Systems Integration

When all you can see are trees, we show you the forest.  We make sure that your data works for you - so you don't have to work for the data

Having the information and insight – where it’s needed, when it’s needed, every time, all the time.   

Whether you’re consolidating data across continents or bringing your warehouse, ERP, and CRM systems together at a single facility to support your business, it’s system integration.   

There’s no substitute for success in systems integration unless you’re willing to pay for an army of analysts, endless queries, and piles of Excel spreadsheets.   

Customers can’t wait.  If you don’t have the system to let customers find   

their order information and ship date, your competitors do.  

If your team spends Sunday nights pulling data and making charts for the Monday morning status meeting, you don’t have system integration. 

Data flows designed in the 1960s and implemented in the 1980s don’t give you business agility.   

There’s a discipline to system integration that comes from experience and technology awareness.  Whether you are desperate for an immediate bridge or a permanent solution, Blackstone+Cullen’s  Common Business Objects modeling approach and decades of experience will deliver a win.   

How We Help Clients

Assessment and Requirements Development

We work with our client’s business teams, business owners, and system owners to survey the systems, business processes, workflows, and data in scope for the integration.  We next assess the full range and character of related problems and issues involved. 

We prioritize the issues identified during the assessment.  We then develop specific requirements that describe which data will be acquired, transformed, and made actionable.  Further, we define the required uses for the data, including update frequency required. 

Implementation and Testing

We work with the client’s IT team to build a sandbox environment for development and testing.  We also develop secure connections for data acquisition in the sandbox. 

With the sandbox and secure access established, our team then assembles and tests the data interfaces required. 

With data flowing into our sandbox environment, our team then prepares and tests data transformations. 

We conduct a final deployment and then monitor and validate the data flows. 

Design

We review the detailed requirements and the assessment of systems and data already performed.  We then catalog and model the data sources and design the unique transformations needed to provide needed data elements. 

Then, we design an integration plan.  The plan details the data from each of the single source of truth data sources.  The integration plan also describes how we’ll use acquired data to populate combined data feeds, databases, systems, reports, and dashboards.  

Finally, we plan secure access to the data and define the required complex transformations on that data. 

What We Do

Passengers, commuters and business travellers rushing around and waiting for trains and planes

Connect Existing ERP and CRM Systems

Connecting existing systems across data silos to provide new and valuable capabilities that reduce cost, provide powerful insights, or dramatically improve customer experience.  Using Common Business Objects methodology to enable coherent reporting.  

Assembling Data from Remote Systems

Building data collection system from many geographically distributed systems to provide consolidated reporting and real-time management control.  Systems aggregated can range from hundreds of school attendance systems to dozens of inventory management systems in individual distribution centers. 

Data Feed Development

Gathering and transforming carefully selected data elements from various systems to deliver a merged real-time data feed.  Downstream systems, reporting, decision-making, and machine learning-based applications can all use the created data feed.  The data feed can also populate a database, enabling query-based reporting. 

Deliver Data Access and Reporting During ERP & CRM Migrations

Delivering an interim solution when ongoing ERP or CRM migration blocks timely access to accurate data by extracting and integrating data from legacy CRM and ERP systems.  Data combined can be used to populate data feeds, databases that support queries, and management dashboards. 

Online Ordering System

Combining data from a web-based order entry system with a CRM and back-end provisioning system to build a complete customer-facing online selling system. 

Project Management

Establishing a PMO and staffing the PMO with experienced data integration project staff.  Adopting standards and a project management methodology and practices for an implementation. 

Solutions For All Aspects of Your Business

Our Approach

Whether you need an urgent temporary bridge or a durable permanent solution, Blackstone+Cullen's Common Business Objects modeling approach and decades of integration experience delivers results.

We manage each data integration project with a realistic project plan with well-defined time-tested deliverables and milestones.   

Discovery

In this step, with a known scope of work in hand, we seek out systems, data sources, workflows, processes, and nature and performance metrics of the desired use for integrated data.  For data elements with multiple sources, we seek out the single authoritative source for each data element. 

Modeling

Here we develop data models to describe each data source that will contribute data to an integration.  We also model the intended uses for the integrated data, such as databases or data feeds.  As mentioned above, we model using Common Business Object methodology to reconcile alternative representations of business objects among systems providing data to the planned integration. 

Requirements Development

With an understanding of data in place, we work with our client to develop detailed and unambiguous requirements for the integration work required.  These will define and document the team’s understanding of inputs and outputs. 

Design

At this stage, we connect our models to create a design for the integration.  We adjust as needed to ensure that we meet each requirement.  

Construction

We build a functional integration in a sandbox environment, using secure data acquisition to bring in data from each source system.  We make and test data transformations in the sandbox as well. 

Testing and Validation

After construction, we complete a testing pass and, for some clients, support user acceptance testing.  We typically perform this with production data feeds coming into the sandbox environment. Finally, we confirm that we fulfill each requirement. 

Deployment

Depending on requirements, we deploy our integration and transformation code to production servers and connect our outbound data feeds to downstream systems, machine learning applications, and reporting dashboards. 

Monitoring

We monitor and resolve issues during the final stage of our integration projects. 

Sectors We Serve

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Quality Focused, Result Driven

Impact Stories

Mainframe DB2 Data Migration into SQL Server

Blackstone + Cullen was asked to help Gwinnett County Public Schools migrate from an old mainframe system to a new Microsoft SQL Server environment and replace the DB2 data structure with an advanced Data Warehouse using Data Cubes and advanced analytics, integrating data from 271 schools daily. Find out more about how Blackstone + Cullen worked with Gwinnet County Public Schools to address their system integration needs.

Expanding SAP Globally

A global ERP system increases the speed of communication, helps consolidate reports, limits dual data entry, and simplifies intercompany transaction processes; however, organizations still face several challenges such as global support, cultural differences, and the type of rollout. Learn more about how Blackstone + Cullen can assist your organization in your ERP implementation.

Data and Analytics Transformation Roadmap

Everyone has heard the expression "Garbage in, garbage out." Even with the best tools in place, good data is critical to perform data analysis on business information. Blackstone + Cullen worked with Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta to clean up their back-end data so their Business Intelligence tools could provide useful and accurate information.

Increase Rental Fleet Utilization Using an Artificial Intelligence Engine

Artificial Intelligence has become a large part of our lives and will continue to grow. AI can provide your organization with improved reliability, higher quality work, and increased and consistent output. Blackstone + Cullen created a near real-time AI Engine capable of fulfilling orders from the optimum location for Sunbelt Rentals.

Sustained, Unfair Competitive Advantage

Our People

Understand how our team can help your organization with your Systems Integration.

Bruce Brownlee

Product Manager

Greg Ashworth

Senior Principal

Tarak Modi

Principal

J. Paul Oxer

Principal

Connect with our Team

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