How Enterprise IT Teams Can Leverage a Modern Integration and Automation (iPaaS) Platform

The past decade has seen unprecedented growth in the role, importance and challenges faced by enterprise IT teams. The growth in SaaS app usage by companies is about 30% on average with IT and security departments growing their app usage at a whopping 75% or more over the past couple of years.

As a result, enterprise systems teams that are responsible for entire areas of systems and app usage need to be able to evolve with this high growth and respond fast to strategic threats and opportunities. 

Teams that adopt a modern integration and automation platform like iPaaS (integration platform as a service) are well-positioned for success in this environment. 

Eliminate Data and Application Silos

The meteoric growth in the adoption of best-in-class SaaS applications has helped companies pick the best solution to solve specific needs across different lines of business. At the same time, companies also use many on-premise systems to solve key business problems.

A big problem caused by growth in the usage of disparate systems is that enterprise systems teams need to find a way to manage integrations and build workflows across apps that are not designed to effectively communicate with each other. This often results in the formation of data silos that hinder both work and strategic decision-making.

A modern integration and automation solution, iPaaS, makes it easy to connect all these systems so that they can seamlessly talk to each other, and that data can flow across applications with the right governance checks in place.

NaphCare is an Alabama-based company providing healthcare services and software to correctional facilities. They use TeamDynamix for both iPaaS and IT Service Management (ITSM).

Barry Bowden, IT service desk manager, said iPaaS will save him significant time. Currently, setting up and provisioning IT accounts for NaphCare employees is a multi-step process.

NaphCare uses a software program called Adaxes to automate the provisioning of accounts within Active Directory, but IT staff still have to coordinate with both HR staff and the managers of various departments to confirm what IT privileges employees should have—such as whether they should get a free or paid Zoom account. Bowden’s staff includes one full-time employee whose sole responsibility is to perform this work.

With iPaaS in place, NaphCare has created automated workflows for contacting HR and department heads to collect the necessary information. Using iPaaS, Bowden plans to connect TeamDynamix with Adaxes and build a customized workflow to create new user accounts from this information.

Automating this process will enable it to be completed in under five minutes, he says, with very little human intervention needed—freeing up the IT employee responsible for this task to do more strategic work, “That employee can be reallocated to other areas to work on more complex projects,” Bowden said.

There are also plans to automate software provisioning for programs like Microsoft Office.

“It will take me a week, right now, to go in and install Microsoft Office on all the accounts that request it. With automation in place, I won’t need to touch those requests unless there’s a problem. People will be able to go to our portal, put in the request and automatically get the software,” Bowden said. “That’s a full week of time I can get back to work on other things. That will be a huge benefit for us.” 

Speed of Deploying Integrations

A modern iPaaS platform can help enterprise teams connect to new systems in a matter of minutes, test integrations and deploy workflows into production faster than by using older integration tools or by using custom-built integrations.

In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced business world, enterprise teams can effectively respond to the business needs of faster integration deployment. Moreover, as modern iPaaS tools use simple, easy-to-use interfaces, it is a lot easier to maintain, upgrade and collaborate on your workflow automations. 

Gainesville Regional Utilities has used TeamDynamix’s integration and automation capabilities to solve a key IT support challenge that affected thousands of retirees.

The software that handles payroll for GRU employees is Workday, which is supported by Gainesville’s IT department along with the other applications used by the city. Retired GRU employees receive their pensions through Workday as well.

However, prior to TeamDynamix, if retirees weren’t getting their pension checks or had trouble with their Workday account, they couldn’t submit a service request using GRU’s online service portal. Because retirees are no longer city employees, they don’t have an Active Directory account, and they need an Active Directory account to submit tickets to IT support staff online.

GRU Business Systems Analyst Tristina Grywalski worked with the TeamDynamix implementation and process consulting teams to develop a simple solution to this problem using the platform’s flexible configuration options.

As a result of their efforts, GRU retirees no longer have to call IT support staff during normal business hours, wasting valuable time for retirees and support staff alike. Instead, they can use the online service portal just like current employees with an Active Directory account can, resulting in faster and better service.

In just the first two months of this capability alone, more than 150 retired GRU employees from all across the country had submitted service requests online. “The service team is very grateful for this solution,” Grywalski said, noting that it has allowed them to be more efficient in resolving people’s problems.

Low Total Cost of Ownership

The best modern iPaaS platform is on that’s purpose-built for a low total cost of ownership. Enterprise teams can take advantage of predictable pricing that does not increase as you connect new applications and systems to your workflows.

In addition, this platform avoids the cost of employee turnover as it is very easy for a new employee to pick up and manage your workflows. This is a stark contrast to the case of custom-built integrations where code is highly individualized and often lacking in clear documentation.

