A primary growth vector on the mind of many CIOs today are mergers and acquisitions. And many of these CIOs are in charge of managing a host of internal systems that share data. Establishing a single source of truth that can unite these systems in near real-time, so that operations can run seamlessly across old and new business units alike, is a challenge all of these CIOs face.
One of the largest insurance and annuity associations in North America was facing just this type of challenge. The company achieved success by uniting their data across domains in the Stibo Systems Multidomain Master Data Management (MDM) platform and distributing that high-quality data back to all of its operational systems via MuleSoft’s integration platform.
The insurance company was an early adopter of what was at the time a new adapter for Stibo Systems in MuleSoft Exchange and worked closely with both vendors to quickly drive results. As the large ecosystem revealed new integration patterns, the team at Stibo Systems expanded the API that powered MuleSoft’s connector, and the MuleSoft team helped the Stibo Systems team to keep the connector updated with each new release.
Now, after two years and numerous joint customers — from quick-serve restaurants to large eCommerce retail giants, and manufacturing distributors — the partnership and the connectors have matured.
A typical retail transaction crosses 39 disparate systems before the order is fulfilled, and every system shares data across domains. The most common domains are product data, customer data, and location data. This is also true for businesses that provide services as their primary offering. Where our joint customers have the greatest success is when they scale up their usage across domains.
The economy-of-scale impact
By utilizing these two platforms, our joint customers have created “centers of excellence” in what are two historically resource-intensive areas: data governance and quality, and enterprise scale integration.
The Stibo Systems Multidomain MDM platform allows the user to manage data from any system, of any type, with skills that are consistent and reusable. The data modeling, the business process orchestration, the user experience configuration, and the unified security model can all be managed by the same team, in the same platform, at the same time, for a global-scale enterprise. By centralizing these skill sets, the savings in resource utilization, training, and expertise maintenance provide a return on investment beyond just the improved business processes and data quality impacts.
MuleSoft’s integration platform allows the centralization of skillsets as well. In large organizations we typically see numerous ERP instances (oftentimes multiple versions of the same ERP) as well as competing brands, and usually one or two homegrown ERP systems as well. Combining that with external data pools, syndication partners, eCommerce engines, marketing systems, CRMs, and logistics management systems, and the integration need is enormous. Keeping staff trained and effective on all of those systems is a nightmare, eclipsed only by the complexity of outsourcing the same skillsets. The outsourcing exercise is exasperated by the vendor selection and management that goes along with it.
Our largest customers have found the ability to be nimble again in creating the efficiencies of two small, cohesive teams serving the needs of the various systems and stakeholders. To have a single group to go to for trusted data, and a single group for integrations — no matter where the problem is — or what the change needs to be, means that the various stakeholders’ needs can be met much more quickly.
Stop coding, start supporting the right users
A key difference in this approach is that it is supported by two platforms that are low-code or zero-code, depending on the implementation complexity. This means that the business user can usually be supported completely by their partner in the data team or the integration team, without going off to developers and creating the endless deluge of IT tickets that never seem to fully resolve.
Imagine asking for a new attribute, and having it live in the system in five minutes! Imagine a trade partner changing their data requirements and being compliant the same day! Stibo Systems and MuleSoft help IT leaders partner not only on the outside of the organization but also partner inside your organization. Building this two-team model is crucial to be closely aligned so that business and IT teams can run seamlessly together.
This is what we have seen change for our customers in the last two years, and we are so excited about the future as we are currently innovating with our customers to solve even more exciting challenges.