Webinar Outlines How to Start, Fund Integration Competency Centers


In this day and age, it's ridiculous to reinvent the wheel when you're starting a new integration project. And yet, that's what often happens in organizations, particularly when IT is decentralized.


One way analysts suggest you tackle the problem is to form an Integration Competency Center, which is a fancy term for sharing information about integration projects. Companies who've established ICCs say the practice has saved them time and money.

ICCs take many shapes and forms, as Rick Sherman pointed out recently in his integration series, People, Process and Policies. They can be as informal as adopting common integration practices and sharing lessons-learned or as formal as a governing body that sets company-wide integration standards and oversees all integration projects.


Sherman's piece provides excellent guidance about how to determine which ICC model is right for you, but it didn't delve into the details of starting a more formal ICC. For that, you might want to sign up for "Building the Enterprise Integration Competency Center," a free webinar scheduled this Friday, August 14, at 8 a.m. ET.


I know that's early, but if you're interested in a more formal approach, with a shared services and infrastructure model, I think it could be worth it.


The speaker will John Schmidt, whose resume includes a long list of integration-specific jobs. He's written a book on ICCs and serves as chairman of the Integration Consortium. He's also VP of Global Integration Services at Informatica, but I have two good reasons to think there will be a lot of non-vendor specific information in his presentation:

  1. I've read a lot of Schmidt's work, and from what I've seen, he usually focuses on sharing vendor-neutral information, not pushing products.
  2. The event is presented by the Integration Consortium and hosted by Metaplexity Associates, an enterprise architecture education and consulting company -- not Informatica.


That said, let's face it: All webinars these days have at least some vendor shilling.


Schmidt will discuss best practices for starting and running an ICC, share examples of how to justify business investments in a shared infrastructure, and discuss chargeback models for shared services functions. The webinar description points out the techniques he'll discuss can also be applied to other shared service groups, including enterprise architecture, and SOA or business intelligence centers of excellence-so even if you're not interested in an ICC, you might benefit from attending this event.


You can read the description at the top of the July Integrator newsletter or, if you're ready to sign up, you can go straight to the registration page.


If you'd like to learn more about ICCs before the event, you might want to check out these IT Business Edge pieces: