The Complex Web of Modern API Management with Kleber Bacili of Sensedia
Welcome to an insightful episode of PayPod. We invent the intricate world of API management, with Kleber Bacili of Sensedia. In the realm of digital technology, “Integration in Microservices” has become a cornerstone, particularly in API management, a field that has seen significant growth over the last decade. This episode delves into the evolution of APIs and the critical role of API management services in the tech-driven financial landscape of today. Our discussion aims to illuminate the complexities and benefits of effective API integration and management, emphasizing the importance of “Integration in Microservices” for a deeper understanding of its impact on fintech.
Lessons You’ll Learn:
This segment uncovers key insights into API management, highlighting its necessity for integrating and optimizing the vast digital technologies that businesses depend on. The evolution of APIs and the shift towards a more interconnected digital ecosystem underscore the emergence of API management as a vital service. We explore the challenges and opportunities of API integration, with a focus on “Integration in Microservices,” underscoring the importance of scalability and security. This conversation sheds light on API management’s role in enabling seamless communication between legacy systems and modern fintech solutions.
About Our Guest:
Kleber Bacili, CEO of Sensedia, with Sensedia being at the forefront of modern integration platforms, Bacili brings valuable insights into how the company helps businesses navigate the complexities of API, microservices, and the digital landscape. Under his guidance, Sensedia has championed “Integration in Microservices,” positioning itself as a leader in modern integration platforms. By Kleber’s leadership, Sensedia has become a pivotal player in enabling companies to optimize their tech stacks through strategic API management, ensuring their digital platforms are scalable, secure, and efficiently integrated.
Including an understanding of the intricacies of API management, and integration within the fintech industry, this episode covers a range of topics. We discuss different integration patterns such as microservices, event-driven architectures, and service meshes, and explain their significance in the modern digital ecosystem. The conversation also touches on Sensedia’s approach to API testing and monitoring, ensuring performance and reliability for fintech companies dealing with high transaction volumes. Furthermore, we delve into how Sensedia facilitates the integration of legacy systems with modern fintech solutions, bridging the gap between old and new technologies. Lastly, the discussion explores the impact of AI on API services and other emerging trends that are shaping the future of digital financial services.
Our Guest: Kleber Bacili- An Architect of “API Management Solutions”
Kleber Bacili stands as a significant figure in the world of fintech and API management, having established himself as the CEO of Sensedia, a company at the forefront of the modern integration platform. His journey with Sensedia is not just a story of personal achievement but a testament to the transformative power of APIs in today’s digital landscape. Under Bacili’s leadership, Sensedia has evolved over the years to address the growing complexities and demands of API integration, helping businesses navigate the challenges of digital transformation effectively. His vision has propelled Sensedia to become a key player in enabling companies to leverage APIs, microservices, and integration strategies to enhance their digital ecosystems.
With a career spanning nearly two decades in the tech industry, Bacili’s expertise in API management and digital integration is both deep and broad. His work has not only contributed to Sensedia’s success but has also significantly influenced the fintech sector’s approach to digital innovation. Bacili’s insights into the evolution of API technology, from its nascent stages to its current critical role in enabling seamless communication between disparate digital systems, reflect his deep understanding of the technical and strategic aspects of the industry. His ability to foresee the future of API management and its impact on the fintech landscape has made him a respected voice among peers and clients alike.
Bacili’s commitment to innovation extends beyond the confines of Sensedia. He is an advocate for the continuous evolution of API technologies and practices, consistently pushing for advancements that enhance security, scalability, and efficiency. His emphasis on the importance of API management in bridging the gap between legacy systems and modern fintech solutions underscores his understanding of the sector’s unique challenges and opportunities. Through his leadership, Bacili has not only steered Sensedia towards new horizons but has also contributed to shaping the broader discourse on the role of technology in financial services, making him a pivotal figure in the ongoing digital transformation of the industry.
Kleber Bacili: Today, APIs are the number one vector for attacks, so it’s very important to have security and compliance in place. Designing good APIs and promoting reuse of the APIs. So those are some of the components that are related to API management. In large organizations is very common to have hundreds, sometimes thousands of APIs. So, it might get very complicated over time. So that’s why API management exists.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Welcome to PayPal, the payments industry podcast. Each week, we’ll bring you in-depth conversations with leaders who are shaping the payments and fintech world, from payment processing to risk management, and from new technology to entirely new payment types. If you want to know what’s happening in the world of fintech and payments, you’re in the right place. Hello, everyone. Welcome to Pay Pod. I’m your host, Jacob Hollabaugh. And today on the show, we are diving into the complex web that is the fintech world as we always do. But today we get to look at it and talk about it with a lens we haven’t got to use very often on this show. We’re so often wrapped up in the latest, greatest fintech solution and all the benefits it’s going to bring to the industry that we have overlooked sometimes, that this ever-growing web of complexity and ever-expanding tech stack full of all the different APIs that we talk about are integrated together. And while we mention them and discuss them individually, a lot of our guests, we’ve never tackled the fact that so many of them are in with these large tech stacks, you need someone to help you manage it all and to help you optimize how it’s all woven together. So that’s what we’re going to be doing today talking integrations, and API management. I’m thrilled to be able to do so with one of the industry leaders in just that skill set I’ve got with me, Kleber Bassily, CEO of Sensedia, the modern integration platform helping companies build with integrations, APIs, and microservices. Kleber, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for joining me today.
