Meritage Homes Corp. needed to integrate multiple on-premises and cloud-based applications and create security-rich application programming interfaces (APIs) to external sites.
Working with IBM Business Partner KS2 Technologies Inc., Meritage Homes used IBM App Connect Professional software and IBM® DataPower® Gateway devices to link applications and support API security.
Consolidatesthe customer portal into a single interface, improving the customer experience
DecreasesAPI creation time from days or weeks to minutes or hours
Helpsa small IT staff add new technology without having to increase headcount
Business challenge story
Doing more with lessMeritage Homes was on a mission to become more proactive in its approach to IT. “As an IT organization, we are transforming to a more proactive style of solving business problems rather than putting out fires from a day-to-day standpoint,” says Chris Sinkwitz, Vice President of Applications and Development at Meritage Homes. Like many businesses, Meritage Homes wanted to do more with less, which was especially important given that the company has a limited number of IT employees. “I have five developers on staff, and we’re in charge of a number of different systems that need maintenance and integrations,” says Sinkwitz.
Meritage Homes needed to integrate several existing systems, including JD Edwards EnterpriseOne ERP software and Salesforce, a CRM application that runs in the cloud. Plus, the business needed to be able to create security-rich application programming interfaces (APIs) to external sites, including its ADP payroll system and its Concur Travel & Expense application.
Integrating numerous systemsMeritage Homes worked with IBM Business Partner KS2 Technologies Inc. to create an integration solution that ties together its systems and makes it easy to connect with external partners. “We’ve had a 10-plus-year relationship with Meritage Homes, and as their business has evolved, we’re helping them do hybrid integration. We’re helping them bridge public and private clouds using IBM technologies,” says Eric Kuefler, President and Cofounder of KS2 Technologies.
When it began the project five years ago, Meritage Homes used IBM App Connect Professional software (previously known as IBM® WebSphere® Cast Iron® Cloud Integration software) to link its JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application and its Salesforce platform. “We chose the App Connect solution because it had native connectors for both of those applications, and once we started with that piece, we found it very easy to plug in to all of our other integration needs and ended up replacing multiple different integration point-to-point protocols that we’ve used, and now we’re on a single platform,” says Sinkwitz.
Next, KS2 helped Meritage Homes implement IBM DataPower® Gateway devices to provide security functionality for its APIs. “DataPower allows us to secure our APIs externally outside of our firewall, and now that we’re doing more business with cloud technologies, anything that leaves our firewall really needs to be secure,” says Sinkwitz. Meritage Homes also uses its App Connect Professional software to provide an integration layer. “We use it to do our data mappings and to create our web services that will be used for the communication between systems,” says Sinkwitz. “It makes it very easy for us to plug and play any different cloud or on-premises solution.”
Creating a single buyer portalAll of the integration work has paid off for Meritage Homes and its customers. “We’ve integrated all of our customer points into a single buyer portal,” says Sinkwitz. “Our customers now have the ability to log in and communicate with their sales team or their construction team, and they also have the ability to see the progress of their house and have a place to store all their documents.”
By working with KS2 to implement IBM technology over the years, Meritage Homes has been able to continue to take on new projects without adding staff. “I’ve had the same team for 10 years now and we continue to add on to our technology footprint, and we haven’t had to grow the team to support that,” says Sinkwitz. Meritage Homes can now do more with less. “I can have communications and APIs up in minutes or hours versus days or weeks,” says Sinkwitz. “And the ability to be able to support thousands of integrations moving millions of transactions every day with a very small team is a huge benefit to our company.”
About Meritage Homes Corp.
Founded in 1985, Meritage Homes Corp. builds and sells energy-efficient single-family homes for first-time, move-up, luxury and active adult buyers across the western, southern and southeastern regions of the US. One of the largest public homebuilders in the country, Meritage Homes employs approximately 1,400 people and has designed and built more than 90,000 homes. The business operates in nine states and is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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Take the next step
To learn more about IBM App Connect Professional software or IBM DataPower Gateway devices, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following websites: ibm.com/software/products/ibm-app-connect, ibm.com/software/products/datapower-gateway