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Aug 06

Earlier this year I penned a blog about the ‘Unknowns’ of Big Data Integration.  The focal point of the piece was the need for businesses to become more situationally aware by quickly harnessing data from a variety of sources to try to prepare for a ‘Black Swan’ event in the course of their business cycle(s).

Last week, Kapow announced that we would join forces with Kofax to lead the industry in making data more integrated and actionable in the enterprise.  The immediate alignment of our companies and the scale of the Kofax organization have the potential to create a new disruptive force in the Big Data Integration sector.

Over the years, we (at Kapow) have always championed the “TIME TO VALUE” (TTV) metric as the real justification for making economic business decisions.  The timing to join forces with Kofax will accelerate the integrated data deliverables to our customers and the larger Kofax family of customers.

The past 3 ½ years as CEO of Kapow provided me with a great opportunity to work with incredible people (our family) in an effort to deliver the best product and service to our customers.  In turn, our customers have been extraordinary in their support of Kapow and that was clearly demonstrated at our first ever user summit this past March.

I look forward to an unparalleled growth period for Kapow as part of the Kofax team with access to Kofax’s extensive resources, financial strength and global presence.  The best of times lie ahead as we continue to revolutionize the way data, coming from a wide variety of sources, is used in the enterprise to drive the business forward with greater precision, agility and affordability.

Thank you all for your support over the years and for your continued support for many years to come.

Authored by: John Yapaola, CEO

Nov 06

KapowNow Webinars AdWe’re so excited to announce the KapowNow webinar series. This is not just another set of webinars. We’ve specifically designed them so everyone can fit them into their busy schedules. They are short! In less than 30 minutes, you can learn about application integration, process automation, rapid creation of business applications, Big Data, social media monitoring, mobile enablement and much more.

Watch live demos and get all the tips and tricks you need to make integration more stress free, your business users more empowered, your company more agile and innovative. This series will show you how to use Kapow Katalyst and Kapow Kapplets as the single application integration platform, solving disconnects across the organizations such as getting analysts their data, providing employees mobile access to legacy applications and eliminating manual process – just to name a few examples.

Register today and spread the word by tweeting and using the hashtag #kapownow.

By: Hila Segal, Director, Product Marketing

May 02

Traditionally, when we talk about how data relates to applications, we think of data as the bottom of the three layers of the application stack:

But that distinction is evaporating fast, and soon we will end up with only one layer: the application itself.

Modern application frameworks also define the data model and tie it tightly with the application logic and the user interface. This means that even if you could access the data directly in the SQL database, the data won’t make much sense without the application logic that ties it together.

Similary application frameworks are also used to build the user interface, which means that application logic in modern applications is also woven into the the user interface; for example, into the JavaScript of a web application, leveraging one of many AJAJX frameworks to create a vivid user experience.

Now let’s look at BIG DATA applications. These don’t even use standard SQL databases anymore, but specialized NoSQL databases like HBase and Hive, build on the Hadoop processing framework. Now capabilities like search and analytics are tied together in one platform and the data can only be accessed through the BIG DATA application itself. If you need to fresh up on NoSQL technologies, check out this good (albeit a bit old) article, Decline of the Enterprise Data Warehouse by Road to Failure blogger Bradford.

The consequence of all this is that data and applications are becoming one and the same thing.

Similarly, data integration and application integration products are becoming one and the same thing, and anyone who needs to access data, will think of data in an application, not data standing alone.

To deal with this, we need to develop innovative new integration technologies that can access data through the application — a hybrid data integration and application integration platform, so to speak, but much more agile, since the pace of business and the impatience of business users today don’t permit waiting months or years to leverage that data.

The Kapow Innovation is the scalable Kapow Katalyst Enterprise Application Integration Platform that can live both on-premise or in the cloud; a technology that can access the data for the modern world, a world where there are no longer defined application layers.

Do you agree or disagree?

By: Stefan Andreasen Stefan Andreasen

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Mar 16

Looking at the 2011 trends from ProgrammableWeb, the number of available APIs registered in their API Directory has once again doubled. What I find most interesting is that the REST web services now outnumber the SOAP web services by a factor of four.

Even Salesforce decided their original SOAP API could no longer stand alone and added a REST API in late 2010, acknowledging that REST is now the preferred choice for application integration due to easy implementation and deployment. Its lightweight nature is a good fit when creating mobile or web-based applications, both since the client app doesn’t need extensive libraries to be able to interact with the server and because SOAP has a much higher overhead in terms of bandwidth, which can negatively affect the perceived performance of the app.

