The business side of integration monitoring with Wilfred Noppers



March 2, 2022

wilfred_noppers

In this interview, I talk to someone from the business side of technology: Wilfred Noppers, Head of Business Development and Co-Founder of Motion10.

What is your function and in what manner are you confronted with monitoring issues?

My role at Motion10 is Manager Business Development. All integration-related issues go past me, the consultants are often the ones who ask the questions about monitoring with the customer. Monitoring is always part of ADS and we want to have monitoring tooling with every customer.

What do you often encounter in terms of monitoring / what do you notice when working for a customer?

We always take monitoring into account. Customers themselves often run into having too little insights. BizTalk always gets the blame when problems arise, and BizTalk developers or administrator must always prove the opposite. There is a lot of time and effort involved.

What should every IT manager responsible for integration know within an organization (what do you often hear back from customers)?

We often observe that monitoring is not a concern for all customers. Monitoring information that is seen in the BizTalk admin console is difficult to interpret, and Microsoft reports are also not human-readable (or non-developer readable). Clear notifications for non-developers would be great.

With what purpose are monitoring tools often used (which customer requests are involved, is a goal always specific)?

BizTalk is business-critical, so customer demand is quite broad: make sure that nothing can go wrong with our processes and data. We can facilitate this by using (various) monitoring tools.

In what scenario is monitoring most often used, first-line monitoring (functional) vs. second-line monitoring (technical)?

Both are important, where lies more need is difficult to estimate for me given my role.

What is missing in the current monitoring solutions?

All big parties in monitoring have good and strong characteristics; preferably you would merge them. 360 lacks machine learning and predictive power, from Microsoft we lack a roadmap and vision. AIMS is doing well with artificial intelligence and machine learning but I wonder if they can keep up with Microsoft and would like to hear what their vision is.

Can you share an example(s) of a downtime incident that caused problems?

A rapidly growing customer of ours was developing such a large environment that monitoring became very difficult. They did not want managed services, but they expected us to always be available. They also did not want to invest in monitoring tooling. When their BizTalk environment went down, they could not sell their products in any store in the Netherlands and nobody knew where the problem was. At huge cost!

Do you have a customer that extracts business intelligence / analytics from their IT systems in general, and integrations environment specifically?

We do have a number of BI customers, but I work with integration customers and it does not happen that much in my line of work. Customers are now mainly occupied with cloud transition and to a lesser extent with BI.

How do you see Azure and the current development towards the cloud? BizTalk vs. Logic Apps?

I see three types of integration; on-prem, cloud, and hybrid. They will co-exist for a while but I suspect that everything will go to the cloud.

How do you see the future of integration and how should monitoring solutions adapt to this?

Monitoring solutions need to use more machine learning and artificial intelligence. I see Microsoft as the leader in that area. We now see integration as a separate branch, but monitoring on one component, such as LogicApps, is not functional. Integration is growing, iPaaS is growing, I expect that control of all integrations in the field of API management will be done.

The IT world is getting more complex, and IT managers need to cope: How do you see the demands on IT systems getting more complex, and how are you coping with this?

Integration becomes more complicated because we are working more and more with microservices and custom APIs. Yes, the IT world is becoming more complex and integrations are getting bigger, but it is being made easier to integrate applications and services. This complexity makes monitoring a lot more important in future integrations.

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Topics from this blog: Blog

Author

BizTalk and Azure integration consultant, technical writer and #aimsperformancepro.

Eva De Jong

BizTalk and Azure integration consultant, technical writer and #aimsperformancepro.

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