Managing the Integration of an Internet Management System into a Virtual Private Network
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Integrating significant e-business applications into an established environment is a complex task for which existing project management techniques have not explicitly catered. This paper examines the strategies employed for managing the integration of an Internet Management System (IMS) into an organisation's virtual private network. Electronic business application integration projects are inherently complex because they must conform to an organisation's business rules, procedures, and diverse systems. The study revealed how the systems developers were influenced by technical complexity, the sharing of required expertise and project management issues such as communication, document management, a lack of dedicated personnel impacted on project continuity. This innovative technology had no precedent in the organisation's history, and existing project management models had to be adapted. To minimise risk inherent in such an innovative project the IMS was integrated in parallel with the existing system. The organisation also reduced risk by including IMS agent and vendor representatives on the project team. Furthermore, rather than signing a full contract with an untested supplier the organisation negotiated one initial contract and then another contract to complete the integration. This enabled the parties to assess whether their organisational philosophies, work approaches and conditions were compatible and assisted in establishing an environment where issues were worked through collaboratively. Other lessons learned from this project are also described in this paper.
Information Systems Solutions: Business Integration in the Digital World
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