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Podcast: The Platform Episode 8

This podcast is part of the the Platform 'Data-driven innovation' serie


8.What about today?

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The exponential growth of data inside organizations requires integration to optimize the business outcome business leaders are striving for. They want to optimize the use of data generated by their systems and ‘things’. 
However, how do you do that? Where do you get started? What does the required architecture look like? In the Platform podcast series DATA DRIVEN INNOVATION Ed Macosky, VP of Product @Boomi and Mike Veldhuis, Partner @Nalta, will dig into these topics. Listen to learn and for a bit of fun too!

Want to know even more and ask your own questions? Then register for the (English) online Masterclass, provided by Ed Macosky.

Episode Notes

The Platform Website: https://www.nalta.com/theplatform
All Nalta Blogs: https://www.nalta.com/blog

Host, Mike Veldhuis

Guest, Ed Macosky


Mike Veldhuis 0:00
You are listening to The Platform. Podcast to learn about our digital worlds. I am Mike Veldhuis, partner at Nalta.com.

Ed Macosky 0:11
I'm Ed Macosky, head of products at Boomi.

Mike Veldhuis 0:16
Wow, Episode number eight Ed, we made it!

Ed Macosky 0:21
Yes, we did this, yes we did. Time flies. It was fun.

Mike Veldhuis 0:25
Yeah it was fun. And for the audience, we recorded it in two sessions. Right now it's Thursday, the first two episodes we recorded on the Tuesday, we had a lot of preparation that went into these podcasts because talking about a topic in 15 minutes is tough. You know, there's so much to share. And we really want to bring value, and at the same time depth in the story, but to keep it simple. And I really want to thank you Ed. I think we did a good job.

Ed Macosky 1:06
Yeah I want to thank you as well, for having me. This has been fun.

Mike Veldhuis 1:10
Yeah. So the first episode, we got to know you, we talked about data driven leadership. The second episode, we really went a little bit deeper into what Boomi actually is, and what it does, and what iPaas can do for your company. And I think the major lesson learned was build this architecture of data integration before, you're gonna start on any ventures that we talked about in Episode Number three, the top trends like blockchain, AI and machine learning all the fancy stuff. And this episodes we really want to talk about today, what is actually happening in the world of integration today? What are examples? Maybe, like fancy examples? Not particularly standard integrations, but what's happening in the field? And before we go into the examples itself, what kind of... Is there a typical customer in the US that's using boomi? Or is it just all over the place?

Ed Macosky 2:14
We are very horizontal, right? We started, you know, with the basics, you know, lead to cash, kind of, you know, Salesforce to NetSuite type integrations. But as we embarked and continued on our mission to connect everyone to everything, we do see such a wide gamut of use cases, from banks to doing things with their customers to IoT type use cases, to just pure automation of tasks to be done. It's kind of all over the map. So yeah, I just love seeing that our customers, they get really excited our users, maybe even like yourself that like to just innovate with our platform by being having the sky is the limit with connecting everyone to everything. So we see it all over the place.

Mike Veldhuis 2:58
I don't want to call Boomi just a tool. But I like.... when you're working with... you're building something, you're building a house. And you want to have the best equipment, you know, if you want to drill a hole, you want a good, it's just the best equipment that's available. So you can focus on your job. And this is just a very awkward way of putting Boomi like a tool. But actually, for me, it's true. If we build something, we want to make sure the tools we use are the best in class. And that's more than its upright in the Boomi or in the in the Gartner Quadrant, you just want to be sure that you can depend on it. And and that's what Boomi really is for us. It's a it's in the foundation of a lot of solutions we bring to the market in the Netherlands.

Ed Macosky 3:59
Yeah, I mean, we're a power tool, if you want to put it that way. You can you can take a saw and sit there, you know, like writing code and be sawing for hours. And then next thing you know, you're not thinking about your project, you're thinking about sawing this next log, but with Boomi where the powertool will quickly cut the log for you. And then you can be off and building so you know the the more you you think less about Boomi and think more about the opportunity you're trying to solve the more exciting that is for the user.

