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How Pacific Life, Land O’Lakes and USDA enable innovation and agility with a Center for Enablement (C4E)

MuleSoft CONNECT brought together leading organizations, including Pacific Life, Land O’ Lakes and USDA, to share how establishing a Center for Enablement (C4E) with MuleSoft helps them increase speed, agility and innovation, as well as meet new digital imperatives. The C4E is a cross-functional team — typically staffed with members from central IT, line-of-business departments, and digital innovation teams — charged with productizing, publishing, and harvesting reusable assets and best practices. With a C4E, organizations align technology and business strategy to enable IT to become more productive.

Pacific Life: A prescriptive approach to leading organizations through change

With MuleSoft, organizations can realize benefits including faster development speed. One such organization that has demonstrated agility is Pacific Life, a 150-year-old insurance company. To overcome challenges and meet objectives, Pacific Life established a C4E with a mission to provide a stable, scalable and secure platform that enables innovations and supports KPI integration development. 

Pacific Life’s C4E has released reusable components, such as custom connectors, policies and API fragments to improve agility and speed. 

With MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform, Pacific Life was able to build an initial set of 22 APIs in less than five months with only two developers. Currently, it has more than 110 APIs in production, across 20 projects, that are helping address various business problems. 

“At Pacific Life, we aim to be a digital first company and partner of choice for traditional and emerging intermediaries,” said Denny Pichardo, Enterprise Architect at Pacific Life. “MuleSoft and Salesforce are helping us transform our customer relationships and experience.”

How Land O'Lakes whipped up a new approach to IT

Land O’ Lakes is a farmer owned cooperative leveraging Anypoint Platform to build APIs, integrations and become more agile. In order to help expand core capabilities, it set out to build a C4E on MuleSoft. 

On the integration platform side, Land O’ Lakes’ legacy systems lagged around to integration with SaaS applications. Initially, integration with SaaS applications required additional code and different technologies to deliver end-to-end integration. Data had to hop between different servers, and those servers required upgrades and patches that took time. The company had to divert point to point integrations rather than a more easily consumable model.

Land O’Lakes sought the agility to build business solutions, with capability for functional teams to be able to discover and have visibility of the assets that are built on the platform. “MuleSoft for us was a strategic fit for delivering software digital and e-commerce initiatives.” said Sampath Kurra, IT Manager at Land O’Lakes.

Using an API-led approach, Land O’Lakes also delivered an E-Fulfillment and Seed Connectivity platform for its seed products that it sells through 1,000 retail locations. It enables touchless ordering from retailer systems directly into their seed ordering platforms, providing real time pricing and order information to help make decisions. 

API-led connectivity through MuleSoft also powers its supply chain innovation, delivering a transportation patient cloud project that is used by all four lines of its businesses. It provides just-in-time and real time shipment integrations, tender offers, and accurate shipment status information to retailers. The supply chain team leverages these integrations to provide and make sure that Land O’Lakes products are on the shelves of the retailers.

Land O’Lakes has delivered business value, realizing about 25 percent productivity gain in delivering the integrations, without the need to manage any infrastructure. It has seen about 20 percent reuse of process and system APIs for its transportation cloud project.

How the USDA drove digital transformation with APIs

USDA, a federal agency providing leadership on food, agriculture, national resources, turned to an API-led journey to provide business elements of its organization with the right data and agility, while reducing the barriers to data access.

USDA needed to establish a single source of truth for internal key systems and faced several challenges, including legacy integration solutions and difficult to manage point-to-point integrations. Prior to the USDA's reorganization, each of its 29 agencies was approaching cloud-first and cloud smart methodology independently.

One project that the USDA tackled was the providing accurate and timely billing to internal customers, USDA missionaries and administration with its one OCIO billing and inventory monetization system, which provides customer relationship management. It includes integrations provided by enterprise application integration (EAI) leveraging MuleSoft, pulling inventory and billing metrics from roughly 100 systems inventory and servers, software as a service capabilities and more than 100,000 laptops and phones from within the USDA's IT portfolio. In order to consolidate, the USDA leveraged the EAI platform to pull together required data into a new single centralized inventory and billing platform on Salesforce.

Having an API-led strategy enabled the EAI platform to allow USDA to decouple the billing system, allowing modernization of components with minimal impact to the USDA's application network. As a result of the project, the APIs created are reusable for the future. 

“As we move towards service now to replace our ITSM solution or change out existing technologies, we'll be able to leverage a number of existing APIs to accelerate these programs.” said Casey Cook, Enterprise Architect at USDA.

USDA is delivering digital transformation with the future in mind, including standing up a C4E model to help scale its EAI platform by developing and publishing foundational assets, templates, documentation. 

The C4E as a model for speed and agility

In the current reality, organizations are being called to move at an unprecedented pace, necessitating quick response, increased efficiency and scale to meet increased or new demands. Implementing a C4E with MuleSoft drives an IT operating model shift to meet these demands. As stewards of the C4E platform, IT becomes an enabler allowing organizations to self-serve, shifting from a production-based to a production-and-consumption-based delivery model that harvests reusable assets. 

To learn more about how a C4E can decrease time-to-market for new products and help organizations move faster at scale, visit here.

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