The variety of software we use daily can feel endless and overwhelming. It’s inevitable that the adoption of additional software, widgets, and plugins to complement our core tools with business growth. This can quickly lead to us getting inundated by data silos, disjointed information, additional expenses, and other problems that negatively affect the fluidity and efficiency of our business operations.
From using video conferencing software to conducting daily stand-up meetings to document management software and CRMs, it takes many tools to successfully manage day-to-day business operations.
In fact, the average company uses 137 unique SaaS apps and incurs a total SaaS spend of $4.16m a year.
Blissfully dot com
Fortunately, there’s a standardized solution on the market, and it comes in the form of iPaaS.
Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) allows organizations to integrate disjointed systems, unifying independent applications to create a seamless internal and external experience. This is something that is extremely difficult to achieve with traditional SaaS (software as a service) implementation.
iPaaS vs PaaS
Before we get into why you should implement iPaaS into your business process improvement strategy, it’s helpful to discuss platform as a service (PaaS) first.
Despite their similar terminology, iPaaS and PaaS are completely different in terms of functionality.
What is PaaS?
PaaS is a cloud-based platform where organizations are provided with a complete set of tools to develop, run, and manage their web-based applications. All necessary hardware and software — the network, servers, operating system, databases, and storage are hosted on the provider’s infrastructure.
It is an effective solution to the restrictiveness and expense of an on-premises platform because it allows developers to devote more time to creative aspects than the laboring technicalities of building an infrastructure from scratch.
What is iPaaS?
iPaaS is a cloud-based integration solution that allows organizations to automate integrating software applications, data, and services across on-premises, public, and private cloud environments. A modern enterprise iPaaS is usually billed on a monthly subscription fee or pay-by-use rate. However, like PaaS, offers a complete set of features for your specific integration goals.
iPaaS makes a great supplement for businesses using PaaS and SaaS. It provides users with the integration capabilities needed to unite and streamline their different tools.
Benefits of iPaaS
In many cases, iPaaS provides the same benefits as PaaS, but does so on a broader scale. Here are some of the benefits of iPaaS.
Implementing an iPaaS solution allows greater flexibility because you can adapt and innovate as your integration needs grow more complex. In addition, iPaaS supports hundreds of applications and endless connections, enabling you to scale on demand without having to implement expensive and restrictive third-party software.
Eliminates data silos
Of course, as your business scales and your volume of data grows, data silos can become a serious problem. If your business is made up of segregated systems, it can lack visibility across departments, negatively impacting the fluidity of internal efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Implementing a third-party integration software can result in further disorganization as you acquire more segregated tools. However, utilizing iPaaS alongside collaboration software means that everything is integrated and managed from one centralized hub, enabling a much more streamlined process across departments.
Easy to use
At its simplest, iPaaS requires little to no coding ability, meaning urgent problems can often be fixed without escalation. This lessens the strain on developers and makes an ideal solution for citizen integrators.
Traditional custom integration methods like enterprise service business (ESB) and enterprise application integration (EAI) can be costly workarounds. iPaaS eliminates the need to employ multiple third-party tools to a model that is already convoluted with software.
Generally, each tenant requires their own instance to connect to the software. For example, each person on a phone call or a conference call dial-in requires their own connection. However, the iPaaS solution has multi-tenancy capabilities, meaning it creates shared instances and eliminates overload on the system.
Accessing and managing all connections from one centralized hub is a huge advantage of iPaaS, eliminating the restrictiveness of singular departments being responsible for different connections.
Improves security and compliance
Inevitably, every cloud environment is at risk of security threats. However, iPaaS not only provides built-in fraud detectors and intruder alerts, but the centralized system makes it much easier for businesses to identify and resolve these threats.
With real-time data connections and processing speeds, iPaaS eliminates the possibility of delays in access and up-to-date information across departments.
It goes without saying that iPaaS greatly improves workplace productivity and efficiency. Not only is workflow streamlined by automation and centralization, but real-time processing and ease of use make iPaaS an efficient solution for daily business operations.
Challenges of iPaaS
Despite all the benefits, it’s necessary to touch on the potential challenges of implementing iPaaS.
Higher risk of human error
As previously mentioned, citizen integrators can successfully use iPaaS for integration purposes. However, the user-friendliness of iPaaS can be overestimated. Many integrations require specific technical knowledge that, if done incorrectly, can create data islands and other problems that negatively impact the overall structure of operations.
Additionally, there are significant risks when it comes to data security and compliance.
