Integration platform for business efficiency

Information technology is developing rapidly. Many experts call IT the fastest-growing sphere of human activity. Systems and applications integration plays an important role in the IT space, and has a significant impact on company performance as well as on all industrial and commercial sectors. That’s why we’ve seen a surge in corporate interest when it comes to integration…

What is “systems integration”?

According to Wikipedia: system integration is defined in engineering as the process of bringing together subsystem components within a single system (an aggregation of cooperating subsystems so that the system can provide overall functionality).

But it would be a mistake to think of “systems integration” as simply the assembly of hardware and software tools; the essence of the concept is much broader than that.

“Systems integration” is an activity aimed at improving a company’s efficiency, decision-making and information quality through an automated process, where “heterogeneous” systems can communicate and integrate with each other in real time.

Most companies in today’s business environment run many “heterogeneous” systems and software, yet there is no established communication between them. This type of environment creates a lot of inefficiencies and poor quality information, which in most cases leads to reduced profits and delays in management decisions.

Automated system integration acts as a bridge where data flows between heterogeneous systems, software applications and databases in multiple directions, based on predefined business rules, as if the systems were totally “homogeneous”.

Why do companies need “systems integration”?

Increasingly, companies are arming themselves with software and hardware to solve specific business needs. All this while adding new modules and “stand-alone” systems to their IT management system. Most of the time, these solutions don’t communicate natively with each other.

While the adoption of a specific software application (cloud or on-premise) may meet a company’s business requirements and solve a business problem, it will create a series of new challenges in its own right:

  • Redundant data entry; most of the data already exists in another system.
  • Need to hire more staff to manage more systems
  • Open the door to more human error when managing new systems.

The above challenges are relevant to companies of all sizes, whether small, medium or large.

How to solve integration problems?

To solve the integration problems identified in the previous point, companies should not hesitate to adopt integration projects to synchronize and orchestrate IT software, databases, processes and equipment.

To achieve this, companies will need to adopt an “integration platform” capable of exhibiting the following properties:

  • Easy to use (drag and drop)
  • No coding required
  • Quick to learn, develop and deploy
  • Easy debugging and simple error handling
  • Several options for triggering and launching processes and flows
  • Able to connect to most of the databases commonly used in today’s market
  • Able to connect to brand-name software systems (e.g. SAP, Salesforce, Oracle, SugarCRM …) with connectors certified by the manufacturer.
  • Generic API-based connectors for IoT projects
  • Extensible to go beyond “out-of-the-box” where you can build your own connectors for specific solutions.

Benefits of systems integration

The benefits of implementing a robust API-based integration that can connect to a wide range of enterprise ecosystems are invaluable. Here are the 5 advantages:

  • Real-time data synchronization

Having a robust integration platform responsible for orchestrating and synchronizing data and processes, eliminates delays in data publication. Data is synchronized between different systems in real time, without the need for human intervention.

  • Faster data processing

With an automated integration platform, which is able to synchronize data and trigger flows and processes efficiently based on rules and conditions, data processing also becomes real-time, eliminating the need for data extraction, transformation and loading (ETL). No need for a separate ETL tool.

  • Improved employee productivity

Data synchronization and orchestration obviously eliminate a lot of time and effort for employees to manage and enter/extract data from one system to another. Employees can focus on business-related problems business-related issues, where they can generate more revenue, rather than entering and manipulating data in “heterogeneous” systems.

  • Faster decision-making

Having a robust integration platform, with all the benefits identified above, business leaders will be able to make quick decisions and avoid the time-consuming process of extracting data from different systems and merging the sets to obtain a unified data sheet.

  • Increased profitability

Taken together, the above benefits will significantly increase the profitability of any company with heterogeneous IT systems and applications.

magic-xpi-scheme-iotWhat are the signs that a company needs an integration platform?

Here are the main signs in any company that an integration platform is needed to improve business processes.

  • Your company has several stand-alone software systems, with no direct links between them.
  • Your company has a combination of on-premise and cloud-based software solutions that are not connected.
  • Employees spend a lot of time on their daily work, feeding several systems
  • Your company has an e-commerce site managed separately from the internal ERP system
  • The company’s IT department is unable to provide reports and analyses on time.
  • Unable to meet your customers’ business requirements, deliver within 48 hours
  • There are major data mismatches between systems and solutions, due to redundancy.
  • Many employees work on report writing and data entry work
  • No visibility of company equipment data and performance (production machines, cameras, field service data, etc.).

