Service Integrations in a Complex Service Provider Environment
In this interview, we meet with Tieto’s Senior Integration Architect, Roope Kaukinen to talk about how he uses Service-Flow with his integration projects.
How long have you been working with Service-Flow and what sort of benefits have got from using it?
Roope: We have been using Service-Flow at Tieto for three years now and use of the solutions is growing really quickly. We have a huge number of customers using a wide array of ITSM tools and we are yet to find a toolset integration that Service-Flow solution couldn’t handle.
Before we adopted Service-Flow, our ITSM integrations were mostly manual and made up on an integration platform from the scratch by complex coding, which often needed also a lot of maintaining. Also I want to point out a benefit of using true cloud based solution since scalability and performance are really important for an MSP like Tieto.
Service-Flow’s solution has been very scalable; we started with only a couple of integrations and while number of integrations has been growing we haven’t need to adjust any technology-Service-Flow has taken care of all that.
Also having fully automated and easily managed integrations now not only makes setting up new customers and integrations radically quicker, but also reduces the amount of time we spend maintaining and modifying integrations since Service-Flow is provided “as a service”.
More and more businesses are using Service-Flow to speed up the integration process, what has this looked like at Tieto?
R: From a speed point of view, Service-Flow is the highest performing integration solution I have ever used. Normally integration projects can be roughly divided into 2 tracks: technical and operational track.
With Service-Flow, ease and speed of technical implementation shortens project time and leaves more space to concentrate on actual cooperation and operational design of integrated partners. Having more time available for me and my team to focus on right things, like the way we work with our customers, makes a huge difference to the quality of our work.
How has using Service-Flow changed the way the wider team use and manage software integrations?
R: Out of the box features Service-Flow has in terms of rolling back to previous configurations and queueing up messages while we move or change integrations, means that we significantly reduce the risks involved with less technical staff managing integrations.
With traditional code based integrations, you have to make sure that the people working on the integrations not only understand the applications they are integrating but the actual code itself, which can sometimes be tough if you weren’t the person who wrote the code in the first place.
Managing integrations via the simple Service-Flow UI means that we can achieve far greater collaboration around integration projects. Service-Flow’s SaaS delivery model ensures integrations are up and running 24/7 and we don’t have to worry about losing tickets or other integration related errors since they’re automatically managed as a part of the Service-Flow’s solution.
As businesses such as Tieto adopt more agile and DevOps style ways of working, how does Service-Flow fit in to that?
R: Service-Flow doesn’t just fit with the methodologies, it enables them. Agile and DevOps are about fast implementation and continual improvement.
We reduce weight in our implementation processes by using pre-made integrations in Service-Flow, opening up integration tasks to a wider team and ultimately by having far more visibility of the technology itself.
Service-Flow as a company also have a great deal of knowledge around processes and integrations and can support us and our customers alike in adopting more agile ways of working. Therefore they have been supporting us in both technology and methodology.
Finally, do you think Service-Flow has provided a positive return on investment?
R: Service-Flow pricing is flexible and since it is pay-per-use we are able to avoid overhead and idle costs and we understand exactly what we’re getting and how much it will cost before we set about delivering new integrations.
This provides far more predictability around cost and we can forecast project work quickly and accurately. This is essentially the opposite of coding integrations manually, where you have to estimate the period of time and the technical resource required ahead of starting the work, then hope for the best that you were right!
With this level of predictability in combination with the amount of time we save each day through Service-Flows sophisticated automation and “as a service” approach, the return on investment we have gained from using Service-Flow is noteworthy.