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CIO Influence Interviews Digital Transformation

CIO Influence Interview with Neil Kole, Chief Information Officer at Boomi

CIO Influence Interview with Neil Kole, Chief Information Officer at Boomi

“Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the buzzwords in AI-driven ITOps and cybersecurity management.”

Hi, Neil. Welcome to our CIO Influence Interview Series. Please tell us a little bit about your journey in the IT industry and how you started at Boomi.

I have spent my entire career in IT. I started at IBM when I was 18 and haven’t left the industry since. Prior to joining Boomi in August of 2021, I held senior IT roles for various companies such as Informatica, Intuit, Symantec and more. In my 20+ years of experience in IT, I have gained expertise across a variety of IT functions, including engineering, security, network/IT infrastructure, and applications.

In my role now, I oversee Boomi’s critical IT infrastructure as well as our customer service platforms, which serve approximately 20,000 customers globally.

The people and the possibilities at Boomi motivate me to get up and get to work. We are creating technology that connects everyone to everything, no matter where they are in the world as well as helping organizations simplify very complex enterprise environments. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Boomi and for our customers.

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The last two years have accelerated digital transformation for businesses of all sizes and stature. What are the most challenging issues facing a modern CIO today? How did you overcome these challenges?

Today, IT teams across the globe are facing incredible pressures. Organizations are using more applications than ever before, and are asking IT to connect all of the software more quickly than ever before. But IT teams should be spending their time innovating or responding to new business demands instead of spending hours on routine, tedious tasks. To counteract this, our team at Boomi uses our low-code, integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to handle all of our connectivity requests, freeing up their time for innovation. As it’s a low-code tool, we’ve trained employees with non-technical backgrounds to use it, too. Now employees in other departments don’t need to ask IT to make a connection for them, they can do it on their own.

A prime example of this is our new internal employee recognition app that was built by our HR department. The team was looking for ways that employees could acknowledge great work their colleagues were doing. Building this tool with a traditional development cycle would have taken months and used up a lot of valuable time and resources. Instead, the HR department used the Boomi platform to create the tool with low code.

Another challenge CIOs are facing is the current economic headwinds. To continue executing on their goals, CIOs need to prioritize equipping their employees with high-productivity toolsets, powered by automation and low-code technologies. This will enable employees throughout the organization to do more with less.

Please tell us more about the Boomi integration platform and your core offerings. Which industries use your platform for their digital transformation journeys?

Boomi created the cloud-native integration platform as a service (iPaaS) category over 20 years ago with the goal to simplify complexity and unlock business outcomes for our customers. We’ve been a leader in the space ever since. We’re known for helping people and systems connect, breaking down silos, automating workflows, and building resilient businesses. At Boomi, we truly believe that it is important to minimize time spent on maintenance in order to maximize innovation. So using low-code technology, we make it easy to connect applications, processes, and people.

With the Boomi platform, customers can speed integrations by selecting from a vast selection of pre-built application connectors and integration recipes. Currently, our Boomi Suggest tool uses machine learning to leverage knowledge of thousands of integrations and suggest what applications a business should connect to. We also have some exciting generative AI plans in the works to build on our current AI capabilities and make the time-to-value that Boomi provides even shorter.

Currently, Boomi has approximately 20,000 customers globally, across a multitude of industries, including healthcare and life sciences, manufacturing, financial services, retail, public sector and higher education. Companies such as Riverbed Technologies have implemented Boomi’s cloud-native platform to help transition its IT solutions in order to help enterprises excel. Using Boomi, Riverbed has accelerated integration rollouts 2X while scaling up or down as needed.

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Boomi plays a key role in driving innovations in intelligent data automation and integration for ERP modernization. What are the benefits that CIOs expect from your platform at the time of initial deployment?

Boomi has been able to leverage low-code, intelligent connectivity and automation to transform how many of the world’s leading organizations conduct their daily operations. We’ve built and support critical connections in an increasingly disconnected environment.

For example, customers like 23andMe utilize Boomi’s integration platform to maximize innovation and the resources they have available. 23andMe needed to integrate its core NetSuite ERP foundation with various cloud applications in order to streamline procurement processes and HR management at scale. Implementing Boomi helped to avoid the delays and high overhead of 23andMe’s previous point-to-point approach to integration.

Since implementing Boomi, 23andMe has been able to accelerate new hire onboarding and is delivering an improved employee experience with connectivity across applications such as Workday, NetSuite, Concur and more.

Your take on the new buzzwords in AI-driven ITOps and cybersecurity management?

Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the buzzwords in AI-driven ITOps and cybersecurity management. AI and ML hold promise that the noise from an immense amount of data can be stripped away or automatically dealt with, so our employees are only prompted to respond to the high-quality critical and complex opportunities in a categorized dashboard.

Boomi is leading the way here in adding value to our customers by simplifying these integrations. IT organizations need all the help we can get to manage all the data we are constantly presented with. Boomi is focused on leveraging this technology to complete tasks that formally took hours or days instantly, and I’m confident this technology holds promise to solve many other IT challenges as well.

What is the future of network infrastructures with AI and Analytics?

Generative AI is a major opportunity. AI has the capability to transform the world and Boomi plans to be the leader in our space for machine learning.

We already have systems in place that automate complex processes, like Boomi Suggest, which I talked about previously. We also use natural language processing as part of our Data Catalog and Prep tool.

AI and analytics will empower companies to more quickly respond to changing business demands and enable employees to do more with less. Especially when paired with other technology like low code and cloud, companies will be able to push out projects and deliverables quicker, giving them more time to increase innovation and move the business forward.

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Thank you, Neil! That was fun and we hope to see you back on cioinfluence.com soon.

[To participate in our interview series, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

Neil Kole is Chief Information Officer (CIO) of Boomi, responsible for overseeing the company’s critical IT infrastructure and customer service platforms. He brings more than 20 years of expertise across a variety of IT functions, including support of engineering, security initiatives, network/IT infrastructure, and applications.

Neil comes to Boomi from Cadence Design Systems, where he was Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, leading the global Information Technology and Workplace Resources organizations while leveraging SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS over traditional applications and infrastructure and maximizing the scalability, security, and reliability of world-class solutions. Prior to Cadence Design Systems, Neil served as Vice President of IT at Informatica, and held senior IT roles at VMware, Intuit, and Symantec.

Neil has a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Systems Management from University of San Francisco.

Boomi Logo

Boomi aims to make the world a better place by connecting everyone to everything, anywhere. The pioneer of cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS), and now a category-leading, global software as a service (SaaS) company, Boomi touts the largest customer base among integration platform vendors and a worldwide network of approximately 800 partners – including Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte, SAP, and Snowflake. Global organizations turn to Boomi’s award-winning platform to discover, manage, and orchestrate data, while connecting applications, processes, and people for better, faster outcomes.

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