INTERNET APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT
MID MARKET ERP DEVELOPMENT
By Brian Terrell
To develop my marketing skills, I'm learning to listen to my customer's questions. It makes sense to me that if they need an answer then chances are that others might want to know the same thing. I get it that answering a question that many want to know can be not only informative and helpful but also good for business.
So, here's my question of the day....and I get this one often. My good CPA friend calls me and asks how to automate the transfer of information from one system to another. And, she's right to ask this on behalf of her client. Seeing someone enter information into a computer from a document created by another computer is a leading indicator that automation may be in order.
But, everyone always wants to know "how much" and "how fast". When I am shopping, I also like those answers. We try to answer the questions quickly without compromising the accuracy of the answers. I definitely want to protect my CPA friend from leading her client down the wrong path.
So, a good way to begin analyzing a system integration effort begins with the source and the destination. What does the source look like? Is it a spreadsheet, a text file, or a database? Give me an actual example of the file or a data dictionary and I will be on my way. What does the destination look like? Is it a database, an API, or an importable file? Once again, I'll be more effective at helping you answer "how much" and "how fast" if you give me a working example of what the destination looks like.
In this case, I said $2,500 to $3,000 and four to six weeks. Out of context, that means nothing; however, it does remind me that helping a developer integrate two disconnected systems often begins with the beginning (source) and end (destination) in mind.