In the past, different systems cater to individual business functions. For example, an organization might use a platform for procurement and inventory that is different from its tool for product development. The most obvious downside of this is the various protocols by which these systems are operated. Similarly, there may be multiple approaches to systems maintenance, too. As a result, those compromise the ideally smooth operations of any business endeavor. Thankfully, there’s a way to consolidate subsystems into one all-encompassing resource: business systems integration.
Business systems integration allows organizations to benefit from overarching functionality, improved efficiency, and augmented productivity. This process can be classified as any of the following:
- Data Integration (DI) – The integration of various information sources into one access point.
- Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) – A help-based integration that assembles different information and administrations based on a required work process.
- Electronic Document Integration/Interchange (EDI) – Seeks to activate the paperless exchange of information between businesses.
Different methods cater to systems integration. You will hear names like Point-to-Point, Vertical, Horizontal, and Star Integration. Obviously, these are highly technical concepts. To carry them out, you will need the help of IT experts who specialize in the process. To that end, you must know what qualities to look for in a business systems integration service provider.
8 Characteristics of a Great Business Systems Integration Provider
When you visit a doctor, you expect them to ask questions about your medical history and current lifestyle. That is the first step for them to understand where you are health-wise.
In the same vein, you must demand that same level of curiosity from your systems integration service provider. They must conduct a thorough assessment exercise to understand your existing IT landscape. That way, they will know how best to approach the consolidation of your subsystems.
2. Solid credentials
Get to know your service provider like how you would know a new friend. For instance, you should ask whether their company is expanding or downsizing? Consider the former a good sign and the latter a red flag. You should also take a look at the certifications and qualifications of the company from relevant organizations like Amazon, Google, ISO, and ISTQB. They will hint you at the level of service you could expect from the service provider.
Additionally, see if the provider offers standard software to clients or if they’re equipped to come up with a tailor-fit solution.
3. Highly-skilled team members
Once you’ve gotten to know the organization as a whole, the next order of business is zeroing in on its components—or the people who make up the team. Here, you need to look for both skills and dedication. You require skilled IT professionals proficient in their trade. To that end, look for relevant certifications and qualifications like ITIL and Microsoft.
You also require unwavering dedication from your systems integration partner; you don’t want any of them to give up on the project upon encountering a major roadblock.
4. A vast network of partners
As much as possible, work with a systems integration partner surrounded by competent allies. Doing so means you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket.
Should a mishap occurs, you’ll get all the necessary support you need not just from your hired service provider but from their coterie of IT experts, too. For instance, affiliations with relevant associations like the IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) are great to have.
5. An impressive portfolio of past clients
This rule applies to all kinds of business transactions. To gauge the reliability of the business entity you’re considering a partnership with, look at their past and present pool of clients. Moreover, don’t be satisfied with just a list of names. Know what these clients have to say about the provider via review platforms and other means at your disposal.
6. Agile team dynamics
An agile team boasts individual experts who can easily transition to cross-functionality when needed. With this team dynamic, you will be confident with your systems integration project knowing its components are handled by skilled experts who know with certainty the common goal they are trying to achieve.
7. A specialist in your industry
Before signing a contract, make sure you’re dealing with a systems integration service provider specializing in your industry. For example, 天博 has a proven track record working with finance, construction, insurance, manufacturing, retail, and logistics.
8. 24/7 support
As a client, you deserve all the care and attention you need when you need them. This ensures the systems’ smooth operation. Moreover, you’ll need some troubleshooting when bugs are encountered. To that end, remember to establish a partnership with a service provider who can promise you exactly that via 24/7 customer support.
Untangle and Integrate
In short, systems integration aims to untangle functions. That is to streamline business processes. However, those objectives will only come to fruition if you pick the best IT solutions company.
On that note, you can’t go wrong with 天博. We aid organizations in their quest to reach their fullest potential via business systems integration. To know more about what we have to offer, schedule a consultation with one of our experts.