4 questions owners should ask to make sure your integrations provide the performance you need.
As an owner managing complex capital programs, your project controls and facilities management systems are mission-critical, helping you prioritize and manage your portfolio to support your organizational goals.
Accessing complete and connected data across corporate finance, project costs, resources, and schedules and, even project management and collaboration solutions is essential controlling projects and efficiently managing facilities.
When you integrate to enterprise resource planning (ERP) or other critical systems, to achieve connected data, you will want to ensure that integrations can meet your specific needs and support your processes—however complex and dynamic they may be.
As you evaluate options, it may be helpful to consider a few questions to guide you to the right solutions for your needs.
When a software vendor says their product integrates with another product, dig deeper. What does that really mean? It can mean anything from an application being able to exchange limited data with another, to one that delivers a proven, configured integration—one based on years of experience with organizations like yours—that offers bi-directional, multi-point integration to provide connected data and process management. Make sure the level of integration the vendor is providing matches the level of complexity you need. For simple workflow extensions, simple integrations may be enough. For complex business processes, you likely will need more sophisticated solutions. Also, you should consider whether the solutions you want to integrate have been integrated before. If so, how often?
By definition, any integration includes the complexity of at least two applications, in many cases from two different software vendors. Given that, it is important to understand who is defining how the integration is configured. It is one of the software vendors? Both vendors? As the customer, do you need to become the process expert to figure it out or hire a consultant on your behalf? How about the actual implementation?
In addition, it is helpful to know whether one of the product vendors has their own team of professionals focused on these specific integrations or whether a third-party implementation generalist is needed. Have the vendor or third-party implemented these solutions before, and can they access the product development teams from the software vendors if needed?
You also should consider what happens if the implementation does not function as planned. Who is responsible, vendor 1, vendor 2, the middleware vendor or the integrator? The greater the number of parties involved, the greater the potential for finger-pointing. Do the products you want to integrate have built-in, proven APIs? If so, how flexible are they? Are they REST APIs, which are designed to be flexible and conform to the design principles of the representational state transfer architectural style? Or are third-party APIs needed, adding another vendor to the mix?
Same question with middleware. Does the vendor you are working with have their own middleware/integration platform as a service (IPaaS) and associated proven integration configurations with their products? Or is yet another party being added to the conversation, adding in complexity and risk, moving further away from having one point of responsibility?
Like with any software solution, both customer needs and the software itself change. If there is a software update, will it break your integration? How will any third-party integrator be in lock- step with application development teams? Ensure you have a plan and one point of responsibility to maintain your integrations.
Oracle Construction and Engineering brings experience from over 20 years and hundreds of successful integrations. Mature REST APIs, Oracle’s own middleware solutions and professional integrations team provide you best practice, proven integrations with one point of responsibility today and into the future.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure integration services was named a leader and positioned highest for the “ability to execute” in Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Integration Platform as a Service, Worldwide.
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