What is our primary use case?
We make use of Axway's API gateway API management tool.
Its integration with middle wear is similar to ESB. We provide integrations as we are a swift services bureau. We've got customers that are banks and in some use cases. We integrate these banks with their own back office and we tend to provide integration for that.
We also make use of the solution to build a marketplace of financial services, which is basically our own solution.
For other customers, we do integration of the various source systems, back-office systems, legacy systems, etc. We also do file transformation where we take messages for customers in their environments and translate it to industry formats.
What is most valuable?
There's drag and drop functionality so that you do not need to have a senior expert developer to make use of the tool. You can get more of your staff trained up to be able to use it as it's not overly technical.
It provides very strong security functionality to protect information in an easier way.
It's more of a benchmark for financial services. You can better protect the information and customer information as it's got a very strong focus on security.
The flexibility is very good. You can do on-premise and you can do cloud. That's really a strong factor in our market as many large customers in our market still want to have an on-premise solution due to the fact that they want to maintain control over their data.
Previously, the solution did not have a subscription as an option, however, now it also has a subscription model, which is great.
The documentation is fairly good and readily available.
What needs improvement?
The pricing could be more competitive.
The installation process is a bit complex and it could be a lot simpler.
Currently, there's a strong focus on microservices, which is already there and already available. They're already able to deploy in dockerized containers. In that sense, there's nothing that I can actually see that is missing from my side.
For how long have I used the solution?
We've been dealing with the solution for the last three years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
The product has got strong security features, from a stability point of view. There's a large footprint in the financial services sector, where you deal with daily transactions in the millions. It has a very strong focus on stability, and our experience as well has been that, as we also use it in a payments environment, it's been proven to be quite stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
We have probably eight people who make use of the solution in our organization.
It is a solution that is strong enough to be used by enterprise-level customers. That is the target market. However, it provides such strong features, that it is used in our environment by FinTech startups, and also by other mid-range customers that are not really at the enterprise level. It solves their issue of integration and to decouple their back-office systems so that they can develop one in a specific area, and make their system changes. It's a very versatile product; many organizations can benefit from it.
The solution is scalable. That is a benefit of the platform in itself. It provides you with scalability so that you don't have to develop all your back-office systems. The product itself is scalable in the sense that you can spin up additional environments very quickly.
Its price scalability is also very good as you don't necessarily pay for extra usage. You pay a fixed subscription. In terms of dealing with high volumes, it is also scalable in the sense that you can just add processing capacity where you need to.
How are customer service and technical support?
We actually provide support to customers. We provide remote support as well as on-premise support. From a support point of view, we are happy, as it provides a lot of analytics. With the analytics, you can very quickly drill through transactions and see where there are issues.
We don't foresee any difficulty with the support of the solution, and we are support providers. It's always important to have someone, to have a vendor that provides you with at least level three support so that your operational teams can be at their best productivity-wise.
The support desk is very good. I deal with them regularly. You raise a ticket as normal and they will then guide you through to a resolution.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is a bit complex.
It is now Dockerized containers. That makes the whole process of installation and upgrades much more simplified. Their version 7.7, the last version, means that from here on there will not be a big change. You have to completely build an environment, however, after that, you will only patch it.
It's software that has complexity. It's a middleware system that is set up in various environments, however, it needs to align with the corporate policies on security and DMZ. You have to design it and then you have to build it. You probably will be okay during implementation if you make use of certified technicians to assist you with building the solution.
The positive with the solution is that, once you are operational, you should be able to maintain the solution with a very small team. There are instances where there's a footprint of multiple installations - more than 20 for a global organization. Yet, they've got just one core team that actually maintains all of those installations. That illustrates the sort of scalability it has when it comes to supporting a large footprint.
If our clients need it, we can provide maintenance for them. We can do tasks such as patching, updates, etc. Customers, of course, can also handle maintenance themselves.
What about the implementation team?
It's best to get a professional technician to handle the installation as you want to make sure that it's configured correctly to get the best use out of it. Once you are operational, you can really make use of your own skills to maintain it.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The pricing is fair. They're still investing in development and provide much-needed functionality and with the assurance that it will not leak your data or provide you with gaps in your risk. From a pricing point of view, I don't think it's on the high side. I would say it's a mid-market price and there's flexibility in their pricing options.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We evaluated a number of API solutions, including WSO2, Apigee, and IBM and in the typical use cases where we deal with enterprise and financial customers. We found that some of the solutions either did not have good enough documentation, good enough support or maybe a lack of on-premise functionality. Pricing on some options was also an issue. We made the decision to use Axway after looking at it and others across these and a variety of other parameters.
For example, in the case of WSO2, our Financial Services client made use of it, however, for us, it was very difficult to understand and to problem solve that solution, and documentation played a role as it wasn't the best.
We're also partners with IBM. The platform for us, the number one issue, is its price. On top of that, it's really more for the adoption in a mid-market space.
We looked at Apigee and others where it's more power-orientated and that doesn't solve the problem that financial services, healthcare, and other vendors had as they wanted to have better security and have the data in on-premise.
What we found, in the European market at least, was that Axway has very strong links to financial services, transport logistics, healthcare, and banks. These are its primary industries. For us, it was important that the solution we chose had a strong knowledge base across those industries, and not only focused on a specific industry.
Some of the other vendors have got a very wide focus. For us it was easier to find agreements when looking at Axway's Roadmap. It was really important to see, that the business is focused around the solution and they execute on their Roadmap and develop out the solution continuously.
What other advice do I have?
We're largely a customer, although we are consultants and refer Axway often.
While we use the solution's cloud deployment model, we also engage with the on-premises version as well.
I'd advise other companies considering a solution like this to first go and determine their strategy around APIs in their business. That's really important. There needs to be a plan around how a company is going to manage APIs. A business needs to ask itself: What is the digital transformation strategy? They need to approach this as a strategic investment and already have some strategy behind it.
It really is core to your digital transformation, to your ability to unlock new revenue channels for a lot of businesses or to reduce cost in your back office systems. Therefore, there must be some sort of strategic benefit that you see before you actually evaluate API platforms.
Once you've got a strategy, you're sure that this matches your strategy. You probably need to also look at the first use cases that you want to do. You have to find a use case that shows a business benefit to deploying. It doesn't help you implement the solution just so that lots of people can use it for different things. You must find some anchor or use case that you will be able to sell. Then it will become a benefit to your internal business.
From there on it's really, really important to identify integration partners that are certified that can actually assist you from a business point of view, to deploy quickly. The quicker you get the benefit, the quicker you get the new revenue from whatever you want it to do. After that, it's crucial to internalize the knowledge around the solution. It is important to do good skills transfer so that you can have confidence in using the solution long-term.
Overall, I would rate the solution nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
Which version of this solution are you currently using?