Mike Veldhuis 4:26
Yeah. Well. Yeah, we ended episode three with the best salesman in the world, this probably the worst sales pitch in the world. But it's true. And one of the very, very, very cool projects that we have been working on has been Blue Force tracking over the past year, where we build a solution to protect police officers, stewards up and around the Amsterdam Arena, which is a huge soccer stadium. And the power that solution is that we integrated, using Boomi already available camera systems in the Arena and outside of the Arena, to a very, very future tech Seal operated vest with all kinds of sensors that can send out triggers when something is going wrong. Like a man down or somebody has a spike in his heart rate or is running because he is in danger.

And the solution actually triggers the camera system. So the data flows through Boomi. And we pinpoint to the right camera to see what's happening, maybe some nothing is happening. It just fell, you know, or is really a man down, he's in danger. We're running this project together with the Arena, with the Dutch National police, and with the municipality of Amsterdam. And the cool thing is that I prepared a question together with Daan Groenink, who is working on that department on the CTO department. And he has a question for you Ed. Which is about

Ed Macosky 6:18
data, obviously. And what is important to mention is not only working on Blue Force tracking, but Blue Force tracking is part of a larger programme that's we call the digital perimeter. Let's listen to this question.

Daan Groenink 6:31
My name is Daan Groenink, I worked for the city of Amsterdam, specific for the CTO innovation team. And in my work, I try to find new innovations or possibilities that contributes to the safety of our citizens and visitors in the capital of the Netherlands. While doing so, especially in innovation, most of times technology data is involved? Not necessarily but most of the times it is. How do we make sure that these kind of technologies are not a harm itself, but to really contribute to the safety for our citizens.

Mike Veldhuis 7:08
Wow, which is an awesome question,

Ed Macosky 7:10
That is an awesome question. The first thing I'll say is that this use case is amazing. I mean, the amount of possibilities of where this can save lives or, or you know, track and get us a history of these things that happened worldwide. It's just not it's not applicable to just stadiums and whatnot, but it could be schools or workplaces, etc. I mean, I just, I love the use of this technology. And as you know, we were talking about this in the preparation. It's just it's really exciting to me to hear this.

But these types of things, to ensure that, you know, basically, we're not doing any harm, I think we have to be very careful as we dream of these things, particularly in public service and whatnot, because we go back to some of the things we talked, about the right to be forgotten and that sort of thing. Citizens and people and all of us are very conscious nowadays about our data and how it's being used against us, and maybe some paranoia, but there is a line, a moral compass, we need to make sure that we keep on as we go through these use cases.

I was brainstorming with with some other folks about how we can use connected car data. And as I started talking about it with the vendor with Hey, we can tell where this car is if they're speeding and notify law enforcement, that sort of thing. And, and they stopped me I wasn't thinking I was they said, Well, we actually have laws and privacy around we can't share this type of information with folks. And it's just easy as you get excited in innovation. And so so for one, we just got to, from a vendor perspective, I think about we got to put guardrails in place to help folks not cross these lines and particular use cases, because folks will be overzealous, and it's not that folks want to do harm when they're coming up with these use cases. Sometimes they accidentally trip into this. And they don't realise because there's a bunch of grey area in between these and I do think vendors need do and those of us coming up with these solutions for the industry need to take it upon ourselves to make sure that we're not crossing the line and where we can put these checks in place.

Mike Veldhuis 9:16
Yeah, I think there's a huge responsibility for vendors and IT companies to make sure the stuff we develop is safe. And one of the best examples is like you buy a webcam, or a camera referring your home. And it has a default password. It was a cheap webcam, you bought it from eBay. It was only $25 or 25 euros. It has a Wi Fi connectivity option. You put it in your home, you connect it to your Wi Fi, and then you were suddenly amazed that your data was accessible through the web by some hacker in whatever country or city. And the question is, is this the fault of the user that didn't change the password? Or is it an error from the vendor that didn't implement a right process that forced you to change the passwords while enabling the device? What is your opinion about that?

Ed Macosky 10:24
My opinion is by default, the vendor needs to be protecting the end user, right. And I'll give an example of something we're working on within Boomi. That's, that's similar that you could draw parallel here, where those of you out there that are familiar with Boomi technology, know that you can actually from a central location, you can deploy connectivity to your applications worldwide, that on a baseline, will let you deploy, if you're in the US, you can run processing within Singapore, or within the Netherlands, within Germany, wherever you'd like because we have global organisations that do this, right? They've got locations all around the world.

