Better collaboration with IntraLinks integration
IntraLinks is a provider of virtual data rooms and document repositories, filling a gap in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market for secure and compliant information exchange solutions. IntraLinks’ products and services support a variety of use cases that involve heavy documentation, including corporate development, loan syndications, mergers and acquisitions, securitizations, loan restructurings, legal cases, fundraising initiatives, clinical studies, and more.
Companies from a wide range of industries, including investment banking, energy and utilities, real estate, manufacturing, media and entertainment, law, and government, have deployed IntraLinks’ products, taking advantage of their on-demand capacity, secure infrastructure, and global accessibility.
IntraLinks’ flagship SaaS solution is IntraLinks Exchanges, which facilitates information exchange, collaboration within and between organizations, and workflow management. IntraLinks Exchanges features the IntraLinks Designer, a platform for uploading, organizing, indexing, and managing information, document locking and protection capabilities for additional security, a virtual archive for saving electronic copies of all documents and mobile access.
IntraLinks also offers IntraLinks Courier, a SaaS solution for sharing confidential and sensitive information securely. To prevent data loss, users can maintain control and visibility over when and how materials are accessed. IntraLinks Courier also supports compliance to government regulations, enabling users to share sensitive information and remain audit ready at the same time.
SaaS integration challenges
While IntraLinks products and other SaaS solutions offer many advantages over traditional enterprise applications, the growing use of such cloud services leads to new integration challenges. For every SaaS application that a company deploys, a cloud silo emerges. Very quickly, enterprise data becomes scattered across various SaaS applications, increasing the chances for data inaccuracies and redundancies and reducing overall business efficiency.
In order to minimize the effect of cloud silos and maximize business intelligence across multiple functions, companies need to integrate both within the cloud and between the cloud and enterprise. By connecting data and logic from different systems, companies can increase the business value of individual SaaS applications and further streamline various processes.
IntraLinks users, for instance, might consider the following integration scenarios:
- Integration with content management systems (CMS);
- Integration with social networking and collaboration tools; and
- Integration with desktop applications.
SaaS integration has become a high priority among enterprise SaaS users, but few packaged integration solutions have emerged that fully meet user needs. Many companies have instead used a custom integration approach to connect different SaaS and legacy applications.
A custom integration approach typically involves having in-house developers or integration consultants build connectors from scratch. The advantage of this approach is that you can write integrations to suit particular business needs, such as SkillSoft integration and Taleo integration. Unfortunately, a custom approach also comes with several disadvantages:
- Time and Cost: Although building your own integrations can be relatively quick and easy when you only have a small number of systems to connect, the difficulty and complexity of a custom integration project increases exponentially when you add additional systems. This means that developers spend a bulk of their time working on integration instead of other IT projects and that costs can skyrocket when working with integration consultants.
- Maintenance: In addition to writing the underlying code, developers must take on the task of maintaining custom integrations to make sure that they run properly. This involves monitoring, making upgrades, testing, troubleshooting, and other maintenance tasks that further require time and resources, especially when you have a large and complex infrastructure.
- Flexibility: As a long term integration solution, an ad hoc custom approach ultimately creates a rigid architecture that can be difficult to change. Changes to one component require modifications every other connected system. This lack of flexibility means that businesses cannot respond to changing business needs in an efficient and agile manner.
CloudHub: Integration for the cloud era
In an effort to simplify cloud integration, CloudHub has emerged as a packaged integration solution designed to eliminate cloud silos by seamlessly connecting applications across the cloud and enterprise. CloudHub is an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS), delivering integration on demand and giving users a robust set of tools to integrate systems quickly. CloudHub includes the following features:
- Anypoint™ Connectors: Users can quickly integrate the most popular and widely-used SaaS applications with out-of-the-box Anypoint Connectors for Salesforce.com, Magento, NetSuite and more. Anypoint Connectors are simple use, which means even non-technical users can perform integrations to align IT systems with business needs.
- Development toolkit: CloudHub users can also create their own connectors with an easy to use development toolkit called Anypoint Studio. An Eclipse-based flow designer, Anypoint Studio features a graphical interface and drag-and-drop configuration, enabling users to quickly build and share new integration applications. CloudHub reduces the need for custom coding, resulting in faster go-live times.
- Secure data gateway: In addition to supporting SaaS to SaaS integration, CloudHub includes a secure channel for connecting cloud services with on-premises legacy applications. The Secure Data Gateway enables users to access critical information and data residing behind the firewall without compromising enterprise security.
- Management portal: Providing deep visibility into integration flows, CloudHub’s browser-based management portal gives users greater control over integrations by making it easier to identify bugs and problems and monitor performance. Because the management portal is entirely broswer based, there is no need to download, install or configure any software.
- Essential cloud features: CloudHub is completely cloud-based, which means that it includes essential cloud features like a multi-tenant architecture for data isolation and security, elasticity and scalability, on-demand provisioning, and flexible pricing.