I’ve been working with SharpCloud for the last 6 months with a key focus on interoperability and integration and how this powerful data visualisation tool can be of benefit to many different organisations looking to improve transparency, visibility and collaboration across their strategic portfolio’s with ease. Typical use-cases include; Enterprise Risk Management, Portfolio Management, Innovation and Roadmapping.
My role is to make it easier for consulting partners and customers to use SharpCloud as part of an end to end solution to solve a business problem - through various integration tools and techniques - as well as provide advice and guidance to ensure SharpCloud fits within their existing unique environment.
Building on my own Business Intelligence, Data Warehousing and Data Governance experience, I wanted to share a series of blogs covering the different integration features of SharpCloud and how some of our customers are seeing the benefits of these capabilities in what is now a truly Enterprise ready scalable platform.
SharpCloud offers several approaches to integration and interoperability with many common Line of Business (LoB) tools and is designed to enhance and complement existing methodologies across your business processes and support investment in those tools, as well as being able to stand alone. SharpCloud becomes far more valuable though when it’s enriching existing business processes or enabling entire new business processes, as its ability to provide powerful visualisation makes it truly unique in identifying previously unseen insights.
"My organization uses SharpCloud to manage our product development projects, resulting in a 10% increase in efficiency. We use SharpCloud to display and leverage data from other line of business tools; Jira, MS Office Project, CRM system and SAP. This provides us with a single source of truth.”
- Diana Grauer, Ph. D, Vice President of Engineering, Hoerbiger
With the ability to connect to tools such as SharePoint, Excel, SmartSheets, Jira, Azure DevOps, VSTS, P6, Oracle, SQL and embedding from Word, PowerPoint, Tableau, BO and many more, SharpCloud allows you to communicate, interact, and collaborate across multiple documents and data in context and by topic.
In this series of blogs, we will look at the four main features of our integration capabilities:
- Office 365 Integrated Data Sources
SharpCloud is fully-integrated with Office 365 meaning you can use your O365 license to authenticate with SharpCloud, providing seamless integration with Excel and SharePoint Online lists built directly into SharpCloud. With secure user authentication via Azure AD and Office 365 single sign-on, SharpCloud can integrate with and augment Office 365 productivity tools and Microsoft Office documents and present this data in a highly visual and flexible way.
Annotations allow for content from third party tools to be embedded into a SharpCloud story. Examples of this include graphics and dashboards generated in PowerBI, Tableau and Qlikview. These capabilities allow you to quickly and easily create compelling portals, dashboards and data-driven presentations that provide a greater user-experience.
- Representational State Transfer (REST) API
SharpCloud offers a REST API that can be used to access SharpCloud data using modern web programming tools. The SharpCloud API provides a mechanism for other IT systems to communicate directly with the SharpCloud database via an object model-based interface and via ETL and workflow tools such as SSIS, Informatica and Microsoft Flow.
Widgets can be embedded into your story views to add new functionality to your story. These connectors use REST API’s to read and write data directly to and from third party products to SharpCloud. Examples of this, but not limited to, include JIRA, Azure DevOPs and SharePoint.
By gathering information from different data sources and tools in one place, SharpCloud users can quickly create and explore powerful business stories in portfolio management that can be used as dynamic presentations and strategic roadmaps.
In conclusion, SharpCloud is easy to use within your existing environment of LoB tools and technology landscape and supports the entire end to end business process; all the people, tools, technologies, actions and data that are involved in taking the inputs and then delivering the output in whatever form that might be. We will explore the four types of integration and the ability to move seamlessly between SharpCloud and other LoB tools in more detail over the coming weeks.