Omni3 Partners: Broadening the Scope of Enterprise Application Integration
Making a difference to the historically complicated affair of application integration via APIs, Omni3 has enabled several organizations, from the government, finance, and insurance sectors, to achieve the zenith of application performance and interoperability through its services and solutions. Constantly pushing the envelope of API integrations for better functioning enterprise applications and IT ecosystems, Omni3 helps companies realize the benefits of an API-first connectivity approach to integration.
The Omni3 Way to Leveraging APIs
Patrick Crago, managing director and co-founder of Omni3, puts forth two interesting analogies—the traditional “plumbing” and Omni3’s “guard rails’—to explain how companies can make use of APIs. He mentions, “Several organizations build APIs and microservices for simple read and write to backend systems. They are not doing a lot in terms of complex business logic. It’s essentially a bunch of ‘plumbing’ that’s being done.” Although such an approach may help organizations tap into the benefits of interoperability, it is restrictive by varying degrees, in terms of flexibility, customization, and scalability. It limits the possibilities of what can really be achieved by sound API integration. What Omni3, on the other hand, does is provide the ‘guard rails’ within which clients can safely explore and expand the scope of API integrations. “We call it guard rails specifically because we don't want to restrict an organization's ability to improve or maintain its operational efficiency,” mentions John D'Emic, the co-founder and CTO at Omni3.
D’Emic goes on to elaborate that organizations generally adopt APIs and microservices for velocity and agility in application development, enabling developers to quickly build cross functional business capabilities. However, the pro-agility advantages of APIs often burden the centralized IT teams with added responsibilities when it comes to critical aspects such as governance, data security, and collection—especially in scenarios where the data that APIs read or convey is sensitive or are potentially disruptive to backend systems-of-record. Omni3, to this end, works closely with central IT teams, allowing them to manage the APIs and efficiently maintain the integrity and quality of data that flows through them. “We help our customers embrace an API-led approach that enables distributed governance. In effect, we marry API with the distributed ledger technology, which fosters trust across organizational boundaries; something critically important in an environment of eroding trust between Central IT and lines-of-business” adds D'Emic. This way, central IT teams of an organization can facilitate collaboration and interoperability in a trusted manner, which ultimately helps them attain distributed governance.
The Omni3 team leverages their expertise in Corda, the open-source blockchain platform, to achieve this.
Going beyond helping clients achieve their tactical goals, we ensure that they are put in the right path moving forward
Within its metaphorical guard rails, Omni3 also provides an “anti-corruption layer,” equipping organizations with the ability to put easy-to-consume APIs on top of hard-to-access systems of record, such as Salesforce, SAP, or even mainframes. The anti-corruption layer brings in a two-fold advantage wherein programmers who may not possess the niche skills pertaining to specific platforms or backend systems can access and work with them via API abstractions. Secondly, organizations get the much valued ability to decouple the front-end systems from the back-end systems, which allow them to, for instance, change or swap vendors of systems of record and avoid vendor lock-in.
Omni3’s guard rails, in essence, manifest in the form of its core product—the “reference architecture as code.” The company understands that distributed governance goes hand in hand with growth and that organizations will have to be independent and capable of replicating and repurposing their API models as and when the need arises. To help organizations achieve this, the reference architecture as code provides comprehensive guidance on expanding the distributed governance via APIs. After all, a large part of an enterprise’s application integration pertains not to the software but to the process and workflows. The reference architecture as code becomes a manifesto for organizations to achieve an API-led economy wherein they can explore ways of API monetization. It also aligns well with an organization’s DevOps and CI/CD practices, serving as a hands-off discipline for developers and consultants.
A Robust Framework for Enterprise Integration
There isn’t any one-size-fits-all formula for API integration as all business workflow models are as unique as the business itself. To derive the right equation for robust API integrations, Omni3, as a part of its multi-stage client onboarding methodology, firstly defines what D’Emic terms as the enterprise maturity engagement framework (EMEF), which evaluates an enterprise's maturity with respect to application integration and agile methodologies. Utilizing EMEF, the team at Omni3 goes through a rigorous and iterative interview and assessment process to form a baseline in terms of the clients’ existing infrastructure—whether all their applications are on-premise, or subscribed to cloud applications, if they have implemented DevOps and CI/CD practices, or are familiar with Agile practices, to name a few.
In the second stage, Omni3 lays the foundations of the reference architecture as code, and the distributed governance begins to take shape. In defining the API-led vision for the next step in the evolution of the clients’ enterprise application stack, Omni3 goes about understanding their KPIs and how they can be impacted by leveraging APIs. The company delves into understanding the goals of the clients from an ROI standpoint, the answer to which leads the way for Omni3 to equip clients with capabilities for effective API management and monetization. Once captured, these metrics and ROI focus are used to customize Omni3’s CIO Dashboard, which was developed to track these metrics and KPI’s for clients. “We want to make sure that central IT and corporate teams have enough information and control over API deployment initiatives.
This holistic insight into clients’ needs and long-term goals of businesses enables Omni3 to be a better partner in the process, and their CIO Dashboard enables organizations to monitor, adjust and realize their business goals.
The third and the fourth “graduation” stages in the EMEF are where the company more deeply integrates and engages API’s across their enterprise for product development and implementation, wherein it sets the guard rails in place. What’s unique about Omni3’s solution delivery model is that its business-focused enterprise architects and engineers, who are also full-stack developers, aren’t biased toward using any one particular technology. The company is a certified partner of MuleSoft and HashiCorp and D’Emic strongly emphasizes that they are inclined toward open source tooling. “Our developers and engineers are able to better use our products because they're actually the ones building them. This gives them a unique insight into delivering the product suite for different clients. We do have certain preferences for technology that we like to use because we're effective with them. But we're, by no means, dogmatic in terms of what we deliver,” mentions D’Emic.
“We deliver a unique combination of APIs, microservices, enterprise integration, and distributed ledger”
Under the leadership of Crago and D’Emic, Omni3 is able to take a multi-disciplinary approach to API product development and implementations, which embraces domain-driven design and Agile principles coupled with traditional principles of architecture, software development and DevOps approaches. “We deliver a unique combination of APIs, microservices, enterprise integration, and distributed ledger. Those are very difficult business problems for some of the toughest customers in the world,” adds Crago.
Forging the Future with Exemplary Legacy
Crago recalls how a global insurance provider made use of Omni3’s customized guidance and the reference architecture as code to improve their CI/CB pipeline for APIs and DevOps practices across their branches in APAC and the U.S. Omni3 also helped them with processes and frameworks for approaching staffing related to supporting enterprise integration infrastructure to scale exponentially. The reference architecture as code enabled disparate development teams across multiple locations to work in a rather standardized manner. In another instance, Omni3 helped the developers of a financial services firm working on a mobile application initiative to use API abstractions that made it easy for them to write code for accessing data from SQL databases.
Omni3’s customer success stories are aplenty, inspiring its progress and evolution as a company. Having carved a unique niche in the enterprise applications integrations landscape, Omni3, this year, is gearing up for upgrading itself from a professional services company to a technology-enabled professional services company. Omni3 is rolling out purpose-built product offerings for API tooling, NLP-based API abstraction for helping enterprises achieve application integrations for complex business logic, and blockchain-enabled API monetization, management, and distributed governance.
“Going beyond helping clients achieve their tactical goals, we ensure that they are put in the right path moving forward. Their investments with us would only be realized in entirety when they are able to achieve long term strategic goals even when we may not be with them as their consultants,” concludes Crago.