Boomi CEO Lucas: There Will Be AI Agents, by the Thousands

Boomi sharpens its focus on building and managing agents that CEO Steve Lucas sees playing a major role in world of AI.

Dave Raffo, MSP News Editor

May 8, 2024

4 Min Read
Boomi CEO Steve Lucas
Boomi CEO Steve Lucas on stage at Boomi World 2024, Denver, May 7.

BOOMI WORLD — Boomi CEO Steve Lucas on Tuesday painted a picture in the near future where AI agents will trigger a “reimagining of every single enterprise application.”

Speaking at the Partner Summit at the Boomi World conference in Denver, Boomi CEO Lucas told partners how agents built on large language models (LLMs) will fuel the AI boom. And as a company that helps customers tie its systems together, he said Boomi and partners are well-positioned to take advantage.

“This AI 'Big Bang' that is going on, it's like nothing I have ever seen in my 30-year software career,” Lucas said. “This is truly transformative. I feel as though all of us are experiencing something that will be as important as the introduction of the internet itself, if not more important.

“We’re seeing the full reimagining of every single enterprise application that exists on the planet today," he continued. "Everything that we use today − CRM SFA, ERP, HRM, HCM, whatever it may be − those concepts were invented when you couldn't ask a semiautonomous or autonomous AI agent to magically do something for you, or build a website from scratch. Now is the perfect time to do what we in this room collectively do, which is help companies connect their systems, their applications, their databases, their APIs, and of course, their people.”

As an example, Lucas spoke of how AI agents built on LLMs can do time-consuming tasks such as approving expense reports.

“There will be thousands of things that we will no longer do in two short years,” he said. “The agent economy is coming; nothing will stop it. We will talk about applications, databases, APIs and agents all in one conversation.”

The idea of thousands of agents performing business tasks raises an important question.

“Who’s watching the agents?” Lucas asked. “What self-respecting CIO would allow potentially thousands of these agents to run around their organization and make decisions?"

He said Boomi will help CIOs by managing AI agents that it has built, as well as those from third parties and those created by partners and customers. He said the Boomi platform will be able to register and activate the agents. And Boomi will have a management agent that watches all the processes where agents are used, to detect errors or unwanted changes.

Boomi CEO Lucas: You’ll See More than Just Chatbots

“There won't just be applications and databases and APIs,” Lucas said. “There will be agents, not by the dozens; there will be thousands of these agents running around organizations, not just chatbots.”

Boomi launched Boomi GPT last October as part of its AI Suite, and is expected to add to that suite at Boomi World 2024.

Boomi CTO Matt McLarty provided technical detail about how AI agents will build on the capabilities of APIs.

“The AI economy that we're seeing starting to explode is just an extension of the API economy. Or you could say the AI economy powered by the API economy,” he said. “But the reality is that when you're going to connect to large language models, how are you going to do that in a business context? You're probably going to use the APIs, right? When you are creating an AI agent, you're going to be connecting to other systems via API to execute autonomous actions that the agent wants to do. There will be a big focus on not only providing APIs, but also managing the consumption of APIs, with concerns around protecting data privacy, and so on. All of the things we've been doing with API management become that much more relevant.

Dan McAllister, Boomi’s SVP of global alliances and channels, told partners that Boomi is an easy choice for them to defend after its recent placement in the 2024 Gartner Magic Quadrant for integration platform as a service (iPaaS). Gartner ranked Boomi at the top in ability to execute, and second to Workato in completeness of vison.

Boomi's Dan McAllister

“You cannot ignore Boomi any longer,” McAllister told the partners. “You can guarantee that when you're in that top right [quadrant], they're going to download our white paper, they're going to give us a call, we're going to get in touch with them to discuss how we can meet their challenges. We want all of you with us when we have those conversations.”

However, he admitted with seven vendors ranked in the Leaders quadrant by Gartner and 17 overall in the Magic Quadrant, Boomi still has work ahead of it.

“Where we're headed with the Boomi platform is actually to replace all of these others,” he said.

In an interview after the Partner Summit, McAllister addressed how Boomi can stand out in an industry where every vendor is pushing AI.

“Everybody can talk about AI, and everybody does talk about it,” he said. “Once [customers] understand how we're preparing ourselves for AI and tuning language models, and also preparing our customers by giving them great data, then they get excited with what we’re doing in the space.”

About the Author(s)

Dave Raffo

MSP News Editor, Channel Futures

Dave Raffo has written about IT for more than two decades, focusing mainly on data storage, data center infrastructure and public cloud. He was a news editor and editorial director at TechTarget’s storage group for 13 years, news editor for storage-centric Byte and Switch, and a research analyst for Evaluator Group. In addition to covering news and writing in-depth features and columns, Dave has moderated panels at tech conferences. While at TechTarget, Raffo Dave won several American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) awards for writing and editing, including for column writing.

Raffo covers the managed services industry for Channel Futures. His reporting beat includes the MSPs, key vendors and tech suppliers with managed services programs, platform providers, distributors and all key players in this sector of the market. Dave also works closely on the Channel Futures MSP 501 and our live events.

Raffo has also worked for United Press International, EdTech magazine, Windows Magazine and Data Center Intelligence Group (DCIG) in reporting, editing and research analyst roles.

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