Four Questions to Ask for Successful Systems Integration

Loraine Lawson

You want to save money on systems integration and beat the odds of failing after a restructuring or merger and acquisition?


Then you need to answer four questions, and make sure when you answer them, everyone's actually on the same page, suggests Jack Bergstrand, the CEO of consulting firm Brand Velocity, in a recent Industry Week article.

Those four questions, according to Bergstrand:

  • Where do you want to go and why do you want to go there?
  • What do you need to do and when do you need to do it?
  • How can you best do those things?
  • Who's responsible for specific tasks?


Okay, technically, that's six questions. But that's not what you should be pedantic about if your company's facing a major reorganization and you're in charge of the systems integration. Focus here, because Bergstrand says the more clear you can be on those four questions, the more effective your systems integration will be, and, consequently, the more likely you are to save anywhere from $100,000 to millions of dollars in personnel and direct expenses.

Of course, with that much money on the line, you've probably figured out that the article is primarily talking about integration of ERP systems. I knew ERP integrations were ridiculously expensive, but even so, I was surprised to learn that in a mere three months, Pfizer spent an estimated $208 million primarily on system integration and consulting after acquiring Wyeth. Most of it went to a global SAP rollout, according to the article.

Yikes! And I thought the price of a summer movie was outrageous.


I wonder how much of that money goes to ensure ERP systems are free from overly cumbersome integrations?

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