Written by Maggie Gavigan
This week, RJ Reliance’s very own Tom Zellner, along with the project team from Anson Industries and Burger Consulting, presented a lecture titled “Lessons Learned Integrating Data from Point A to B" during the Associated General Contractors of America's 8-part webinar series. They discussed real-world lessons learned to mitigate challenges and ensure project success in hopes of guiding other teams and organizations to make decisions regarding their own integration landscapes.
While the team had previously given this lecture in person at AGT’s ITCON ’21 conference earlier this year, the online webinar series served to further the discussion and re-present the information for those unable to attend in August. They were able to reach several dozen more attendees, and a recording of the webinar will be made available to anyone who signed up for the series but was unable to join on Tuesday. Here’s everything we learned:
The first step to ensuring project success is understanding when to apply integrations and what options are available. Integration solutions have several use cases that can apply across a wide range of industries, including customer relationship management, human resource information system, and time collection for payroll. Ultimately, integration has the power to connect siloed workflows that have historically lived in one database that is only available to the customer.
Data is exchanged via several integration methods, such as CSV or TXT files, APIs, or other web services. The services used to exchange data also vary; Custom Code, for example, is great for small projects but doesn’t scale. Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is typically reliable and scalable, while Robotic Process Automation (RPA) serves as a catch-all development strategy.
Before getting your hands dirty with the integrations themselves, you must identify stakeholders early on. Stakeholder identification allows you to determine their expectations and shape the project organization accordingly. Clearly communicate to all parties, both internal and external, when the cut-off date is for starting the integration. By successfully managing your stakeholders, you can ensure project requirements are aligned, mitigate potential delays, and boost team engagement.
Take into consideration the importance of vendor partnerships and effective communication rather than just the technical aspect of the software. Many integrations lack the necessary organizational-level training documentation for the business process. This weakness can easily be mended through process documentation, which improves business performance and operational agility. Also, be sure to set up a communication channel between the integration team and the end-users. Identify a single point of contact to streamline operations and improve the client experience.
Overall, the webinar went very well. After the presentation, the team was able to answer questions about RPA and iPaaS solutions and share ideas on how to engage in integrations more broadly. Many thanks to the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) for putting on such an enjoyable and informative event! Are you interested in learning more about what integrations could do for your business? Reach out today- our experts are ready!