Integration of information systems is becoming increasingly important as organizations rely more and more on data to successfully run their businesses, stay in touch with their clients and monitor their internal operations. Yet integration continues to allude many organizations, especially in the event industry as organizers look to leverage new tech platforms to enhance their conferences and improve productivity.
Why? Because point -to-point integration of platforms is expensive, clumsy, and risky. As Bill French writes in his post “The Mother of All Integrations” –
“Every time a new integration is created, you are creating risks and liabilities that may have operational impact for the life of the integrated solution.
Risks – if the integration stops working, will the solution itself be able to inform you?
Liabilities – if APIs used in the integration change in material ways, maintenance updates are required.
These, and many other, risks and liabilities emerge as soon as you create your first integration. Typically, organizations develop and sustain dozens, even hundreds of integration processes and the demand for connectedness is not likely to slow in the coming decade.”
Fortunately, there’s a new way of integrating software that is changing the world. The Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) model is a middleware/Spoke-Hub System that provides an agile canvass for accurately managing the integration of multiple platforms simultaneously. Rather than software/app providers managing point-to-point data transfers at each point, the integration takes place on a neutral platform (Hub) that can then be connected to any of hundreds of other platforms via Spokes. This method is more efficient, faster, and costs less and can be managed and monitored in one central platform.
The iPaaS model in many ways can be compared to the Spoke-Hub distribution system widely used in the airline industry. Prior to 1978, airlines used a point-to-point system that limited the markets they could serve to mostly major metropolitan areas. After booming demand in the 60-‘s and 70’s and after deregulation in 1978, the Spoke-Hub system, first created by Delta Airlines in Atlanta in 1955, exploded as a way of dealing with increased demand, increased competition and need for higher efficiency. This new system proved to be much more efficient, allowed airlines to scale, and opened up travel to smaller markets.
The proliferation of event technology, now with over 2500 software platforms and applications, is ready for a shift in thinking on integration. Planners should be encouraging if not demanding that their technology providers join Integration Collections (like that found at the EventTechGuide) that offer iPaaS services to allow expanded and easy integration. And technology platforms would do well to seek out integration partners (like the EventTechGuide) to bring this added efficiency to their clients.
This shift in integration will allow planners to “take to the skies” by finding it easier to operate technology. They’ll also go farther and faster to new “destinations” – new platforms – that can help to elevate their conference and improve productivity even more.
The Event Guys has partnered with Built.io to bring an iPaaS to the Meetings and Events Industry. Innovative companies like Hubb.me, Swoogo, Eventpedia and many others have already signed onto our Integration Collection on the EventTechGuide.