The definition of web integration and web integrator in a nutshell
of the client
of the client
of external data
What is web integration?
Definition of basic terms
Creating a quality web project, such as a company web portal, B2B portal, e-commerce project or a client zone, requires the involvement of a whole range of specialists: in marketing and communications, design, user accessibility, SEO and SEM, and project management. These specialists are also required in the areas of HTML coding, system analysis and software, technical architecture, development, testing, operation and number of other aspects. All of these activities can be classified under web integration.
Web integration therefore involves a process of connecting all the outputs of all activities and components essential for carrying out the web project as a whole.
The web integrator is a partner who can guarantee the client that the project will comply with the agreed specifications. The web integrator is also responsible for coordinating all the necessary activities.
The web integrator is the client’s primary contact in a project. The client therefore does not need to be in touch with other specialised suppliers during implementation. The web integrator must show sufficient capability in project management.
What is a web integrator?
Choosing the right partner determines the level of success of your project.
The web integrator coordinates the work of all those involved in the web integration project. In practice, this most often involves:
- marketing and PR department of the client (agency)
- internal systems manager
- provider(s) of external data
- development team – internal or external
- solution operators
- external specialists
The aim of the web integrator’s work is to fine tune the work of all those concerned, within the project as a whole. In particular, the web operator should be responsible for achievement of all of the specified (commercial or otherwise) benefits for the client.
As with system integration, the solution supplied by a web integrator is neither a commodity, nor a box product. Rather, it involves service delivery, frequently on a long-term basis, which is closely connected with business processes and can impact your business or functioning for many years to come. Like the search for employees and partners, selecting a web integrator does not solely depend on your precisely defined requirements, but on mutual understanding too.
Do you need a web integrator?
What can you still do by yourself? What can you no longer manage?
Try and ask yourself a few of the questions below:
Does the project require the involvement of other partners, or possibly more of your internal teams?
Does the project require strong project management skills, with a focus on formality and the methodology used?
Will the project contain specific functional units, which require application of software engineering processes?
Are you planning further development and require guaranteed response times tailored to your requirements?
Is operation of the solution critical for your company/will it be critical? Does it require guaranteed access and response from the supplier?
Are you expecting third parties to be involved in your internal system or systems?
Will there be a need for your project to provide structured data to your environment?
Choose a web integrator for your project
- ensuring staff for the project
- methodology and procedures
- tools used in the project
- ensuring responsibilities
- guarantee of operation
- partner stability
- the opportunity to meet face-to-face
Need advice? Get in touch:
10 tips on successful integration
Tip #1: Project benefitsTip #1: Project benefits1
Define clear goals for what you want your project to achieve and why you want to carry it out. They need not always be business-related (although obviously this is usually the case). However, it is important to quantify the benefits, so you should create metrics, which will show.
Creating a solution often involves a whole range of goals for the client. But most often, this involves the support of business goals, lowering the burden on dispatch (improving self-service capability), education and improving communication and simplifying data transfer.
Tip #2: Break down project d ...Tip #2: Break down project development into s ...2
“All-inclusive“ projects, where all functionalities are regarded as a priority, and completing them for launching is crucial too, highlight that it is not possible to identify key areas for fulfilling defined goals with regard to their time and financial demands.
Phasing the development enables you to react flexibly to orders being made during portal development. Ideally, the phases that you plan should last approximately three months. A portal development project requires constant attention and effort to continually improve functionality, to monitor the activities of your competitors, and to react to client comments. Take of the advantage of the flexibility offered by the Internet.
Tip #3: Get the web integrat ...Tip #3: Get the web integrator involved in ti ...3
Good partnership is a foundation for success. Involving a web integrator in the early phase of the project increases the chance of a better quality solution. A good integrator sees the situation as a whole and suggests improvements that are acceptable in terms of price, even when your team would not even know about such solutions.
The web integrator will help to you to meet your budget goals/comply with limitations, through effective and tried and tested proposals in the early phase of the project, rather than costly remakes and launching the functional qualities when finances have been used up before the project is completed.
