Integrate to Automate: 10 Best Practices in Salesforce Integration

Written by Jonathan Maher

Originally posted at

Sometimes in higher ed, we’re our own worst enemy — buying multiple point-solution systems that result in data silos, frustrated users who have multiple login credentials, and no holistic view of the student. It makes it pretty tough for a staff or faculty member to obtain a 360° view of a constituent they are serving, or a project they are pursuing. A successful integration strategy should focus on leveraging Salesforce’s robust APIs to integrate data in one location so you can more easily accomplish your goals. The data must be timely, relevant, and actionable. This doesn’t mean it must be real-time, exhaustive, and bi-directional – you will provide significant value by starting with the most relevant data. Below are some key steps to put your integration strategy on a solid foundation. Read more

Clearing Up the Confusion about Enterprise Learning Management (ELM)

PeopleSoft clients often ask about implementing the ELM module – which stands for Enterprise Learning Management.  Giving them an answer is not that simple because there are two products with the same name.  I then have to ask “Which ELM do you mean?”

  1. Enterprise Learning – which is part of the HCM suite and used to be called ‘Training Administration’ and referred to by Oracle as “Enterprise Learning Management” within their own documentation
  2. Enterprise Learning Management – a stand-alone module that incorporates components of the HCM functionality but does a lot more Read more

Big Bang Theory

While not many business organizations are doing large ERP implementations any more, some public institutions like government agencies, colleges and school districts are getting around to upgrading their old systems.  These organizations are finding that software now comes in large integrated packages that often contain more features or functionality than they had before and perhaps don’t really need. Read more

PeopleTools 8.52 – Oracle Announces Apple iPad Support

A couple of years ago, I was at a medical center client whose medical school gave all of its incoming students an iPad during student orientation. It was a sign of the times as I noticed more iPads being used while interacting with doctors, real estate agents and many other individuals across the service economy.  Most recently, for customers on PeopleTools 8.52, Oracle PeopleSoft now supports the Mobile Safari browser which runs on the Apple iPad (iOS version 4.3.3). Read more

Are We There Yet?

I.T. Projects are often a long, tedious and grueling journey.  One of the more difficult decisions management has to make is to determine when to flip the switch and deploy new systems.  It is easy to lose sight of the big picture when you are in the trenches or your critical path tasks and forget all aspects of the system.  I use the following criteria to assess go-live readiness. Read more

When it comes to Documentation – Less is More

Too often, the biggest product of system projects is documentation.  Some believe the more paper a project team can produce the better. In this business, we document both old and new systems, old and new processes, write specifications, mappings, risk assessments and strategies.  We even create guides for document formatting (documents about documents).

Having done IT projects for over 30 years – working in private and public sectors – as a consultant and client – as a project team member and manager – and as a third party quality assurance partner, I have seen many methodologies and formats.  Read more

Project Dashboards

Back in the 1980’s a new management trend began with the advent of Executive Information Systems (EIS).  Having a central repository of data allowed vendors to develop some new tools with names like “Score Cards” or “Dashboards” and they promised management that with a single page or screen of information they could effectively run their organizations.

Initially these Dashboards didn’t work very well, management fads rarely do, but in later decades as data warehousing improved, reporting tools evolved and people got wiser about using them – business dashboards became useful tools for management. Read more

Turn on the Workflow Please

Many system projects start out with management saying, “I want workflow,” which is about as specific as someone going to a shoe store and saying, “I want some footwear.” Workflow is not a one size fits all solution that allows you to dance, run a marathon, or keep your feet warm on a cold morning.

In reality everyone already has workflow.  Business processes as they exist today are workflows.  They may not be automated, documented, or even work well, but they are workflows.

Read more

Software Evaluation Tips

An important step in selecting the right software is to develop a good requirements list. A poor requirements list can result in surprises, delays and unforeseen costs during implementation. Read more

Hosted ERP Solutions – The Cool Kid Once More

Traditional thinking would have you believe that a downturn in the economy would lead to an increase in interest for hosted and managed ERP solutions. While this may be true for some low hanging fruit and net new custom development that could take advantage of early cloud-based architectures, the expected systematic uptick did not develop. Read more