Epicon: IT Management in a Hybrid World
Today the valuation of "data" has shot up and it is now hailed as a currency and the life blood of businesses. Napoleon Bonaparte foretold this development in the best possible way to fit the context of the 18th century: “War is 90 percent information.” He would have been awestruck had he known that information, big data in the present context, would one day become an industry of USD 187 billion. It is astonishing to know that from creating 100 GB of data per month in 1992 we have arrived at a point when the world creates approximately 40,000 GB per second. With existing technologies, however, we do have the necessary means to manage big data. Unfortunately, a typical contemporary IT environment comprising of various tools and applications, on-premise or in the cloud, which are entrusted with managing big data resemble a circuit wherein electrical connections run haphazardly.
The need of the hour is a circuit where the connections are neatly laid out, providing unobstructed visibility of the underlying components and making their management easier. This is where integration comes into play in today’s scattershot IT environments.
CIOs and CTOs do acknowledge the role integration can play in accelerating positive change within their organizations, affording lines of business freedom to innovate while retaining corporate visibility over IT. Integrating IT management systems into and managing them from a single platform gives users a single pane of glass to monitor every element. In addition, integration also helps businesses in becoming more agile by enabling them to adopt newer technologies and services to replace or buttress their existing systems. The industry’s current valuation of approximately USD 269.70 billion and bounteous forecasts anticipating it to grow at a CAGR of 10 percent till 2025 ratifies the burgeoning importance enterprises place on it; by the stated year the industry is expected to touch USD 582.5 billion. “Integration is no longer a ‘nice to have’ option, but a mission critical element of successful enterprise IT,” states Yair Tzur, the CEO of Epicon—the developers of the industry’s first integration technology for enterprise IT Management, utilising the concept of ‘function-based adapters’. Moreover, the future is predicted to shine brighter on the Eastern hemisphere with APAC fuelling the majority of this growth.
Admittedly IT integration is not new and there are multiple approaches to achieve the same. However, to discuss what is already available is not the agenda here, but the inquisitiveness to find out what else is possible. This is the concept Epicon bears at its core, which has allowed it to build an integration technology that differentiates itself from others in the landscape.
"The Industry’s First Ever ‘Function-Based Adapters’ Eliminate The Need To Use Dedicated Connectors For Each It System And Allow Any Number Of Systems To Be Connected To It, As Long As The Systems Serve The Same Function"
The firm’s centrepiece is its proprietary integration technology, the Epicon Integration Bus. Employing the industry’s first ever “function-based adapters,” the bus focuses on integrating IT management functions, not specific technology. “Instead of mapping systems to each other, source systems are mapped to standard objects, which are in turn mapped to the target systems,” explains Tzur. “This allows for the decoupling of integrations between products, creates a non-disruptive pluggable integration capability reducing the effort traditionally involved in integrating system to system.
The bus comes equipped with a library of predefined integration workflows for common IT management scenarios which saves additional efforts as users don’t need to create workflows from scratch. Nonetheless, if there indeed arises the need for a new workflow, users can choose a relevant workflow off the shelf and fine tune it with the firm’s workflow editing tool, Epicon Studio, which allows for a 100 percent codeless process. All the integrations and workflows are unified in a single user interface which centralizes management tasks and gives users full visibility across all their services.
With Epicon Siam Every Outsourced Service Is Brought Under One Umbrella And Users Get The Benefit Of Consolidated Data Which Can Be Analyzed And Mined For Insights Pertaining To Attributes Such As Vendor Compliance, Reliability, And Satisfaction
The Epicon Integration Bus forms the foundation for the IT management solutions that the firm offers. Available as out-of-the box solutions, the portfolio is designed to address the contemporary challenges that IT departments encounter, starting from the development of systems and tools through to hosting them in the cloud.
