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Influencing factors for successful integration of On premise and Cloud applications

As everyone understands, Integrations are always an important cog of any software ecosystem built by us without which the enterprise architecture won't be complete to exchange meaningful information. Integration requires massive distributed effort in an organization which needs to be centrally managed, tracked and controlled. Simply a complex equation, given that the individual components in reality when start exchanging interactions in an enterprise architecture are far more complex than the design specifications written initially topped up by the operational processes & people trained to use the integration. In this blog, we will take a look at Oracle Sales Cloud (OSC) to Siebel CRM application integration, complexities involved followed by how an understanding of three levels of Integration presented will help manage the complexities in a better way and reduce integration risks.

Product Integration

The first level of integration we are discussing in this blog, termed 'Artifact or Product Integration' refers to the tie of up components in any two chosen applications in an enterprise architecture. The main challenge every project team face is towards configuring right business rule definitions per established standards to build safe and secure bi-directional interactions between Cloud and On premise applications. In the use case undertaken, few standard practices to be adopted at this level include: exporting Siebel CRM records and imported in OSC and vice versa for respective business entities, switch on or off bi-directional sync of Account and Contact records, install Oracle Service Bus (OSB) to perform configurations on respective WebLogic domain, enabling SSL on the WebLogic server where OSB is deployed, enable SSL in interacting Siebel CRM environment, and configure Siebel CRM to communicate with Oracle Service Bus through SSL. The success factors towards product integration phase most commonly falls towards how well the standard guidelines given by product vendor is understood and executed leveraging OOTB frameworks such as ICS framework which is available as prebuilt solution for all cloud integrations, how the run time complexities are handled and finally on capabilities & competency of the technical team performing design and build per established standards.

Human Integration

Having completed the most fundamental part of tying up the individual system components of OSC and Siebel CRM physically, understanding of the associated challenges, the next set of complexities project team face is ensuring the human adaption towards the integrations built, the most commonly ignored aspect which either project team fails to cope up or undermines. With respect to our use case, the rate of success in this level of integration could land the project governing team on either side, be it welcoming the new capabilities of OSC followed by an easy adoption, promoting increased agility within sales users, optimized sales performance, stream lined channel sales execution reducing response time to partners or the other way towards establishing hesitancy or resistance in moving out of on premise Siebel landscape citing various constraints. Few success factors that helps reducing complexities in this level of integration include, hiring employees with right On premise and Cloud package skills and conducting technical training classes for new recruits to enhance the understanding and skills for existing crop of users, conduct change management and interpersonal culture training.

Operational Integration

Operational integration defines the phase of the project where system/application components along with the users are tied into the current sales organization's business and operational processes. In the use case considered, OSC will be put to operational use within the sales organization for Account and Opportunity management, who for a while were used to the on premise landscape for executing their sales business processes in the past. To help the project team reduce complexities at this level, accelerate adoption time and assure a smooth influx OSC culture into the current business and sales operational processes, communication and advance planning are the key ingredients to be injected into project team augmented by strong committed efforts from project senior leadership team and sponsors. To succeed typically project team focuses on the below change management guidelines for positive reinforcement, develop new reward systems, changes to performance appraisal guidelines, incentive schemes towards encouraging adoption of OSC-Siebel integration and providing continuous feedback to sales team about how well they are doing with OSC-Siebel integration.

On premise to Cloud integration projects is the toast of most companies to improve agility, reduce costs and experience faster deployments with customers focused to leverage the existing on premise investment and take advantage of the Cloud capabilities. There are numerous accelerators available to fasten the integration timeline and reduce implementation costs towards this depending on the product ecosystem. In addition, having the understanding of the above three levels of integration and deploying a core team having bottom line responsibility to govern, identify and mitigate major risks that come on the way towards ensuring success on all the above three levels will benefit the customer organization to not only grow top line but also to embrace the cloud technology walking into the future trend of architecture, Hybrid IT infrastructure successfully and majestically.

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