12 Things to Look for When Choosing an Integration Consultant
Content Marketing Specialist
Oct 10, 2019
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Numbers don't lie, which makes business projections and outcomes around data integration efforts far more exciting. A recent Forrester study confirms a 307% ROI and a $3.4 million gain in incremental revenue and gross profit for companies specifically using the Dell Boomi integration platform.
With that kind of evidence, the iPaaS market is proving to be a powerful solution for growth-forward companies. But not everyone understands how to get their company from a galaxy of siloed systems into a lean, mean, data-driven machine.
Step one: Realize that all integration platforms and consultants are not created equal. In the past few weeks, we've turned the spotlight specifically to the Dell Boomi integration platform. In our three decades of IT expertise, we firmly believe Boomi is the leading iPaaS solution for flexible, embedded integrations.
Step two: Choose an integration specialist — or consultant — that has both the business knowledge and technical skill set to get you to your integration goals.
Identify business needs first. In any integration project, business needs should be identified first, and technology solutions second. In that process, an integration consultant will assess gaps and risks, evaluate in-house skills, discern the quality of existing data, establish a timeline, and identify the tools needed to get the job done.
Make your job easier. iPaaS capabilities and best practices change every day. Integration specialists will make every part of your integration journey easier. Could your in-house IT team master iPaaS integration? Sure, but it takes time, energy, and bandwidth your team likely doesn't have. This is especially true if an integration involves complex data or data procedures. Your in-house team may not have the experience or skills to build quality, cost-effective integrations.
Be truthful. So far, we've yet to discover a technology that solves every problem. So, when choosing an iPaaS consultant, make sure he or she is truthful and realistic about the software's capabilities around expected outcomes.
Be a problem solver. Understanding integration technology is essential, but the real value of a consultant is found in his or her ability to break down a complex issue to its core parts, analyze it, and find the best solution. The best integration consultant looks at tricky integration issues and confidently works through the steps to resolve it.
Be knowledgeable. There's no substitute for specialized knowledge. A qualified integration specialist should possess both IT integration certifications and expertise in a platform's integrators. He or she will stay ahead of key emerging data and integration trends and implement best practices for connecting on-premise, legacy systems, cloud and hybrid applications.
Take an agile approach. Agile is a flexible, speedy project methodology (as opposed to a rigid, lengthy development schedule) developers apply to projects. Agile integration incorporates continuous integration and daily testing into the development process and emphasizes adaptability in handling data. Agile allows the integration project team to collaborate daily and address issues as they arise.
Create a custom integration plan. While an integration project should be agile in its methodology, an integration consultant will create and follow an integration plan with well-defined processes in place. The plan should encompass: The integration life-cycle from initial set-up to putting the right people and equipment in place, to data assessment and testing, to implementation and support.
Prioritize collaboration. To succeed at integration, people and systems need to talk. An iPaaS consultant works closely with clients every step of the way. Internal teams are critical to understanding business needs, data sources, integration goals, and company culture. An experienced consultant will be able to recognize and mediate competing interests and identify critical buy-in opportunities.
Champion change management. Integration platforms such as Dell Boomi are powerful technologies, but with all new technology, comes the internal friction of learning new processes and interfaces. An integration consultant is versed in both the technical side of integration as well as the people side. He or she will work change management communications and training into an integration plan as a success strategy.
Understand all connectors. An integration partner will understand the transport protocol and message formats of legacy systems, SaaS platforms, on-premise, in-cloud, and hybrid system integrations. He or she will have the skills to ensure integrations can scale and that data is shared securely.
Document well. Even though the Dell Boomi integration platform is little to no-code, your integration consultant should document any new code so anyone can understand intent and design. In a low-code, graphic UI platform like Boomi, integration consultants can easily document code using the objects in the design panel.
Prioritize data quality. A successful integration project includes profiling, cleansing, and matching data to standards. This requires identifying stakeholders and establishing roles and rights. An integration consultant will monitor and report on the status and quality of data building in testing and error-handling to ensure integration integrity.
Quality integration is critical for successful business operations and growth. Integrated businesses improve operational efficiency, make faster decisions, increase customer service, and get new products to market faster than their competitors. Taking the time to choose an integration specialist with the combined business and technical expertise will make every difference in your integration journey.
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Ready to level up your integration power? Improvization's Boomi Integration Team is certified in Dell Boomi and Dell Boomi for Dimensions integrations.
Call us today for a free, integration consultation call.