Kleber Bacili: Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yes, the pleasure is mine. I am, as I said, kind of excited. I always get excited about the show. You know, we’re so focused on the payments world, the fintech world. And so there is a little repetition sometimes and kind of talking about similar subjects more often than not. So I always get really excited when we kind of get to take a new view of this whole industry in a part that is so obvious and important, but sometimes we do overlook. So as I mentioned in the intro individual APIs come up quite often on the show. We’ve rarely looked at the idea of API management. So just to make sure everyone listening is on the same page, could you kind of explain the idea of what API management even is and kind of the role it plays within this industry?
Kleber Bacili: Yeah, absolutely. APIs are everywhere, right? every new application or every new digital experience kind of rely on APIs. companies connecting with each other rely on APIs today. Marketplaces, platforms, and ecosystems are kind of built on top of a set of APIs. And even, new revenue streams are being created, supported by API products. So it’s very common, especially in the fintech industry, the term APIs. it’s very common. But normally companies, and enterprises, creating APIs, exposing APIs for their own consumption or for third-party developers or partners to consume, really need a lot of security, thinking, about how well-designed the API is. in terms of the scalability of the API, who is consuming the APIs? If the APIs are returning correctly, what is expected today, APIs are the number one, vector for attacks. so it’s very important to have security and compliance in place. Designing good APIs, and promoting, the reuse of the API, so those are some of the components that are kind of related to API management. And, on large organizations is very common to have hundreds, sometimes thousands of APIs. so it might get very complicated over time. So that’s why API management exists.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. It’s definitely, especially for the big enterprise companies with that many. It’s just too much to handle internally to make sure all of that is working individually correctly and together correctly. Now Sensedia has, if I have my numbers correct been around for a few decades, at this point. So it’s not a brand-new company. And so I imagine that given the changes in technology and kind of the rise of APIs weren’t as prevalent back in the early days of the company as they would be now that there’s probably been a lot of changes in maybe what the offerings of Sensedia have been over the years. You’ve been there yourself, I believe, again, if I have my numbers correct, like almost two decades at this point what have been kind of some of the major changes, if any, within the company and kind of within the industry? And when did the current focus of this API management in your current suite of offerings and services really take shape? And how long is that this version of the company been around, so to speak?
Kleber Bacili: Yeah. Awesome. Yeah, we’ve been in the market. We just completed, 17 years old, just last week. So we’ve been in this industry for a while now. and we were able to experience a lot of changes in terms of technologies and, different trends, throughout the years. In the beginning, it was more of a distributed, components, type of thinking. So companies were trying to reuse a little bit more components between applications. I would say that we could consider, the distributed components back then as the father of the current microservices, as today a lot of companies are using them back, the obviously cloud computing was not there. So normally, all the solutions were built, on premises. that ad used to add a lot of complexity in terms of connectivity. So a lot of effort in terms of, facilitating connectivity back then, a lot of web services and service-oriented architecture. So the acronyms were very well known in, I don’t know, maybe 15 years ago. And we developed our API management platform back in 2013. So a little bit over ten years. So modern APIs as we know them today, started being very used in different industries, start-ups, Twitter API, and Facebook API, the modern APIs that we know today started getting more popular. so we created the API management platform, and now we see a sprawl of APIs everywhere. So we can not think of a new application being developed without, exposing APIs or consuming a lot of already existing APIs. so, yeah, we were kind of witness to this change over time.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Well, it’s an amazing place to be. And it hats off to you for there’s been the interesting thing in talking to different companies and leaders of companies on this show to see the ones that have are very new, or the ones that did have been around similar length of time that you have that made it through those changes, because certainly not all of the companies were able to adapt to the different changes or to even just the fact of going from we do everything locally for you and now nothing is kind of done local and just the whole world of technology changed more or less overnight. So hats off to you all for finding your footing in it and becoming one of the industry leaders now being at the front of the wave of APIs and everything else that’s been going on now, you were previously CTO before CEO. So I don’t have too much fear in asking super, not super technical questions, but a little bit technical here as we kind of dive into some of the different aspects of what Sensedia does. Your platform supports different integration patterns like microservices, you mentioned, I think a minute or two ago, event-driven architectures, service meshes, and a lot of concepts that might be pretty new to listeners. So again, we don’t have to get super duper technical here, but at a high level, can you kind of explain just the idea of different integration patterns, how they work, and why being able to support so many different kinds is really important for especially your enterprise size companies that are using hundreds and hundreds of different APIs like you mentioned before.
