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Carts & Horses – Integrate or Implement?

Strategically Speaking
Apr 23, 2014

Tom EdwardsAuthor: Tom Edwards,

It’s an age old question - Which came first? The cart or the horse? In the software world, the question actually becomes do you implement first before you integrate? 

When our Margin Maximizer team shakes contractual hands with financial institutions, here’s a common dialogue that follows:  

“Does it talk to our core system?”

“Of course we can using extracts.”

“Perfect. When can you train our lenders?”

“We can be onsite in under two months. They’ll be using the system before we leave.
… But integration can take a bit longer.”

After all, to integrate we must collaborate to define, create, test, and verify the extracts and imports many times across vendors. Integration requires some planning.

Next comes our client’s dilemma: do they begin using this decidedly valuable tool right away – or do they wait to implement after integrating with other systems?

When asked for my opinion (as a product specialist), I propose that the answer lies in determining whether the integration brings the value, or boosts the value. In other words, can the horse do something valuable without the cart?

Most choices come down to payback. When will our client’s investment pay them back? A horse cannot race for the finish, until released from the stall. And (trust me here) it’s called a stall for a reason.

An example:

Bringing the Value:

A solution that can improve overall lending performance – supporting confidence in loan pricing decisions, and the assurance that your business with business is always earning a return.

Boosting the Value:

A solution that enables automated transfer of existing loan and relationship data into your pricing system, avoiding time-consuming manual entries.

It’s safe to state that most software products fall firmly on the expense side of the income statement. Many of these products likely contribute by improving efficiencies or controlling costs. But a few products can actually stimulate revenue.

Notice! You can start racing that horse now (with some manual entry), then pull home early winnings in the cart, once the hitch arrives.

Why delay immediate improvement when you could fund some of your other projects with ‘early winnings’?

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