Do you wish more of your applications could share data and communicate with each other? Time to connect with modern vendors offering application development services & consultants who will help you do so.
Most organizations need some sort of data sharing across their enterprise systems. ERP and HCM. CRM and CMS. Collaboration tools, and well, everything.
Chances are, if your company has deployed some of the more common best-of-breed business applications, you have the same pain points around systems integration as other organizations. Though many companies are getting all the bells and whistles from these siloed apps, they’re likely experiencing a huge loss of productivity when users of various applications need to work together. They’re also finding it cost prohibitive to maintain data in multiple locations.
Three ways organizations can tackle systems integration without fear:
Tackle systems integration alone
If your company is fortunate enough to have a robust IT team with application development and integration expertise, don’t be afraid to tackle system integration projects internally. Your users may only need data sharing for specific tasks, or you may choose to build out full integrations that are customized to your organization’s best practices and corporate processes. Developing integrated systems in house using internal application development skills helps you better control the scope of the project, as well as manage security and any bugs that come along.
Further, tackling systems integration alone enables your IT, project management and other user groups to more easily work together to determine exactly what the pain points are among the enterprise systems and what type of integration they need. Do they need it to be seamless or do they want an interface, secondary repository or simply dual access to the various systems?
Your company also can track progress and performance by developing integrations internally. However, as is often the case, your top-shelf IT staff may be swamped with more pressing initiatives and your systems integration needs may take a back seat for months or even years. So, your company may continue to hemorrhage productivity for a while.
Ask your application vendor for help integrating systems
If you aren’t able to take on the Herculean task of integrating systems internally, you can communicate your needs to the application development services vendors. Some vendors are more receptive than others when responding to user needs that involve another—or a competing--vendor.
Even if the application development vendors find your systems integration needs to be important enough to its user community, you may need to wait a bit before an out-of-the-box solution comes to fruition as large vendors often have complex (read “glacial”) processes around collaboration with other vendors. And as these system integration projects ultimately are designed for the vendor’s entire client base, you also may need to collaborate with other user groups to ensure your specific needs are met.
Working together for such an integration project also ensures that your organization is in the loop about whether the final product is customizable or will be offered as a system add-on or in a higher-level module than you currently have. The result is all too often an integrated system which has features you don’t need, doesn’t have features you do need, and took way too long to obtain in the first place.
Engage a systems integration partner
Luckily, there are consulting firms – Emtec among them – who specialize in complex system integration - and can offer a detailed, customized approach for your specific needs. These firms regularly review the popular enterprise systems their clients use to determine what type of system integration solutions may be needed.
They also gauge if vendors offering application development services are serious about developing integrations for their customers, and decide if they should instead, innovate their own set of easy-to-use, intuitive and powerful integrations and then communicate these integrations with end users.
By taking clients’ needs into consideration, consulting firms that specialize in integration often can develop customized integrations that enable users faster, natural and intuitive data sharing capabilities among their major business applications. They also often offer education and demos of the integrated systems so organizations can better determine if the solution meets their needs. Further, fees for such work often are much less than what companies are paying for duplicate storage, additional licenses or vendor add-ons they would incur by choosing the vendor’s integration or doing nothing at all.
One Example: Salesforce & SharePoint Integration
Emtec has developed numerous system integration solutions for its large client base, including the new ShareINTEGRATE™ solution, which provides a seamless, scalable and secure integration between Salesforce.com's ubiquitous CRM solution and Microsoft’s industry-leading SharePoint Collaboration & Content Management technology platform, giving sales and other teams a better way to optimize both platforms.
To learn more about ShareINTEGRATE™, watch this quick, animated video or visit our ShareINTEGRATE page on our website for more information about how we can help with your systems integration needs.