Kleber Bacili: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s very complex if we think that the majority of larger enterprises have been working with software, creating solutions, and creating applications, for decades. it’s interesting to see that a lot of different ways to connect, to pieces of software emerged. So sometimes there is synchronous communication, which is normally referred to as APIs, but asynchronous, which is more common, referred to as event-driven architecture. it’s very important in terms of scalability, for example, to be able to listen when a certain event occurs and notify a lot of subscribers, to that event is something very popular. Different formats also because sometimes, obviously, new applications being created now, use all the brand new stuff, but normally organizations rely a lot on very old technology, and being able to connect the old with the new is one of the core capabilities of an API layer, I would say, to kind of be able to translate formats. It’s a very important element. and there are differences, for example, back in the time we were a lot of file transferring, for example, that’s one of the types of patterns for integrating stuff. But today everything is kind of always on, always connected, it’s not being done so often obviously there are still some use cases for that, but, normally companies tend to get things kind of online. And it’s a lot of complexity in terms of different types of applications. So if the company uses, SAP or Salesforce or HubSpot or ServiceNow, different applications need to communicate, connect, and change data, and exchange data. So that’s something that kind of a suite of technology that enables productivity. Connecting those types of elements is very important today.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, Fascinating stuff. And you referenced kind of one of the biggest themes that does come up on this show a lot in that answer, which is the financial industry is one that has these huge legacy players, networks, and systems that are in place and are so entrenched that they’re not going anywhere. There are disruptors, there’s tons and tons of new players every day, but they all kind of have to learn to work with these legacy systems. There’s no just clean replacing them like in other industries something can come along and just wipe out what was there before. This is one industry that has to work old and new together. And you kind of referenced that it can be tricky, but it does need to be done. And so if you can expand on that a little how does Sensedia go about aiding in that integration of legacy systems, and legacy, software with modern fintech solutions? And am I kind of correct in thinking that maybe the most important aspect as far as when working in this fintech world is the ability to be able to connect those two worlds and help those old legacy systems kinds of get up to date and in touch with the new stuff that’s coming out?
Kleber Bacili: Yeah, yeah. You’re right. we’ve been on several journeys with our clients. We had a client, actually, that released a brand new digital bank. It’s a traditional bank kind of old-school bank, but they released a brand new digital bank, and we helped them put that together. And, actually, all the underlying technology is the old-school technology. And the API’s kind of smell like COBOL, you know? so we used, the API layer to try to translate to lighter protocol and data formats to enable the digital, much more modern digital experience. That’s very common. In this particular case, was the the same company, right? releasing a new digital bank initiative. but it’s very common to have banks and financial institutions, integrating with fintech and other disruptors in this market. And, normally the connection is made by APIs. So not only being able to connect to, older technologies such as COBOL, as I mentioned but also to provide a good developer experience for the one that is consuming the APIs. One very common mistake is to take the complexity of the legacy application, the API layer, and normally carry the strange names and internal elements to the interface layer is a bad practice that we see a lot. So the ability to design good APIs, document APIs, and provide a very good experience for the developer consuming the APIs is one of the key elements or the key capabilities that good platforms provide.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah, absolutely. And another kind of reference point you made that does come up a lot on the show is just the idea of scalability in this industry in particular is the end all, be all that in the financial world. It’s, I would assume, the highest of transaction volumes, the highest of how often APIs have to be firing in any industry out there, and the biggest scale and volume that almost any industry works in. And so it’s not just in this world, like, does your thing work, but does your thing work for the company that does X amount of millions of transactions a day or anything like that? It does it at this wild, wild scale. So how do you go about kind of handling that scalability factor for fintech companies that you work with? Is there a volume size that is kind of best suited for you, or are you able to tackle the immense problem of unlimited scalability that a lot of these companies are hoping to go for?