Industries like law, healthcare, and finance typically work with many applications that handle sensitive data over the cloud (virtual fax applications are a good example of this). As a result, serious problems can arise when a user who is not versed in regulatory compliance changes an iPaaS system.
In fact, it is business users themselves who pose the highest risk to cloud security.
Fortunately, many modern iPaaS platforms come with built-in security and compliance capabilities, including SOC 2 Type 2 and GDPR.
Confusingly vast array of options
There are a huge number of iPaaS providers on the market. Comparison and tech websites are prone to listing providers who are either ESB/iPaaS hybrids or fully traditional integration providers (such as ELT) who have supplemented their solutions with SaaS connectivity.
Along with the fact that there is no universal, base-level set of features and functionalities for iPaaS, trying to find the right provider for your specific needs can become a confusing and laborious task.
iPaaS enterprise use cases
iPaaS has an extensive range of integrations to suit many different business models. Here are three common iPaaS uses.
Transferring and synchronizing data from one system to another is particularly beneficial for companies that handle large amounts of data across departments. Considering this process used to happen in batches, iPaaS offers a time-efficient solution. For example, data obtained from call logs can be transferred in real-time to other applications, streamlining customer service and eliminating frustrating data silos.
If you have a large number of external partners or providers, iPaaS negates the need to write code based on APIs. It also allows you to securely monitor data flows and enable better security standards.
iPaaS allows you to integrate independent applications, data, and systems, enabling them to work together across on-premises or cloud environments. Data can be gathered from any integrated system and delivered automatically to an end-user platform.
Determining your organization’s specific needs and goals is a crucial first step to iPaaS implementation. For example, whether you focus on integrating internal business data for workflow efficiency or integrating communication or CCaaS platforms to improve customer service, it’s vital to identify where your data lies and whether those applications support integration.
As we dive deeper into cloud dependency and uniformity within internal and external processes, iPaaS has become a staple in business operations.
Image Credit: pixabay; pexels; thank you!
RUSSIA’S DEFAULT IS A REALITY AS GRACE MONTH IS OVER
Russia’s default has finally arrived on its sovereign debt in foreign currency for the first time in more than a century. Moscow has been unable to pay the interest on two bonds in dollars despite having enough foreign exchange reserves to do so. Investors assure that they have not received payment after the grace month.
Russia is showing the consequences of the sanctions the West has massively imposed on it after the war against Ukraine.
Get the entire 10-part series on our in-depth study on activist investing in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or print it out to read anywhere! Sign up below!
For months, the country has managed to find ways and shortcuts to wade through the measures that tried to isolate the government of Vladimir Putin and make the country fall into technical default. In the end, the West has achieved its goal, albeit somewhat later than expected.
Although Russia had the capacity to meet this payment, leading economic indicators —the composite PMI sank in March and remain below 50, indicating that the economy is contracting— reveal that the country is facing one of the major economic crises of recent decades.
With double-digit inflation and several leading companies on the way out, Russia will face a deep recession and perhaps years of economic stagnation.
The one-month grace period expired on Sunday on around $100 million of trapped interest payments due May 27, a deadline that is considered an event of default if not paid in the correct currency, according to Bloomberg.
Russia’s default is also backed by other data. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) reveals that the Russian Government had a debt of around $40 billion in hard currency at the end of 2021 —a relatively small amount.
Although the total foreign debt exceeds $470 billion, only part of that amount is in foreign currency and a smaller part is still a liability to the Russian Government.
This is a clear symptom of the rapid transformation that the country is facing, both financially and economically. Russia will have to go on without the foreign capital flows that have historically helped finance investments in emerging countries.
The nation’s Eurobonds have been trading on the secondary market at very low levels since early March, while the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves remain frozen. Russia’s largest banks are cut off from the global financial system, leaving the country in isolation.
Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.
Image Credit: by Happy Donut; Pexels; Thank you!
Take Inspiration From Trending and Successful eCommerce Businesses
Believe it or not, online shopping has become a massive trend nowadays, and its popularity is increasing daily. Of course, we were already in the era of digitalization, but this entire pandemic situation has made eCommerce industries flourish more than expected in the last few years.
Nowadays, everything is digitized as people buy food, groceries, cosmetics, clothes, and even electronic gadgets online. This digital revolution has made it easier for creative founders to convert their dreams and ideas into a waking reality.
