Connection Cloud: Realizing Value from Proliferating Siloed Data Stores and BI

Late last month Silicon Valley legend, Roger Sippl, launched Connection Cloud via his new start-up, Elastic Intelligence.

You might remember reading about it in Yellowfin partner Elastic Intelligence launches breakthrough PaaS technology via Connection Cloud >

Late last month Silicon Valley legend, Roger Sippl, launched Connection Cloud via his new start-up, Elastic Intelligence.

You might remember reading about it in Yellowfin partner Elastic Intelligence launches breakthrough PaaS technology via Connection Cloud >

The Sippl factor

Sippl is famous for (very successfully) taking three software companies public over the past three decades, including Informix (a database software company), Vantive (a sales support software vendor) and Visigenic – all of which were bought out for more than princely sums.


What is the Connection Cloud?

The Connection Cloud by Elastic Intelligence, Inc. is a PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) technology enabling easy access to SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) data in the cloud in real-time.

“For the first time, businesses and business users can access SaaS data in the cloud in real-time, from any source, and integrate data quickly by using the Connection Cloud,” reported the company.

Sippl said that Connection Cloud was addressing the problem – “a new era of islands of information” – created by many new, and increasingly popular, enterprise software services.

As a strategic partner, the cloud-based service allows Yellowfin customers – or any SQL-enabled application, development language or tool – to access, analyze and present their underlying SaaS data where it resides. That is, from its native source (as if all the data resided in a company’s single local SQL-compliant relational database); skipping the many complex and previously non-negotiable integration steps.

What makes Connection Cloud unique?

Sippl, lead architect and CEO of Elastic Intelligence, pointed to Connection Cloud as a solution to the growing, and growingly important, issue that many enterprises face – trying to extract meaning, and therefore value, from rapidly expanding and disparate / siloed data stores.

Whilst Connection Cloud doesn’t operate in a space of its own – Informatica, SnapLogic, MuleSoft, Denodo and Composite Software also offer cloud data integration services – its ability to perform data integration in real-time (as opposed to performing integration in daily or hourly batches) gives it a significant advantage. So emphatic that this new PaaS offering holds unique marketplace value, Sippl has been reported as saying “It [Connection Cloud] culminates my whole career” – a big statement from a man who has achieved so much. Mike Vannoy – COO of Austin, TX sales acceleration company Sales Engine International – agrees.

“The Connection Cloud is a game changer for us,” said Vannoy in an interview. “In the past, integrating operational data from SaaS applications for reporting and analysis for our clients has been challenging. Every SaaS application has a different way to access data.

“Now I tell the Connection Cloud which SaaS data I need and suddenly I have access to it, in real-time, from where it sits.”

So, Connection Cloud can integrate data from different SaaS products or applications – such as Salesforce, NetSuite, ZenDesk, Eloqua and Intacct – to produce enterprise reports and analysis that draw from any data source to produce results in real-time. But what makes this vista so lucrative for prospective clients?

An example: Connection Cloud in the retail, sales and services industries

Connection Cloud has the potential to save many organizations significant time and money that would have otherwise been spent conducting lengthy and multifaceted integration processes.

In the past, if a retail or sales and service business wanted to decipher who their most loyal and profitable customers were, they would have had to extract customer data from one application (say Salesforce) or business tool, and customer invoice data from another transactional system (like Zuora) – a heavily resource intensive process.

Alternatively, an organization in the retail space may want to offer their most reliable customers (those who have a track record of timely payments) the opportunity to be the first to buy a new product or service. However, to run an effective promotion based on those criteria, customer information in Salesforce would have to be matched with payment data in NetSuite.

“Businesses regularly need to analyze and report on data across CRM, financial, help desk and marketing SaaS applications,” said Sippl. “Until now, that meant spending hours either downloading CSV files, manipulating the data and formatting reports, or investing in costly integration projects.”

Well, not anymore it seems.

Cloud Connection: Unlocking the value in Big Data for SMBs

This new process also has the potential to allow many Small to Midsized Businesses (SMB), that were previously prohibited from performing certain types of data analysis and tapping into ‘Big Data’ stores, to leverage significant volumes of formerly unexplored data and relay those findings to Business Intelligence solution providers such as Yellowfin, to increase decision-making capabilities and derive competitive advantage. The cost, time and expertise inherent in other SaaS-based data integration services – due to their reliance on moving all data from their individual source locations into one place for reporting and exploration – also meant that by the time reports were generated and distributed to decision-makers, much of the information was outdated.

As Elastic Intelligence phrased it: “This [Connection Cloud] puts an end to expensive data integration products that only provide access to ‘copies’ of the data in data warehouses. Other SaaS data integration solutions require that data must be moved and consolidated before trying to make use of it. This pre-staging of the data requires a lot of work to extract, transform, and load the data before use.”