Why a standard adapter?
The complexity in the introduction of new systems is mostly in the data integration. On the one hand, the customer has to take care of the technical interface development, and on the other hand, an even greater effort is required for system integration – the communication effort to specify all requirements with the software vendors involved and to schedule the necessary system adjustments on all sides in the corresponding vendor releases.
We recognized that standardized data integration could help customers to complete their implementation project faster, more cost-efficiently and with less labor. The the ADWEKO FSDM2OneSumX adapter is designed to enable standardized system integration between SAP Financial Services Data Management (FSDM) and Wolters Kluwer OneSumX. The customer can accelerate his implementation project just by using the prefabricated mappings and transformations of the data. In the context of adapter development, we are aware that, in addition to technical development, we face a much greater challenge in bringing three companies under one roof. This is precisely the greatest added value of a standard adapter – the customer does not have to coordinate with all parties involved, but is supplied with a ready-made solution that only needs to be enriched with the customer’s specifications in the customer implementation project. During the development of a solution for standard integration, we found that it is essential to constantly optimize communication with all stakeholders and ensure that everyone is aligned and pulling in the same direction. Due to the good contacts to SAP and Wolters Kluwer and the successful cooperation with both software providers in the past, ADWEKO has established itself as a good link. As part of our adapter development project, we have established some best practices in communication that we would like to share.
Manufacturer collaboration model
Before the Corona crisis, we had the opportunity to sit in the SAP premises in Walldorf. The proximity to the development department and the direct contact with SAP partner management has improved cooperation and helped to make coordination easier and faster. In addition, we have established a common fit-gap process to quickly communicate OneSumX requirements that are not currently in the FSDM standard data model to SAP. With the help of the Slack tool, we can keep track of every requirement in a topic-based and structured manner. Furthermore, we have set weekly JFs to regularly go over the most important topics of the week. We have granted the opportunity for SAP colleagues to attend our sprint review meetings to always have an up-to-date insight into adapter development. We also organize demos for SAP developers to familiarize them with our progress and share our FSDM experience with them. Despite the Corona crisis, we are still in active exchange with SAP and “see” each other regularly with the help of Microsoft Teams.
With Wolters Kluwer we have built a similar communication model, with the small difference that we also did all communication remotely before Corona. Weekly coordination with the teams from both companies ensures that both sides are informed about which topics are currently being worked on and which joint developments, concepts and tests are pending. Regular know-how transfer sessions ensure that the information status of the adapter development team is always up to date.
Clear commitment from all stakeholders
Of course, it is not enough for ADWEKO to only exchange operational information with software vendors. A regular exchange with all three companies is crucial for the success of the overall integration. All those involved have signaled a clear commitment and not only want to make the integration topic technically possible, but also place it on the market and get potential customers excited about it. This is also the ultimate goal of the joint Go-To-Market stream, which consists of sales managers from all three companies. Regular consultations ensure the alignment of customer pipelines and joint event participation. In order to also keep the management of all three companies up to date, a joint Steering Committee is held every six weeks where important architecture topics, project status updates and go-to-market activities are discussed.
In the current era of uncertainty and digital communication, regular and already established communication channels have proven to be extremely important for any project success. Due to the already clearly defined communication channels, the success of the integration project is ensured despite the Corona crisis. With the help of various means of communication (teams, Slack, Outlook, telephone, etc.), all project participants remain in direct exchange and hope to meet again in person soon.
Galina Engelhardt is Manager Managed Services at ADWEKO and has 10 years of experience in the financial services sector. Her main focus is on business analysis, conception and design of interfaces, requirements management, as well as coordination and management of teams.