Old ways and patterns of handling businesses are changing every day, and business owners need to adapt to the fluctuating market trends. And in this, some trending eCommerce businesses have taken this eCommerce industry to a whole new level. They are ruling and conquering like a boss.
Here in this blog, we will be discussing such inspiring eCommerce businesses. So, keep reading to find out more and cope for the better.
What are The Types of eCommerce Businesses?
E-commerce businesses are not limited to one particular business model. Instead, there are various sorts of eCommerce business models as per their business offerings. So have a look at some of the highly prevalent eCommerce models.
- Business to Consumer (B2C): The process of selling from business to customer comes under B2C type E-commerce.
- Business to Business (B2B): The buying and selling process between businesses comes under the B2B type of E-commerce.
- Direct to Consumer(D2C): This new idea of selling directly to end customers without the involvement of any retailer comes under D2C type E-commerce.
- Consumer to Consumer (C2C): Consumer-to-consumer sales on platforms like eBay, Etsy, Fiver, and many more come under C2C type E-commerce.
- Consumer to Business (C2B): An individual selling their services to different businesses comes C2B type E-commerce.
Examples of Successful E-commerce Businesses
1. Warby Parker
Warby Parker is popularly known for producing designer, reliable and inexpensive frames for eyeglasses. An MBA student, Neil Blumenthal, and 3 of his friends launched this eCommerce company in 2010. They proposed the idea in 2008, and took nearly two years to implement.
Their idea of business was something very essential at that period because Luxottica (Another eyewear brand) was one of the few companies that used to sell designer and reliable frames, but they were costly as compared to Warby Parker.
Warby has a free try-on policy with free shipping and numerous return offers, and this is what the brand has adopted to stand out from the crowd and appeal to its customers.
An online Mattress retailer is helping people sleep better and comforting their sleep cycle. The whole idea behind this business model was to help people realize the importance of sleep and how an adequate amount of sleep can increase their productivity and quality of life.
Their first-ever mattress was “Universal Adaptive feel.” It was so flexible that it could easily adjust to all body types.
The 100-night free trial policy worked well for their customers and made the business model a huge success. Leesa had traditional showrooms at first, but with time they also opened online stores.
ModCloth is an eCommerce company launched in 2002, selling women’s clothing worldwide. They sell fun and quirky clothes that are not so exclusive but are comfortable and budget-friendly.
Everything about their store is creative and exciting – which customers nowadays love. The copies describing their clothes are also fun to read because every product has a name and story behind it – now, this is something very catchy.
ModCloth became a brand within a few years of its launch because of its targeted marketing strategy. They know who their target audience is and what requirements they have. Knowing this has made their business reach exceptional heights within a short period of time.
Mostly we know Amazon was launched in 1995 as an online bookstore and has been flourishing since then. Now amazon is not limited to books anymore because now it sells almost everything you can think of. From groceries to clothes and even jewelry, Amazon has it all.
Right now, Amazon is one of the largest eCommerce stores by revenue worldwide. Though amazon started with no competitors, now it has Walmart as one of its biggest competitors. Last year Amazon made a revenue of $470 billion.
Amazon has adopted a stellar marketing strategy, which is targeting the right customer and offering products at comparatively lower rates.
Shopify is a SaaS (Software-as-a-service) company that provides all the tools needed by a business to run its eCommerce business smoothly. It helps them with website building, marketing, payment processing, financial tracking, and everything in between.
It is a tech infrastructure that supports more than 2 million merchants and various operations ranging from mom-and-pop businesses to global brands. Shopify made $389 million in revenue in 2016 to $4.6 billion in revenue in 2021.
The profitability of Spotify has been improving with time because, just like every SaaS business, it has also scaled up.
LARQ is a business model that makes self-cleaning water bottles that are reusable, rechargeable, and also have some advanced features. For example, it has UVC technology used to eliminate viruses & bacteria from water bottles.
LARQ has the initiative to provide clean water to everyone. They also raised $1.7 million for the same. In addition, LARQ donates 1% of its earnings to help maintain clean water worldwide.
The product was so unique and exciting that it attracted numerous customers. As a result, many environmentalists and aware citizens switched to these LARQ bottles and saved their money from buying single-use water bottles.
7. Beer Cartel
Beer Cartel, as the name suggests, is Australia’s number one beer subscription service. It is said that some ideas sell themselves; the same was the case with this one.
Beer Cartel sells beers from all around the world to their subscribers at their doorstep. This online store gives people the freedom to select their unique beer bottles at a price better than traditional stores.
