Four Essential Things to Do to Prepare for a New Integration Engine
Properly preparing for your organization’s migration to a new integration engine is key to its success. To tackle the task efficiently, I recommend taking the following four steps:
- Provision. Ensuring that proper hardware, software, and licenses are available is the most important action to take when preparing to migrate to a new integration engine. While it may be possible to repurpose servers from the legacy engine, most organizations prefer to run the engine on newly acquired hardware for one or both of the following reasons: (1) Typically, there is a period of time in which the legacy and new integration engine must run concurrently, creating the need for separate environments, and (2) If the engine is running on older hardware, implementing a new interfacing solution is a good opportunity to update the hardware at a relatively low incremental cost. Alternatively, it is possible to move the solution to a virtual environment, thereby utilizing existing hardware, yet providing a portable mechanism for easier migration.
- Staff. Once you’ve established a scope and timeline for the entire project, you need to staff up. A typical interface project team may include project managers, interface analysts/developers, application specialists (often part-time subject matter experts), quality-assurance analysts, and operations analysts.
- Train. Training for analysts, developers, and operational staff also takes place during the preparation stage. Ensure that the vendor offers a combination of product documentation, online self-paced instruction, onsite training, and continued mentoring.
- Prioritize. Each interface should be prioritized and, optionally, classified according to the difficulty of the project. You can often realize a substantial consolidation when migrating due to differing integration paradigms. I also suggest that you highlight the number of interfaces to be added due to an increased functionality provided by the new integration platform. The project team should develop a strategy for scheduling the migration of interfaces by either addressing high-priority interfaces first and lower-priority interfaces later, or starting with easier interfaces and working their way up to harder ones as they gain familiarity with the new tools.
Organizations that follow these four steps will do more than ensure that their migration effort is optimized—they will heighten their potential for continued success long after the migration is complete. They will eliminate the possibility of a missing license that could derail the engine’s chances for early performance wins, and they will guarantee that the right amount of essential talent is in place right from the start.