A guide to understanding the process of business integration

Business integration is a business strategy or technique which works to synchronize information technology or IT and business cultures and objectives. By aligning technology with business strategy, it helps a company attain higher levels of efficiency and hence, reach its goals much faster. Business integration is basically a reflection of how IT is now being absorbed into and accepted as a function of business.

Personnel Integration

The management team and its employees are the most important asset to a company. For a management to be effective, the managers need to be aware how their own departments work in conjunction with the rest of the branches or departments of the company. For example, the person managing logistics should have a basic understanding of what the accounts payable manager has to do, and someone who is in charge of sales should not be completely unaware of what the human resources manager has to do. This helps every single department work together to increase efficiency. Integrating employees also involves cross-training them to do one others’ job if need be. Therefore, if somehow one is unable to work owing to any kind of emergency, the entire process is not stalled due to the absence.

Vertical Integration

Vertical integration is important in cases when a company owns one or more parts of a supply chain which works in getting products to an end user. The process of taking control over the manufacturing and assembly of products while leaving the distribution and sales to others is called backward integration. On the other hand, leaving the manufacturing to others while retaining control over the assembly of products and their distribution to the end customers is known as forward integration. The biggest advantage of vertical integration is that the company retains complete control over the quality and costs which are the most important segments in the process of product manufacturing and distribution model. But the downside of vertical integration is, it goes outside the company’s core competency and hence, can be expensive to administer. A company that specializes in assembling and packaging products might not be proficient when it comes to product distribution organization. Therefore, in order to administer the distribution, it has to spend extra money on personnel and equipment which are needed to get the job done. Hence, vertical integration has to be monitored carefully and planned well to ensure that it is beneficial to the company.

Data Integration

Data integration is the process which occurs when companies usher in new systems or merge. This gives rise to the need for integration of their computer networks. Data integration can be expensive and time consuming if not planned carefully hence the help of experts and equipment is of utmost importance. Inefficient data integration can result in slow and clouded communication between the various departments of the company. When two separate companies merge into one, the resulting company will need to integrate the necessary systems from the two disparate businesses to ensure that there is discrepancy in services, billing, payment, business policy etc. to ensure that a customer does not have to suffer owing to the processes that the companies are working on. This is where data integration comes it. It creates a smooth communication between the channels resulting in effective and functioning processes that run in real time.

For optimal results of business integration for your organization, you need to find yourself a web-based, graphical, easy-to-use business integration software that allows customers to integrate disparate information sources, databases, and software applications, both within an enterprise and between customers, vendors, and business partners.