Integration in the Cloud: Some Basics

The Cloud is great, isn’t it? It opens so many doors, removes some major barriers when it comes to organizations getting a system up and running quickly, and it… well… also poses some questions to those who are new to it. This blog post will deal with one very common question asked by both business and IT users: how do I handle integration with applications that are in the Cloud? In an attempt to stay consistent with other blog postings in this series, I will address the business user audience as opposed to the IT team. Plus, most of the online content you can find today focuses on technical architectures while leaving the business user’s head spinning with acronyms. So this one is for the non-techies. Also, for the purposes of this blog post, Cloud applications will refer to SaaS (Software as a Service) applications that reside in the public Cloud. Read more

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

Making the Case for Healthcare Enterprise Integration Strategy

As the average hospital today has almost 850+ mission critical applications, the word “interoperability” has now become synonymous with Enterprise Integration (EI).  EI is the goal of connecting software (read: getting to data) from different vendors’ solutions notwithstanding differences in infrastructure technology and application architecture.  Hospitals must connect all manner of disparate healthcare applications while accommodating the unique needs of each EMR/EHA and Back-Office solution interface to keep operating and patient data flowing. At the same time, hospital IT is charged with the growing requirement for both Healthcare Information Exchange (HIE) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) while meeting Meaningful Use/Quality KPIs and Business Intelligence objectives. All of these initiatives add another layer of complexity that need to be handled in a confident, productive manner. This is where an Enterprise Integration (EI) Strategy comes into play. Read more

Integration Technologies: Finding the Right Fit

Integration technologies are now more important than ever, as Higher Education customers look at adopting SaaS applications and interact with a wider variety of data consumers. This includes old technology, new technology, leading edge technology, and industry-specific solutions. With these ever-expanding technology footprints, how do we find the right integration technology fit? Read more

Outpacing the Shift: What CEOs & CIOs should be thinking about now to prepare for cloud innovations to come

The software and services market is changing at a rapid pace. The question I get most often is ”what should CEOs & CIOs be thinking about now to prepare for and ideally outpace that shift?”

C level executives are going to be dealing with many of the same decisions and challenges they have faced for the last dozen years, but the context from which to make these decisions has changed. Their new vantage point will not only be located on campus but also above campus…in the cloud. And from above, everything looks different.

They will be dealing with:

  1. Risk – defined as operational capability and talent management
  2. Security – another risk-based topic, but much broader in scope when cloud or outsourced solutions enter the discussion,
  3. Budget – examining all angles of operational and capital cost models, and
  4. Governance – management and oversight of vendors, integrations, etc.

We’ll call the above a 4-legged stool, a very sturdy structure on which to build the future. Read more

Healthcare Business Intelligence (HBI): Why an Enterprise Class solution when my EMR vendor delivers a BI Solution

There has been much discussion and much hype of late on healthcare organizations investing millions in growth for competitive strategies, e.g., optimum care delivery; developing a reliable financial baseline; employing rigorous business planning; and increasing market share. For today’s health care providers, however, the future is full of change and uncertainty.  The HITECH-driven road toward Meaningful Use of your EMR technology is going to be a bumpy ride, even though nobody yet knows how long that road is or exactly where it will take us. The sense is that it’s a road that must be traveled – at least while the economic incentives are favorable.

So now the focus of the discussion is on how to get information from data and the tools to mine the data stores.  Read more