How Metropolitan State is Reducing Integration Backlog with iPaaS

Many organizations struggle to integrate disparate systems being used throughout their business. A recent study with IDG revealed 63 percent of IT executives surveyed said their organization has more than 100 different systems in use at any given time. In addition to that, 89 percent of those surveyed said they are struggling to integrate those systems – reporting integration backlogs even with using a third party to help address the problem.

With hundreds of different systems in use, the lack of transparency across departmental tech stacks can lead to errors, service drops and employee dissatisfaction. To address the integration backlog, many organizations are investing in integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to integrate their systems via a single hub and build out automated workflows. Modern integration and automation platforms (iPaaS) help to address the problems of growing integration debt by making it quick and easy to connect any systems you bring on board with the rest of the organization. This means that IT teams can satisfy the demand without coding, development, scriptwriting and point-to-point integration.

Streamlining Physical Security with an Automated Workflow

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 for a cohesive workflow around security access. As one of seven universities within Minnesota state, and one of 37 institutions as a whole, a lot of data is passed between systems across connected campuses, Deneen said. Another benefit of iPaaS is the ability to clean and transform the data going from one system to the next so automated processes can take place in the background and provide a seamless experience for students, faculty and employees at each of the campuses.

For example, Deneen said they use iPaaS to verify information and requests when it comes to opening buildings and classrooms using RFID technology for door access. They use the information gathered by a swipe of a card to check against permissions and identification information in Active Directory and Lenel (security software) to grant access to doors. Using workflows built on the iPaaS platform, someone can swipe their ID at a door, and that will trigger a flow that bounces back to the security system to validate credentials, once clear it opens the door and then triggers the security camera at the door to record activity at that site. All of that information gets timestamped, collected and recorded so there’s a record of who is going in and out, and when.

There are similar flows between other apps and tools using RFID for parking garages and printing on printers on the campus, Deneen said.

In terms of what the future looks like for iPaaS at Metropolitan State University and their campuses across Minnesota, Deneen is making plans for revamping onboarding and offboarding for students and faculty, as well as provisioning of software and equipment.

"We’re able to easily spin up these connections and make it turnkey so anyone can use it."

Cost-Effective, Easy Integration and Workflow

“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.”

Benefits of Having a Single Integration Platform

One of the biggest benefits of using iPaaS to integrate all of the systems within an organization is the ability to leverage a common workflow engine for integration and automation –using a visual flow builder, non-technical resources can build out connections and flows between hundreds of applications.

To read more about what organizations are accomplishing with iPaaS check out:

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