RESPOND TO THESE DISCUSSION POST BASED ON THE TOPIC “Every organization wants their systems to function properly and “talk” to each other. One of the biggest issues companies have is that they have information stored in different systems and it is very difficult to create reporting that ties information from multiple systems. From an integration systems perspective, what would be your first step in determining what systems could be integrated? What information would you need to gather, and who should be involved in this process? Discuss how you determine which systems could be integrated.
In response to your peers, explore the relationship between the logical and physical system integration..”
1. John Lel
Understanding why any company or organization can benefit from integrating the various “pieces” of the company into a cohesive structure or system is not difficult. The integration will lead to increased productivity, cost redundancy and a better, more complete, work environment. The integration process can be a daunting task, even in a small business environment. Obviously, we need a first step in the process of integration. This is not limited to what product or system to purchase, custom or off the shelf, but which components should be integrated. As the business owner, what will your expectations be, this needs to be defined and shared, with staff and whoever is going to be involved in the integration process. Once we know where we want to go, we can plan how to get there. Each business has unique issues, so trying to integrate a business structure by walking through the software choices at Best Buy, is probably not a good idea. It is important to have professional help onboard to implement this process. A systems integration professional will help to determine how or even if, components of the company will fit together and how and what data will be available to each of those component departments (Head Channel, 2019). Sales may not need to know specifics of productions but does need to know about design and availability. Production may not need to know the specifics of sales prospects but does need data on product sales.
The process for integration will require a team from the company and the company chosen to implement the integration. These teams will build the list(s) of requirements and necessary outcomes while determining which data systems need to be integrated. Each company has any number of departments producing data, and since the company is operational, there is a process already in place that requires analysis of each step to determine which steps will be required by the system supporting another department. These transactions must be organized and understood prior to building any integration system. Transactional requirements will be the key to create a system that will meet company expectations, from a business and an environmental standpoint (Fischer, 2017). This team must also keep in mind and determine how this change will affect customers and create a training plan for both sides of the equation.
Every integration project will come with its’ own set of challenges. The best application for CRM may be different than the best application for production and order desk. Additionally, these systems need to run in multiple locations simultaneously with multiple users. Not only does the integration of these systems establish communications between computer applications, it establishes how business units will communicate and interact (Hohpe & Woolf, 2018). By determining what transactional relationships and identifying target data necessary for those transactions, an integration design can develop to meet the new demands and expectations.
2. Rbert Rchds
Integrating systems is never easy because the systems can be similar or be completely different in the data they deal with or what they process. I think the first thing that needs to be looked as is the different silo’s that are in play. These silos refer to the information that is proprietary to a department and is not shared throughout the company. Each silo needs to be looked at and determined if the data could be helpful to another department in the company. Once all silos have been looked at the organization has a better under standing of all the data that is available to share within their company. A company most likely doesn’t know what systems could be beneficial to another department until they look at what each system procedures. Once they understand all the data that they have at hand they need to work with each of the silos development and management teams to create a game plan. During this process it is very important for them to change certain business processes and how systems are integrated to make the ERP implementation successful (Motiwalla & Thompson, 2012). Redefining how systems are integrated within the organization is an important aspect to ensure that the information is shared throughout the organizations. By doing this the hardware that handles all the systems needs to be looked at to verify it can handle the tasks that are going to be asked of it. Before the systems were independently ran but now will have connections to other systems. With these changes the business process will most likely be different to an extent. These adjustments will need to be made to ensure that the ERP implementation is successful. The business process will need to lay out what information should be available to certain groups and how the information is going to be stored. The system integration process in my eyes needs to be designed from a group up approach instead of trying to piece parts together. When piecing parts together, information will be forgotten, and security holes will be more prevalent.
3. Englbrt Kel
Firstly, system integration is defined in information technology as the process of linking together different computing systems and software applications physically or functionally, to act as a coordinated whole. (Wikipedia n.d.). Integrating data into an integration-platform-as-as-service (ipaas) cloud database can sound like a scary process, however it really comes down to a few simple steps, but it is important choosing the right system for your organization or business and, Mapping your systems objects and fields, refine your integration by setting up filters and last but not the least starting your integration – sync historical data or start fresh? (Mott, 2014.)
Secondly, my choicest first step in determining which systems can be integrated comes from the fact that business owners want improved performance that comes with that but are sometimes afraid to experiment new systems, due to the course and fact that they might not understand how it works, but it’s easier and less risky than ever to use a data integration platform to determine how your data should sync (Mott, 2014.)
Before one setup an integration, you need to be clear about what you expect to gain from it, as well as what areas you have consistent access too. System integration is no easy task. By definition, system integration has to deal with multiple applications running on multiple platforms in different locations, making the term ‘simple integration’ pretty much an oxymoron. Software vendors offer EAI suites that provide cross-platform, cross-language integration as well as the ability to interface with many popular packaged business applications. However, this technical infrastructure presents only a small portion of the integration complexities. The true challenges of integration span far across business and technical issues. (Hope et Woolf, n.d.)
