Another great post from Bill Kutik @ HRE Online – A Cynic’s Six Steps to Application Integration – of course this plays to my cynical side – and my two favorites are:
* Press Release Integration: The vendor issues a press release claiming all its applications are integrated, though they’re probably not and maybe one software engineer is working on it in the back room.
* Collateral Integration: The vendor spends some money to print the assertion on heavy, glossy paper that everything is integrated, and distributes it widely.
In seriousness, I think it is VERY hard for a single vendor to be really good at lots of things – so writing all the applications is not realistic, and buying them all leads to another sort of problem. Right now I tend to think that “Portal Integration” offers the best hope in the HR space. Employees need one place to go – and portal solves this. We have been saying for 20 years that employees don’t think in terms of applications – but events. If I am going to retire, I want to go one place to find out about H&W Benefits, 401(k), Pension, etc, etc, etc. Portal can do this. There is a UI tradeoff – but I think the content availability trumps that. SSO is very important here.