Platforms are great, but people are better

Integration of disparate applications is problematic for many reasons and there’s various ways of going about it.

Firstly, a team may attempt to complete the integration themselves, which draws internal resources away from their day to day activities, which in turn might be valuable billable time for an engineering team. During this period, the nominated integration architect would have to evaluate different methodologies, with only a high-level idea or goal of what the final integration should look like. Once a decision is made, a learning process begins, whereby the architect is tasked with learning a new technology skill from scratch, new technical terminology and the intricacies of how to create a successful Integration.

There is a rule of thumb with integrations that follows the 80/20 ratio. The majority of the work is logical, and to a degree, easy to design and implement. The devil, alas, remains in the detail – i.e. the remaining 20% – the translation of data between the applications, the complex logic needed to maintain data integrity and the processes needed when something goes wrong.

This is where many internally driven projects come screeching to a halt. The outstanding 20% is often unattainable, resulting in an integration that does not meet the requirements fully, or has gaps and pitfalls. Often the benefits of the integration are almost completely nullified by the manual processes that are still required to ensure the correct data is where it is needed at the right time. It is at this point, with a lot of effort expended by the individual or team that the project is abandoned, or “put on hold indefinitely” to quote one of our customers after I described this scenario. I received the following comment from him that he had sent to his team:

The legacy project (for this integration) has been going for six months now and we don’t even have specifications yet, so using the 80-20 rule, this should take 2 years to get going properly if we decided to go internal.

Secondly, an organisation may wish to use a 3rd party platform to assist with the integration. Choosing a platform or provider is in itself a time consuming process, especially if they appear to be talking in a language from a different planet. That platform then has to be learned, and the architect is still responsible for the design, implementation and testing of the integration. After all, being provided with a platform is only a gateway to software to enable systems to connect. The platform doesn’t understand the way you use the specific applications, what you want to achieve or provide guidance on best practice. Help doesn’t come cheap either – many platform providers charge over $1000 per day for integration assistance, so in addition to paying for a platform, you have to pay more for assistance on how to use, manage and keep the integration optimised. When the original architect leaves and another takes over responsibility for the integration, confusion often occurs because the new owner almost certainly questions why things were done in a certain way. As a result, BAU updates and optimisations to the integration become problematic, especially as the platform provider doesn’t know either – they have provided software, not a solution.

To summarise, both approaches have their drawbacks, so Recursyv has a unique approach in assisting clients with Integrations. As we like to say – “Platforms are great, but people are better”.

At Recursyv we work to identify the requirements and document them upfront, providing guidance along the way based on our experience of applications, data, API’s (their strengths and limitations) and the intricacies of integration. Once a design is agreed upon, our engineers create the integration using the Recursyv platform and hand over a pre-built integration for testing and optimisation. When the final tweaks are made and tested (and there are always tweaks!) the integration can be unleashed on live production data. We find the best integrations are the ones you don’t notice, they just happen – you set it, then forget it. Full documentation is provided and retained both with our customers and in our encrypted environment, so if a change is required, or responsibility for the integration or application moves from one person to another, the answers to questions are a phone call or email away, not buried deep within an internal system, or the brain of somebody who is no longer with the business.

This human/technology hybrid provides many benefits – someone who knows ‘integrations’ is involved from the start, there’s a real person at the end of the phone to talk to, there’s no new platform to learn, no coding required and no management of API’s with vendors, to name just a few. It also works out vastly more affordable both in the short and long term.

Use cases are plentiful, maybe you have acquired another business and need to connect your service desks or CRM systems, or a mixture of the two? Often we assist organisations, especially in the MSP world, who need to connect their service desk with a customer or supplier’s, automating tickets and updates to meet SLA requirements and add value to their clients. Another large area of growth we are experiencing is in the business intelligence and data warehousing space, where multiple data sources are pooled into a single system to enable organisations to create reports with speed, efficiency and accuracy.

