Caveat Emptor: 6 Questions to Ask Your Middleware Provider

December 29, 2020
Amy Lowe
Caveat Emptor: 6 Questions to Ask Your Middleware Provider

Data — and the ability to leverage it in different and unique ways across applications, environments, and key constituents — continues to help companies differentiate themselves as markets consolidate and become even more centered on customer experiences.

The more value you can extract from the data you have, the better you can understand your customers, deliver compelling experiences, and accelerate critical improvements to your business. And to realize the potential for those improvements, you should extract all the valuable data in your organization, including unknown data that's residing overlooked in applications and other data repositories.

Unlocking data and achieving those critical outcomes requires new thinking, new processes, and most of all, new technology – specifically, a modern low-code, cloud-based data platform that allows you to accelerate development, increase agility, and evolve with the needs of your business. New thinking, new processes based on that thinking, and new technology that automates those processes are critical success factors for every business tackling application modernization or digital transformation.

If you are still living in the world of on-premises middleware technology, your existing vendors will tell you they’ve been updating their software to meet the needs of the modern-day business and transformed workforce.

But have they, really?

Caveat emptor – “let the buyer beware.” It’s important for you to truly understand what you’re buying, even if you continue to work with your existing vendor.

6 Questions to Ask Your Middleware Provider

While there will be a lot thrown at you from vendors looking for you to purchase their solution, consider asking these six important questions as you evaluate upgrading your middleware technology stack.

1. What is the breadth of the platform being offered? Does it enable an open, cloud-native, unified approach, or is it really another legacy ESB solution in disguise?

Boomi provides customers with a unified integration platform as a service (iPaaS), ensuring a seamless, easy-to-use experience, while providing economies of skill and faster time to outcomes for our customers. The Boomi AtomSphere Platform is also endpoint-agnostic, enabling connectivity to on-premises and cloud applications, as well as emerging technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain. Other traditional legacy and mega vendors in the market remain stuck in code-heavy, developer-centric platforms, and are often tied to the ecosystem priorities of their parent companies.

Boomi was born in the cloud, so there is no need for any on-premises equipment. Our distributed architecture and lightweight run-time engine (Atom™) means you have total flexibility with where and how you deploy Boomi integrations, no matter how complex.

Our Atom can just as easily sit in a cloud or behind your firewall. And with over 10,000 customers armed with Boomi Suggest – our pervasive AI, drawing on 30 terabytes of anonymized data – Boomi continues to be ranked as an enterprise iPaaS leader based on our help with dynamic and complex integrations.

2. Where does the platform that connects your organization actually reside — on-premises, in the cloud, or available to deploy in both locations?

The Boomi AtomSphere Platform is cloud-native, enabling centralized development, deployment, and management, independent of where your applications, data, and people reside.

Most mega and legacy vendors do not provide a single instance, multi-tenant architecture; many offer platforms that reside only on-premises. Not only does this make supporting a distributed, remote environment more difficult, but customers have to then build, track, and maintain integrations in light of upgrades, rewriting code when necessary – making it even more complex and time consuming than expected.

3. How often are you required to do upgrades? Who manages the upgrades? How will those affect the agility of your business?

There are often hidden costs associated with upgrades of traditional legacy and mega-middleware vendors, putting the onus on the customer to manage updates themselves.

With an iPaaS like the Boomi AtomSphere Platform, automatic upgrades ensure you always have the latest features and functionality, and help you avoid service disruptions and heavy upgrade expenses that can slow your business down.

And with the optional Boomi Assure capability, you can submit your integration process and data to Boomi for testing against future releases.

4. How easy is your platform to use? Does it require heavy development costs, or can non-technical employees use it? What programming language knowledge is required?

Modern, high productivity, configuration-based integrations shouldn’t be limited to highly technical specialists. An intuitive, low-code, cloud-native development environment like the Boomi AtomSphere Platform makes it possible for teams with diverse skill sets to deploy, working from any location to build integrations in hours and days rather than months or longer.

Low-code development empowers "citizen integrators" (business users) to apply their expertise to address integration and automation projects that the business needs today, freeing time for developers to focus on more complex, long-term strategic initiatives. Give it a free try to see for yourself!

5. How much is your middleware costing your business?

The pricing model for your middleware should be straightforward and should scale easily with your business needs without heavy maintenance costs, the need for specialized resources, or surprise fees that many customers incur from mega and legacy providers. Try a proof of concept (POC) to illustrate total cost of ownership, complexity, and speed to realizing real value investment.  

With the Boomi AtomSphere Platform, businesses are able to improve staff productivity, save on infrastructure costs, and save up to $1.1 million on legacy software license and maintenance costs.*

6. How quickly are you aiming to realize value and ROI from your middleware investment?

Your middleware should speed up your business, not slow you down. The low-code, cloud-native Boomi AtomSphere Platform delivers the speed and agility you need, while minimizing risk.  Organizations using Boomi reported* that they realized an average ROI of 307 percent over three years, with payback beginning in less than a year.

Need a guiding hand?  Boomi Blueprint services help you assess the state of your integrations, plan specific development and testing projects for your use cases, build and deploy those integrations, and review their success.

A Solid Foundation for Digital Transformation

By asking these questions, you will give yourself a solid foundation in picking the right middleware platform and supporting your future data management strategy – key requirements for building on your company's data, delivering winning customer experiences, and achieving business success.

Is legacy middleware slowing down your business?  Modernize to start delivering integrated experiences, fast: visit our Middleware Modernization page for details.
If you're ready to take action on legacy modernization now, contact our Boomi integration specialists today.

About the Author

Amy Lowe leads go-to-market campaigns for Boomi's strategic partner ecosystems.