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Speeding up the game at Alma: The value comes from APIs

Alma Media is a multi-channel media company with a strong capacity for renewal and a never-ending willingness to improve. Digital growth is one of the cornerstones of Alma’s strategy. To stay in the frontline, Alma has to be agile. No wonder they consider cloud technologies an investment on business development.

Alma was in urgent need of a new integration platform for the SAP environment. With a long history together, Alma counted on Sofigate to find a suitable solution. “An Integration platform is a must, but the added value comes from APIs. When we started this project, we were just at the beginning of our API development. We wanted a solution that would eventually support that”, says Virve Kiuru, Solution & Process Manager at Alma Media.

A cost-efficient cloud-based solution was a strong candidate from the beginning. With Sofigate’s support, Alma opted for SAP Integration Suite (formerly known as SAP CPI, Cloud Platform Integration). It offers e.g., pre-packaged integration for quick plug and play flows between applications, best-of-breed end-to-end API management to enable and govern secure access to systems, and an application development and extension platform with accelerators for developers.

In the following six months, Sofigate built 17 new interfaces allowing Alma’s migration to the new integration platform. “Everything was carried out as scheduled and within the budget, so we consider it a success”, Kiuru states.

SAP Integration Suite aced it for APIs

The project was taken live one interface at a time to minimise the risks, and the system has been fully functional since November. The benefits for API development have fast become evident.

“We are delighted to see that our business has already brought up needs for new APIs and we have been able to cover them. The APIs are an important trend in the integration world and SAP Integration Suite offers excellent API possibilities,” Kiuru rejoices.

SAP Integration Suite has proven to be far more agile than Alma’s previous on-premise platform.

“The maintenance is easier, the solution is handier to use and the end-users can see the development better. SAP Integration Suite has been an excellent choice: we can now offer more agile support, which opens new possibilities to our business.”

Mutual trust and learning

Part of this success is a result of the good working relationship established between Alma and Sofigate. The cooperation – based on trust and open communication – was smooth all throughout the project.

“When you genuinely care about what the other person thinks, you reach a point of trust. The rest just follows: an honest and open communication on both sides, leading to a good working relationship. Everyone at Alma was willing to hear out our suggestions and we listened to their needs; I genuinely enjoyed working with them. This is an intangible, but very important benefit”, says Anthony Bateman, Senior Advisor at Sofigate. He continues:

“Additionally, we work with Alma in a broader context; we are always exploring ways to add business value with the SAP Business Technology Platform, of which this work is just a part – Integration. We are also exploring ways to use this platform to add value to their data, and extend their existing solutions, in addition to exploring new avenues of innovation. Our philosophy is to develop and architect solutions that reduce complexity for the end users, allowing them to focus on their business needs.”

“Sofigate offered us help, support, and flexibility whenever it was needed. Integration Suite is quite a novel solution for the SAP world, at least in Finland, so this has required some learning on both sides. This considered, the result is excellent”, Kiuru concludes.

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