April 21, 2014

Interactive Analysis Tools (calculators)

Originally produced for the September 1999 Microsoft Enterprise site.

Enterprise Applications Integration

E-commerce reality check: How much integration do you need?

Here's a rough estimator of the extent you'll have to integrate systems to support online sales.

Everybody seems to be talking about Enterprise Applications Integration (EAI), but should you really care? Developing comprehensive, real-time data exchanges among dozens of applications and databases used by a host of departments within your organization is an intimidating concept. Yet the fast rise of the Internet and well-funded Web start-ups could threaten your business if your internal infrastructure is not ready for an online marketplace. No one wants to be the next Internet "road kill"—confronted by a new market entrant using the Web, the ubiquitous browser, and other IT tools to circumvent traditional sales and distribution channels with a lower cost or more compelling value proposition.

There are other reasons to be interested in EAI. Properly deployed, it provides companies a strategic advantage by reducing operational costs. In addition, EAI enables organizations to be more responsive to opportunities and threats.

So is EAI vital to your organization's future? Take the test on the following screens to determine if EAI is likely to be an operational necessity or merely a useful tool for your business operation.

Look at these questions in another way: Depending on your answers, you may have a much better idea about whether it is too late to convene an EAI task force or whether you should take the call from the next recruiter who dials your number.

For more information about how EAI occurs in real-life Web commerce, see the following stories on The Enterprise from Microsoft Web site:

The questionnaire and formulas on the following screens were developed with extensive input from consulting firm Aberdeen Group. The Enterprise would like to thank Tim Sloane, managing director for Internet infrastructure at Aberdeen, for his help.

Interested in learning more about our portfolio or have a specific custom content project? Contact Larry Marion at: lmarion@triangle-publishing.com