Let’s say you’re running ServiceNow in your organization and have been given the challenge of creating a functional connection between ServiceNow and a number of smaller applications. You’ve done some Googling and looked at a few pieces of ServiceNow documentation, and you’ve come across eBonding as possible solution.
Alternatively, perhaps you have a Managed Service Provider (MSP) who is eager to connect up your respective Service Desk/ITSM tools. And eBonding has been put forward as the integration solution for making your two tools talk to each other.
Either way, this method of service integration is on the cards. However, you can see it might have limitations and you're trying to work out what can be done to mitigate the various weaknesses. Then, ultimately ensure that the future of your software and service ecosystem is running into any major risks.
So what should you do?
Well, just to get ahead of the issue: eBonding is actually a pretty tired solution, but it is still leaned upon a lot in order to get a wide range of specific integrations up and running.
Most businesses we see move forward with eBonding often end up in a place where they can’t mature or grow those integrations in a way that suits the goals of the business.
And within a year or so, the eBonded integration becomes more of a hindrance than a help. But don’t worry – there are easy ways around this!
What is eBonding?
Like many integration solutions, eBonding allows you to pass data between two pieces of software. It’s a particularly popular solution for ServiceNow users, where by you create a bi-directional integration between ServiceNow and another application.
You can often see this used in MSP or multiple ITSM tools environments, where you might have two or more teams collaborating over service requests. And you need to ensure the data they are all working from is consistent across all systems and teams.
The main benefits of eBonding include:
eBonding typically provides you with a 'synchronised' exchange – which means that data is shared automatically, and you'll always have matching data in both systems (in theory).
It helps remove manual interventions (like data entry) and associated human errors
It maintains confidentiality and privacy by enabling you to choose which information is exchanged
Why you would be considering eBonding as a solution
I often see eBonding as an MSP-led solution. They have their own version of ServiceNow or Remedy and they don’t want to have any manual processes for managing single service requests/tickets across your service desk and theirs.
Because eBonding can usually be setup within ServiceNow’s own eBonding/integration tooling and doesn’t require much manual coding, it’s quite an attractive solution for the MSP. And for the end customer, it cuts out any debate or negotiation around changing or sharing service desk software, which is a big issue for many early-stage MSP/customer relationships.
Case Sudy: US Based MSP, AHEAD needed a solution that would seamlessly integrate not just ServiceNow and the end-customer, but also their monitoring solution, LogicMonitor.
Read the full AHEAD case story
But, ServiceNow eBonding is not scalable and it is not mature enough for most of the service provider and vendor integration needs you’re going to be coming up against in the future.
Why you should not do it
Modern businesses need to move, change and adapt quickly. The most competitive brands I have worked with, all place their agility around technology and software at the forefront of their IT strategies. And what I am now increasingly seeing, is that IT leaders see integration as one of the biggest enablers of this kind of agility.
This is because the ecosystem of software and services you have in your business, is now far more important than any one piece of software. The way those different software packages work together is defined by the quality and performance of your service integrations. So, investing in modern and high-performing integration is front of mind for these leading businesses.
eBonding can’t meet these needs because it is bi-directional. Connecting up one ITSM tool to another may sound great on paper. But strategically it’s a disaster, as you will need to create further layers of integration solutions on top of that bond whenever you want to introduce new applications to the integration ecosystem.
For example, if you’re managing an integration between ServiceNow and Remedy with an eBonded connection, but then you want to introduce Zendesk, Jira and Salesforce to this network, you need to create brand new integrations across each and every platform. It might sound like just a necessary step in growing out your integrations. However, there are very straight forward alternative methods you can use, which negate the need for eBonding altogether.
How easy is the alternative?
Super easy! You might have already looked at (or purchased) popular iPaaS tools such as Dell Boomi, Jitterbit or Mulesoft, however these are not quite the tools you need right now (unless you want to code integrations by yourself or hire army of developers to code and maintain your integrations).
To mature past the limitations of eBonding, you need something faster, lighter and much more scalable than a traditional iPaaS tool.
You can use solutions such as ONEiO's Integration Automation Platform to quickly create many-to-many integrations between an unlimited number of software and services.
This is a BIG step beyond a bi-directional integration within eBonding, as you are effectively putting a centralized integration hub at the centre of your business, then invite any piece of software to join.
No one piece of software is seen as more or less important than another. And no data is ever lost, duplicated or inconsistent. The synchronizing nature of eBonding is significantly over taken by real-time data sharing, across an uncapped number of applications which is all managed by a centralized hub.
On top of this, it’s better value for money.
How do you get started?
Shifting over to this way of working couldn’t be easier. You don’t even need to disrupt existing integrations in order to set up new ones.
If you were to use an Integration Service Provider such as ONEiO, you can actually take advantage of a wide range of pre-built integrations, which means you can get most connections up and running in less than a day. If you don't want to get your "hands dirty" you can also get your integrations as a service (IaaS)
For example, almost all ServiceNow to ServiceNow (and many other ITSM tools) integrations can be setup and working in a few hours; with no downtime, coding or testing required at all (yes, really).
If you'd like to learn more about ONEiO, The Service Provider For Your Integrations and alternative to eBonding, click here.
Or, you can book a 15 minute assessment call with our integration expert to discuss best options to your integration needs. Book an assessment call here.
Read More about robust Service Integrations: The Now and Future of Service Integration
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