The first solution is targeted at solving the challenges which arise from to a ubiquitous global business trend—outsourcing services. Even though outsourcing does have its benefits such as lowered costs and scalability, one must remember that outsourcing doesn’t relieve an organization of the aspects tied to the services. They still need to optimize performance to remain market competitive, and just because a service is subscribed from a separate entity certainly doesn’t mean that the organization is freed from customer accountability. Businesses that are struggling with this scenario can find the answer in Epicon Service Integration and Management (SIAM) solution, which removes the challenges of integrating inputs and outputs to and from suppliers. Epicon SIAM creates a service integration layer between the suppliers and the IT functions that enables the easy management of interdependent services from multiple suppliers. The granular services provided by multiple service providers are integrated into the solution to ensure interoperability, cross-functional coordination, governance, end-to-end service levels, and transparency. The toolset integration and related information exchanges that have been designed in line with ITIL provide the correct data, information, and knowledge to the user.
The SIAM solution solves another common challenge prevalent within present outsourcing models– organizations’ need to evaluate and compare vendors for varied business requirements. However, many organizations lack a formal vendor review process, and if they do, the data underlining vendor performance is usually scattered across many systems with no way to consolidate all of it in one place. The compounded result translates into an organization’s inability to provide constructive feedback to the vendor or hold vendors responsible for missing service commitments. With Epicon SIAM, since every outsourced service is brought under one umbrella, users get the benefit of consolidated data which can be analyzed and mined for insights pertaining to attributes such as vendor compliance, reliability, and satisfaction. The solution’s Vendor Performance Management capability includes a vendor ticketing integration that improves the measurement of service level agreement performance and presents results on interactive dashboards, making it easy to compare, analyze, and rank vendors.
A crucial phenomenon that has quickly become a staple amongst IT circles and one which enterprises aiming to achieve agility cannot afford to overlook is DevOps. While the advantages this cultural change brings in are enticing and becoming highly desirable, DevOps is nonetheless quite a tough job to accomplish. Epicon DevOps solution includes both the methodology and the Continuous Delivery tools needed to implement it. Harnessing the capabilities of Epicon’s Integration Technology, the solution provides an open architecture that allows integration of existing tools using predefined templates to reduce transformation time, maximizing existing investments, and reducing the total cost of ownership. Epicon DevOps overlays an “Everything As Code” (EAC) approach onto the standard methodology which extends testing beyond just the development layer and into the underpinning infrastructure configuration and end-to-end deployment process. Epicon EAC provides complete visibility into an entire application development lifecycle and allows better support for proactive production management.
After an application or tool has been developed and deployed, be it on-premise or in the cloud, enterprises still need to monitor their ICT environments to avert incidents that might impact business operations. This necessitates collection, refinement, and efficient presentation of operational data from the vast ICT environment to the people who need it. “The Epicon Integrated Performance Management System (IPMS) helps organizations determine the real-time, historic and predicted health of their ICT infrastructure, applications, and services, as well as provides the data necessary to manage availability, reliability, performance, and capacity of IT resources,” says Tzur. The solution delivers a vendor-agnostic monitoring and analytics platform that enables organizations to integrate internal and external monitoring tools into a consolidated performance analytics solution. Epicon IPMS offers data-driven operational analytics powered by Elastic and is the “first of its kind to support Application Performance Management across hybrid solutions including on-premise, IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS.”
Each of the above solutions comes embedded with robust analytics functionality, called Epicon Smart Analytics, which leverages the firm’s integration technology to collate information through direct integration of processes and services. It enables businesses to manage their IT services and processes efficiently, and improve performance while driving innovation. Epicon Smart Analytics sports self-service dashboards and data exploration powered by Elastic Search and Kibana.
Epicon wraps all of its products with a comprehensive service offering “spanning consulting and advisory, end-to-end project delivery, support, and fully managed services.” The firm has further developed a number of accelerators for common IT management processes that accelerate the time to value for its customers. There is no denying that integration is one of the most resource-intensive and complex processes within an IT management project. At this point, Epicon surfaces as a promising proposition with its aim of arming enterprises with a way to maintain IT agility while simultaneously reducing the complexity of IT management. “Our core value proposition has always been centered around our zeal to help our customers achieve enterprise level IT management capability, delivered at lower costs, higher quality, and significantly faster speed than the competition.”
September 06, 2017