One of the significant reasons for Beer Cartel’s success is that they offer exclusive taste under budget. In addition, they have a wide range of varieties that keeps their customers interested and coming back.
8. Berlin Packaging
Berlin Packaging is well known for sourcing, designing, and even distributing containers and closures for companies like fortune and various family-owned startups.
They have always provided products at a lower cost to their customers to increase the overall efficiency of their enterprise. One interesting fact about it is that it is not a new startup; it is 80 years old, in fact. But Berlin Packaging has somehow still managed to bring their customers the latest and top-quality beer.
They started this eCommerce business model to keep up with the times, which worked out well for them.
With the introduction of eBay, Bonobos knew that the eCommerce business was getting more competitive with each passing day. So, they introduced a unique business model targeting only a super-specific audience.
This strategy of narrowing down to a particular audience helped them make loyal customers who also flourished their business in the long run. Bonobo’s success made everyone realize that focusing on the competition is not good for your business’s health.
They should focus on the value they provide to their customers, and they will reach greater heights of success.
The name of the company seems fascinating, right? Well, so is their initiative. TOMS is an eCommerce company that sells its customers quality shoes that are reliable, comfortable, designer, and inexpensive.
What separates TOMS from other similar eCommerce is that with every transaction, they will help one in need. Yes! Not only this, but they also run various social media campaigns with hashtags like #withoutshoes and many more to stand out from the crowd.
Everything about their business model is catchy and interesting, making it easier for them to drive more traffic to their online shop.
What are the Biggest Benefits of eCommerce?
Shopping in the comfort of home: eCommerce has made shopping easier and more convenient for our customers. Buying and selling things is a child’s play nowadays. As a result, our purchases are simpler, faster, less time-consuming, and not so hectic.
Markets are globalized: Now, you can shop from anywhere around the world at the convenience of your home. The impact of eCommerce on the planet can easily be visible. There are no limitations or barriers to buying from a different state or country.
Building startups is not so expensive anymore! Yes, in this era of digitalization, anyone can set up their online store at a meager cost. In addition, the operating cost is minimal because both buyers and sellers are now digital.
Technologies are evolving rapidly because of this, eCommerce businesses have to see a lot of changes frequently.
If you have an eCommerce business that is not growing as expected, you must adapt to new business models that add value to your customer’s life and your e-commerce services (my business: krishaweb dot com).
Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!
What Does the G7 Russian Gold Ban Mean for Gold Stocks?
The G7 plans to announce a ban on Russian gold imports. But does that really matter for investors? While there hadn’t been an official Russian gold ban until now, this news isn’t exactly a surprise to the industry. Today, we’re seeing that lack of reaction in gold prices.
Typically, a ban on imports for a particular commodity sends prices soaring higher. Just look at what happened to oil after Russia invaded Ukraine. As it pertains to gold, prices also initially ticked higher this morning, with the futures opening up by under 1%.
However, it has now turned lower on the day, as have the VanEck Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDX) and the VanEck Gold Miners ETF (NYSEARCA:GDXJ).
Does the Russian Gold Ban Matter?
This latest decision does matter. However, it will have a limited impact on the global gold market and gold-mining stocks. Warren Patterson, Head of Commodities Strategy at ING Groep NV (NYSE:ING), had the following to say:
“The impact from a ban on Russian gold imports by G-7 nations is likely to be fairly limited, given that the industry already took steps to restrict Russian gold […]It looks as though its largely symbolic.”
Russia has the world’s fifth-largest gold stash according to the World Gold Council. However, it only exported roughly 5% of the world’s gold supply in 2020. A bulk of those exports — over 90% — went to the United Kingdom, a G7 member. Still, Russia will likely find buyers in China and India.
In actuality, the buying pool may shift, but it will not completely evaporate.
How Does This Affect Gold Stocks?
At this point, the ban does not seem to have much of an impact on gold stocks. There’s multiple reasons why this is the case.
- The industry seems to have largely prepped for such a ban.
- Russia is not that large of an exporter of gold.
- The efforts from central banks to raise interest rates and strengthen currencies is likely playing a more important role in regards to precious metal prices.
Ultimately, a Russian gold ban certainly doesn’t hurt gold prices — if anything, less supply is a bullish catalyst — but right now that catalyst is not reverberating through the market. However, removing Russian supply from the market will be a modest positive for gold miners.
Published First: InvestorPlace. Read Here.
Image Credit: by Pixabay; Pexels; Thank you!