Dell Boomi is an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) company that helps organisations unite everything in their digital ecosystems to create better business outcomes faster.
Boomi, which was acquired by Dell in 2010, operates as an independent business unit of Dell, and provides an intelligent, flexible, scalable platform that harnesses the power of the cloud to accelerate business results.
Steve Nuttall, Head of CX Research at Fifth Quadrant recently sat down with Boomi’s CEO Chris McNabb and Director of Solution Consulting APJ David Irecki to discuss Boomi’s uptake in Australia, the importance of data governance, smart cities and more.
Listen to the interview here:
Coming to Australia
In recent years, Boomi has been gaining traction in the Australian market, moving from a new entrant to frontrunner in a fairly short space of time.
McNabb says that like most North America companies, Boomi began at home and then expanded to Europe before coming to Asia.
“In Asia we started with Australia and New Zealand and built up a significant team size in the region,” he says, adding that Boomi is now working with a range of industries including government, higher education, energy and retail.
“It has been a great journey,” McNabbs says. “I think our technology resonates with the challenges that organisations face here and we are happy and fortunate to be able to partner with them on their digital transformations.”
Irecki notes that CX is the key driver behind digital transformations in the region and that Boomi’s technology is able to help organisations make that crucial transition more quickly and efficiently.
“We’ve been looking at new tools and new technologies to get those business outcomes faster,” he says. “Be it via ease-of-use, time-to-market, or speed-to-value – that’s where technology like ours can enable customers on their digital transformations.”
As a result, McNabb says that the number of integration points the typical organisation must deal with is growing rapidly. Whereas it used to be about having an ERP system and some satellite applications, it is now a case of integrating as many as 15 SaaS applications. This is where Boomi comes in, as it is able to connect all those points to create a seamless CX.
CX in higher education
Higher education is an interesting space due to the global nature of the marketplace, the demographics of the users which skew young, and the relatively long life cycle of the product.
Irecki says that the university space is all about the move to the cloud and providing better services across the whole life cycle of a student’s customer journey – from sign up through to graduation and beyond.
In addition, Internet of Things (IoT) technology is a growth area with schools such as the University of Melbourne using it to detect student attendance and then assign appropriately-sized lecture halls accordingly.
“That kind of efficiency improves the experience for the customers but also benefits the organisation because they can use their assets more effectively,” Nuttall says.
However, the accumulation of data such as movement-tracking also raises important questions about privacy, especially with the younger and more tech-savvy cohort of university-going customers.
Finding the balance
For McNabb, that trade-off between privacy and personalisation is all about finding the correct balance.
He gives the example of the connected car experience, in which your car remembers all your preferences through voice recognition.
In order to provide that kind of CX, a company must store your voice somewhere. But problems may arise when users become concerned about the safety of that data or look to exercise their “right to be forgotten”, according to McNabb.
“Many around the world are wrestling with this problem and I think you are going to see a lot of change over the next few years,” McNabb says. “You are going to see vendors react to regulations and a lot more power given to the users.”
McNabb says that Boomi follows regulatory changes around the world and in the case of Europe, for example, the company was able to ensure its solutions were GDPR-compliant the day that the new regulation came into effect.
Making dumb data smart
In terms of data collection, Nuttall points out that smart cities present an interesting opportunity to make ‘dumb data smart’.
Irecki says that the Boomi’s work with EPA Victoria is a good example of how Boomi can help integrate data from a wide range of different sources and make that data actionable.
“For someone like EPA Victoria we can detect a spillage and connect with the waste removal department to come and clean it up,” he says.
While EPA Victoria is a larger organisation than many Australian councils, McNabb says that smaller organisations can also benefit too.
For example, Boomi has a very small town as a client in southern USA which has put sensors on all of their traffic lights in order to detect accidents and better manager traffic flow.
The sensors for the lights were very cost effective and the connection process itself was not a massive effort and was done quickly, according to McNabb.
“They didn’t need massive scale,” he says. “They don’t use satellites and drones like EPA Victoria, but at the same time, it has been very effective for what they are trying to do.”
Start small, now
McNabb says that both CX and the technology that drives it are evolving very rapidly. As a result, companies need to stop thinking about improvements as necessarily being massive year-long million-dollar projects and start considering things that are achievable and manageable.
“Speed is here, productivity is here, new customer experiences are here now and I think now is a great time to get started on something small,” he says. “Pick a little thing, engage your customers in a new way and have them be thrilled with the services that you offer.”
To listen to the full conversation, check out Fifth Quadrant’s podcast on Soundcloud.