It can be tricky to figure out how much money you'll save from an integration project. So, I wonder: Would you feel good if you knew your integration project would actually mean an additional $3 million in payments for your organization?
Iowa's head enterprise architect, Michael Tutty, must feel pretty good about it, because he allowed Baseline Magazine to write about Iowa's clever money-collecting integration project.
The project tackled an unusual problem, but it's also a problem that I think could be applied to similar situations in other organizations. In Iowa, state and local government can withhold payment to vendors who owe the government fees, fines or taxes. Of course, the trick was finding out what the vendors owed, since the information was stored in various payment databases across the state.
The state needed to bring all that data-plus the data about what the vendors were owed by the government agencies-into one place. It used an open source integration platform from Jitterbit to build a system called Vendor Offsets. The system incorporates workflow management tools so administrators can track who owes what to the state.
And it's expected to collect as much as $3 million-a year-in payments for state and local government agencies.
Of course, that's not the ROI, because it doesn't subtract the cost of the project. However, considering the it used an open source solution, you've got to think the ROI is worth bragging about, too.
It's been so successful, the state is looking at applying it to the state casino payment system to collect unpaid taxes.
So, I'm christening this the Money Saving Integration Idea of the Month.*
*The Money Saving Integration Idea of the Month is only an honorary designation, completely made up by Loraine Lawson, who probably isn't even qualified to name anyone a winner of anything. There are no rewards, fees, certificates, ribbons, medals or any kind of benefit except the honor of being mentioned. If there should be any taxes or government fees, recipient agrees to be responsible for said taxes or fees.