Product

    Turning real-time event streams into game-changing value

    Product Updates
    Product
    Event Streaming
    Apache Kafka
    Microsoft Power BI
    Databricks
    AWS Kinesis
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    Phil Burch Tray.io author profile image

    Phil Burch

    Sr. Product Marketing Manager @ Tray.io

    Automate streaming event data with ease on the Tray Platform.

    Whether you're in marketing, sales, service, or another team, your processes are no doubt dependent on acting quickly, decisively—and preferably automatically, on any business event.  Business is increasingly real-time. According to IDC, by 2025, nearly 30% of the global data will be real-time information.

    A business event can take just about any form. An example of an event might be a customer placing an order through your e-commerce platform, triggering a whole set of payment, invoicing, and shipping automated processes. Or it might be a candidate becoming a new employee, starting a complete set of onboarding processes, setting them up across benefits, payroll, and a host of other systems.

    Automatically acting on events and applying all the business logic you need is table stakes; these days, it's nearly impossible to scale up a business without it. And in many cases, acting faster can deliver game-changing results.

    In marketing, optimizing lead response is a prime example. Study after study finds that fast event-based follow-up using high-quality data boosts conversion, whether it's responding to a lead form or a behavioral signal from a website interaction. Tray.io customer Jellyvision sped up its lead response time by 3x as it enriched and matched leads to accounts through its custom marketing stack. 

    Event streaming integration and automation from the ground up

    At Tray.io, we designed the Tray Platform to empower anyone to quickly build automations in real time to respond to these kinds of events in just a few clicks, pretty much from day one.

    We wanted to create a low-code, event-driven architecture that anyone could tap into, rather than only being the developers' domain. Native triggers for many mainstream cloud apps and built-in support for publishing any Tray Platform workflow as a webhook made low-code event-based automation easy for anyone to achieve.

    For example, webhooks are the lingua franca of the event-oriented web. There's a setting in virtually every modern marketing, sales, services, or finance application enabling you to call out to a webhook based on an event. A webhook is a standard way any application can call out to a URL and include a message about the event that occurred.

    The Tray Platform can instantly publish any automated workflow as a webhook, which you can then add to any application that supports them. You can then trigger your Tray Platform workflow to run automatically when an event happens within the app.

    For example, consider when an opportunity changes from the negotiation/review stage to the closed won stage in your Salesforce CRM. You might add a Tray Platform webhook in your CRM's settings that calls out to a Tray Platform workflow to start an Order-to-Cash workflow automation that triggers an approval process, which in turn flows the data into your ERP for billing. (Speaking of which, Tray.io customer Mixpanel uses workflow automation for this very purpose, speeding up its own order-to-cash process by 25%.)

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    Our customers have been doing some cutting-edge stuff with our event-processing power. Over at DigitalOcean, they're using the Tray Platform as their data-queuing and segmentation engine between Segment and Marketo to route millions of events for more-effective email campaigns. Their Director of Marketing and Demand Generation noted that "With the Tray Platform, we now have live-streamed marketing that lets us personalize messages and deliver them at just the right time."

    The real power of event streaming doesn’t just come from making it easy to act on events - it also comes from simplifying real-time analysis. For example, analytics tools and infrastructure such as Microsoft Power BI, Databricks, AWS Kinesis, and Apache Kafka support various aspects of real-time analytics. The challenge has often been getting the data to (and from) them. That’s why the Tray Platform provides native connectors to these and many other analytics tools, consuming data from them, or driving to a dashboard, or out to (for example) a Kafka stream. 

    Automating events is powerful. But it needs to be easy and flexible

    One of the other lessons we learned is that the business logic powering event-based workflows can be incredibly complex. Building custom logic can be significantly more complex than a simple if-this-then-that. Real-time enterprise workflows require lookups, branches, multi-level conditional logic, aggregating data, custom fields, and more. Point-to-point tools often aren't flexible or scalable enough, and the other option is waiting on developers. Any solution you choose has to be low-code and flexible.

    Processing event streams requires elastic scalability

    Millions of events can turn into billions in an instant. And when business users are in the front row building integrations, it must be easy to handle the volume at scale. 

    Older, pre-serverless architectures often require complicated sizing, capacity planning, plus additional care and feeding to ensure things keep running smoothly when the volume and frequency of API calls and message streams throttles up. And our complexity can lead to inflexibility that can put tapping into event-streaming far out of reach of business teams.

    So, in addition to our platform supporting event management at the microservices level, we’re also serverless. Regardless of your data needs, the Tray Platform elastically adds compute power on-demand behind the scenes. 

    One of the world's largest technology companies solved that same challenge with the Tray Platform when it struggled with volume at scale, crunching millions of sales opportunities daily. Previously, the company needed an eight-person team, including six engineers, and a combined 40-hours a week to wrangle the growing volume through its old platform, but the team streamlined its requirements down to five minutes a day for a single team member. 

    Introducing the next wave of innovation in low-code event streaming automation

    Event streams are growing exponentially. IoT platforms and devices are throwing off streams of data from sensors, whether from the factory floor, trucking fleets, consumer products, or machines for predictive maintenance. Customer data is now flowing fast and continuously from social media, websites, and thumbs-up/down service interactions, while applications and databases are streaming log data, essential for real-time monitoring. 

    More than ever, business users and technologists everywhere face the challenge of turning their data into value―whether they need to respond in real-time with automation, integrations, or turn their data into actionable insights.

    In a November 2020 report, Maturity Model for Event-Driven Architecture, Gartner predicted that "By 2022, support of event notifications in low-code application platforms and API management tools will make event-driven architectures (EDA) common in new application design."

    And so, we're incredibly excited to expand our low-code event streaming power further, with new message queue capabilities and the addition of Pub/Sub features.

    Introducing more message queue intelligence

    The Tray Platform already provides native connectors that enable low-code integration with leading message queues such as Apache Kafka, IBM MQ, Rabbit MQ, and Amazon SQS for use in any workflow. 

    We're now adding a queue trigger and connector that provide builders with even more control over working with real-time data flows. With queue triggers, you can build workflows that instantly launch, immediately ingesting event-stream data from queues such as Amazon SQS. The new queue connector empowers you to flow data into internal queues on the fly to provide complete control over managing data flows, orchestrating API integrations, and sequencing event streams. 

    New Pub/Sub capability provides complete control over orchestrating real-time streams

    Our new Pub/Sub capability enables business users, technologists, and developers to maximize real-time flows by turning an event stream into multiple streams to feed any number of automations and integrations. So, you can do much more with one incoming stream at scale. 

    Workflow builders can now maximize the value of incoming events from webhooks, messages, or any other source by publishing them to any number of subscribing Tray Platform workflows. Establish topics and Tray Platform workflows that subscribe to those topics, and turn a single event stream into a multi-stream powerhouse that can drive any number of downstream application integration, data integration, and analytics workflows.

    Get started building your first real-time automation

    We think that low-code automation, integration, and total flexibility to handle real-time, event-streaming data opens a wide range of possibilities. If you're excited to start building your first workflow, there are a few places you can begin right now―in real-time. First, check out a demo or sign up for one of our live group demos. Or, if you're already trying out the Tray Platform, check out the Tray Academy, where you can get some tips and tricks to get started. 

    Turning real-time event streams into business value has never been easier.

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