Why is integration so fundamental?
With the explosion of new technologies, the way we work, collaborate, and interact has fundamentally changed. In this varied and diverse digital landscape, proper integration has taken a back burner. This aspect is nevertheless necessary especially when seeking to create an interconnected digital universe for employees. Integration is actually the foundation off of which you should build the rest of your digital edifice.
What are the solutions to common pitfalls in an integration project?
- Set up governance: Like with any successful project, governance is the key factor.
By ensuring the project is sponsored at the highest level you can guarantee that it will be completed within the deadlines and within the allocated budget. Integration projects will specifically require input from people coming from different sides of the business (Training manager/HR, Procurement officer, IT manager, etc.). Therefore, it’s important that each one feels involved as a key stakeholder in the project, which requires their cross-disciplinary expertise.
- Define project expectations: By being too vague or avoiding getting into details, an integration project can create widely disparate expectations. It is important to correctly define the foundation of the project and what the expectations are for the integration before getting started so that everyone is clear on what the final result should be.
- Avoid budgetary pitfalls: Integration projects can sometimes reveal hidden costs during the project that can explode the budget. Therefore, it is important to work with a good view over the entire budget, and to be clear from the beginning with all of the project’s participants.
- Identify strong solutions and ask for client references: Some integrations can be unstable and take longer to implement than expected. Therefore, it is important to identify any possible external providers who may be able to provide some integration expertise. When choosing a provider for an integration solution you should concentrate on client testimonials/feedback from other integration projects, as well as assessing the solidity of their platform.
- Keep providers to a minimum: Some IT solution providers work by delegating integration services to third parties. If you have more than two parties participating in the rolling out your integration, the project management and coordination will be much heavier. When modifications need to be made or some integrations need to be improved, if there are many parties involved, it is often difficult to establish the roles and responsibilities for each one.
What is CrossKnowledge’s approach to these integration problems?
CrossKnowledge proposes breaking out of the strict framework set by Learning Management Systems by connecting directly to the business’ established digital universe. To do just that, CrossKnowledge recently announced the launch of CrossKnowledge Hub, its own integration platform. Awarded the Brandon Hall prize, the CrossKnowledge Hub has the ability to simplify and accelerate any integration project, while respecting budgetary and timing constraints. Also, with its rich experience working with clients over the years, CrossKnowledge has developed a complete catalog of over 50 integration services that can be used in any kind client environment.
Example of a successful integration: Innovating the PSA Peugeot Citroën University. The CrossKnowledge Learning Suite integrates with Microsoft Sharepoint to bring learning to the forefront.
Faced with new issues, such as ecological concerns, evolving consumer habits, and emerging markets, the automobile industry must undergo a dramatic transformation on both a technological and social scale. With a group the size of PSA Peugeot Citroën, the challenge is in knowing how to lead over 200,000 employees through this transformation. The solution is to create a knowledge base that helps them share their skills, values, and expertise. To get things started, PSA Peugeot Citroën University decided to fast-track the integration of new training technologies in order to begin helping its managerial staff, and thereby the rest of its teams, all while capitalizing on its virtual campus. The success of this project centered on ensuring a rich and interesting user experience that was open to innovation.
The project’s challenge was to integrate the CrossKnowledge platform into PSA’s existing Sharepoint portal. Never done before, the goal of this integration was to make the Campus Web the sole and unique portal to the group’s entire University.
The project followed a set calendar, and when completed, PSA Peugeot Citroën University was able to:
- Customize how trainings are displayed depending on the profile
- Track time spent and status
- Set up a Single-Sign-On, so an employee can easily navigate between both platforms
- Highlight training content directly on the intranet home page, which promotes training registration
- Create a uniform work environment for a seamless user experience. This is still the main advantage provided by this system and was a primordial criterion for PSA Peugeot Citroën University and its IT teams.