Integration: The Process No One Owns

The process of properly integrating new software into an organization’s workflow is critical to HR groups. It ensures that data is correct and information synchronized properly. It also reduces manual labor, and guarantees that the business runs smoothly.

But even with a well-written API from the vendor—a nice spec of the data elements in their system—implementing a new software platform can still easily go south. The problem is, no one owns the integration process; and neither vendors nor developers want the responsibility of developing such a protocol.

Managing Data Organization

Clients in the HR space are responsible for moving an enormous amount of data through a variety of systems. Issues they’re most concerned with include:

  • How to get data from one location to another.
  • Whether there’s a specific protocol for transferring information.
  • Does data validation require an additional or separate action?
  • Is a secure site required?

Combining Sales with System Integration

Vendors that are hands-off when it comes to system installation can inadvertently cause work logjams for the end-user. So, clearly, sales and integration should not be treated as autonomous processes. Ultimately, there’s no benefit to purchasing new software that clients can’t use, such as when integration is complicated and too advanced technologically.

Don’t Change Your Business Model

Vendors or software developers should not immediately set about creating a special IT department and hiring implementation experts. But without a solution for end-users, the risks are potentially costly.

  • An API is not synonymous with implementation. Clients don’t consider a transaction final until their system is integrated, tested, and functional.
  • Vendors that are not in the “integration business,” but provide integration services and training sessions, compromise their time and resources without being able to provide a satisfaction guarantee.
  • A complicated and extended period of integration can damage the vendor/client relationship.

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Eliminate Integration Negotiations and Obstacles

One of the biggest challenges vendors and clients face presale is negotiating new system implementation. Employing a third-party IT expert who has mastered and owns the implementation process is one of the most judicious ways to provide a “soup-to-nuts” integration experience for software developers, vendors, and clients. Taking this route, clients are guaranteed a fully functional software platform in a reasonable amount of time.

Employing HR-Industry Experts: The Benefits

For vendors, there are obvious benefits to employing HR-industry experts:

  • A faster presale closing process
  • Expedited invoicing and payment
  • End-user satisfaction, retention, and references

For end-users, the benefits are equally clear:

  • Immediate satisfaction
  • Access to ongoing support
  • Fewer glitches and system setbacks

Why No One Owns the Implementation Process

Implementation can drain resources for software developers and vendors. Vendors don’t want to own the process because they’re busy upgrading existing products with new functions and features. The HR group is not technical and their IT department is busy with other projects. To shift focus on implementation could mean expanding their workforce.

The fact is, no one considers implementation to be an interesting or “sexy” project. But it is essential for ensuring that data is expedited and synchronized correctly.

There is a Simple Solution

Whether you’re a vendor, software developer, or end-user, it helps to have an expert in integration in your corner. When looking to integrate software into your existing infrastructure, don’t be afraid to look for outside help. Look for HR-industry experts who understand source and target applications.

Most importantly, find a company who is prepared to own the implementation process. This eliminates complications associated with platform integrations—and finally offers the opportunity for smooth and intelligent integration in your organization.

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