Internally in many enterprises, SOAP is still used as the protocol over which the services in a service-oriented architecture (SOA) interact. However, despite the similarity of the acronyms, the components in a service-oriented architecture can just as easily interact using REST or other protocols. In fact, as many companies begin exploring hybrid integrations, leveraging the strengths of both in-house and cloud applications, it becomes crucial for any successful integration product to be able to consume both SOAP and REST web services.

In a hybrid world, the type safety of SOAP web services is of less importance, as the data transferred between cloud and in-house applications will most likely need to be validated and reformatted at the integration point anyway. Also, REST web services lend themselves easily to caching — riding on standard mechanisms — which can be important when the traffic between in-house systems and private and public clouds continues to increase.

My prediction is that in 2012, any CIO who is considering API-enabling an application — either to consume the service internally or to expose external APIs for partners and mobile or web applications — will be looking first and foremost at REST as the technology of choice.

By: Anne-Sofie Nielsen Fie

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Mar 07

I just read Byron Deeter’s blog about the explosive growth of cloud computing as illustrated in the Bessemer Venture Partners Cloudscape, and how today the cloud IS the software industry, and how it may just save the global economy with its super-active hiring.

Here at Kapow Software, we are seeing the same growth — and we’re hiring, too — but we look at the explosive growth in the cloud a little differently.

The rapid growth of the number of apps in the cloud (and everywhere else) is creating massive integration challenges with devastating effects:

  1. Growing numbers of manual inter-application processes suppress growth
  2. Growing challenge of getting the data you need to understand and run your business
  3. Growing SaaS vendor lock-in due to obstacles to integration
  4. Growing delays to serving your customers on mobile devices and other new media

What’s missing from Byron’s excellent overview is the bonding agent, a way to connect all of the apps that businesses and consumers use, whether in the cloud or elsewhere. The world needs cloud integration, a meaningful synthesis of the apps and data in the cloud, a way to find, access, and use relevant information to create value and become more efficient. Without a solution to the cloud integration challenge, the devastation from the cloud explosion will only grow worse.

Just look at this picture. Only a fraction of the apps in the cloud, inside the firewall (on the left), or anywhere else have the same great quality and well-documented APIs as Salesforce.

It’s like the adage that a chain is no stronger than its weakest link: if one app doesn’t have great APIs (like the Salesforce APIs), it almost doesn’t matter if the others do. They all need to work together.

This is why the figure only shows 100% (green line) connectivity to Salesforce for a few other applications; both ends need high-quality APIs for a connection to become green.

The great promise of SOA cannot fix this problem in the cloud, only Kapow Katalyst can. By the unique capability of Katalyst to API-enable any web application as-is, all connections suddenly become green. That’s what I call sudden advantage!

Some may say, “We accept vendor lock-in to solve this problem; therefore, we have no problem. If we run everything on just one platform (like Salesforce) then there are no applications to integrate.” But is that really true?

According to John Engates, the respected CTO of RackSpace, “No One Size Fits All,” and I completely agree. No One Cloud Vendor Fits All! We are not all driving the same model of car or living in the same type of house, and for a reason. In his Five Cloud Predictions for 2012, John predicts that companies will realize the benefits of “mixing and matching” cloud solutions and implementing a combination of public and private cloud and dedicated solutions. He also foresees “the need for more flexibility and interoperability in the Cloud.”

So we absolutely need to solve the integration problem.

This is what we are doing and why we are hiring at Kapow Software.

By: Stefan Andreasen Stefan Andreasen

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Add a Comment

  • Software AG Says:
    April 25th, 2012In regards to your 2nd bullet point--having data coming in from multiple sources is great, but if you can't properly organize, access and interpret it, does the data do you much good? And if different parts of your organization have access to different data, how can anyone understand the big picture?
Feb 13

One of the latest, more popular trends in IT is consumerization. Mobile has a lot to do with this as employees want to use their personal phone for work, but consumerization goes far beyond accessing enterprise apps on a mobile device. As I see it, consumerization is about bringing consumer expectations to the enterprise. As with Gmail, Facebook, or Twitter, you don’t need a manual to learn how to use these apps, yet they often exceed the demands that the enterprise requires. They scale to hundreds of millions of users and are cutting edge in terms of ease of use, security, scalability, cost effectiveness, and reliability.

