Data is the new oil for businesses and organisations today as data drives immense value. Enterprises and organisations invest heavily in big data and data analytics to gain better insights on their business planning, customer behaviour and business decisions.
Despite, such trends across industries, they are still struggling when it comes to leveraging historic data and its value in a timely manner. Probably, its use remains very much confined and limited to only certain business functions in the organisations. On the other hand, businesses see a major challenge in handling real-time data and deriving insights and taking actions.
This indicates that there’s a need for data or event-driven approach, which can enable organisations to streamline data across functions and applications in a real-time manner. This can improve decision making but also derive data value and insights that help organisations to take actions and run microservices.
Solace, a Canada based middleware and appliances company, recently launched its latest product PubSub+Event Portal which primarily enables organisations with real-time event-driven data streaming across functions and services.
In this interview, Sumeet Puri, Chief Technology Solutions Officer – Solace talks to TechHerald.in to discuss the company’s new product PubSub + Event Portal for businesses, its benefits and how the product can help IT decision-makers /CIOs.
He also talks about the challenges that organisations and businesses are facing due to lack of a comprehensive tool for real-time data and its overall impact, and also the why organizations unable to leverage data more effectively for business and more.
Q1. Solace’s new product PubSub+ Event Portal largely focuses on enabling organisations with real-time event-driven data streaming across the IT architecture, applications and related microservices. So how would you explain Solace’s new offering to IT decision-makers/ CIOs and business stakeholders in a simple way?
Sumeet Puri: To meet the needs of real-time business applications, architecture is evolving from the batch, service-oriented architecture (SOA) or point-to-point communication, towards event-driven streaming. It is critical that businesses are aware of all the events and flows designed and ensure that there are no discrepancies so that events can be reused, catalogued, governed for new, real-time applications to produce and consume them.
However, as there is no central enterprise service bus (ESB, which is often a performance and agility bottleneck) in an event-driven approach, companies may not have the tools to help them visualise application or microservices choreography; oversee which events are flowing within the enterprise, or across applications; or even the relationships between those events.
Solace’s PubSub+ Event Portal fills that void, making it easier for enterprises to efficiently visualise, model, govern and share events across their organisation, allowing the adoption of event-driven architecture easily with a full Event Streaming Platform. The benefits of real-time communications, hybrid cloud streaming, asynchronous application programming interfaces (APIs) and guaranteed delivery can then be achieved.
Q2. In the absence of comprehensive tools available to organisations, what are the challenges that organisations and businesses are facing today and how much it impacts them?
Sumeet Puri: As organisations move towards an event streaming architecture, they need to be able to visualise event flows and event metrics. The nature of events is inherently one too many and events can be subscribed in parallel by multiple consuming applications.
For example, if a new order is received, the order management system needs to receive the event of the new order. But the company might also want the customer’s loyalty application and the data lake aiming for the overall campaign management system to also be updated with a copy of the new order event. But how do these applications know that such an order event exists, and on what topic?
Similarly, how do architects know which applications or microservices are producing which events; who is consuming what events? How do businesses govern event schemas? Without a tool solving the above needs, event-driven architecture, and event streaming could be difficult to adopt.
Solace Event Portal is a first-of-its-kind product empowering businesses with capabilities to help them innovate by consuming events and be more agile. By making the event catalogue a central record of all events, new applications will be able to identify the events that flow within the mesh and can consume them to offer new capability, thereby promoting agility.
Event Catalogues and flow choreography also promote reuse and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), as compared to point-to-point or event representational state transfer (REST) API-based distributed monoliths. Runtime audits and discovery further promote governance and the ability to enforce data lineage.
Q3. Is the data being used in a very restrictive and limited way by certain functions/departments in the organisations?
Sumeet Puri: To unlock the real value of data, businesses need to set data in motion as event streams, as the value of data depreciates exponentially with time. Many enterprises are also sitting on huge volumes of data. The best way to leverage such historical data is to consume and correlate it with real-time event streams for insights and actions.
This is where event streams flow into data lakes, which could be on any cloud, with access control based filters to what data flows where, in a compressed, encrypted manner. Having these event flows in real-time on the event mesh, and catalogued in the PubSub+ Event Portal, go a long way towards unlocking both data at rest and in motion, for real-time and historical analytics.
Q4. How can Solace’s PubSub+ Event Portal help and benefit organizations and businesses? Can you also brief some of the core features of this product?
Sumeet Puri: Solace’s PubSub+ Event Portal is the market’s first event management toolset to design, create, discover, catalogue, share, visualise, secure and manage all the events within the enterprise. These capabilities complement that of event streaming platforms and are necessary for making agile, responsive and scalable applications.
The Event Portal’s capabilities can be categorised as Design Time and Run-Time Capabilities. Design Time capabilities include defining and modelling event-driven systems, visualising existing relationships and developing consistent event-driven applications.
Run Time capabilities include discovering and sharing events of interest, governing the event-driven system, managing and auditing changes to events, schemas, and applications, and runtime event discovery. The event portal also can integrate with third-party systems for programmatic interactions.
Q5. Which are the key verticals that can leverage Solace’s new product and what is the ROI that organizations can look at while investing in it?
Sumeet Puri: Be it banking or supply chains, telcos or manufacturing, businesses are increasingly dependent on knowing and acting upon information in real-time. Any industry or business that needs real-time information can benefit from event streaming architectures and its adoption can be made easy, agile, and efficient with the Event Portal.
Without the event portal, enterprises struggle to know what events are flowing through their systems. Having visibility and cataloguing of the events allow for reuse, thereby driving costs down and increasing developer productivity. The ability to see and act on events in real-time allows businesses to innovate to achieve better efficiencies, greater revenue by rolling out newer capabilities faster or even catalysing thoughts for new capabilities.
Q6. In your view, are organisations using the data effectively? Or still there exists a gap when it comes to decision making, business models, and the collected data pools and its value?
Sumeet Puri: Except for industries like FX trading, which are heavily reliant on algorithms to make quick data-driven decisions, most businesses are scratching the surface when it comes to real-time analytics, insights and decisions.
Take customer offers for example; I posted an advertisement selling my old TV and bought a used mixer on a popular buy/sell app. Guess what offers the app keeps extending to me? TVs which I’m selling or mixers that I’ve already bought! Could businesses better correlate my click/search patterns, with users in my demographic, or try to understand and predict my preferences? To avoid inaccurate targeting and eventually missed opportunities, businesses need to correlate real-time user behaviour with historical data.
Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and other insights technologies need to work on both data at rest and real-time data streams and correlate various streams to arrive at more accurate data-backed decisions and predictions. Given that the source and destination of these events might differ, they need to be able to flow across cloud, on-premises and IoT environments. Hence, the Event Portal and the broader event streaming platform, together with the Event Mesh, streaming adapters and processors, can make AI and ML more effective.
(Image source: Solace)