By Software AG, we are also using Integration Server, Trading Networks, Active Transfer, Optimize for Infrastructure, My webMethods, and their EDI package. As long as there is product parity between products, it makes sense to continue using multiple products from the same vendor. Obviously, you want to make sure you have a diverse portfolio. Where those products start breaking those links, you want to make sure that you are using the best product for your company in this region.
The fact that we were already using another solution from this vendor affected our decision to go with this particular product, mainly from a cost standpoint. As is any product in this region, the biggest cost is almost always the upfront cost of laying out the solution. Also, there are some costs in having that solution already available: between knowledge of the platform, having the licensing rights, and if you bring in a new solution, then you are now paying for two solutions.
The native integrations between the vendors' products are very seamless. The products interact very well. At times, it's kind of hard to tell where one product ends and the next one starts. As new products come in, the integrations probably take one or two updates before they are fully integrated. However, once products are fully integrated, it is very seamless and easy to hop between one product to another.
Using multiple products from the same vendor creates efficiencies:
- In terms of knowledge. Obviously, there is a familiarity with the product and how you expect Software AG's products to act and respond.
- In terms of operational understanding between end users who are looking for specific data. They know how these products work and how to pull up these reports.
- In terms of having administrators overseeing these products.
There is a cost savings for using many of the same products. There are lower training costs. Also, typically, there are a lot of integrations that you ended up needing to build out, whether they be custom or out-of-the-box. Even if they are out-of-the-box, a lot of times that takes a lot of work to get those to work. However, since we are using Software AG products, it's very much like installing a plugin into an Excel program.
There was a reduction in the learning curve because we had already used the vendors' products. The products used work very similarly. In terms of verbiage, key aspects, or three-letter acronyms, you don't have to relearn any of those. There is an expectation of how these products will work. These products always work the same way when Software AG is rolling these types of products out.
We use webMethods Integration Server for two main aspects:
- For application-to-application integrations.
- B2B: The transferring of on-premise data out to other business partners.