Costly, Painful and Worth It

Derek Slater schreibt für unsere US-Schwesterpublikation CSO Online.

All of GM standardized on SeeBeyond's EAI toolset. Musser says hergroup solicited bids for a set of integration tasks, and identifiedsignificant savings with the SeeBeyond software, though GM won'tdivulge the exact dollar figures involved.

Musser's team took several approaches to selling business-sideexecutives on the SeeBeyond purchase. For starters, she demonstratedthe concept of EAI through simple diagrams. The simplicity of having asingle connector to each application, instead of many interconnectedlegs for every system, made the potential payoff conceptually strong.Her group then presented the actual bids to her business counterpartsfor their evaluation. Among the bids was an approach that involvedcobbling together EAI-like functionality from various other middlewaretools. GM had already experienced the difficulty of such a piecemealapproach. "We had previously made a couple of starts at trying to getan integration hub set up, with linkages into that hub," Musser says,but the effort and cost required to connect various pieces provedoverwhelming.

Musser strengthened the business case for EAI by collaborating withher counterpart, GM's process information officer for themanufacturing area. The more projects that go under an EAI umbrella,the better the potential payoff will be because interface reuse goesup. When manufacturing agreed to use SeeBeyond for integrationprojects as well, that offered additional savings for GM. That's whybig enterprises with multiple projects can achieve a demonstrable EAIROI more readily than smaller companies.

Now Musser is in the thick of a phased rollout of the SeeBeyondsoftware. The first project on her docket was establishing aconnection to Vector, a logistics service provider (and joint venturebetween GM and CNF Transportation), writing scripts that dig data outof legacy systems. Having a key project to get the payback meterticking is an important part of achieving and demonstrating EAI ROIROI.Thus far GM's savings are meeting expectations and will rise as thecompany begins to reuse its interface code for additionalapplications. Alles zu ROI auf

That's a simple strategy echoed by TransUnion Executive Vice Presidentand CIO Len Lombardo. TransUnion, a Chicago-based consumer creditreporting agency, has begun to implement Vitria's EAI tool.TransUnion's first EAI project was a pass-through to an insuranceunderwriting system that draws data from a third party, combines itwith data from TransUnion and delivers it to insurance companiesevaluating policy decisions. Based on the company's work so far,Lombardo says Vitria will provide cost reductions ranging from 40percent to 80 percent on future integration efforts. However, he ismore enthused about the speed with which these interfaces can be putin place. Data is the corporate product, and creating a new productlike the underwriting package "goes straight to the bottom line," hesays. "Credit reporting is our core business, but as we grow intoother areas, we need to have an engine to help bundle productstogether from different partnerships and different data sources."Without EAI, Lombardo says new TransUnion products would require twiceas much time, or longer.

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