Enterprise application integration is the process of linking such applications within a single organization together in order to simplify and automate business processes to the greatest extent
possible, while at the same time avoiding having to make sweeping changes to the existing applications or data structures. EAI solutions provide an integrated approach to connecting the different components of IT infrastructure- people, applications, platforms and databases to enable secure, intra and interenterprise collaboration. EAI solutions enable an organization to integrate business processes internally and externally with business partners to create dynamic environments that support current and evolving business requirements, thereby creating a global organization.
REASONS FOR EMERGENCE OF EAI
The reasons for emergence of EAI need are varied. Efforts by the leading Enterprise Business
Application Suppliers seeking to establish themselves as the primary provider of the business and
the IT backbone that supports the enterprise’s operations. But the core driving forces behind EAI
is of following categories, which are within themselves inter-related.
1. Mergers & Acquisitions
Mergers &/ or Acquisitions to be successful require overnight integration of dissimilar business processes of two or more companies, so that they can work as a single corporation. EAI is the only solution, which will enable such a rapid integration
2. E- Business
E-business requires connecting of customers, suppliers and partners across the world, so as to form an integrated value and supply chain over the Internet.
3. Industry regulation & de-regulation
Opening up of business processes to share information and allow market access requires information to flow transparently and seamlessly both externally and internally.
4. Business Process Automation
Business Process Automation requires new products and services to be integrated with already existent applications so as to improve efficiency, operating costs and customer services across an organization.
5. Growth in implementation of ERP packages
ERP vendors are coming up with a product line complete with interfaces/ adapters to assist the ERP solution to be integrated with other applications as they have realized that ERP solutions to be effective should be integrated with the back-end legacy applications.
6. Supply Chain Management & Customer Relationship Management
There is a movement towards virtual enterprise linking application systems from various companies in the supply chain. Significant developments in peer to peer networking and distributed processing have made it possible for businesses to integrate better their own functional departments as well as integrate with their partners and suppliers for better SCM & CRM. Re-engineering of business processes by organizations for greater customer focus requires close cooperation between standalone applications.
7. Zero Latency Enterprise
Zero latency enterprise refers to an organization that can change its business rules in real time to act on new market opportunities and customer demands. An enterprise application integration solution accelerates responses and facilitates business changes in the zero latency enterprise.
8. Reduction of business process life cycle
In the today’s competitive business environment, the need to align business systems with business goals is all the more a reality. Business processes evolve continuously requiring new methods and data, which in turn require integration with the existing ones. These new applications should start operations quickly moving IT management to shorter application lifecycles.
This is made possible because of EAI solutions which help in integrating different applications and also assist in changing the business rules as required in minimum amount of time.
9. Intranet/ internet explosion
The Intranet/ Internet explosion is leading to surge in the demand for a new class of human active applications that require integration with back end legacy applications. This feature again is enabled by EAI solution which can integrated the front end and back end applications.