Thirdly, it’s worth knowing that system integration requires and generally focuses on a specific functional area, such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Billing, Finance, and others. This seems to be an extension of Conway’s famous law that postulates that “Organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these or specific to each organization.” As a result, many IT groups are organized in alignment with these functional areas. Successful enterprise integration does not only need to establish communication between multiple computer systems but also between business units and IT departments in an integrated enterprise application groups no longer control a specific application because each application is now part of an overall flow of integrated applications and services. (Hope et Woolf, n.d.)
A failing, or misbehaving integration solution can cost a business millions of Dollars in lost orders, misrouted payments and disgruntled customers. Commonly, this data includes marketing (lead) data, sales opportunity data, finance invoices and even things like employee wages and user information.(Mott, 2014.)
Integration is a cornerstone of today’s enterprise environments with their multitude of enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The power of those software applications does not lie only in the functionality that they provide themselves, but in their ability to communicate with one another, in order to make data flow seamlessly through the environment. This improves processes and makes a company more efficient as a whole. (Fischer, 2017.)
When choosing an integration system, the option that is best for your business depends on your existing software environment, the range and depth of the requirements driving the purchase, and what kind of tools are available to share information. If you are moving to or have a singular solution like an ERP, and you want information to be centralized in one solution, then an integrated solution may be best for your company. If you have highly specialized requirements specific to your industry, then “best-of-breed” software with strong interface capabilities may be a better choice. An interfaced solution is a good choice for organizations that want to keep their existing software while using different pieces for different tasks such as payroll and HRIS.
Well, there are a number of questions that need to be answered in the planning stage. (Fischer, 2017.) These key questions include, what is the data that the target system requires to complete the integration task? Identifying the target data is an important first step. It defines what objects or tables need to be accessed, and the rules the data needs to comply to. Typically, the target data model drives the design of a custom integration point, should one be required. (Fischer, 2017.)
Secondly where is the data required by the target system located in the source system, and what transformations are needed? Common examples for data types that need to be transformed are numbers and dates. For example, date formats and time zones may be different between the systems and have to be converted. (Fischer, 2017.)
Thirdly, what is considered a transaction within the integration task, how many transactions are there, and are there any dependencies between the transactions? A transaction is an atomic unit of work. It only changes the state of the target system if the data was successfully transferred and processed.(Fischer, 2017.) If any failure occurs, whether it is during the transport or processing (i.e. validation), it must be ensured that the target system remains unchanged. For example, if a transaction creates multiple records in the target system (i.e. an account and a contact, and the account was successfully created but the contact failed the validation), it must be ensured that the account record is removed again. This way the target system has the same state at the end of the transaction as when it started. (Fischer, 2017.)
Fourthly, how will you connect to the target system (domain name, IP, etc.) and what security constraints apply (certificates, credentials, etc.)? Connectivity and security constraints should be identified and verified early on in the project. As those can often be reasons for a project to be delayed or even fail altogether. The reasons are manifold like: missing firewall rules, required certificates, setup of new security roles and credentials, protocol incompatibilities between source and target system – just to name a few. (Fischer, 2017.) From a technical perspective, most of those issues can be resolved. But it is often the processes or additional constraints that are only identified during the validation, which add more risk and effort to the project. (Fischer, 2017.)
The interface options have an impact on the tools and implementation design. This is because they help determine whether the solution must be entirely custom or whether productized solutions are an option for the implementation. (Fischer, 2017.). Creating the right design may not always include the path of the simplest or most straight-forward solution.
A Better Approach is to address all these issues mentioned above, a custom endpoint could be created in the OMS that would consume the data for the account and order in a single request. The logic processing the request would have the ability to validate all the transmitted data for the account and order creation before even attempting to persist the information in the database. And it would be able to handle the cleanup of the account should the order entry fail. (Fischer, 2017.)
On top of that, only a single request would be made from the CRM, which means less overhead, less risk of failure, and the overall integration process is completed faster than if using the multiple requests through the standard interface. (Fischer, 2017.)
Last but not the least, every integration work comes with its own challenges. Answering the questions listed above will help to solve those challenges the right way. In addition, if the right validations are done upfront to identify and address those risk factors around connectivity and security, it will just be a matter of time until the two systems are integrated together, that is with one another, boosting the productivity of the company. (Fischer, 2017.)
use single spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. Sources should be cited according to APA citation method (citation should be relevant and current). Page-length requirements:2 PAPARAGRAPHS FOR EACH PROMPT ANSWER. Make sure you cite if you take a piece of someone’s work, very important and your reference should relate to your writing (don’t cite a reference because it relates to the course and not this very paper) at least 2 current and relevant academic references. No heavy paraphrasing of others work.
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