It doesn’t seem all that long ago when K8 was the primary software platform that Kerridge Commercial Systems’ (KCS) customers used to run their businesses.For the most part, there were rather fewer third party software products to consider; the need for their integration was more the exception than the rule. But as we now know, the internet, ecommerce solutions and mobile technologies would change that position significantly, with opportunity and benefit potential on a scale that could have barely been imagined a few years back.
Fast forward to the present; ‘online’ is now in common parlance and universally accepted in our daily lives. And, moreover, there’s little doubt that customer expectations, in particular when thinking about their digital experience, have taken a massive, want-it-sooner-ideally-now, leap forward.
Enter a new generation of developers and IT service providers who, just like KCS, have been addressing problems, working to streamline how things can be done better and more efficiently. And hence, the demand for system integration, particularly in our brave new online world, is now at a whole new level. Doing so successfully and expediently means that the real benefits of third party software – implemented as layered applications within K8, can really kick in. Greater business efficiency, more competitive advantage, eliminating duplicate effort, cutting out paperwork and more; the business case to do so is usually compelling.
Cutting to the chase, we are now at the stage that KCS customers, across the spectrum, want to take much greater advantage of K8’s capabilities. And so, focussing on delivering more web-site functionality and integrated layered applications, enter the new KCS Advanced Web Services toolset - now standard with K8 Babbage 11. More powerful and with greater flexibility than current facilities, the KCS development team has not compromised when it comes to performance optimisation.
The Advanced Web Services toolset is fully scalable, covers system load and structure, with the ability to drive multiple and concurrent branch specific processes. The toolset has not been developed exclusively for any particular sector or business type, large or small, in the KCS customer base. It is for all. Any KCS customer that has a website and/or a third party software requirement could benefit from what the new toolset can do. In addition, being cost effective to deploy, it’s something of an ‘all carrot’ and no stick development.
With more in the pipeline, the Advanced Web Services toolset is ready now with Web Builder and ecommerce connectors (replacing the current K8 eBusiness module), Magento integration, ePOD integration and reporting dashboard capabilities.
In terms of how things are likely to progress, it’s clear that mobile apps are set to become even more commonplace in how systems are used – the new toolset addresses that. Future apps developed by KCS will communicate seamlessly with each other and third party apps, as well as being integrated with the core K8 solution. Recognising also that some KCS customers already have third party/layered applications, existing integrations are also preserved and will work in parallel to the new toolset’s suite of APIs. Migration to Advanced Web Services is optional, new capabilities will, of course, be offered through Advanced Web Services.
This blog is not intended to explain the technical detail of SOAP and RESTful APIs, JSON, XML and the like. It’s not necessary at this time to talk about the toolset’s self-documenting capabilities or how it can be used alongside other integration tools, such as K8 Data Exchange. All that can be arranged if you wish. What is important is to realise that this is a major development for our customers, the next chapter in the KCS integration story.
Bringing this together, think of Advanced Web Services as a catalyst, a trigger point to stimulate new innovative ideas and solutions to improve the way things are done. Front of house, back office, wherever. At KCS, we know that many of our customers want more ‘integration’ power in K8 and demands are rising. We reckon it’s time to stretch the imagination.