About a week before the Microsoft SharePoint 2012 Annual Conference we put a one question survey out to the Oracle community. In it, we asked folks to indicate their level of agreement with the following statement:

Integrating PeopleSoft or Blackboard into SharePoint within the next 3 years is a high priority for my organization.

Considering how SharePoint has matured over the past several years, from a content management solution to an enterprise-wide platform for collaboration, I suppose it’s no surprise that nearly 40% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that integrating PeopleSoft and Blackboard into SharePoint was a high priority.

Well, we just returned from the SharePoint conference and despite the fact that we missed the Bon Jovi concert, we had a great time. It seems even Microsoft has really taken notice of what we’re doing, as evidenced by the fact that they wanted to interview us for SharePoint TV! Check out the recording below.

Patterns Emerge

The real highlight of the conference, however, was that it gave us the opportunity to meet and chat with a wide variety of conference attendees interested in integrating their backend systems into SharePoint. Some patterns emerged from those conversations.

First, attendees seemed to understand quite well that point-to-point integration techniques frequently boiled down to code-heavy software engineering projects whose outcomes were not only uncertain, but the development effort costly and difficult to predict (to say nothing of the future costs of on-going maintenance).

Second, we noticed that many people were looking for integration approaches that went beyond point-to-point integration techniques. The people we spoke to really seemed to be looking for a genuinely new approach to integrating backend web-based systems into SharePoint. Fortunately, we had a great message to share.

Think ‘Capability’

At InFlight, we tend to spend a lot of time addressing specific point-to-point integration requirements because they reflect the immediate needs of our customers, but we encourage clients to think of enterprise integration differently. Think capability.

What is an integration capability?

An integration capability means your organization has the ability to quickly and cost-effectively configure and re-configure the deployment of multiple line-of-business systems as a response to emerging strategic priorities and opportunities.

For example, suppose your organization upgrades to PeopleSoft 9.2 next year and in doing so discovers some great new talent management functionality  that it wants to deploy to its enterprise-wide SharePoint intranet portal. If you had a true integration capability, then within 24 hours of getting the request from the head of HR, you would be able to extend that functionality from PeopleSoft and into your SharePoint intranet portal.

You might have an integration capability if. . .

Simply put; can your PeopleSoft to SharePoint integration strategy turn on a dime?

If you can integrate line-of-business systems like PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Blackboard into SharePoint within minutes or hours instead of weeks or months, you have an integration capability.

This core message seemed to resonate with attendees of the 2012 Annual SharePoint Conference and it’s no surprise as to why; the point-to-point integration techniques involving web services and API’s have had their day. While those techniques have successfully solved point integration problems, they have failed to endow an organization with an integration capability.

That’s why we developed InFlight.

Leave a Reply

Copy link