Software Integrations – Know Before You Buy
During the pandemic K-12 organizations like yours had to discover new ways to conduct business in a more efficient way. This internal review resulted in schools and districts evaluating and purchasing new software solutions to help reduce manual processes and streamline internal communications.
Although many new solutions integrate with other third-party software, some organizations overlooked the final step to confirm the two systems integrate. This misstep resulted in increased project costs or in a few cases clients learning the solutions could not integrate like they desired.
Here at Harris we want to ensure the investment that our clients make in their current and new solutions are protected. That’s why we put together this checklist to help you easily confirm that the software you’re considering will integrate with your Harris products – and that you know of any associated costs before the final project approval.
1. Contact all vendors to confirm integration capabilities.
Oftentimes clients enter purchasing discussions with a vendor and are told that the new solution integrates with their current ERP solution. Then, after they make the final purchase and begin implementation they learn that this is untrue. To avoid this costly mistake we recommend that you confirm with both vendors that integration is available before making a purchasing decision.
- Harris Integration Form: Want to know if the solution you’re considering will integrate with your Harris software? We’ve made this process simple with our Harris Integration Form. Once you complete the form we will be in touch to discuss your desired integration and gather any additional information we may need.
2. Review the integrations that are available and confirm that they meet your needs.
Integrations may already be available for your solutions, but have you confirmed the shared data will meet your needs? Which type of integration is available (flat file, nightly export, API, etc.)? Which data fields will be shared between the software? Harris recommends that you receive information about the type of integration that’s available, the file format or data fields shared between the solutions, and that you compare this information to ensure it meets your organization’s needs.
3. Determine if there will be any associated costs for the integrations.
Even if a vendor confirms that integration is available with a third-party solution there can still be associated setup and integration costs. And, if integration is not available there typically are costs incurred from one or both vendors to setup the flow of data between the solutions. We recommend that you ask both vendors if costs will be incurred to integrate the solutions. Ensure you determine if any upfront licensing, subscription, development and/or services fees are needed; and/or if there are recurring costs like maintenance and support.
4. Determine the timeline for integrating the solutions.
K-12 organizations can have tight timelines when it comes to implementing new solutions. And, just because integration can be built or exists doesn’t mean that both vendors can meet your desired timeline. We recommend that you confirm with both providers what the process is to implement the integration once the project is ready to begin; what the estimated timeline is to complete the integration; and how the vendors will work together to ensure the project is completed on time.
5. Discover if assistance is needed from your organization to complete the project.
If you plan to integrate your Harris solution with a vendor outside of our preferred partners, you may need to assist with the project. We recommend that you learn what level of involvement you as the client will need to have (if any) to ensure the project is completed. Will someone at your organization need to act a liaison between the companies on the project? If so, what knowledge, experience, or skills do the vendors recommend this person possess? Also, what’s the estimated amount of time this employee will need to spend on assisting with the project?
As a valued Harris client we’re always here to assist you. If you’re unsure if a current or new solution will integrate with your Harris software, please use our Harris Integration Form to contact us – we’re always happy to help and support you.