In I.T., “mash-ups” aren’t always a good idea

In I.T., “mash-ups” aren’t always a good idea

When it comes to technology, sometimes the whole is less than the sum of its parts.

Most organizations tend to buy programs for their individual features, not thinking about how all of those programs will (or won’t) work together.  When all of those different programs start operating on a system with constrained resources, poor system performance is often the result.  “System integration” is a term that causes most people’s eyes to glaze over, but it can be the difference between an I.T. regime that works and one that doesn’t.

One of ECHO’s clients recently faced this very issue.  They were running Google Apps and Office 365 at the same time, hoping to enjoy the features of both platforms.  Unfortunately, this “mash-up” system did not perform as they had hoped.  The different programs clashed from the start, battling for computing resources and causing a series of errors with significant impact on productivity.

The worst part was the calendars, which simply refused to properly sync between the Google and Microsoft products.  This resulted in missed meetings, frustration, and ultimately missed opportunities.

The company initially brought ECHO in to come up with an immediate solution to the calendar synchronization issue.  ECHO’s engineers looked closely at the company’s system architecture, and found that the use of both on-site and cloud services was part of the problem.  ECHO worked to migrate the company’s email servers to a single platform, streamlining the system’s workflow and optimizing its performance.

At a basic level, however, the Google and Microsoft programs were still clashing.  To solve the issue, ECHO’s engineers put together a tool to bridge the gap, allowing instant and reliable synchronization between calendars.

Once the immediate calendar issue was resolved, the company met with ECHO’s engineers about a longer term plan to integrate their systems more effectively.  ECHO helped the company evaluate a range of factors, including workflows, compliance, legacy applications, interoperability between departments, and the devices used by staff members.

Ultimately, the company decided that in the long term it would gain more value and productivity from using a single suite of programs for mail and calendars rather than trying to maintain multiple integrated platforms.  When the client determined that Office 365 would best fit its needs, ECHO helped to facilitate a migration of all mailboxes and calendars to Office 365.

With the number of useful software programs and apps growing by the day, it can be tempting to simply keep piling them all onto your organization’s existing systems.  Yet as ECHO’s client discovered, doing so can come with a significant cost in terms of the overall functionality of the I.T. infrastructure.

It takes an experienced engineering staff dedicated to delivering exceptional service and smart solutions to be able to predict the impact one program might have on another.  Even more, it takes experienced engineers to create the custom integrations which allow companies to get the most out of programs which would otherwise clash.

Want to get the most out of your I.T. system without sacrificing the features of the programs you love?  ECHO can help.

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