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Preparing for a system integration project? Start with these 9 questions

9 important questions to ask when starting an system integration project

 

Too many system integration providers promise a simple journey to success, but in reality, this is far from what ends up happening. 

A common pitfall is saying... "I just need to integrate these systems with each other – what does it cost?" 

So how do we stop this from happening?

There are many things to take into consideration when thinking about the whole integration project and we want to help you identify and address these. 

The real question is: "How do we do it and how much does it cost?".

To answer that, there are 9 vital questions to be answered first. 

Q1: What are you integrating?

This is a multiple-choice question, and here are your options:

  1. Customers
  2. Service Providers
  3. Internal systems

Why are we asking this?

Integrations always have (at least) two ends. It's important for you to understand that the complexity of the project might vary between these parties. Are you able to control both ends, does the customer or service provider have somebody from their end to work with you?

Q2: Do you have a Project Manager...

  1. We have someone in-house who runs the show
  2. The service provider or customer is providing the Project Management
  3. We are using an external provider / consultant on the project management

Why are we asking this?

Like in any project the manager plays a crucial role in the success of the end result and keeping the elements together.

Q3. What other integration resources will you need? 

  • Tool admin?
  • Integration architect?
  • Process owner?

After you have sorted out questions 1-3, we can move forward.  And now the project will be divided into two tracks. Technical and process tracks. 

Let's start with the technical track.

Q4: What systems are you looking to integrate? 

  • Application 1: __________________
  • Application 2: __________________
  • Application 3:___________________
  • Application n:___________________

Why are we asking this?

The complexity of the system and depending on how sophisticated it is might have an effect on the total time and effort needed to execute the project. We have seen all kinds of interesting systems and API's in our life. 

Q5: Are your systems running in the cloud, on-premise or hybrid?

  1. Cloud
  2. On-premise
  3. Both

Why are we asking this?

This might not have a direct cost related to the project, but it might slow things down. When opening firewalls and allowing IP addresses there are usually certain policies in place and those might take some time. So take this into consideration when planning the system integration project and thinking of the timeline.

Q6: Do you have enough knowledge of the systems you are integrating with?

  1. I know my own tool
  2. I know both tools
  3. I have no knowledge over these
Why are we asking this?

It's more of a fact than a myth that all tools and their characteristics are individual and designed in a unique way. Even if we avoid having to make changes in the corresponding systems. Sometimes you need to be able to create some triggers or web-hooks from your own system. Especially if you have something custom build. 

Q7. Have you defined the use case you are looking to integrate? 

  • Yes
  • No
  • Sort of... (maybe you get the process, but it hasn't translated into a genuine use case yet)
Why are we asking this?

First of all, let's address the question: "What is a use case, really?" 

Our experience shows us that the most important thing to understand is what are you looking to achieve. Meaning what is it that you are looking to do on a process and logical level? This is the most important part of a successful integration project and will define a lot on the length and success of the project. 

Q8: Have you defined the field and value mappings? 

  1. Yes, the fields and values to be mapped are clear
  2. Our side is done, waiting for the other side
  3. Nope..

Why are we asking this?

Mapping the fields and values that will be exchanged in the integration and the use case will ease the actual configuration work when setting up the integration.

Q9: Have you defined a test scenario that you are looking to run?

  1. Yes
  2. No

Why are we asking this?

When the configurations have been made to accommodate the use case, there should be testing involved. The test scenario and acceptance criteria's should be agreed with the parties prior to know if the project was successful!

Now, what is the expected cost of system integration?

Unfortunately, we can't answer without seeing your systems up close (boo!).

But it is very quick and easy to do, and 'just looking' won't cost you a dime. However, we are 100% certain that we can help you reduce the total cost of delivery with your next integration project.

This is great news for you because it means more profit, better value for your customer and a faster time to value.

At ONEiO, we have over 20 years experience in integrations. We've been there, and done that. We've seen all the pitfalls and successful projects.

Based on our vast experience we've created a tool to assess your integration needs and help with Request For Proposals for integrations and integration platforms. We call it Integration Landscape Assessment.

Download our Roadmap and Landscape Assessment and sample report to your integration success PDF by clicking the button below (no registration needed).

DOWNLOAD PDF

DOWNLOAD SAMPLE REPORT

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How to get started?

Book a 15 minute call with a friendly ONEiO integration expert to start solving  your integration challenges and creating a robust system integration plan. Simply select a time from our calendar, or submit the form below.

 

Related reads: 

Missing a system integration plan and strategy that is aligned with business strategy? Read more: How to create an integration strategy that REALLY works

Avoid integration project horror stories (3 true stories) and start creating a robust integration plan today!

ONEiO is a cloud-native integration service provider connecting people, processes, and tools – enabling seamless collaboration without traditional integration hassle. Provided as a turn-key solution, as self-service, or something in between. You choose.