Meet the expert: i8c

At GC Innovate we orchestrate a unique ecosystem of driven specialists, providing a broad range of knowledge and expertise on all things related to Google. In these series we’d like to introduce you to our experts. First up is Samuel Vandecasteele; Cloud Integration Architect within the unit of i8c (Integration Specialists at De Cronos Groep). He describes the advantages Google offers when it comes to Apigee, recognized by Gartner as a leading solution for full life cycle API management .

When does your company use Google’s services?

Samuel: “All organisations use different applications to create value. Take a food retail company, for instance. If they work with loyalty cards for their clientele, chances are that those entail the same data as for their mailing tools, like Mailchimp. Instead of wasting time duplicating data, they could link those systems ensuring automation in their business. External partners might even pay to use this data in real-time via APIs. That’s what we do at i8c, facilitating those connections using different technologies and architectures. Obviously, we’re big fans of what Google, and more specifically Google Apigee, has to offer, or we wouldn’t be having this conversation (laughs).” 

“They offer a great product and cloud deployment as additional value. Therefore, you are unburdened which means that you can innovate way faster. As a company you’d need years to build something like Apigee yourself while you can start using it immediately when it is offered as a service. Incidentally, sensitive data needs to be transferred securely and scalable towards systems and devices. That is also something we do at i8c, and for which we use Apigee’s API Management as integration tool. It’s safe and it’s flexible when it comes to both cloud and on-premises deployment.”

Why Google?

Samuel: “When Google initially started their cloud platform, they wanted to expand their integration capabilities. That is why they bought Apigee and focused on API Management as the main functionality of the service. They were sure to integrate more in Google Cloud. If you wish to link two systems like Salesforce and Mailchimp, for instance, Apigee now starts providing solutions with Apigee Integration. This on top of services like Google Pub/Sub and Cloud Functions. In other words: they’re expanding their stack to be able to compete with other main cloud providers and to position themselves more broadly on the market. It’s a powerful move because cloud architecture needs both API Management and Application Integration capabilities.”  

“Apigee makes a difference when it comes to feature sets and, especially, when it comes to security. It’s clearly one of the strongest API Management products. They offer it as SaaS although it can also be installed on premise if needed. We actually recently delivered a fully managed on-premise installation for a client with specific security requirements.” 

“It’s easy enough to use as well. Integration can be quite complex but Apigee as a product isn’t. Working with Apigee can feel rather liberating for a consultant because it’s easy to get started with, and it supports the more complex integration features when a use case requires it.”

What direction is Google evolving in according to you?

Samuel: “Every cloud provider wants to offer more high-level services. It pays off, obviously. I think Google Apigee will be striving for the same thing in the foreseeable future. It’s their building model. When 60% of one’s business is situated on Google, it’s only natural to look for integration options within Google as well. The fact that Google offers just that is a huge plus and easily linkable with other systems. The ecosystem that they’re building, if you will, is very important. Granted, they’re not the first to do it, but they’re catching up strongly with the others which is a beautiful evolution to witness.” 

“I notice our big clients starting to look for hybrid or multi cloud deployments, especially when they’ve got expensive integrations going on. That’s what we’re focusing on at i8c. Google is investing heavily in Anthos for this by the way but explaining would bring us too far. Whoever’s interested can contact us for more information, of course!”  

“To sum up: if you’re looking for security by design, flexibility and scalability, choose Google.”

Which keywords would you use to Google your company? 

Samuel: “Well, everything related to Enterprise Integration, because that’s what we’re passionate about (laughs). I’d say: “API Management”, “Event-driven Integration”, “Application Integration”, “Cloud Integration” and “Hybrid Integration Platform”. 

 Tickled by this interview and curious to know more? Feel free to hit us up with any questions you may have; we’d love to help you!



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