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" Estrella Partners Group LLC is a consortium of
proven senior level executives who understand client problems, providing alternative
solutions to these problems, and who can help clients successfully implement them."
Source: Estrella Partners Group LLC
Global Software Integration: Why Do So Many Projects Fail?
is also known as :
Software Integration Agreement
Software Integration Assessment
Software Integration Best Practices
Software Integration Definition
Software Integration Design
Software Integration Diagram
Software Integration Engineer,
Software Integration Issues,
Software Integration Manager,
Software Integration Module,
Software Integration Plan,
Software Integration Process,
Software Integration Project,
Software Integration Service,
Software Integration Techniques,
Software Integration Test,
Software Integration Testing,
Software Integration Tools,
Software Application Integration,
Software Development Integration,
Software Engineering Integration,
Software Product Integration,
Software System Integration,
Software Systems Integration,
Integration of Software,
Integration Point Software,
Integration Server Software,
Integration Software Companies,
Integration Software Solutions,
Management Software Integration,
Advanced Software Integration,
Applications Integration Software,
Business Software Integration.
The IT field is littered with failed global software integration sagas. Post mortems on these projects have surfaced many reasons for their failures focusing on mismatched capabilities, local geographical requirements and perhaps project technical management deficiencies
Most global software projects start with a thorough analysis of feature and function. Do the capabilities of the standard software meet the needs of the corporate requirements? This exercise is generally performed by knowledgeable internal personnel, both technical and business oriented, coupled with consultants who are subject matter experts, and vendor supplied resources with specific industry knowledge and possessing a deep understanding of their software application. Particular care needs to be given to fleshing out vendors boasting of software that claims to do everything. Investment in a subject matter expert to participate in this process is worth every penny of the cost. Our experience is that these resources typically do a thorough and accurate analysis leading to a valid selection of an appropriate package to satisfy the needs of the corporation.
An equally competent job is typically done in financial analysis and project rationale that meet corporate capital expenditure approval requirements. Most large organizations have a review committee in place with the participation of both operational and business executives that ensure a thorough vetting.
So why do so many projects with this solid footing fail?
Large scale integrations have two planning components that are often overlooked. A conceptualization of how the new capabilities can be phased into the existing operation in a controlled manner and a judicious decision on which entities will be the early adopters are critical next steps in successful implementations.
The conceptualization of a controlled integration framework requires both IT and business process knowledge. Having this knowledge present in a single individual is ideal. Often a team of two or three is necessary to obtain the requisite skills.
Organize simple first installations that have a high degree of potential success and also bring real value by their implementation. Many projects fail in the early stages because the implementation team loses the confidence of the organization by problematic over aggressive first steps. You have a business process and each implementation phase needs to be designed so the business continues to run smoothly. Remember all organizations have some inherent resistance to change and a group of Nay-Sayers ready to pounce on any misstep as a reason to return to the way they used to do it.
To illustrate the criticality of the early adopter decision let us look at a simple example. The corporation is operating in 10 countries on their own software platforms with different product delivery capabilities unique to each country. The CEO has decided that to the extent possible he wants to implement a global product strategy. Careful analysis indicates that 80% of the planned product delivery can be accommodated across the geography within local legal and regulatory constraints. This situation is ideally suited for a standard solution.
Too often organizations choose the largest entity to proceed first. You get a big bang for your buck and the largest divisions have some of the best personnel available to assist. The rationale seems solid. These larger divisions typically already have the best capabilities and have the least to gain from a conversion. Their successful management team also enjoys its independence from head office and has some latitude with executive management because of its success. Starting with a larger more complex conversion with a management team that may not be 100% behind the change is a mistake.
A Better Way
A smaller entity that will receive greatly enhanced product delivery capabilities is a much better first choice. The business people will support the conversion because they will get capabilities that allow them to compete with their larger counterparts. The operational and technical people will be more amenable to change because they can see a path to a more stable and secure environment. Having a smaller more controlled environment makes for an easier first step. It allows you to test interfaces to the all the standard corporate systems and debug without negatively impacting a large portion of the business.