So why can’t consumerization be applied to more traditional IT solutions that typically require custom coding, consultants, and third-party dependencies?

Let me be the first to introduce the term, “consumerization of integration.” Need a minute to think that one over? If anything is more in need of consumerization — and less likely to be consumerized — it’s application integration. Can integration be self-service, scalable, collaborative, intuitive, cost effective, and easy to use? Absolutely.

The “traditional approach” to integrating applications is a programmer’s dream — lots of coding, complex infrastructure, built to handle extreme volume and deliver blistering performance. It’s great for internal integration with existing APIs and numerous dependencies on consultants, time, money, and third-party vendors. This is a very IT-centric, tech-heavy proposition to integrate applications. It’s also very inflexible; it takes a lot of planning and is difficult to change.

Yet when you consider who benefits from integrating applications to automate manual business processes, create efficiencies, innovate, and move the company forward, it’s line-of-business (LOB) employees. These people need more agility — to create new products and services, to improve productivity, and to enhance business processes. They need “retail”-level integration, which has to be flexible, agile, easy to use, and easy to update as conditions change.

Kapow Software’s Katalyst Application Integration Platform gives LOB users the ability to intuitively create, without coding, automated workflows that integrate applications in real-time without having to wait months for someone else to do the work. This is huge because LOB workers can see the applications and data they need to access, yet until now they were unable to automate the access, transformation, migration, and integration of that data or application. So we’ve empowered the LOB with a “do-it-yourself” solution.

We by no means bypass IT. Katalyst Application Integration Platform is widely loved and adopted by IT departments — more than 500 at some of the largest global companies — because we allow CIOs to focus their efforts and resources on more strategic projects, while enabling LOB users to satisfy their own needs with a robust, enterprise-grade automation and integration platform.

This is what we call “delivering time to value.”

By: Rick Kawamura Rick Kawamura, Director of Marketing

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Jan 18

Never before has it been more important for CEOs and CIOs to leverage information technology to automate their businesses. Increasing the operational efficiency of the existing workforce will be one of the primary drivers of business growth for years to come, and IT will be the means to deliver this.

This demand for process automation is creating a boost for BPM (Business Process Management) and BPA (Business Process Automation) products. Products like IBM Business Process Manager, Oracle Business Process Management or the new Visual Workflow from Salesforce.

So what does automation have to do with API-enabled applications?

Well, in order to improve workforce efficiency, business processes must be streamlined and manual processes must be fully automated.

This means that every application in a business process flow must be able to talk to other applications automatically, and until now the only way applications could talk to each other was through APIs.

So if you had no APIs, you could forget about automation. If you have been using any of the standard BPM products on the market, you know what I’m talking about. Basically this barrier is the biggest flaw with all of the existing BPM products — they depend on APIs that often don’t exist.

And it gets worse:

New web-based business apps are being cranked out at higher and higher volume. These applications are everywhere: inside your business, residing in the cloud (SaaS apps), and at your business partners’ or customers’ (B2B apps) locations. These are the applications that power some of the most important processes in your business:

  1. Pricing Comparison
  2. HR Processes
  3. B2B Processes
  4. Financial Account Aggregation
  5. Supply Chain Optimization
  6. Data Collection
  7. Regulatory Compliance
  8. Competitive Price Monitoring
  9. Social Media Monitoring
  10. Marketing Intelligence
  11. Financial/Equity Research
  12. Legal Evidence Collection
  13. Management Reporting

These applications, more often than not, do not have documented APIs, making integration and, therefore, business process automation, almost impossible until now.

But there is a new approach to quickly API-enable any application in order to automate your business processes.

An enterprise-class application integration platform like Kapow Katalyst features a built-in Automation Browser that lets you wrap any web application as if it already had a documented API — essentially API-enabling the application and making it ready for those important automation projects.

This not only eliminates the need to rewrite internal applications, but also eliminates the challenge of working with external applications you cannot rewrite such as B2B and SaaS apps. With Kapow Katalyst you can create a complete integration or automation solution extremely efficiently.

Back to the Myth:

To automate business processes you need your applications to be API-enabled.

True for standard BPM products, False if you use Kapow Katalyst.

Let’s improve business efficiency today.

Stefan Andreasen, founder and CTO, Kapow Software

By: Stefan Andreasen Stefan Andreasen

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Jan 03

Leveraging investments in legacy apps with application integration

I’ll bet that most people who hear the term “legacy application” think of an outdated and complex on-premise application that is bound to old mainframe platforms, has an old-fashioned user interface, and is very difficult to integrate or modernize.

