As with any start-up, we are often asked about our ‘Founder Story’. And there are some impressive Founder Stories out there!
Elon Musk, who identified the three Major World Problems when he was barely an adult, and just went ahead and did it all.
Boyan Slat, scuba diving at age 16, saw more plastic than fish in the sea and conceptualised The Ocean Cleanup project.
Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Mark Zuckerberg.
Unfortunately, we weren’t born with the idea and /or had no cool Eureka! moment regarding cloud integrations, whilst growing up. Not even in our late twenties.
However, in our case, we believe that’s not where the magic is. And even though our story might be less glossy - we are very passionate about what we do!
It all started with a set of diverse careers: projectmanagement, software development, digital forensics and cyber security. In spite of our differences, we shared the desire to add value to customers and solve complex customer data problems. We also all have an entrepreneurial streak. And last but not least, we had all worked together in some way, shape or form in the past and have a lot of mutual respect for each others’ skills, experience and character.
So at some point, whilst on a Google Friday project, an idea originated. Trend watching is often about taking a step back and seeing the bigger picture, and the bigger picture for Thom and Guido was clear:
- The number of cloud applications was ever growing, and becoming more specialised each year
- More and more organisations could and were moving to a cloud based environment
- They were set on using ‘best-of-breed’ solutions for all their organisational functions
- Best-of-breed applications often don’t all come from one vendor
- Cloud application vendors/developers, in turn, were standardising options to securely read data from and write data to their platforms
- In a nutshell, this means that the market demand for an agnostic cloud integration service was rapidly growing, which is what Thom and Guido saw.
Of course, there were some offerings out there already (refer to our other blog on how we fit here), but there was no secure, fully managed service for a predictable and affordable monthly fee.
Just reflect for a moment how many applications are used in your organisation. In our experience, ~20 would be a minimum number and for larger organisations, we often see hundreds of different applications that make up the IT landscape. These need to be able to talk for a business to function efficiently.
Integrating via APIs
An API (Application Programming Interface) is one such standardised option for reading data from and writing data to cloud applications. Despite the level of standardisation, each API effectively speaks its own language. This means, APIs don’t automatically talk to each other. Something is needed to help them with that.
An analogy for Harmonizer is therefore the role a Certified Translator would have in translating documents from one language to another. To the point that its code base can easily be extended to speak and translate all the languages in the world. This is due to the smart architecture of the code.
It means that Harmonizer can read data from a source cloud application, and write it to a destination cloud application. Furthermore, Harmonizer can transform the data whilst it is at it as well.
Harmonizer: a.k.a. an accessible and flexible integration service
Thom and Guido therefore created an accessible and flexible integration service, filling a need in the market. Without the downsides associated with venture capital, they had the time to build modular, robust and nearly unbreakable code. Helen subsequently added a security lens to the equation, for Harmonizer’s ISO 27001 certification. Quin assists in telling the story to the world, based on a solid foundational understanding of IT and data.
But perhaps the best news, and most interesting for our customers is that support, maintenance, monitoring and updates are all included in a fixed monthly fee - unburdening IT teams from building and supporting integrations at the same time.
The power of modular integrations (let's get nerdy)
The reason why Harmonizer has such an efficient and diverse range of applicability, is to do with the scalability and automation of its code base. Thom and Guido spent a lot of time thinking about an agnostic data model at the centre of Harmonizer. This means all we need to develop to add a new cloud application’s API to our code base, is the readers from and writers to that API. From the moment we add these readers and writers, the associated cloud application can be integrated with all other cloud applications, previously added to Harmonizer.
This means that with each cloud application that we add, Harmonizer becomes even more flexible and useful.
To make sure to add value by moving data from one application to the next, and making business processes as efficient as possible, the core of Harmonizer consists of transformers (via the agnostic data model). These transformers enable any and every thinkable data manipulation.
Does this all sound difficult or complex? Not to worry: we manage the entire service, end-to-end.
We will share a sneak-peak of what is under the hood, as we understand you might be curious:
- After we develop the code to read/write to an API, all the integration functionality is available via a graphical user interface - so our internal processes run as smoothly as possible
- Creating a new integration in Harmonizer is as simple for us as dragging and dropping blocks and drawing lines between them
- Through smart record keeping and monitoring, we ensure our code runs appropriately, data integrity and adherence to security best practices
- We pick up any issues before our customers know and fix them immediately!
Don’t believe us? Allow us to show you. Ask one of us for a demo! Or coffee. Coffee is always on us.
Photography by Andrea Piacquadio