Cloud Integration with Ultimate Software
Ultimate Software is a leading provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) software, with tools for automating key HR processes. A forerunner of HCM Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, Ultimate Software currently boasts over 2,200 customers across different industries.
Ultimate Software offers two main products: UltiPro Enterprise and UltiPro Workplace. UltiPro Enterprise is designed for multinational enterprises with over 1,000 employees. While UltiPro Workplace shares features with UltiPro Enterprise, it is tailored to meet the needs of midsized businesses comprised of 300 to 999 employees.
Both products feature comprehensive tools that integrate HR, talent management and payroll processes. Users, for instance, can track HR information for employees, including personal information, employment history, and other data. With Ultimate Software’s Global Workforce Insight, companies can access HR information for employees located in different offices through a single system of record.
Ultimate Software’s products also support recruitment, onboarding, performance management, succession management, benefits administration, payroll administration, salary planning and budgeting, payment services, time management and scheduling, and position management. The Enterprise edition, moreover features workforce analytics and business intelligence tools that facilitate the executive decision- making.
Finally, Ultimate Software’s products feature administration capabilities that automate a wide range of work events: new hires, re-hires, employee terminations, information updates, compensation offers, performance reviews, and staff leave requests. Best of all, both employees and managers can access HR resources through a business portal that connects users across an organization.
SaaS Integration Challenges
While SaaS applications such as Ultimate Software’s products offer greater convenience, efficiency, and scalability to enterprise users, their growing prevalence also creates new challenges. The shift towards hybrid architectures--a mix of traditional on-premise applications and SaaS offerings--means that more and more enterprise data is being scattered across the cloud. The result is the proliferation of cloud silos, which leads to data redundancies and make business processes less efficient.
In order to eliminate cloud silos and increase the business value of SaaS applications, enterprises need to integrate across the cloud and enterprise. Both prospective and current Ulitmate Software customers should consider the following integration use cases:
- Integration with other SaaS applications and cloud services, such as IntraLinks integration and DealerTrack integration
- Integration with on-premise legacy systems
- Integration with desktop applications
- Integration with partner systems and applications
The current need for cloud integration resembles earlier challenges posed by enterprise application integration. But while new solutions have simplified EAI, many companies are still tackling cloud integration with a custom approach due to the lack of effective packaged solutions.
In a custom approach to integration, companies typically hire system integration consultants or call on their in-house developers to build custom connectors for integrating disparate SaaS and cloud services. The advantage of such an approach is that companies can customize integrations to suit particular business needs. There are also, however, a number of downsides:
- Time and Cost: Writing code for custom integrations is relatively quick and easy in scenarios where only 2 or 3 systems need to be integrated. However, the amount of time required by a custom integration project increases exponentially with the addition of new systems as the overall architecture grows in size and complexity. In-house developers end up with less time for other IT projects and budgets quickly skyrocket when working with integration consultants.
- Ongoing Maintenance: In addition to developing the codebase, custom integrations also require ongoing maintenance and upgrades. Developers need to monitor integration flows for performance, troubleshoot bugs and errors, and test and re-deploy modified integrations. The result? More time and resources devoted to custom integration projects.
- Flexibility: Large-scale custom integrations are typically rigid and difficult to change. Since custom connectors create dependencies between integrated systems, changes to one system require changes to all other connected systems to maintain compatibility. Since customer demands and business needs are constantly shifting, enterprises need a flexible integration solution that can accommodate these changes with agility.
CloudHub: Integration for the Cloud Era
In response to the lack of packaged solutions, CloudHub simplifies cloud integration. CloudHub, an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), enables users to quickly and seamlessly connect applications across the cloud and enterprise without the burdens of custom integrations.
CloudHub features a wide range of capabilities, including:
- Anypoint™ Connectors: CloudHub features a rich library of out-of-the-box connectors, enabling cloud adopters to quickly integrate the most widely used SaaS applications such as Salesforce.com and NetSuite. With Anypoint Connectors, the need for custom coding is eliminated and even non-technical users can perform integrations.
- Development Toolkit: CloudHub includes an easy to use development toolkit that allows users to build custom integration applications. Mule Studio, an Eclipse-based flow designer, supports drag-and-drop configuration, further reducing the need for custom coding and cutting down the development cycle. With CloudHub, users can achieve faster “go-live” times.
- Secure Data Gateway: For SaaS users who need to access data and processes residing on-premise but are also concerned about security, CloudHub features the Secure Data Gateway. The Secure Data Gateway supports SaaS-to-enterprise integration, enabling SaaS applications to access data residing behind the firewall without compromising enterprise security.
- Management Portal: CloudHub comes with a browser-based management portal, that provides deep visibility into integration flows, enabling users to monitor and control integration applications. As a browser-based tool, the management portal does not require users to download or install additional software.
- Essential Cloud Features: As a fully cloud-based platform, CloudHub includes essential cloud features, such as self-service provisioning, flexible pricing, multi-tenancy for security and data isolation, and an elastic and scalable architecture.