Kleber Bacili: Yeah. Actually, the retail industry is also very heavy in terms of API traffic. But obviously, payments are one of the keys, probably, I don’t know, maybe between the top three, two of them are, payment organizations and one is retail. Banking is also obviously very high traffic, but less than payments and retail, I’d say. So being able to handle huge amounts of traffic is very important. So optimizing the traffic as well over time. So understanding, and optimizing the size of the payloads going back and forth, forward, it’s very important. And when we think scalability, obviously, traffic-wise is important but also scalability on the diversity of the usages for an API. So the size of an ecosystem, one interesting story, we have a payments client that provides a smart POS machine with a platform with a lot of APIs, and they allow for third-party developers to create apps that run within the POS to provide restaurant menus, loyalty programs, and other types of capabilities for the merchants, using the POS. And they have more than 20,000 external developers that consume the API to create different sets of apps that are connected with that particular POS. So, scalability is important not only obviously in the traffic-wise where the APIs are being called but also in a more broader sense, the ecosystem scalability, how we scale is to provide an API for a single individual, and how is that to provide an API for thousands of developers, how their organization needs to adapt itself and to provide good experiences on different scalability levels in terms of the ecosystem as well.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. Couple of trend-related questions for you here to close this out, as I’ve kind of made the bad joke over and over I felt like it’s been my duty over the last year plus of hosting the show that I ask almost every guest about AI’s impact on what they are doing and kind of everything going on in the financial world. You are one of the first places, our website is one of the maybe first places I’ve ever actually seen the firm AI as a service be mentioned, which was only a matter of time that became one of the many as-a-service is out there. But it was the first time I’d actually seen it laid out that way. And so it made me know I was like, of course, I was already probably going to ask you something about AI, but that even more piqued my interest. How has the AI revolution impacted what you do and your service offerings, and what you’re able to do with Sensedia, and how has it impacted the entire ecosystem of integrations and APIs in general so far?
Kleber Bacili: Yeah. We used to say that there is no AI without APIs, because most of organizations that are providing intelligent solutions, intelligent capabilities, or products, they are doing so via APIs. And most of organizations consuming intelligence are obviously consuming that using APIs as well. So when a company provides a service there are all the same concerns for other types of service, that scalability, SLA is how do you method usage for your APIs? This is one of the capabilities that an API management platform can provide. So there are a lot of elements around providing a service. And usage and a lot of new AI services are available every day now. So all of them are somehow exposing that via API. So, in terms of the volume of APIs, public APIs, providing intelligence service is something that is amazing. And some specific capabilities such as privacy, so we have several components to help provide better privacy to the services being provided. We have one particular client that provides an enhancement for sales via API. So providing better insights for the salesman doing a sales process. Serono, AI, and that’s very interesting how they are exposing the API and integrating the API into, the sales process with their clients. So very interesting use case and a lot of applications consuming APIs. So that’s in terms of the offering, but we are also providing more intelligent ways to design good APIs, to critique the API documentation. Poor API documentation is one area in which artificial intelligence is helping out. Understanding the portfolio of APIs that a company has and which one is the most suitable one to be reused in a particular context, business context. So there are a lot of elements that we are scratching here using generative AI and other models to provide better productivity. and, and better experience providing and consuming APIs.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Yeah. So outside of AI, then, are there any other kind of emerging trends, emerging technology that you think are kind of when you look out at the next 5 to 10 years of the industry and of Sensedia itself that you think are going to kind of shape what happens or any big changes on the horizon you see outside of AI. What are you kind of keeping your eye on the most as the company moves forward in the next half-decade or so?
Kleber Bacili: Yeah, as a matter of fact, we just released an API trends report, that’s on our website. Let me bring some of the elements that we studied recently. A lot of companies are going multi-cloud, so they have different workloads running on AWS Microsoft, or Google, and they have APIs running on different locations. So being able to have a multi-cloud approach and multi-API gateway approach to have a consistent view of the API portfolio is very important. So that’s something that we are paying a lot of attention to making a lot of investments in our R&D team. Engineering is another interesting concept because in large enterprises, normally companies have product teams, but each product team has to deal with all the basic elements of security, API design and, pipelines, integration pipelines. So we are seeing a concept of having platform teams that can handle all the basic and more difficult stuff, freeing the product teams to innovate in the capabilities and the services that they have to create. So that’s another interesting element that we are investing a lot. And API has products. So different ways to charge for using APIs and how our platform can help organizations do that.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Fantastic. It looks like you have a lot to be excited about in the coming years. And Kleber, this has been a fantastic conversation. I’ve definitely learned a lot. I’m sure the listeners have as well. For those who may want to learn more about Sensedia or possibly get in touch with you or the company, where’s the best place for them to find you?
Kleber Bacili: Website and LinkedIn, I’d say.
Jacob Hollabaugh: Okay, wonderful. Yeah, we’ll link to those and more in the show notes below. And I’ll also add the recent report that you referenced. I had seen that and I didn’t quite have time to read through all of it before this, but I do still plan to. So we’ll put that in the show notes as well for anyone who wants to dive into that. Kleber, thanks so much for your time and knowledge today. I greatly appreciate it and hope to speak again sometime soon.
Kleber Bacili: My pleasure. Thank you.
Jacob Hollabaugh: If you enjoyed this episode and want to hear more, head on over to soarpay.com/podcast to subscribe on your podcast listening platform of choice. That’s soarpay.com/podcast.