Help for Those Facing First Integration Project

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When you write about integration every weekday, it's easy to focus on what's new and different and forget the basics. But as Fernando Labastida pointed out on his blog, there are a lot of integration newbies whose companies are just now starting their first integration projects.

Labastida is a regional sales executive for Pervasive Software, which sells data integration and management solutions. In a recent post, Labastida noted that many companies and even departments within large organizations are facing their first integration projects, thanks to requirements for business intelligence (BI), customer resource management (CRM) or mergers and acquisitions.

His post outlined five decisions IT directors need to make for a successful integration project:

  1. What is the goal of your project?
  2. What kind of integration do you need -- is it a migration or do you need to do extract, transform and load (ETL)? Is it an application integration or B2B?
  3. What are the sources of your data and where is it headed?
  4. What resources -- tools or skill -- do you have or need to acquire?
  5. Will you build or buy?

He offers guidance on how you can answer each of these questions. Of course, since he's a sales executive for Pervasive, he suggests you consider the benefits of buying an integration solution, but that's no reason to disregard the advice. As Philip Russom, an analyst with The Data Warehousing, recently pointed out, data integration technology has matured within the past five years and can actually save you money in the long run.

Although, as Labastida added, you don't need a $100,000 ETL tool if all you want to do is add a mailing list to your CRM.

If data integration is your poison ... errr, project, you might want to also review Gartner's nine tips for data integration costs in 2008.

If, for some reason, you're not involved in an integration project, you can either:

  • Thank your lucky, lucky stars.
  • Jump into the game by picking one of the 2008 integration goals outlined by either Rick Sherman (data) or Robert Pease (B2B).