Are you looking for an integration platform solution for your company?

For over 18 years, our company has been an official partner of Magic Software Enterprises, a global provider of software solutions, supplying Magic xpi, an integration platform based on a fully reliable SOA, and API-driven for all necessary connections.

The Magic xpi business integration platform provides enterprise-level integration, business process automation and data synchronization, with complete security and proven reliability.

Implementing a wide range of certified and optimized connectors and adapters, Magic xpi integrates leading ERP, CRM, financial and other enterprise systems, such as SAP, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft, IBM, Google, and many more.

Are you looking for integration solutions? Contact us today

Systems integration: how to avoid mismanagement

As we mentioned in one of our previous articles, change in the workplace is inevitable. The business world is constantly evolving, and companies must always be ready to adapt to change.

This change is happening whether we like it or not, for example, systems integration needs to be well managed in order to constantly improve and take advantage of the surge in technology. As a result, companies with a well-detailed plan that explains the procedures to be followed will gain a competitive edge. That said, unfortunately, poor implementation management is more common than good management, and will often lead to internal resistance.

Business Automation

The major changes we see every day are the implementation of new management software, B2B integration and systems integration.

When business leaders realize that they need to innovate and streamline their business processes, they need to introduce changes to their workplace. Many of them put off this change for as long as possible, until it affects the growth of their business.

Why does this happen so often? Partly because people are creatures of habit. Habit makes our tasks and jobs much easier, and it’s not surprising that people like repetitive actions, stability and security. So it’s not surprising that employees are generally the biggest opponents to business process change. This happens, not because employees don’t want to see their company thrive; but mostly to poor implementation management , the main topic of today’s blog.

Poor management of system implementation and integration

Change is a sensitive subject. As mentioned above, not too many people accept change with open arms. So broaching this subject with employees is a difficult task, and it needs to be presented well.

So why do employees tend to resist software implementation?

  1. Managers don’t communicate with their people properly. If employees don’t know exactly what’s going on (they’re in complete darkness), they’ll resist. Will they lose their jobs as a result? Will their daily tasks be affected? Who will be responsible? How long will it take? When employees have more questions than answers, it becomes a slippery slope.
  2. Employees do not trust the management team, which is not as transparent and open.
  3. The timing of the new software implementation was poorly chosen by management, i.e. during a company’s busy season, causing additional constraints and pressures on the entire team.
  4. Managers, who are responsible for disseminating information, are not competent or expert in this field. Their stress and anxiety about the new project don’t help to calm employees. Fear of the unknown is contagious – managers should be aware of this.

How to implement changes effectively

First of all, managers need to understand that everyone handles change differently, and that resistance is always a possibility. The best way to deal with it is to COMMUNICATE and LISTEN. This strengthens trust between management and employees.

In addition to this, once a Systems Integration has been announced, through a corporate email or meeting, it’s important to address the following points:

  • Why is this integration necessary?
  • Why it’s important for the company (what are its general benefits, short-term benefits and long-term benefits)
  • How will Systems Integration impact the work of individual departments and employees? (What’s in it for them?)
  • What are management’s objectives and expectations for this integration?
  • Who will manage this change? Who can employees contact to discuss change-related issues or share ideas to make change easier for everyone?

By sharing all important information with the whole team, everyone will be on the same page and feel listened to and appreciated.

integrationSoftware implementation in several stages

It is also extremely important to implement any type of software implementation or systems integration in several stages. There are many steps that managers can take before starting a software implementation. Once the news of a software upgrade is announced, it is essential that employees take the time to ask questions, address concerns, read any system documentation, view a system demo (for each department) understand their role during implementation, plan training during implementation, learn about the new process changes that will take place with the new system… After all this, the implementation can take place. Jumping headfirst into an implementation without proper preparation can lead to major resistance and setbacks in the future.

Systems integration – a major advantage for your company

There’s no stopping creation and improvement in the business world. As industries develop, companies must evolve; as technology advances. Companies need to implement changes as quickly as possible; when governments pass new laws, companies need to comply. As customers become more demanding and better informed, companies need to provide better products and fast, efficient service.

It’s time for managers to stop putting off software integration and implementation, and instead focus on helping employees see change in a positive light, which will undoubtedly bring major benefits to your business.

Contact us
today for a smooth and successful software implementation.