In my previous blog post, I spoke of the changing role of the partner brought on by the advent of cloud computing. In this new world, partners are moving away from a reliance on 'systems integration' and moving towards creating value-added industry focused solutions. A critical component to these solutions is the need to help companies make sense of the integration requirements to other business applications and data sources. When developing an integration approach, it is important to recognize the different and evolving roles between the partner and customer throughout the phases of an application deployment. Even if there isn't a partner involved, in many cases IT organizations act in a similar capacity as partner to the business to deliver a successful CRM project. A collaborative approach to integration between "partner" and "customer" best serves the integration needs of companies deploying these business applications.
It is rare that one person has all of the skills and knowledge necessary to fully implement an integration solution. In a CRM integration project for example, the development of the integration requires a solid understanding of the design of the CRM system and the key customer processes that drive the integration need. It also requires detailed knowledge of the other applications, many of them complex back office applications. The ability to allow multiple people to participate in the development and design of the integration solution in a coordinated manner is essential. Each of the parties should be able to design their discrete piece and simply fold it into the broader solution. The other members of the project team should be able to easily understand the work others have done and should be able add their input and comments. Team members that have moved onto other projects should be able to easily move back into an active role.
So beyond these team development capabilities what does a collaborative approach to integration really mean? Over the new few weeks I will be exploring the 5 capabilities of a collaborative integration platform. This exploration should shed some light on the direction we are headed with our new integration platform, Scribe Online, as well as some of the continued investments we will be making in Scribe Insight. So watch for my next post as we drill down on the first capability; Reusability.