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3 best practices for integrating multi-vendor tools

Guest Blogger (HPE-SW-Guest) on ‎10-08-2013 09:29 AM

Eddy Saad.jpgBy Eddy Saad, Lead Solution Consultant, HP Software Professional Services


Eddy Saad is a senior consultant with HP Software Professional Services focused on helping organizations transform IT into strategic, business-oriented delivery operations.


I work all the time with customers who are trying to make the most effective use of IT vendors. A key issue for them is how much integration they want to take on. This can be a critical strategic decision for your organization. Integrating new vendors and tools into your system can be costly and time-consuming. If you are not using integrated solutions you’re typically giving up greater control and visibility into the overall health of your IT systems.


When we work with customers grappling with managing multiple vendors and tools in complex IT environments we look at what’s most appropriate for them. There is no one-size-fits-all approach.


Do you want to become an integration factory?

Many enterprises are saddled with a collection of point solutions—what are euphemistically called “best of breed.” But, unfortunately, in many cases, what they become is an integration factory, putting all their effort into making sure that best-of-breed tools work together. For many HP customers, integrated solutions help them achieve their business goals faster and more cost-effectively.


For some organizations, however, integrating multiple best-of-breed tools is worth the time and effort. We have one customer who has made a strategic decision to build in integration—they want to stay with their collection of disparate, best-of-breed tools, but they still need granular levels of visibility and control. They’ve made this commitment because customer satisfaction is a key business objective for them, and with multiple vendor tools they need a way to effectively monitor and address performance issues and SLAs. Their choice—to spend more money—is unusual, but it does happen.


3 vendor integration best practices

Whatever your overall strategy is around integration, you can follow these best practices based on HP Software Professional Services’ experience. We help enterprises mature their existing processes and technologies to accommodate an automated, integrated approach that helps them:


  • Establish strong governance: This includes everything from onboarding a tool or service all the way to operating that service and making sure that it’s running as it should at the expected levels—through the entire life cycle. I’ll write more about establishing supplier governance in my next post.
  • Build and implement data models that fit their business requirements: Determine what corporate data you need and where it comes from.
  • Define use cases: With governance and data models in place, you can start the bottom-up work of figuring out to how to manage your data and use it to make better decisions.


The important thing is to understand what your overall strategy is around using multiple vendors and suppliers. I’ll often hear, “I know what my strategy is, and I have these small steps to get there.” But when you start adding up all those small steps, they don’t really contribute to the overall desired direction. Part of what we do in Professional Services is work with customers to develop a plan based on building blocks—but we make sure that in the end those building blocks are going to give you what you envisioned.


To learn more about HP Software Professional Services offerings around integration, visit www.hp.com/go/siam.


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