amount of time.”

In summary, by switching from DIY integrations to PIPs, Fujitsu offloaded integration efforts to an expert vendor, accelerating time to value, saving money and boosting productivity.

Packaged Integration Processes at Perspectium

Perspectium has specialized in replicating ServiceNow data since 2014. Our premier PIPs are DataSync, ServiceBond, and ServiceGateway. All make use of a native ServiceNow application for maximum performance and ease of use.

DataSync, our flagship PIP, offers unparalleled replication of ServiceNow data to external storage or to another ServiceNow instance. One customer – ServiceNow themselves – use DataSync for 13 million secure transactions per day, all without noticeable impacts to the ServiceNow platform.

ServiceBond bidirectionally connects ServiceNow workflows to other incident fulfillers, external teams and ITSM tools. This service integration makes DevOps and SIAM a reality for many ServiceNow customers.

ServiceGateway enables service providers using ServiceNow to rapidly onboard and integrate with their customers. Integration templates enable a streamlined and repeatable process for a provider to eBond with their customers’ service management systems.

Want to learn more about PIPs at Perspectium? Let’s get in touch.

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Alfredo Deambrosi