If anybody has any queries about integrations, we’d love to hear from you. Our engineering team and CTO love to discuss idea’s and challenges, so please do feel free to have a chat with us, we’re based in the UK, although we have instances of Recursyv and clients all over the world.

Recursyv Announce App Connector for Datto RMM

Recursyv are pleased to announce the addition of a new connector to the already comprehensive list of available applications for the Recursyv Managed Integration Platform.

Datto Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) is a fully-featured, secure, cloud-based platform which enables MSPs to remotely monitor, manage, and support every endpoint under contract, reducing cost and increasing service delivery efficiency.

 

For more information about connecting any applications, be they cloud-based or on-premise to Datto RMM, please get in touch with us here: be in touch.

For reviews of the Recursyv MiPaaS Platform, please visit our G2 product page here: G2 Reviews.

Recursyv releases template for syncing Autotask & Jira Service Desk ticketing applications

Autotask Jira Service Desk

Recursyv’s Autotask <-> Jira Service Desk sync solution is now listed in Datto’s integration library. The solution enables integrated service management by keeping tickets in sync between Autotask and Jira Service Desk.

This sync solution brings a template and associated business rules to Recursyv’s existing connectors for both Autotask and Jira Service Desk. Rolling out a standard sync can be achieved in a just a few hours and adding requirements specific to any individual project can be quickly added into the sync design. Common examples of additional requirements include adding custom fields, mapping of ticket assignment queues, mapping of ticket status values, etc.

“Using the Autotask connector meant we were able to accelerate delivery of additional applications into our business.”

Craig Fisher, Director, Technica Solutions

What does this mean for users?

Autotask and Jira Service Desk users can quickly rollout a system-to-system integration across these two industry-leading support desk platforms. The format of the sync is documented and can be quickly extended/changed to meet specific requirements.

Additionally, the use of the Seamless platform means that you can extend the scope of the sync beyond these two systems into a massive range of SaaS applications.

Why would you need to sync data between two different support desk systems?

There are a number of scenarios where it will be beneficial to keep data in sync between two such systems.

Between different organisations

Recursyv’s Seamless integration service can be used to enable organisations to introduce Service Integration & Management (SIAM) / Multi-supplier Integration (MSI) architectures. Recursyv’s growing library of support desk integrations are part of a broader offering to enable SIAM/MSI, allowing organisations to quickly focus on business and process aspects.

In a multi-organisation scenario, there may be a client / supplier relationship where tickets need to be handed-off between the two helpdesks to ensure that SLAs are maintained. Additionally, the abitlity to keep tickets in sync across support desks may be an enabler for a broader SIAM/MSI initiative.

Within a single organisation

Within a single organisation, there may be multiple support desks support different business units / support teams. There also may be different support teams as a result of merger/acquisition acrivity.

It may also be that a sync is temporary while one system is being introduced to replace another.

 

Editorial notes

Recursyv Seamless

Recursyv Seamless is an application integration service that makes it easy to connect different software applications. Use Seamless to empower your users with the best information in the right application at the point of need. Seamless makes it easy to setup new integrations using a growing collection of app connectors. Seamless is provided as a managed service operated by Recursyv.

Autotask

Datto Autotask PSA is a complete IT business management platform that delivers all of the mission-critical tools needed to run an IT managed services business. It includes service desk, project management, account management, time tracking and billing, contracts, resource management, inventory and procurement, and reporting. In addition, 170+ industry-leading vendors choose to integrate their business-critical applications with Autotask PSA to further simplify workflows. It’s a reliable cloud-based platform with 99.99% uptime that centralizes business operations and enables quick, data-driven decisions.

Jira Service Desk

Jira Service Desk is a help desk request tracker brought to you by Atlassian. With Jira Service Desk, you can easily receive, track, manage, and resolve requests from your team’s customers. Customers can send requests by email, a customizable help center, and an embeddable widget. Jira Service Desk organizes and prioritizes these requests in a single place, and keeps your team on track with goals (or service level agreements).