Let’s open all the gates! – a plea for digital collaboration and openness in times of social distancing

Data sharing and the need for collaboration is necessary for every party, whether you talk to software developers of logistic service providers. The time organizations could place large fences around their IT landscape is no more. Let’s throw all gates wide open and support sharing data!

One of the aspects of a sales position is that you speak to many people within different organizations and you can develop insights from the challenges that play within these organizations. Whether it concerns software developers or logistics service providers, data sharing and the need for collaboration (with other organizations) is necessary according to every party. The time organizations could place large fences around their IT landscape and only had to look inside is long gone. Opening up the IT landscape, making data available, and intensively collaborating with chain parties seems to be the key to success in the digital economy. This doesn’t mean that data security is not an issue, it is more important than ever! However, organizations would do well to investigate how they can add value by sharing or consuming data securely and in a controlled manner.

Take the logistics control tower, for example, something with which eMagiz Partner CAPE Groep has a lot of experience. A logistics control tower is a central information hub that integrates various data flows and presents them in a clear way to users so that they can make the right decisions in logistics processes. The value of such a system stands or falls with the quality and availability of data from various sources. The more data is available, the better additional or distinctive services can be designed. By also linking such a logistics control tower to ‘new’ data patterns such as ‘event streaming’, ‘real-time decision making‘ can also be better supported.

For the providers of these data sources, there will be an increasing demand for opening the platforms they offer, for example by means of standard APIs. Chain parties, for example customers or suppliers, can use these APIs to unlock data and use it in their landscape. This applies, for example, to track-and-trace information for logistics flows, so that estimated arrival times can be calculated, but also for sectors where you may directly not expect it. For example, a manufacturer of large equipment and agricultural vehicles installs numerous sensors on its machines, sensors that generate valuable data and can be read by users and organizations by means of APIs to optimize production and maintenance. A good example of a data-driven economy and the monetization of data through the use of APIs.

‘Monitizing’ through APIs is a topic that many companies, that may have valuable data, grapple and question. After all, many companies are under the assumption that if they make data available, they will also have to charge for this. My experience is that many of these companies think of charging the number of calls that are made or the amount of data that is exchanged. This is possible but often requires great effort on the part of the provider for the administration and processing of consumption data, so that billing can be done on the correct basis. In addition, this method of monetizing often seems to seriously slow down and sometimes even hinder the successful exploitation of APIs.

Other options include setting up a data subscription, a one-off flat fee, or incorporating the proposition into the general product. Companies that are going to work with this would do well to draw up an API strategy. This forces companies to think about lifecycle management, versioning, security, and other important issues, such as the value proposition that can enable ‘monetizing’. For organizations that feel that they do not have this knowledge in-house, there are sufficient parties in the market that can help with this.

Organizations that will mainly consume data sources are discovering that there will be an increasing internal demand to integrate with different data sources. These organizations are wise to estimate how data will play a role in their proposition and chain and to evaluate whether the current infrastructure and resources enable them to deal with this. For example, are they able to access APIs in a controlled and quick manner, or do they still mainly work with old technology? Do they already have the knowledge and skills in-house or do they still have to look for it in the current, tight labor market? An important consideration that these companies will have to make, is whether they want to build their own integration competence or whether they want to outsource this to an external party. Building your own integration competence is possible through the development of accessible low-code integration platforms, but of course requires a certain degree of consistency with regard to the integrations in the work queue. Organizations that integrate only sporadically will generally be better off with a capable integration partner.

Whatever organization you speak to, everyone is convinced that data and integration will play an (even more) crucial role in the coming years. While there are differences in maturity levels between different industries and organizations, everyone is engaged in data-driven initiatives. Collaboration and sharing data are important in this and as far as I am concerned, we’re throwing all gates wide open. As a supplier of the eMagiz iPaaS, I enjoy having conversations with organizations, talking about different use cases and gaining new, better insights about how such a platform can help to solve the business challenges of organizations. and help them take it one step further on their digital transformation journey. It turns out that listening carefully to each other and putting yourself in the position of the other is crucial. Hopefully, this can soon be done face-to-face instead of digitally.


By Tom ten Vregelaar, Account manager @ eMagiz