Technology integrations are equally amazing and overwhelming without the right support. Getting these integrations right can be complicated and downright frustrating, especially for non-technical stakeholders. The good news is, with the right technology partner, these integrations can be accomplished with ease and optimal outcomes. 

Cayuse team members Greg Feldman, Integration Consultant and Sydney Palmer, Associate Director of Customer Delivery recently shared some helpful tips and tricks to ensure smooth tech integrations. Here’s what they had to say.

Is integration necessary?

If you’re moving data from one source or system to another, you may need an integration. “Whether you’re using FTP to move files around or emailing attachments or, what a couple of customers did for me, mailing floppy disks, that is probably a pain point that requires integration,” Greg commented. 

Although in the simplest of definitions, data is being transferred from one person or one system to another, there are often multiple stakeholders involved in the process. These stakeholders will likely need to parse or reform that data to retrofit into their own system, leaving the raw data open to human error, duplication, or inconsistencies.

“Integrations are a really common request. We may find out during the discovery process or data mapping that we may not need as much data to be included in the integration process as previously thought,” Sydney said. “One of the primary elements of the integration process is discovery—determining exactly what needs to be passed along and in what format. The next step is to determine the action needed to develop a tool that massages the data and facilitates the integration, eliminating the human effort associated with the data transfer.”

Defining the integration requirements

If an integration is deemed worthwhile, the next step is to define the requirements for the integration. It’s important to identify the specific problem that will be solved through an integration. For example, the goal may be to reduce data duplication, make a process quicker or more efficient, minimise or eliminate human error and more.

When it comes to the chosen systems, the question to ask is, ‘Who cares about this data, and why?’

“Usually, this is going to be at least two systems, [such as] your financial systems and Cayuse Fund Manager. The real sources of record usually are going to be what I would call a ‘legacy system’ and the Cayuse system,” Greg added. “Once this is defined, it’s time to start looking at APIs, connectors, and partner integration, which the Cayuse team will guide you through all the way.”

Going live with a new integration

What happens next? Well, once an integration is in place, the next step is to test, test, and test some more. This will not only provide an opportunity to correct any issues early on, but it will also provide your team with greater confidence that the integration is in full working order.

“Of course, you’re going to do some sort of technical systems integration testing and make sure that data is passing as you would expect,” says Sydney. “But we also strongly encourage you to have a pretty robust functional test as well. So, you need subject matter experts, day-to-day business users in both systems, typing in data that’s realistic to your business process and making sure that the information is truly working for your business. This sounds like a no-brainer, but this is often something that gets overlooked.” 

Cayuse’s own quality assurance specialists also can get involved, helping to guide your testing and pinpoint necessary changes.

Ongoing maintenance

Once the system is tested and deployed, the final stage of the process is an ongoing one: maintenance. 

One of the main barriers to consistency in system use is personnel turnover. It’s not unusual to see people leaving an organization and taking their knowledge and user expertise with them, so we encourage our customers to document all decisions being made in relation to their integration. 

“Don’t expect that, just because you’ve got it working on day one, that it’s not going to change,” added Greg. “It’s really just a reflection of the functional things happening in your business and, presumably, those are going to change as well. So, be prepared to revisit the integration regularly.”