Considerations Before, During & After Software Integrations
Integrating two or more software systems into a seamless solution doesn't always go the way you'd like. There are several stops along the way where an integration can get derailed. Check out our tips for making sure communication between all parties is up to snuff.
It’s becoming an increasingly popular trend now that multiple vendors are involved with your event’s data – integrating software services for attendees, exhibitors, and even show managers.
In most software integrations we’ve been a part of, there are generally at least three participating parties: the show management team and representatives of the two software platforms you’re trying to connect.
If it’s an integration between a third-party vendor and an internal system, you might have your internal IT team get together with your outside vendor. If it’s an integration between two third-parties, then you obviously want those vendors to get together. Regardless, there are usually at least three actors vested in the outcome of your integration.
And in order to have a smooth and efficient integration, we recommend that you – the show manager – focus on the following tips:
- Define the goals of the integration. This will act as the driving force behind all future conversations.
- Identify where the data originates from (the root source) and ultimately where it needs to go.
- Think about how often this data needs exchanged.
- Determine who the project lead is within your organization.
- Schedule a kick-off call with the appropriate parties and review the information you gathered during your pre-planning.
- Give the other parties an opportunity to discuss recommendations and/or concerns.
- Investigate development costs and ask how future software updates may affect your integration.
- Establish key deadlines for all parties and make sure they’re communicated in writing.
- Document all test scenarios to use in a sandbox-like environment.
- Have all three of the parties complete testing.
- After your integration goes live, establish a protocol for dealing with issues that arise.
It’s a pretty straight-forward process, and as long as expectations are clearly communicated throughout the process, surprises can be minimized. Have a question? We probably have an answer.