Why do APIs ♥ MFT?

July 17, 2017 Dan Tortorici

Companies of every size are learning the value of building customer experience networks to capture new business, sustain revenue growth and increase market share. This ability to build relevant, new customer experiences is driven by the current generation of APIs that have dramatically simplified connecting systems and delivering enterprise information to serve customers, anticipate their needs, and increase customer satisfaction.

Many of today’s companies are going through a dramatic digital transformation and their success will depend on the ability to adapt to change faster and at a larger scale than their core business. Consider for example, how a large automotive manufacturer might seek to surround customers with value added services which will require connecting with banks, insurance companies, hotels, gas stations, and travel services. In addition to their core business, building cars, the manufacturer now needs to scale an ecosystem of partners that help them to deliver the value-added services that help make their cars more appealing to buyers.

Customer Experience Networks combine the best in customer experience with a growing ecosystem that supports external innovation and the addition of relevant services. Fueled by APIs, they also are part of an incredible growth in data:

  • In the retail industry with point of sale data, replenishment information, and loyalty program transactions
  • payments, clearing and reporting in finance, …
  • orders, build of material, PLM data in manufacturing, …
  • And in healthcare the enrollment of partners, providers, patients, clinical trials, and emerging apps that enable patients to better manage patient information

Much of this information needs to be efficiently managed as files by existing IT processes. The IT functions already in place that are sustaining the core business processes must run better than ever: faster, bigger, cheaper and must be unbreakable. That means that managing the fast approaching future requires solid managed file transfer or MFT infrastructure. In fact we are seeing that customers are planning for a year-over-year growth rate of 25% just for managed file transfer.

Customer Experience Networks require a new level of flexibility and this includes the ability to incorporate automated managed file transfers, think of it as managed file transfer as a service. When might you use this?

  • It may be to move big files associated with your API call. Better to initiate a transaction with MFT then task the gateway to deliver large files. This also enables you to ensure that the file is properly delivered and consumed to the target.
  • It may require consolidating millions of transactions into a bigger file, perhaps related to IoT trends, that are then dispatched via complex routing.
  • It also can include the secure transfer of information where it is necessary to ensure that delivery includes a complete audit trail.

As you can see, the ability of APIs to initiate managed file transfers as a service adds a new tool to the API toolbox that can address the new data challenges that are important to enabling new levels of customer experience. In fact, it is why APIs ♥ MFT.

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