February 17, 2021

Improve the Process and Output of Customer Communications with APIs and Microservices

Erin McCart | Sr. Product Manager

In a customer first, transformative digital world, organizations are finding it difficult to manage the content they produce, provide lines of business with greater interoperability between business systems and applications, and output content quickly, securely and accurately based on consumer preferences – print/mail, email, text, video, accessible document, etc.

To overcome this challenge, organizations need to modernize their existing IT infrastructure with application programming interfaces (APIs) that can bind data, processes and systems with modern business applications and workflows to improve customer communications.

APIs, Web Services, REST APIs

Modern APIs give system architects and developers the ability to update an existing IT infrastructure by allowing applications to access data and interact with external software components, operating systems, and microservices.

There are many styles and varieties of APIs, but the most popular type is the REST API.  This Web Services API gives system architects and application developers a variety of CRUD (create, retrieve, update, delete) commands to trigger different HTTP requests in the app or service for which the REST API was created.  Therefore, an organization can integrate different business systems and applications

to work together, to share and exchange information as needed, and carry out business processes without significantly changing or replacing its IT infrastructure.  For example, when a customer goes to a self-service Web portal to view a monthly statement, the “Statement API” makes a call to the system where the customer’s statement is stored.  It then retrieves the statement or required information to present the information to the customer.

Microservices

To carry this thought further there is an architectural style known as “Microservices”.  It is an approach to develop a single application as a suite of small services, each running its own processes and communications.

Microservices are built around business capabilities that are designed to be independently deployable, fully automated, and provide intelligence to the consumer.  They require minimal centralized management and are not dependent on a specific programming language or data storage technologies (Martin Fowler).

REST APIs and Microservices give organizations the tools they need to modernize their IT systems and business applications without having to replace back-office systems that still work.

Content Services

Content Services is set of services and microservices, embodied either as an integrated product suite or as separate applications that share common APIs and repositories.  These services are used to manage a diverse set of content types and serve multiple owners and use cases across an organization (Gartner).

Crawford Technologies Content Services use REST APIs and microservices that are extensible and adaptable to meet current and future customer communication needs. They provide organizations the tools and facilities they need to modernize IT systems and integrate business applications.  Crawford Technologies Content Services improve the process and output of customer communications quickly and cost-effectively.

There are three different components that can be deployed, based on use case, to integrate business systems and applications at the content level – Sunrise, Riptide® and CCM Gateway.

  • Sunrise is used to retrieve customer communications from enterprise content management (ECM) repositories and content services platforms (CSP) and manage their transformation, on-the-fly, to modern digital formats for viewing at a user’s request.
  • Riptide® is used to retrieve customer communications from disparate ECM and CSPs, convert them into a common viewing format, e.g., PDF/A and package the content into digital output bundles related to eDiscovery, case management and “request for information” regulations – FOIA, GDPR, CCPA.
  • CCM Gateway is used to ingest and index customer communications in their native print file formats – AFP, Xerox, PDF, Postscript, PCL and then transform and output the files to a format such as PDF to be managed by modern, native cloud CSPs.

Contact us today to learn how Crawford Technologies can help modernize your business!