Enterprise application integration transcends the simple goal of linking applications and attempts to leverage organizational knowledge to create competitive advantage.

Solution Implementer: Magma Design Automation

Solution Provider: Cast Iron Systems

Business Pain

In 2006, Magma Design Automation - an industry-leading electronic design automation (EDA) software firm - had a challenge: 138 integration projects and only five employees and five contractors to solve them. Magma needed a viable integration solution. Driving this search was their immediate need to rapidly integrate their new Salesforce.com customer relationship management (CRM) system with other software as a service (SaaS) applications and an on-premise SAP system in their IT infrastructure. The overall project required bidirectional integration in real time to track four processes: vendor and purchase requisition processing, real-time lead-to-order enablement, customer-support escalations and new product release management.

Chip Vanek, director of corporate and customer relationship management (CRM) applications at Magma, realized that custom code was too time-consuming and would not scale while software-based solutions were too complex and costly, plus both required middleware experts. Magma needed a faster means to deliver integration projects, the ability to easily adapt integrations to changing business needs and a solution that would not require programming experts and extensive training. Magma also wanted to increase their end-user adoption rate of SaaS applications, which would result in lower IT costs.

Successful Solution

Magma considered a number of competing integration tools but chose the Cast Iron Integration Appliance because of its simple “configuration, not coding” approach to integration.

One higher-level IT employee and four nonprogrammers, including one nontechnical person, were trained during this first integration project. The initial salesforce.com to SAP integration project was completed in 10 days, a fraction of the weeks and months required by other solutions, enabling Magma to quickly create purchase orders and sales orders, provide new software downloads to customers in real time and immediately escalate project delays to customer-support managers.

The Cast Iron Integration Appliance provided Salesforce.com and SAP connectivity right out of the box, so no additional adapters were required. The need for SAP ABAP programming skills was also eliminated because all required programming is built into the appliance. This enabled Magma to utilize business analysts instead of developers to easily connect, transform and design workflow rules using a drag-and-drop interface, managed from a single Web-based console without writing a single line of code. The appliance also eliminated the need to purchase, deploy and constantly maintain expensive servers, adapters and software stacks, reducing the cost and complexity of the integration solution.

Innovation

The Cast Iron Integration Appliance is built from the ground up to simplify integration and substantially reduce the complexity, time and cost of integration. Everything necessary to deliver integration projects in just days - connectivity, transformation, workflow and full system monitoring - is delivered in a simple yet powerful appliance that:

  • Delivers point-and-click configuration to build integrations from scratch, eliminating custom coding;
  • Enables integrations without burdening specialist resources;
  • Adapts easily to changing business needs through drag-and-drop business rule modifications, eliminating recoding;
  • Provides a centralized management console to monitor and manage integration health from the hardware appliance to data;
  • Integrates quickly to Salesforce.com, SAP, all major databases, SaaS, custom and legacy programs, flat files, Web services and many more applications; and
  • Offers subscription pricing, similar to what you expect from SaaS applications.

After completing their initial Salesforce.com and SAP integration, Magma realized that they could use the appliance as their scalable integration platform for many more integration projects. Winner of Salesforce.com’s “top customizer” award in 2006 for their multiple integrations using the Cast Iron Integration Appliance, Magma experienced many additional benefits including centralized visibility with audit trails and proactive alerts on data and business errors, the flexibility to easily adapt to changing business rules and the ability to quickly complete additional integrations such as:

  • Manufacturing - managing change requests in Salesforce.com, developer schedules, software builds and customer software uploads using MacroVision Intraware;
  • Sales order synchronization - passing sales order and product master information bidirectionally between Salesforce.com and SAP; and
  • Tracking support cases – picking up support cases tracked in Salesforce service and support and managing escalation schedules with managers and developers.

Quantitative Results

  • The Cast Iron solution was five times cheaper than other solutions considered by Magma.
  • The initial integration was completed in 10 days, instead of the weeks and months required by software-based solutions and custom code.
  • Magma used the Cast Iron appliance as their scalable integration platform for current and future needs, avoiding additional costs.
  • When Magma first considered Cast Iron, there were 138 projects being served by five employees and five contractors which created a huge backlog. This backlog has all but disappeared.

Qualitative Results

Magma saw several immediate benefits from Cast Iron’s solution. After the initial project was completed in 10 days, Magma utilized the appliance to solve many other projects.

  • Additional integrations were completed without burdening middleware experts, reducing dependency on programmers and external consultants.
  • Integrating Salesforce.com with additional applications rapidly expanded SaaS adoption by end users.
  • Dependency on legacy applications was reduced.

Sustainability

The Cast Iron Integration Appliance provides a “configuration, not coding” approach to rapidly complete a broad range of integration projects. The integration projects are self-documenting because they are graphically displayed. This makes modifying a project and redeploying very easy to do, without using expert resources.

In Magma’s case, the Cast Iron Integration Appliance was adapted as their integration platform and extended to address multiple other projects. For example, the integration appliance is used to automatically move newly created software releases/patches (called builds) to Web sites where customers can automatically download them, allowing Magma to eliminate the manual steps that were required previously. Cast Iron’s appliance also facilitated a process for escalating follow-up actions with Magma’s customer base. Overall, Cast Iron’s solution delivers long-term, sustainable value for Magma’s long-term integration needs.

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