Successful Integration Requires Experience
IT Integration can be a monumental challenge. High volumes of activity create complexity, and an understanding of interfaces, functionality and threats to the system adds even more to the task. Close collaboration with business operators are vital to determine the business impact of IT Integration.
An organization might use many systems (either developed in-house or licensed from a third party vendor) to manage their data and processes. Examples include employee data, customer relationships, accounting systems, warehousing information and tracking of shipments.
Breaking the organization's data and applications into components is often desirable. It removes dependence on a single vendor and allows for a company to buy the best of breed for each component of their business. For example: you might buy an accounting system off Intuit and a CRM from Salesforce and an employee management system from PeopleSoft. Each of these applications are excellent for what they are designed to do, but weaker in the areas where other companies provide best of breed. The problem is how to integrate them to work together?
How and Why?
How is Crossvale different from other Integration Providers? Crossvale has extensive experience with integration challenges and has the expertise to solve many of the issues most enterprises are dealing with, including:
- Interoperability: the components were never built to work with each other. They were built to provide a specific function to the business.
- Data integration: Data elements are dependent on each other and to allow and enforce data flow between applications, lines of business and personnel, the data must be integrated.
- Robustness, Stability, and Scalability: Up-time and response to changes in environment are required to be able to survive with ever-changing demand, customer base, competition and expectations.
The solution to the integration challenge is an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).
The benefits of an ESB are:
- Reuse as much of your existing IT infrastructure:
- An ESB is not there to replace your existing systems or investment.
- The ESB's mission is to gain as much value from the existing systems as possible by allowing easy integration to that system or data source with minimal (often zero) intrusion.
- An evolving platform:
- An ESB can evolve into an Enterprise solution for integration. i.e. a company does not need to decide on a multi-year, multi-million dollar program before they can realize value.
- An ESB initiative will typically start small with a few applications integrated and will grow over time to provide easy to use, and more importantly reuse, functional components that allow fast, cheap integrations of off the shelf and home-grown applications.
- An "Integration Platform":
- Commercial and Open Source ESBs can appear intimidating and confusing. However, most organizations grow into the feature set. (Some large deployments still only use a very small number of the features offered)
- Think of the ESB as an Integration Platform that is there to provide a solution to the challenges outlined above but with a feature set that allows for maximum flexibility and modularity while meeting those challenges.
- At the outset a very small list of features will be used, but the flexibility can be realized without a rip and replace of the Integration Platform.
- ESBs are built with Service Oriented Architecture in mind.
- This means that an organization seeking to migrate towards an SOA can do so incrementally, continuing to use their existing systems while plugging in re-usable services as they implement them.