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The Lessons of Ecosystem Integration Felt at Haas School of Business

Mahesh Rajasekharan, speaking at the Haas School of Business

Whether you are an IT manager, CTO, or even a business school student, the importance of ecosystem integration cannot be understated.

Cleo President and CEO Mahesh Rajasekharan, an alumnus of the Haas School of Business at The University of California, Berkeley, was invited this week to speak to students of Professor Greg La Blanc’s data science course. 

Rajasekharan’s presentation, ‘The Role of Ecosystem Integration in Optimizing Global Supply Chains’ detailed the power of ecosystem integration in transforming companies into digital businesses.

“It is very fulfilling to share and evangelize with budding business executives and new managers,” Rajasekharan said. “It allowed me to educate these young decision makers about how integration is now coming into the foreground to drive digital business and should no longer stay in the background like it did in the past.”

The core message of Rajasekharan’s talk concerned EDI and APIs, and why being able to do both from a centralized platform is extremely beneficial from the ecosystem integration standpoint. Because businesses are evolving faster than ever before, they need an integration platform to truly open themselves up to their true potential and value.

The Haas School of Business, one of the most prestigious in the country, encourages its students to live a distinctive culture by embracing four defining leadership principles:

  • Question the Status Quo – Haas students make progress by speaking their minds even when it challenges convention
  • Confidence Without Attitude – Haas students make decisions based on evidence and analysis
  • Students Always – Haas students are a community designed for curiosity and a lifelong pursuit of personal and intellectual growth
  • Beyond Yourself – Haas students lead ethically and responsibly, taking the longer view in decisions and actions by putting larger interests above personal gain

It is these core principles that Rajasekharan has kept with him throughout his career and today as he shares those same values at Cleo.

The Power of Ecosystem Integration

Ecosystem integration takes an outside-in approach to the orchestration of end-to-end integrations and workflows across an organization’s multi-enterprise ecosystem. Rajasekharan said that one of the biggest highlights from his day at Haas revolved around discussing with students that very idea. He evangelized about ecosystem integration and highlighted the power of an outside-in focus on IT modernization.

Also important was a focus on optimizing core end-to-end business processes, such as order-to-cash and procure-to-pay. Being able to speak to students about the importance of integration in agile business decision making is a valuable lesson the class can take with them throughout their careers.

Because this was a data science course, Rajasekharan made sure to link data science to integration workflows, especially in the context of the life cycle of design, build, operate, and optimize integration workflows.

A focus on data science drives continuous learning because it:

  • Eliminates integration “dead time” to reduce business cycle times
  • Looks for repeatable patterns to expand ecosystems
  • Leverages A/B testing to explore and validate business hypotheses

From there, you can embed those learnings into an integration platform that:

  • Is self-healing
  • Enables course corrections
  • Automates manual processes to encapsulate expertise
  • Provides instrumentation across the range of different personas

As the Haas students learned this week, ecosystem integration is the driving force behind many thriving companies, no matter the industry. The value of digital transformation starts at the edges of the digital ecosystem, and for Professor La Blanc’s data science class, combined with Haas’s four core principles, that’s a pretty unstoppable tandem.

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