But in reality any application is “legacy” as soon as it goes into production and we no longer develop it to meet new business requirements.

Today, applications are cranked out faster than ever before to meet increasing business demands resulting in an explosion of legacy applications. The stereotypical definition in the first paragraph above is as outdated as the applications it describes.

The consequence is that most “new” legacy applications are most likely “modern” web apps running on Java or .NET based app servers. Not particularly old-fashioned but legacy apps nonetheless.

I’m talking about those homegrown intranet and extranet web apps found all over most large enterprises today. Applications developed by people no longer with the company or by a systems integrator you no longer work with.

I often hear comments along the lines of, “We have thousands of legacy web apps sitting around our company, and we have no clue how to integrate them!”

Sound familiar?

The situation requires an attitude change. We need to rethink what we can do with legacy applications. Legacy apps and the content they hold are something we can leverage, just like any other investment, rather than something we have to try to replace. Call it IT’s version of re-use or recycle.

But in order to leverage legacy apps efficiently, we need easy integration.

Instead of spending a couple of years and a million dollars recoding your legacy apps or waiting for your external business partner to provide that vital API, you could spend a few weeks and maybe a hundred thousand dollars and not write a line of code. The latter is now possible using a revolutionary approach to application integration.

A new class of application integration solutions eliminates the dependency on missing APIs and can rapidly deliver full programmatic application control to any legacy web application. If the application can be used in a web browser, these new application integration solutions can automatically extract, transform, integrate, and migrate that data and application logic, without an API. This approach gives IT a hyper-agile way to perform enterprise, web, and cloud data integrations — as well as mobile enablement. Why make it more complicated than it needs to be?

Start leveraging those legacy applications now… you can’t afford not to.

By: Stefan Andreasen Stefan Andreasen

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Dec 19

Everyone talks about Big Data, and specifically about the three “V” drivers for Big Data: Volume, Velocity and Variety.

But most forget about a fourth and equally important dimension of Big Data, which is the spread of data across many different sources. It’s not how much or how fast or what type the data is, as in the three Vs above, but WHERE the data is.

Just look at all the data posted on social media, forums, and blogs. And then consider the thousands of new websites popping up every day. We are facing the largest “data silo” problem ever, and the situation is only going to get worse.

The challenge of “data spread” is how can businesses access, transform, and integrate the data from these sources to turn it into actionable information for competitive advantage? Because, as pointed out in the recent Forrester research report Enterprise Hadoop: The Emerging Core Of Big Data, “This growing tsunami of intelligence feeds downstream business processes in both the front and back office, helping organizations optimize their interactions and operations through powerful analytics.” Not if they can’t communicate with the source!

I recently posted an article entitled The Fourth Dimension of Big Data Nobody Writes About to start a discussion on how to best address these challenges. I encourage you to read it and to add your insights along with the other perspectives already posted.

I believe that the Kapow Katalyst Application Integration Platform for Big Data is the way to deal with this exploding data silo problem. Our approach is already tested and proven by more than 500 companies around the world. It solves the data spread problem like no other approach.

If you have “data spread” problems you need to address, I encourage you to check out Kapow Katalyst, whether it’s for large-scale web data collection from social media websites, or API enabling of data hidden in applications all over your business network, intranet, and the Internet.

By: Stefan Andreasen Stefan Andreasen

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Add a Comment

  • недвижимость в москве Says:
    February 13th, 2013Very energetic post, I enjoyed that a lot. Will there be a part 2?
  • Chris ODonnell Interview Says:
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Nov 18

I’m flying back from New York where I presented “The Moneyball Approach to Big Data – Creating an Unfair Advantage” at the Wall Street Technology Association’s Hot Technologies Forum. Big Data is an area technologists are curious about, but I’m concerned there’s a “wait and see” approach. My job is to create value for my customers, and I’d hate for any of you to miss out on this opportunity.

Skepticism or “late adopter” mentality is understandable – if you want to forego a low-risk, high-reward opportunity and let your competition gain the advantage. Everyone is benefitting from Big Data in some form or another – most probably don’t even know it. But believe me, there are 100s of scenarios I could walk you through that could save your company millions of dollars, grow revenue double digit percentages, create more personalized products that delight your customers, automate real-time feedback on your brand, products, and competitor prices, create your own custom research that gives allows you to see trends before your competitors, and overall make you a much more agile business that scales with your new found vigor and growth.