Enterprise systems teams can also benefit from the robust API management, governance and security features provided by iPaaS. In a world where security breaches can be very costly, and where the loss of customer trust can be devastating, enterprise systems teams find iPaaS to be reliable insurance at a low price point.  

At Metropolitan State University, Ben Deneen, Director of Enterprise Information and Application Services, and his team are using TeamDynamix iPaaS to bring together several different systems across different campuses.

“We were using a different iPaaS tool before and it took a lot of time to spin up and it became really expensive for what we were hoping to do with it,” Deneen said. “It was fine for connecting macro systems, but we couldn’t scale it the way we wanted.”

With TeamDynamix iPaaS, Deneen is not having the same issues. In fact, they’ve been able to move quickly with the new iPaaS tool and use it to integrate all of their systems from their old ERP to Workday, Active Directory and more.

“We’re able to easily spin up these connections and make it turnkey so anyone can use it,” Deneen said.

And with so many campuses across the state of Minnesota, it’s been invaluable to be able to have a common integration platform and workflow engine with governance and tracking. “Every time something runs, I want all that information, I want the error logs, I want that all documented so that we can run as efficiently and effectively,” Deneen said. “It’s given us a lot of good standardization across our locations and across all the disparate systems we have in place – it brings it all together.”

High Scalability

One of the key issues faced by enterprise systems teams is that they need to help their organizations along the high-growth path they are on without seeing a corresponding increase in costs.

A modern iPaaS platform can help with both challenges.

Enterprise teams use iPaaS to build and launch new workflows and integrations that can help their companies achieve their biggest strategic goals. In addition to this, iPaaS platforms do not require coding, so lines of business can build and manage their own workflows without needing help from IT and new full-time employees to code and manage the process.

At Pima County, one of the goals of bringing on TeamDynamix for ITSM and iPaaS (integration platform as a service) is to reduce toil.  

“People feel so much more empowered and have so much more worth when they are doing things that are intellectually rigorous and challenging versus when they are just repeating the same mechanical actions over and over and over with very little thought,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader at Pima County, said.

“Our ITSM is our entry point to our entire IT organization, and we want our employees to graduate out of this area into other roles within our organization – network technicians, client services, desktop technicians, developers and project managers,” he continued. “If all they’re doing is handling tickets and doing the same mundane, manual tasks over and over that’s not particularly great training. So investing in tools that allow our employees to engage in meaningful work is something that’s important to us as an overall IT organization.”

With TeamDynamix now in place, Pima County is looking to automate and integrate as much of the manual ITSM processes into workflows as they can.

“The drudgery of working through mundane, repetitive tasks doesn’t exist just in IT,” Hayes said. “I think the more we can reduce toil within the departments that we support, the more people are going to buy in and understand the value of what we’re trying to achieve. There’s nothing like success to breed more success, and once other departments see the benefits they’re going to want these tools too.”

One of the key advantages of TeamDynamix iPaaS is its no-code nature, which empowers technical employees across the organization to set up their own integrations and automations. This democratization of technology reduces the dependency on IT teams, who often face a backlog of requests from various departments.

By enabling non-IT employees to create and manage their own integrations and automations, iPaaS frees up IT staff to focus on higher-level tasks, such as strategic planning and cybersecurity. This not only improves overall efficiency but also fosters a culture of innovation and collaboration within the organization.

A Complete Integration and Automation Solution

High-performing enterprise IT teams need a single place where they can manage the full range of integrations and workflow deployments. The TeamDynamix iPaaS platform is built with ease of use in mind and with a full range of features including modern API management; state of the art security and governance; out-of-the-box connectors; best-in-class quality and troubleshooting features; and more that can position your team for the high growth and challenges of the next decade. 

Since purchasing iPaaS from TeamDynamix, the main focus for Ken Libutti, CIO, and his team at Palm Beach State University has been data integration and transparency, “We’ve made sure that we can populate the data warehouse using iPaaS to get the data out of our different applications and systems, and use all of that data to populate the dashboards we’ve created for our administrative and executive staff,” he said.

But there’s also been a focus on what the user interface looks like for students and faculty as well.

“We want to present a single pane of glass to the students so they can really see what their education plan is, what their progress looks like, who their advisor is and what events are relevant to them if they’re in clubs or things like that,” Libutti said. “So, we have several interfaces that we’re working on and trying to understand how we can pull those together using iPaaS and our data warehouse.”

For Libutti and his team, they’re just scratching the surface of what they feel they can do with iPaaS.

“We want all the data to come into the data warehouse because we know TeamDynamix iPaaS can keep all those APIs in sync, which keeps the data in sync, and it ensures we are doing the transformations that need to be done to the data,” Libutti said. “Having that single source of truth – knowing the data is in sync and valid – is our main focus and why we were so interested in investing in iPaaS.”

This post was originally published in August 2021 and has been updated with new information.

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