Unfortunately, corporate finance guidelines often preclude this approach. Smaller entities often cannot afford the additional costs associated with early adoption and many organizations insist on all cost being allocated to operating entities and no cost held at head office. To circumvent this constraint a schema must be designed that suits the organization and its financial constraints. Often a unit cost can be determined based on a completed implementation across all users. The early adopter then only pays their cost based on usage and they are not penalized for being first. Some creativity and political effort is often required to take this step but it is well worth the aggravation.
The final ingredient in maximizing the potential for a successful implementation is choosing the person with the broadest business, operations and technical knowledge to oversee the project. The individual most qualified is often a senior executive with extensive responsibilities who has no desire to run the project. If the software initiative is integral to the future competitive viability of the corporation the CEO needs to step in and assign this critical responsibility to the individual most capable of pulling it off. The selection of such an individual sends a clear message to the troops that the organization and the CEO is fully committed to the initiative. This commitment is a critical success ingredient.
Standardized software has powerful benefits. Uniform product delivery, integrity of data across entities and an enhanced ability to manage your business are sufficient reasons to exercise a careful and thorough implementation approach.
Getting the Right Solution
Putting all the ingredients together can be challenging with respect to resource allocation and skill sets. Frequently, organizations seek assistance from external entities that specialize in managing software integration and shepherding it through the organization to obtain acceptance and adoption.
EPG has an experienced staff with deep background in business process and integrating IT to gain maximum benefits from those processes. We have helped conflicting business units to find identify their interests in IT integration projects, thus successfully delivering benefits to the entire enterprise.
About Estrella Partners Group
Estrella Partners Group LLC is a consortium of proven, senior-level executives who possess the ability to understand their clients’ complex business problems, develop creative solutions to these problems, and effectively help them implement these solutions. Each member of the Estrella team contributes a unique combination of skills and style to Estrella Partners. Each was selected not only because of his or her abilities and openness to collaboration, but above all, because of their inherent commitment to client service and dedication to client success.
Estrella Partners is focused on assisting clients identify revenue opportunities and increase operational efficiency through the use of Organization Change Management, Program Management, Risk Management, and Green Advisory Services.
We are an organization that treats its clients with the utmost respect, honesty, and professionalism - all with better than competitive rates. Our resources have the hands-on experience necessary to lead client teams or manage projects that are beyond our client’s internal team’s comfort level.
We are supported by a dynamic group of professionals that encompass both deep industry and functional subject matter expertise with a proven track record of providing exceptional value as trusted advisors.
About the Author
John Scopaz holds a Chemical Engineering Degree from Manhattan College and an MBA from New York University. He has broad experience managing large technology, back office operations and construction initiatives.
John has strong coaching and educating skills and works well with company owners and senior executives in developing strategy, management practices and organizing project management and governance oversight. He possesses a keen awareness of the essential components of effective outsourcing from both the client and provider perspective and he personally has structured and negotiated numerous outsourcing engagements.
John has lectured at the University of Yunnan, China on Offshore Outsourcing and co-presented a Lawline.com video on Legal Issues in Outsourcing. As an executive John conceptualized the consolidation of global technology operations of a financial services entity and oversaw the implementation of global software and centralized computer operations significantly increasing the reliability of corporate data and reducing cost.
He acted as CIO for Republic National Bank for 18 years. John currently acts as a Senior Advisor to the owners of a computer manufacturing / parts supplier and an offshore knowledge processing outsourcing company.
For further information, Contact;
Al Uretsky, Managing Partner
Estrella Partners Group, LLC
Tel.: (623) 594-9283
Web site: www.estrellapartners.com
Table of Contents
- THE PROBLEM
- PAST PRACTICES
- A BETTER WAY
- GETTING THE RIGHT SOLUTION
- ABOUT ESTRELLA PARTNERS GROUP
- ABOUT THE AUTHOR
- FOR FURTHER INFORMATION