What’s the secret to Big Data rewards? “Relevance”, “Access”, “Intelligence” and “Action”.

The most common definition I’ve seen for Big Data relates to the 3 Vs:

  • Volume: it’s Big – terabytes and petabytes
  • Variety: it comes in many forms – internal, external, structured and unstructured
  • Velocity: it grows fast and changes quickly – making real-time capture and action hugely important

And this is always supported by numbers showing how gynormous Big Data is:

  • The New York Stock Exchange creates 1 terabyte of data per day (InformationWeek)
  • 10,000 payment card transactions are made every second around the world (American Banker)
  • 30 billion pieces of content shared on FB every month (McKinsey)
  • Twitter feeds generate 8 terabytes of data per day (InformationWeek)

Before you go out and buy more storage, consider what you want to do with it. If there are 200M tweets a day equaling 8 terabytes of data, but only 1000 of the tweets relate to your product or company, do you need to store and analyze all 8 terabytes every day? Although Big Data is big, don’t get caught up in all the massive numbers. Stick with what’s relevant to your business.

Forrester Analyst Brian Hopkins made a great point in his blog “Big Data will help shape your markets next big winner”, stating that Forrester estimates enterprises use only 5% of their available data. So the playing field is wide open for anyone to quickly take advantage of the 95% they’re currently ignoring.

But slow down there pardner. Sybase published Big Data, Big Opportunity that stated, “for the median fortune 1000 company… a 10% increase in usability of data translates to an increase of $2.01B in total revenue per year, [and that] a 10% increase in accessibility to data translates to an additional $65.67M in net income per year.” So don’t think you have to go from 5% to 100%. You really only need to go from 5% to 5.5%.

The internet plays a huge role in the rapid growth of Big Data, giving individuals the ability to post and upload immense amounts of pictures, text, video, and mobile data, and businesses the channel to offer access to customers and partners through web-based applications (think Oracle, salesforce.com, social media, procurement, logistics, publishers, and so on).

In reviewing other articles about Big Data, despite all the discussion around the massiveness of Big Data, I didn’t find a single article mentioning the difficulty of accessing the data spread throughout all these applications. This is a HUGE POINT to understand because you are SOL if you can’t access the data you need. If I told you I could guarantee any app or data you can see in your web browser (customer data, bank transactions, twitter, blogs, supply chain vendors, government data, competitor prices, etc.) could be automatically accessed and loaded into the app, database, or spreadsheet of your choice, how many game-changing Big Data projects could you think of? Point-in-time cash position understanding of billions of dollars across 300 banks? No problem. Monitor competitor pricing on 50,000 SKUs every day? Simple. Automate a twenty-three step manual invoicing process to get paid millions of dollars 2 days faster? Done. Real-time, automated access to the data you need is the key to success with Big Data. Lest you think this all fantasy, learn how Kapow Katalyst Application Integration Platform provides real-time access to Big Data.

There’s huge difference between “I have terabytes of data – videos, satellite pictures, social media conversations, and research reports” and “I know where Osama Bin Laden is”. It’s Data vs. Intelligence. Data is useless if you can’t extract meaningful intelligence from it. And the quality of your intelligence is most likely much less dependent on the volume than the relevance and ability to access it.

And the whole point of having relevant, accessible, intelligent Big Data is that it is actionable. Otherwise it’s just a recommendation or a strategy without execution What’s incredibly cool about Big Data and the web-based nature of so much of it is that just as easily as you can access anything you can see, you can just as easily transform the data, perform an operation on it, and automate a resulting action for you. Huh? Here’s an example. You know consumers and even your B2B purchasers research prices online and that loyalty to any one vendor has deteriorated as buyers have more pricing knowledge a search and mouse-click away. But you are smarter than your competitors because you’re already doing the extra 10%. So you set up automated monitoring of your competitor’s pricing, and when their price drops below yours your Big Data Integration Platform calculates the difference plus 10%, logs into your ecommerce site and adjusts your prices automatically, all within a few ticks of the clock.

And the beauty is that this can all be set up in hours, if not a few days, and you don’t have to bring in an army of developers or consultants to create custom code to do any of this.

So let the Big Data party begin. Kapow Software is here to help. To learn more about Big Data Solutions or to set up a Big Data Sales Consultation, click either link, because you’ve read this far and deserve it!

By: Rick Kawamura Rick Kawamura, Director of Marketing

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