Eric D. Schabell: Integration Key to Customer Experience - Example Process Integration

Monday, January 14, 2019

Integration Key to Customer Experience - Example Process Integration

omnichannel customer experience
Part 7 - Example process integration
In my previous article from this series we looked in to details that determine how your integration becomes the key to transforming your customer experience.

It started with laying out the process of how I've approached the use case by researching successful customer portfolio solutions as the basis for a generic architecture.

Having completed our discussions on the architectural details, it's now time to look at a few specific examples.

This article walks you through an example integration scenario showing how expanding the previously discussed details provides guidance for your own integration scenarios.

Architecture scenario

As mentioned before, the architectural details covered here are base on real customer integration solutions using open source technologies. The example scenario presented here is a generic common architecture that was uncovered researching customer solutions. It's my intent to provide an architecture that provides guidance and not deep technical details.

This section covers the visual representations as presented, but it's expected that they'll be evolving visually over time. There are many ways to represent each element in this architecture, but I've chosen icons, text and colours that I hope are going to make it all easy to absorb. Feel free to post comments at the bottom of this post, or contact me directly with your feedback.

Now let's take a look at the details in this architecture and outline the solution.

Process integration
omnichannel customer experience

The example architecture shown in the figure titled Example: Process Integration outlines how to integrate automation in to your architecture. In this example, starting from the top, a mobile device is used to connect to your services through an API gateway.

It's leveraging a group of microservices that provide frontend functionality, everything from push notifications, synchronization, to simple more complex activities that front end application need to service their clients.

These frontend microservices are gathering data and information from the various organizational backend systems by working through integration microservices.  There is a conscience effort here to keep this architectural example as concise as possible, therefore the integration of various potential backend systems has been simplified to a single representative box.

When interaction with process automation is desired, the mobile application works with process facade microservices that expose any functionality of the process server, which leverages container native storage highlighting container-based storage options featured by container platforms.

Third party services

omnichannel customer experienceAs many organizations have to deal with third party legacy decisions in their architectures, it makes sense to show the versatility that open source integration technology offers. It's easy to lean on metaphors where open standards in open source integration solutions offer organizations the versatility of a  Swiss Army knife.

The architecture shown in figure titled Example: Process Integration with Third Party Services expands the original process integration use case with a third party service platform

Without specifying this third party service platform, it's clear that leveraging the integration microservices an organization can establish a separation from legacy technology choices that might not be standing the test of time. 

What's next

This overview covers the first example architecture on process integration for the omnichannel customer experience use case. 

An overview of the series on omnichannel customer experience portfolio architecture can be found here:
  1. An introduction
  2. Generic common architectural elements
  3. External application details
  4. API management details
  5. Container platform essentials
  6. Storage services
  7. Example process integration
  8. Example mobile integration
  9. Example service integration
Catch up on any articles you missed by following one of the links above.

Next in this series, we're taking a look at a more specific mobile integration example that ties in all the elements we've discussed as in our omnichannel customer experience.