The Five Key Questions to Ask in Order to Prioritize Integrations

five (2)In my last post on The Staffing Stream, I addressed what I call the integration paradox: that the lack of resources to integrate your VMS with your existing HRIS and ERP tools may prevent you from achieving the goals that led you to implement a VMS in the first place.

Here, I address how proper prioritization is the key to the process because it untangles that paradox into a manageable situation that allows your company to quickly begin getting the benefits of the VMS implementation and then get even more out of that investment over time.

Different organizations have different priorities based on things such as internal policies, their regulatory environment, system complexity and resource availability, so there’s no single blueprint for prioritizing integrations. But there are five key questions that you can use as a starting point to help prioritize effectively:

1. Are client side resources available to do the required work? This is the first question to ask as any development effort will (obviously!) require some client resources.

PREMIUM CONTENT: VMS/MSP Customer Experience report

2. What’s the volume of data involved in the integration? For example, some cost center integrations include more than 2 million (and growing) unique values – it would be next to impossible to update these manually.
3. What’s the frequency at which the data changes? A client recently asked us to build out an integration to load their unique locations. Even though they have over 1,000 domestic locations we decided to load these via a user initiated file load as they only add a few new locations a year.
4. What’s the ratio of the integration’s value to the overall VMS program versus its overall difficulty to build out? The classic example here is single sign on – it has a big impact on user adoption and the overall user experience but, because it’s based on a standard (e.g. SAML), it requires minimal client- or vendor-side effort.
5. Are the alternatives to integrating effective? During a recent implementation at a global financial institution, we built a bespoke integration to disable user access during an employee’s mandated annual leave. Because of the volume of users involved and the regulatory impacts associated with a data entry mistake, spending the time to automate a solution was a proverbial no-brainer.

Of course there are many more questions that could be asked, but these five will give you a start and help you come up with a prioritized list of integrations that will help you launch your VMS program quickly so that you can begin achieving higher level goals. By selecting the right provider and carefully answering these questions, you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too.

MORE: Project Management in the VMS/MSP World

Brian Hoffmeyer

Brian Hoffmeyer
Brian Hoffmeyer is IQNavigator’s senior vice president of industry solutions. His role is to help prospective and current clients, as well as strategic partners, understand IQN’s implementation, integration, and global capabilities.

Brian Hoffmeyer

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