By Steve Ruff, Global Practice Director, Product Solutions, Infoverity (EnterWorks partner)
Companies recognize the mission-critical nature of Master Data Management (MDM) initiatives; yet when it comes to the implementation, it can be challenging to know where to start. Ensuring a successful initiative often requires melding industry-specific expertise with technological know-how. Enter the Systems Integrator (SI).
Integrators pair their MDM platform knowledge with a background in industry standards, plus expertise on accompanying software and technology offerings. The result is a unique ability to help companies navigate the sometimes-rough waters of an implementation, helping to make it a success at every stage.
Once the decision has been made to hire a Systems Integrator, either for program strategy, an entire MDM/PIM implementation, or to augment your company’s internal team, there are four key areas to evaluate during your selection process.
Four Key Questions for System Integrators
1. Does the integrator understand our business challenges, and have the ability to align its solutions with our business drivers and pain points?
As you evaluate their response to this first question, consider whether the SI has extensive experience in your specific industry. The integrator should be able to provide examples or use cases for your team to review.
2. Does the integrator have expertise in developing comprehensive data and/or digital strategy and demonstrate thought leadership and strategic consulting?
A key component for this response is determining whether the SI has dedicated consultants on their team with experience in defining and leading large-scale data management programs, as well as knowledge of all the latest technologies, trends, and best practices that apply to your company’s needs.
Crucially, you’ll want to ensure that the integrator understands the standards that must be supported. They must show that they have policies and procedures in place to help guarantee adherence to these tenets, and have experience to design and implement solutions and systems that comply with them. Examples include EPA requirements, Safety labeling, eCl@ss, GS1, ETIM and GDPR, among others.
3. Does the integrator provide the level of support and stability we need?
A review of the company should show that the integrator is organizationally and financially stable, as well as scalable to adapt to your changing business requirements. Depending on your needs, you’ll want to ensure that the SI can provide post-implementation managed services, hosting, and support.
The integrator should also be able to demonstrate that they’ve worked with companies of a similar fit. Examples include companies with a similar level of integration complexity, those with data sourced from external vendors/suppliers, or those with a geographically dispersed user base.
4. When should the systems integrator get involved in the project?
Get to know how the integrator typically works. Do they get involved early in the sales cycle, demonstrate leadership and guidance throughout, engage to support the RFI/RFP, or after the software platforms are selected? Make sure that their expertise and processes align with your stage of implementation.
Ultimately, the best systems integrator is the one who can deliver real business value, effectively design technology solutions and accelerators to meet your company’s business needs, and the one whose experience closely matches the specific requirements of your project.
Infoverity can help answer questions about whether your business is ready for PIM/MDM, and how to ensure you have a successful implementation. Ready to dive in? You can contact us with questions at email@example.com.