Mulesoft: Take Control of Your EDI Solution

CIO VendorGreg Schott, CEO Digital disruption has had a profound effect on every industry, but the changes are perhaps most striking in industries such as manufacturing, transportation logistics, and retail. A click of the mouse button is all that is needed for the modern online shopper to choose a product amongst the barrage of items displayed on their screens. The digital interface has been simplified over the years. Behind the scenes however, there exists still an intricate interplay between an online vendor, the collection point network, couriers, and retailers.

Throughout the process, goods must be carefully documented throughout their journey to avoid losses and detailed tracking updates should be provided to the end-customer! San Francisco-based MuleSoft is playing a big role in resolving this complexity with their integration platform, Anypoint. The solution works across technologies such as JMS, Web Services, JDBC, and HTTP, enabling developers to connect applications together—quickly and easily.

“This complex interplay has gone from being a fairly big problem to being a massive problem because now you've got mobile devices. You have thousands of SaaS applications. You have tens of thousands of public APIs and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of private APIs, and all of these different components need to be connected,” states Greg Schott, CEO, MuleSoft.

Based on the open-sourced software Mule ESB, Anypoint platform allows developers to connect applications together quickly and easily, enabling them to exchange data. It facilitates easy integration of existing systems, regardless of the different technologies that the applications use.

The First Line of Code

Catering their game-changing platform to over 175,000 developers and leading companies in almost every industry, Mulesoft may be one of the industry-leaders today, but the road to the top of the mountain was a rocky one. Over a decade ago, a short string of text (Mule ESB, a lightweight Java-based ESB) was created by Ross Mason, founder, Mulesoft that pioneered a simple, powerful idea: why crank out custom code over and over when it's faster and more efficient to assemble the right components? The idea that led to the conception of Mulesoft in 2006! And although the first line of code was quite revolutionary, MuleSoft was still reeling from the economic meltdown when Schott arrived. The firm had managed to land a handful of clients since its founding in 2006 and was generating a small amount of revenue.

We’re standing on a massive opportunity to increase the pace of business and innovation with connectivity as the core catalyst

After downsizing during the recession, its meager 20-person team was trying to hold its own against the likes of Oracle and IBM. Worst of all, its customer base was dominated by besieged banks and insurance companies, making it hard to attain and maintain long-term stability. There was no clear plan for taking the company to the next level,” mentions Schott. “I made hiring our No. 1 priority and that was a signal to everyone that we were going to leverage high-caliber people as a way to ignite growth.”

Under Schott’s leadership, the then-startup announced $37 million in Series E financing in a round led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from new strategic investor, Salesforce in April, 2013. The round brought MuleSoft's total financing to $81 million. The same year saw MuleSoft acquiring ProgrammableWeb, a web site used by developers to help build web, mobile and other connected applications through APIs. Schott proceeded to reinvent MuleSoft’s hiring process and culture resulting in the addition of 380 people who expanded the firm’s technical capabilities and client list to include 45 percent of the Global 500. There was no looking back for the firm since then.

The API-led Connectivity Platform

nBy realizing API-led connectivity, enterprises are allowed by MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform to deliver on their digital transformation. In particular, the Platform enables end-to-end connectivity across API, service orchestration and application integration needs through a single unified platform. Developers are thus allowed to connect, orchestrate, and enable any internal or external endpoint rapidly, which results in a 2x to 5x faster time to launch new initiatives, connect systems, and unlock data across the enterprise and a 30 percent reduction in integration costs. The firm’s platform can be rapidly deployed on-premises, or accessed as a cloud solution, unlike any other vendor in the market. Developers can quickly become productive without lengthy training in vendor-specific technology, as the firm’s solutions are easy to use and understand. This results in ten percent higher employee productivity and 70 percent higher productivity for app development teams. The customer success teams are allowed by MuleSoft’s experience in partnering with their customers to drive digital transformation initiatives to bring expertise in change management, organizational design and IT development best practices. These goals are advanced by Anypoint B2B as the firm’s clientele is enabled to move beyond traditional B2B approaches towards API-led connectivity, driving increased business agility and optimizing end-to-end operational processes.

Anypoint B2B completely modernizes B2B by extending Anypoint Platform’s API-led connectivity approach to B2B and EDI use cases. Companies are enabled to build reusable services across multiple B2B trading partners and B2B processes on a single connectivity platform. This enables increased agility and decreased time for partner onboarding, while reducing cost and risk. The platform further endows trading partner management and tracking services which allows for message profile management and message validation rules at a trading partner level. In addition, messages can be logged and referenced at a message metadata level.

"I made hiring our No. 1 priority and that was a signal to everyone that we were going to leverage high-caliber people as a way to ignite growth"

The View from the Top

With a game-changing platform and a profound leader in Schott, MuleSoft is among a select group of companies known as “unicorns,” privately-held, venture-funded companies valued at one billion dollars or more. So, what’s it like to be on the top of the mountain? With 550 employees and over 800 enterprise customers, the company is catering its solutions to the likes of companies like MasterCard, Unilever, Tesla, BSkyB and Verizon. “Pretty much anybody with a large IT infrastructure is a potential target for us. We'll even work with some smaller companies,” says Schott. The company has attracted $259 million in funding to date from VCs like NEA, but also corporate venture funds from Cisco, SAP, ServiceNow and Salesforce.

“We're at the scale now where an IPO is possible pretty much any time we want to make it happen. We've got a board of directors and an investor group that is most interested in us building a very meaningful long-term business. We actually have a very patient group of investors. So we'll go public when it makes sense,” comments Schott.

Sticking to the company’s core DNA, the CEO says, “MuleSoft’s mission is to connect the world’s applications, data, and devices. We’re standing on a massive opportunity to increase the pace of business and innovation with connectivity as the core catalyst.”