December 9, 2020

Simple ETL (SETL): Quick and Affordable Data Integration for “the Rest of Us”

by Anand Sangtani in Digital Transformation , Enterprise Integration , Tips and Tricks 0 comments

Today, digital transformation is a top priority for businesses that rely on accurate and timely data to gain a holistic view of customer behavior and demands. In this context, integrating via a “point-to-point” approach is often criticized to the degree that it seems like a vulgar phrase. But what if your organization needs to move data between systems but is not yet undertaking a full-fledged digital transformation initiative? Is there a viable approach for organizations that need simple, practical connectivity in advance of a more transformational integration initiative? The answer is yes. ModusBox’s Integration Manager provides the flexibility you need to deliver simple, low-budget integrations today and leverage for a larger digital transformation initiative in the future.

One of our customers recently approached us because they had an employee allocated full-time to download data from the organization’s various internal sources and upload it into its Microsoft Power BI analytics service. It was a frustrating problem to have. The company was spending an annual salary for a function that it knew could be done easily with technology.

We found that the majority of these functions could be easily delivered with ModusBox’s Integration Manager product, whose license fees were considerably less expensive than the resource’s annual salary. It was a more cost-effective approach than other products in the market, many of which have 6-figure license fees and considerable implementation costs. It was also a more viable option than many open source tools with obstacles such as infrastructure costs, hosting expenses, and inevitably employing a full-time developer for support.

For our team, it was an “aha” moment.

When simple still makes sense

ModusBox has been a long-time proponent of integration methods that employ industry-prescribed practices such as API-led and microservices architecture. We have helped many organizations (both large and small) launch their digital transformation journey. However, the advent of these best practices has made it more complex to move data.

It is not uncommon, however, for many organizations to get started with simple, practical, low-budget integrations that solve their immediate problems before launching a full-fledged digital transformation effort. The key is a solution that does so without impeding the organization later down the road. 

We believe that no customer should be left behind including those for whom direct integration is a necessary, short-term approach. The majority of these customers require simple data integration based on the ETL (Extract, Transform, and Load) design pattern. ETL is a surprisingly common scenario even among organizations that have undergone digital transformation initiatives. The most common ETL use cases we encounter address generating comma-delimited files for reports or spreadsheets. Typically these provide critical business drivers such as marketing analytics, sales numbers, resource utilization, and other key performance indicators that managers and executives use to drive their business decisions.

A solution for “the rest of us”

ModusBox can provide the toolset (Integration Manager) and methodology to rapidly deliver a solution that can later be leveraged for a larger digital transformation initiative. In fact, Integration Manager has an advanced content-based routing capability that does more to reduce “point-to-point” connections than many of its top competitors. For our customer, however, Integration Manager addressed their simple issues and freed up the resource to focus on the customer’s other top priorities and at a fraction of the cost of hiring another individual to perform the same function. 

Integration Manager, which is built on the PortX Platform, is a flexible integration platform as a service that makes it easier, faster, and more affordable for small to midsize businesses to design, build, deploy, monitor, and manage integrations and applications. It is well suited to deliver simple ETL use cases for less than the cost of hiring a full-time developer. For simple ETL type use cases, Integration Manager can be implemented in as little as 2-3 weeks. The initial license subscription allows implementing 5-7 integration scenarios. Additionally, its coding-optional design makes it easy enough for business users to create integrations and configure applications. For this reason, we describe PortX as the solution that was “built for the rest of us.” 

Start quick & improve faster

Digital transformation unleashes valuable developer resources in the organization to focus on high priority business objectives. It establishes a new paradigm of innovation at the heart of an organization’s culture. In a growing number of industries, digital transformation is no longer a luxury, but a means to survive.

However, simple ETL can serve as an initial approach for solving several data synchronization and reporting use cases that are part of a larger digital transformation strategy. PortX Integration Manager provides a simple, flexible, cost-effective solution today that can easily extend later to help drive a digital transformation strategy. You can onboard immediately, solve those critical ETL problems, and leverage the solution to innovate at scale later. 

If you would like to learn more about the PortX Platform or Integration Manager, visit our site or contact our team today.

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