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Q: IT ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: IT
Category: Business and Money > Consulting
Asked by: digitalb3-ga
List Price: $35.00
Posted: 14 Oct 2003 20:55 PDT
Expires: 13 Nov 2003 19:55 PST
Question ID: 266373
Why would a corporate, read competent, IT department need system integrators?

Request for Question Clarification by omniscientbeing-ga on 14 Oct 2003 21:26 PDT

Can you elaborate on what you expect to receive as an Answer? Are you
referring to why IT departments sometime outsource system integration
work, or wondering why they ever get into the situaton of having
incompatible systms that need to be "integrated" in the first place,
or what?

Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by digitalb3-ga on 15 Oct 2003 07:00 PDT
Tks, I honestly don't know what I don't know.  I was recently
surprised to even find out that this market even exists.  I trust the
directions you are running in and assume all responsibility for your
answer.  Thanks in advance, AB.
Subject: Re: IT
Answered By: omniscientbeing-ga on 15 Oct 2003 21:49 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

I’ll cover here the basic reasons that corporate IT departments—even
competent ones—need system integrators in certain situations.

One of the main reasons IT Departments call upon system integrators is
when installing/configuring a new system for the first time. Most IT
Departments run the basic day-to-day computer and telephone system
operations for a company, in addition to providing employee and client
technical support for those systems. Oftentimes, setting up and
configuring these systems in the first place requires a more
specialized set of technical skills than does the daily operations.

In other words, all “IT” jobs are not created equally. A loose analogy
would be that all “doctors” do not know how to perform brain surgery
(you’d be a little nervous if your ear-nose-and-throat specialist was
going to perform gall bladder surgery on you, right?). Someone use to
assigning IP addresses and creating/deleting new voice-mail boxes does
not necessarily know how to select the proper Avaya telephony system,
install and configure it for use in the first place. They’re used to
working with it once it’s already there.

Also, getting new equipment to communicate with existing equipment
across different platforms is a highly technical specialty that is not
normal for company IT staffers to routinely deal with. This is
especially true of computer programming tasks involving communications

The following quote from rfp [
 ] sums it up well:

“System integrators fulfill a need when a company does not have the
internal expertise and resources to design and develop a system, and
yet the project needs are far greater than a single vendor can
accomplish. Many vendors depend on integrators to provide the
programming and industry expertise to build basic business
applications and workflows, integrate components that may not be
previously ported to the imaging software such as a high-speed
scanner, and handle integration of third-party software programs such
as faxing, storage management, or optical character recognition.”

So, basically “system integration” is sort of  a higher level of IT
that is extremely specialized and often dealt with on a consultancy
basis, since once a system is set up and configured, the company’s IT
staff are capable of running it day-to-day. Another excerpt from
[ ]:

“A system integrator is a company that is capable of making diverse
components work together as a system. While an integrator does not
usually add value to the components purchased, the whole system, when
assembled, represents a purpose-built system that accomplishes
specific work… In addition, the integrator often becomes involved in
such issues as business process reengineering, overall service and
maintenance, disaster recovery planning, backfile conversion
strategies, and the myriad details that are part of any major project.
Today’s system integrator is no longer only responsible for making
hardware/software components work together. They are often responsible
for a project from conception to a finished turnkey system.”--

A “turnkey” system that will be operated day-to-day by the regular IT
staff. When some new piece of equipment is introduced, or the
programming needs to be changed to reflect new company policy, the IT
Department will call “system integrators” again. They are often under
contract when expensive pieces of equipment or software are purchased.
It then becomes the IT Department’s job to manage the ongoing
relationship with the system integrator (just as other Departments
manage their respective relationships with "outside world" parties),
calling them when needed and scheduling appointments with them so that
the impact of any disruptions on the company’s systems are minimized.

Here’s a good summation, also from [ ] :

“The value that a system integrator adds to a project is:

1.	The resources and capability to objectively select the right
hardware and software for the project

2.	The ability to integrate these components into a system that solves
specific work requirements

3.	The programming resources and experience for system development 

4.	The capability to also provide business process reengineering,
system installation, system training, system maintenance, and future
product integration”

The above site goes on to address your question in a more direct way:

“Why are System Integrators Needed?
The current trend is to break down imaging systems into component
parts such that you can buy the server software from one company,
client software from a second, storage management from a third,
workflow from a fourth, and so on. Companies such as Diamond Head
Software and Watermark provide the basic tools and software libraries
that allow imaging systems to be built from the ground up without
reliance on any imaging vendors’ systems.
Now, an end-user interested in developing an imaging system needs to
understand imaging technology at a system level, business process
reengineering, cost justifications, workflow to build the application,
and component level programming/integration. Most end-user companies (
a customer) do not have the resources to put this all together and
therefore, the role of the system integrator has become more important
instead of less important.”

Read the rest of this page: [ ] for more details
and examples, including how to find a system integrator.

Above are generally the main reasons IT departments sometimes need
system integrators. If you are looking for a more specific example,
you can let me know and I’ll address it in a Clarification. I hope
this helps.

Google search strategy:

“IT department need system integrators”:


"system integrators":


Google Answers Researcher
digitalb3-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Sure helps indeed, good links.

Subject: Re: IT
From: omniscientbeing-ga on 15 Oct 2003 17:32 PDT
Will do, digitalb3-ga, Answer coming up...

Google Answers Researcher
Subject: Re: IT
From: omniscientbeing-ga on 16 Oct 2003 08:07 PDT
Thanks digitalb3-ga, glad to help!


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