The Cloud Integration space has already seen multi-billion dollar acquisitions. Mark talks about what his company is doing differently.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by introducing our audience to yourself as well as Cloud Elements.
Mark Geene: I’m the Co-Founder and CEO of Cloud Elements. Cloud Elements is an API integration platform that is a connectivity or integration layer for software applications.
You must be familiar with Twilio. It is similar to that. The communication layer for software applications can be added onto any software app to be able to provide full-integration service to connect to the applications used by customers and partners.
As for my background, I’ve been in the software industry for quite a few years. I started out as a software engineer. I have been involved in the world of B2B at IBM and Oracle. This is my third startup. One went public and another was sold. I started Cloud Elements about five years ago.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s talk about what kinds of customers you work with.
Mark Geene: We work with anybody who’s building a software application. That software application needs to integrate or connect with the apps used by the customers and partners in that ecosystem.
Our customers range from big software companies like SAP, IBM, and Sage to high-growth up-and-coming companies like Vena and enterprises that are building software applications and have the same need to connect that to their customers and partners – American Express, Western Union, Silicon Valley bank.
Sramana Mitra: Double-click down on that and take a few use cases. Take whatever you’ve rattled out and talk about some uses cases.
Mark Geene: Let’s take Western Union and a company called TransferWise. They’re both in the foreign exchange business. Their customers are businesses that are doing business in multiple currencies and have to transition that back.
The state of the art for that type of business process is files being manually transferred from their customer back to Western Union’s system. Then they process those files, complete the payment, reconcile it back to the accounting system where that data came out of.
A more modern experience in the world of API’s is not to have to do a file transfer but connect Western Union or TransferWise system right into the accounting system used by their customers. That’s what they use us for. It’s to provide pre-built integration to whatever accounting systems their customers are using – NetSuite, QuickBooks, Oracle – and provide a self-service experience to automate the reconciliation process.
Now their customer doesn’t have to write to the Western Union API and go find a developer to do that. They don’t have to hire a consultant, or continue doing this manual file transfer process. They can have real-time synchronization of data, all in one portal that directly brings together the foreign exchange product along with the accounting system data.