Aalto University operates in several locations: the Greater Helsinki area, Mikkeli and Pori, making it Finland's second largest university. It has an extremely complicated enviornment consisting of tens of systems and thousands of integrations ensuring that close to 22,000 students, 4,000 staff members across all campuses will have the best academic experince.
The aim was to revamp the implementation model of integrations so that one integration solution can meet the business development needs and the gradual replacement of the back-end systems.
In addition, integrations of new services implemented with the SaaS model required new solutions such as OpenAPI interfaces. Particular emphasis was placed on centralized management of data flows and their ability to control them themselves.
With Frends we are able to operate and understand everything without technical knowledge.
Patrick Maltusch, Head of Integration, Aalto University
Aalto used many different Open-Source integration platforms in the past and the cost of continuous use was a problem. That was especially evident as a resource challenge for day-to-day operations and management, when even basic maintenance required developer-level expertise.
Aalto has implemented numerous integrations through the Frends iPaaS. Frends has also allowed Aalto to manage and control the integrations without the help of 3rd party vendors, enabling ad-hoc integrator roles within the organization.
Aalto has implemented Frends public interfaces in accordance with the OpenAPI standard as well as traditional data transfers between systems. Process automation is also a significant part of Aalto's integrations.
Recently Aalto has started using Frends to orchestrate RPA-robots (Robotic Process Automation) and their executions in addition to more traditional integration patterns.
From an integration platform to a hyperautomation platform
Aalto University is a pioneer in the use of artificial intelligence (AI). For example, Aalto has implemented an API, following reusable SOA architecture, that receives all support requests to Aalto's IT. Due to the native features of Frends, this interface is inherently compliant with the OpenAPI standard. After receiving the support request message, the Frends process asks the pre-taught machine learning algorithm in Azure:
"Where does this ticket belong to?"
Based on the answer, the Frends process transforms the message to the correct format and routes it to the right support ticket queue. The need for automation is evident. In an organization that is the size of Aalto University, there are many daily IT-requests of different types of support requests concerning various systems. In this and many other processes automated by Frends, Aalto university uses AI in decision-making that previously required people.