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VMblog Expert Interview: Jetic - Innovative Open-Source iPaaS Redefining Cloud Integration

interview-jetic-asluczka 

In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud integration, a pioneering company called Jetic is making waves with its innovative approach to Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). Jetic is a cloud-native iPaaS that challenges the traditional, proprietary integration solutions by leveraging robust, open-source frameworks and embracing a low-code philosophy.

Jetic's unique value proposition lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate into existing cloud-native technology stacks, covering the entire software supply chain from conception to operations within days, rather than weeks or months. By combining the flexibility of open-source with the ease of modern low-code platforms, Jetic empowers engineering teams to build tailor-made, highly scalable integration solutions that natively embed into their existing ecosystems.

In an insightful Q&A session with VMblog, Andre Sluczka, CEO of Jetic sheds light on the company's visionary approach to integration, their decision to forgo the VC route, and the advantages of being a self-funded, product, and service provider. Jetic's commitment to innovation, agility, and customer-centric solutions makes it a compelling choice for organizations seeking a cloud-native, open-source integration platform that redefines the boundaries of what's possible.

VMblog:  First of all, give me an overview of Jetic.

Andre Sluczka:  Jetic is a cloud-native Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) that redefines integration for engineering teams. Instead of being bound to proprietary, closed-source technologies that enforce how IT teams build and manage their platform, we fabricate integrations by leveraging robust and well-established open-source frameworks. Thanks to our combined low-code and open-source approach, our customers get a tailor-made, highly scalable platform that natively embeds into their existing cloud-native technology stack, covering the full software supply chain from conception to operations, within a few days instead of weeks or months.

Jetic works across the entire spectrum of integration scenarios, including real-time integration, API management, serverless integration, event streaming, data capture, and data transformation, facilitating seamless automation of business processes. Operating within Git standards, Jetic integrates into any GitFlow and GitOps strategy, offering a professional software rollout that embraces modern CI/CD practices. The platform adds advanced monitoring and observability tools, enabling comprehensive root-cause analysis for technical and business analysts - features often not found in the open-source world.

VMblog:  Tell me about how you envisioned your product.

Sluczka:  We are uniquely positioned. We have been a highly focused system integrator for over a decade implementing dozens of mission-critical integration projects using the world's largest software vendor offerings. While the software engineering industry pioneered new technologies - think cloud-native - large software integration vendors showed their biggest weakness: quickly adapting to new technology stacks.

While the open-source ecosystem literally took off (read Kubernetes, GitOps, etc.), integration end users were missing out and struggling to implement today's use cases with deprecated technologies from a decade or two ago.

We needed to create a solution that would enable companies to benefit from the recent technological advancements in the industry. We recognized that open-source and the surrounding ecosystem are quite complex to navigate and require experts in many different areas and a lot of time-resources that end-users often simply do not have.

After three years of testing and proven success, we officially launched our iPaaS in December 2023. Jetic has become a reliable and robust serverless platform enabling developers, citizen integrators, and analysts to engineer, deliver, and maintain scalable APIs and integrations with hundreds of pre-built connectors, patterns, and deployment options.

VMblog:  How does Jetic differentiate its competitors?

Sluczka:  Companies have essentially three options to choose from:

Legacy Vendors: Very mature integration software offerings that have been around for decades. While any technically advanced use case will be covered, those systems are often very expensive, complex, and unfortunately often powered by an outdated technology stack.

Challenger Vendors: Modern integration vendors with low-code capabilities and managed service offerings. The issue for medium and enterprise IT with core integration needs is that they outgrow these managed solutions pretty quickly and find themselves stuck in a non-covered situation. This is an absolute no-go, considering the significance of these projects.

Build: The developer in me is excited by this. However, while this approach leaves you with the most flexibility, it comes with a huge price tag: effort and skill set. Does your organization really benefit from that investment? How do you justify this? Does a car rental company create its own cars?

Obviously, this created a gap in the integration market, which we filled with Jetic. We blended the freedom of open source with the ease of modern low-code vendors. The coverage of technically advanced use-cases (such as AS400, SOAP, HL7, or EDI, etc.) came naturally as we utilize open-source frameworks used by the largest organizations worldwide for decades.

If you want to build a highly scalable, resilient iPaaS that gives you the power, maturity, and agility of cloud-native and open-source without sacrificing expensive vendor lock-ins, then Jetic is worth considering.

VMblog:  Rumor has it you didn't go the VC route. Why not?

Sluczka:  We developed Jetic when VC funding was at its peak thanks to a very low interest environment because of Covid. Despite the funding-friendly environment we decided not to pursue the VC road for a few reasons:

I was running a profitable consulting firm that had already created many jobs. Employees, customers, and partners relied on me, and getting VC funding would have required us to cut that off.

Building software for enterprise IT is a beast. Getting things right from the get-go is unlikely. It requires countless iterations and decisions until your product not only ticks all the boxes for an evaluation but also provides the value to justify the investment. This takes a lot of time, and we knew that being VC-funded would mean time would not have been on our side.

We had access to resources, customers, and funding, which put us in a different situation than most other founders. Why not take advantage of that?

Going forward, we will revisit that decision on a regular basis. Are we delivering across the supply chain? Do we create enough long-term value for our customers? We will only consider and take on VC funding if we see an aligned strategy that creates a win-win for our customers, employees, and the VC's limited partners together.

VMblog:  So, how do you finance Jetic?

Sluczka:  We operate very resource-efficiently. Every dollar we invest needs to create some direct benefits for our customers; there is no room for excuses. Our profitable consulting arm not only gives us the insight needed to develop such a platform in the right direction, it also allows us to divert funds and invest in our product offering.

Where other consulting firms struggle with scheduling issues in between projects, creating some anxiety around job safety, we have optimized our internal processes and procedures so that we can use any off-time very efficiently for Jetic. Our consultants are now eagerly waiting for downtime to contribute to Jetic. That's pretty cool, isn't it?

VMblog:  What are the other advantages of being a product and service provider?

Sluczka:  The media attention created around the entire VC industry makes us forget that the vast majority of businesses never get any funding. Having large amounts of money at your disposal does not automatically generate success. I think it can even lead to the opposite as it takes so much time and energy, bringing together two worlds that are not necessarily made for each other. There are 3 main advantages to being self-funded:

We know our customers' and their competitors' products well, allowing us to focus and build the ideal product.

We keep control over the company's governance, avoiding the infamous board taking over the business. As a small company, we can make decisions quickly and easily - sometimes these are tough decisions to make but we are fortunate enough to be able to make them by ourselves.

We are not at the mercy of VC funds drying out or taking over the company. There are just too many dynamics you as a visionary founder get drawn into that have nothing to do with your product, customers, or vision.

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Published Tuesday, March 26, 2024 2:45 PM by David Marshall
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