But each of these locations, may or may not have data sovereignty rules around can I pass data out of that PII data out of country or not? So we can't generally say okay, shut it all down, don't deploy here and here and here, because there are use cases for that. But we are working on PII markers within our platform, where as people are building you know, integrations between systems are picking we will intelligently detect a Mr. or Miss developer, you may be mapping PII data, and you may be mapping this outside of your region or country, would you like to not do this? Right? So at least we're putting the gate in front of folks to say, we think you might be doing something wrong here. Do you want to bypass it? Because there could be use cases why they would, and allow them at least to know and have that as a gate? So that is a direct parallel to you know, what you said here about the webcams? It should be, hey, do you want somebody do you want to let someone in or not? Probably not. But maybe you want someone remotely to access your camera for somebody.

Mike Veldhuis 12:11
So it's alerting and not making it impossible to do?

Ed Macosky 12:16
Yeah, that's my opinion. Yeah.

Mike Veldhuis 12:18
Okay. Another, I think great example of using iPaas or Boomi use case is the state of Gibraltar. And we love to talk about IoT at Nalta. A lot of my podcasts and videos are about those innovative solutions. But in the end, the bread and butter of the things we do is around integration is about optimising workflows. A product in the Boomi stack is a Boomi flow, which is implemented with great success in this Gibraltar case, right?

Ed Macosky 13:05
Yes, I mean, we're literally helping collectively, the both of us, you know, helping helping the government and citizens with with completing the tasks that they need to versus having to go in person and meet together and fill out forms manually. Sounds so basic, but we have a number of these use cases where typically integration vendors provide the plumbing only, but they don't provide I'll call it maybe I'll just call them the sinks for the users to interface with the plumbing. Whereas we do write our Boomi flow product allows you to leverage users, whether they be end consumers or internal employees to connect into that plumbing. So we've seen banks that have small business banks that have been at IT to build these mega websites that they no longer want, you can have their people coming in to their banks, but they've shot up using our technology to be the top, you know, five loan processors in the US, we saw a number of those use cases, you know, where banks have thrived and universities use our technology for the same way and interfacing with their students and bringing them into these engagements and that sort of thing. So that is more of the bread and butter that we're seeing right now. But again, we'd like to arm with the same technology, those same people doing our bread and butter to do innovative things with IoT and other AI ML type futuristic things as well.

Mike Veldhuis 14:28
Awesome Ed, you know what? We did it.

Ed Macosky 14:34
That's it?

Mike Veldhuis 14:34

Ed Macosky 14:35
Do another one or two?

Mike Veldhuis 14:36
Yeah. Well, I would love to invite you to a new series maybe later this year. Because there is so much to talk about. Are there any final thoughts for you something you really most definitely want to share with the audience. And the ultimate goal is how to become this data driven organisation.

Ed Macosky 15:01
Yeah, the advice would be from me, please think and dream about what you can do within your data with the organisation in a moral way, you know, keep the moral compass on, but how can data? Do you understand your data? How can you catalogue discover it use that to your advantage, because the data you have within your organisation could be the ultimate advantage to give you the edge over that competition that you may be head to head with right now, there, there's so many companies that are taking advantage of this. But there are also, so many companies out there that are stuck in this is the way we've always done things and not realising that data can really be their big advantage. So think about that. If you don't have time to do these things, think about low code tooling, how you can leverage that so you can open it free up your IT capacity, whether that'd be line of business IT or actual IT, free up capacity, so you can do things faster, innovate faster, free organisation.

Mike Veldhuis 15:58
Thank you so much Ed.

Ed Macosky 16:00
Thank you, Mike.

Mike Veldhuis 16:01
Wonderful to have your thoughts on these important topics. And it doesn't stop here, listeners and the 14th of July, we organise a masterclass where Ed we'll be talking about these topics with far more detail when needed, because you can actually ask questions you can send them in right now. Or keep them, keep it a little secret, and share those questions with us during during the masterclass, which will be quite interactive. And I'm really, really, really, really looking forward to it.

Ed Macosky 16:44
Same here can't wait.

Mike Veldhuis 16:45
So thanks again. And I'm actually working on a new series of the platform podcast, which all deal about building platforms for organisations, for businesses, and the next topic will be about the security of those platforms, and what kind of systems you can put into place to make sure everything that's running on those platforms is protected and the data is protected.

Ed Macosky 17:19
So very important stuff.

Mike Veldhuis 17:21
It is it is thanks again and see you next time.

Ed Macosky 17:27
Thank you

Transcribed by https://otter.ai