Software Integration - Easy Right?
Submitted by Wed, 12/21/2011 - 10:43on
How often do we describe things as easy? Let’s meet at my office in New York – it’s really easy to get to. Let’s grab a sandwich for lunch – it’s quick and easy. Let’s save that on the Wiki – it’s so easy to navigate. Let’s integrate our email solution with our web analytics platform so we can segment and re-market to our base. It’s a breeze – you just write a few extra lines of code and connect one system to the other, right. Wrong. And for this reason, the demand for systems integration expertise is at unprecedented levels within marketing departments today.
Across the IT industry, systems integration is pretty much well understood. But at a marketing level, it is in its infancy. I mentioned integrating email and web analytics, but other platform integrations such as CRM systems and sales proposal tools and ad serving technologies and web analytics are gaining popularity. All great conceptually with clear benefits for the client. But, who’s going to do it, how will it be done, who will train staff so the maximum benefit of the integration is realized?
This is where the specialists come in. Before any system plug-in can be done, a deep-dive into the client’s business is required to understand what they are trying to achieve. Is it better forecasting, more accurate pipelining, delivery shortfalls, best / worst performing sales people, better campaign performance data? What are the business requirements that will inform how the integration will be built and set to deliver? These are the items that will move the needle for a client. Only when one understands the big picture business piece of the puzzle can one begin to think about the practical steps (from the technology, resourcing and planning perspective) that will deliver on the client’s requirements.
In my experience, there are few people who possess this unique combination of publishing sector expertise to identify the high-level business needs and the deep technical knowledge needed to develop a solution design and implementation plan that meets those requirements. Can you afford not to take advantage of this expertise?
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