Tip #4: Ask for complete ser ...Tip #4: Ask for complete services4
Check whether your web integrator will be responsible for the whole project. What type of activities does it entail? Is it appropriate to consult your partner? You should not be burdened with routine operations; instead you should concentrate on meeting project goals and resolving conceptual issues.
Tip #5: Data migration and e ...Tip #5: Data migration and existing websites5
The existing website, in some form or another, is always there. The website is indexed in search engines (which have a specific “SEO” value), and you should consider the correct preservation of reverse links. But you should be critical of the existing structure and content. Take advantage of the project involving editing texts from a copywriter to revise and simplify the material. In practice, you probably won't go back to update large sections of text.
Tip #6: Find a strong intern ...Tip #6: Find a strong internal owner and spon ...6
In order for your project to be successful, you need support from the highest level of management – you need to have someone pushing down from the top. Without pressure or clearly determined competences, it can often cause difficulties to the internal team, mainly regarding responsibility issues. You need a person who will treat the project as one's own. Internal deadlines will need to be monitored, and without a fired-up project manager in your team, the project will not work.
Other project roles are involved too; experts like internal guarantors, consultants, technicians, etc. Everyone should be motivated to ensure the project is successfully completed.
Tip #7: Don't forget about y ...Tip #7: Don't forget about your users7
You should create the project primarily for identified target user groups; the overall implementation should take their needs into account.
Create prototypes – modern design tools allow you to create prototypes with a “clickable” format (without involving a graphic designer).
User-friendliness, ease of navigation and accessibility are vital components for the success of a portal.
Bear user diversity in mind – different users have browsers and mobile platforms. They also have varying degrees of restrictions.
Provide information, not pages. The portal should provide information via a number of channels, such as RSS feeds, XML exports and web services.
Tip #8: Guaranteed accessibi ...Tip #8: Guaranteed accessibility of the proje ...8
The solution, or part of it, is often critical in terms of your business processes. You should ask that your web integrator provides a sufficient guarantee of accessibility when determining the number of visitors (load).
Secure guarantees by a service level agreement (SLA), which can help define issues of response times to different defect categories, rules of service responses and the recovery process. In addition, it can also help define other competences as part of the operations, taking into account the physical breakdown into the HW environments of the client, supplier or others.
Tip #9: Guaranteed support a ...Tip #9: Guaranteed support and development of ...9
In view of the project phasing and changing market conditions, it is well worth ensuring sufficiently flexible work conditions for developing the solution, not only in terms of rectifying mistakes but also, namely, timely responses to new orders. In addition, the web integrator should ensure consistency in meeting goals in these orders.
With launching the project, the work has just only started.
Tip #10: A suitable platformTip #10: A suitable platform10
The choice of an appropriate application and web/portal platforms (Web Building Platform and Content Management System) is fundamental for the development of specific functionalities, ensuring operation of the web aspects of the solution (webhosting, cloud computing, clustering), and for further development and the right solution, including all the necessary guarantees.
There are many portal technologies on the market, from leading global suppliers to smaller and medium-sized companies. It is crucial that the web integrators have experience in the selected type of platform and can prove that they have used the platform, by means of specific references matching your project, in terms of type and scope.
Frequently asked questions
When is a web integrator needed?
Not all website projects need a web integrator in order to happen; the need to involve integrators becomes greater as the size and importance of a project grows. A small microsite about projects can be created without the need of involving a web integrator, but in the case of large volumes of information or a sales portal, the involvement of a web integrator is at the very least vitally important, if not essential.
Why should I use a web integrator instead of a system integrator?
Unlike a system integrator, web integrator’s services also include marketing, communications and new fields where the Internet is used, but not areas concerning internal systems, such as data storage issues DMS, ERP and similar programmes. Web integrators and system integrators work most often when defining interfaces with the client’s internal system, which should be used for implementing the website solution and in proposals for optimising the processes affected.
The answer is not one or the other, but in many cases bringing both together.