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The OOTB Approach: Key Considerations for Choosing the Right System Integration Platform

Introduction 

When searching for an integration solution, one of the first decisions an organization will make is between building a custom integration or buying an out-of-the-box (OOTB) productized solution. This decision will have a significant impact on the cost, timeline, and configurability of an integration your organization could use for many years, so it’s important to make the right choice the first time.  

In recent years, OOTB integration solutions have become a better choice than custom-code solutions for many reasons. This blog post will cover how OOTB solutions have evolved into the best way to integrate data in the utilities industry and how your organization can benefit from using one. 

The Evolution of OOTB Integrations  

To understand how far OOTB integrations have progressed in recent years, we have to look at their history. 15 years ago, OOTB integration solutions weren’t nearly as popular as they are today. Back then, when organizations were deciding how to integrate their data, OOTB solutions were cast aside in favor of industry-standard (yet still buggy and expensive) custom-code integrations. But, as OOTB solutions evolved, they began to transform from outliers to the optimal choice in the utilities industry. Their journey looks a little something like this: 

  • 15 years ago – Outlier: Organizations weren’t looking at OOTB solutions because they were new and unproven compared to custom-code integrations, even though they offered many upsides.  
  • 10 years ago – Option: A few years later, OOTB solutions finally started to break into the mainstream utilities industry. At this time, OOTB solutions were in use by a few forward-thinking organizations, but they still weren’t totally in the spotlight yet; most of the biggest names in the industry were still using custom-code solutions. However, thanks to their growing number of benefits, the adoption of OOTB solutions was picking up steam. 
  • Present day – Optimal: Today, OOTB solutions have become the optimal integration choice for the utilities industry. They offer far fewer headaches and more impressive feature sets than custom integrations do. Thus, OOTB solutions have evolved to warrant serious consideration, and leadership in many organizations is also mandating that the OOTB approach be considered as the first approach before looking at custom development options.  

Build or Buy? 

Despite their relatively short history, OOTB integration solutions like the Geonexus Integration Platform offer many benefits compared to custom-code integrations, all while reducing implementation timelines and project costs. When deciding whether to build or buy an integration solution, there are several categories that your organization should consider, which we outlined in a past blog post about building or buying an integration solution. 

While this question was more difficult to answer 10+ years ago, buying an OOTB integration solution is the clear choice for organizations looking to integrate today. But, when your organization decides to buy, what are you getting? 

What Are You Buying? 

In short, you’re buying a powerful integration solution that seamlessly integrates multiple systems with no custom code required. In addition to reducing the lift to implement and maintain the integration, OOTB integrations offer even more features. With the Geonexus Integration Platform, your organization can be confident that your integration will keep your data safe, up-to-date, and accessible. Here are some features only available through OOTB integrations like the Geonexus Integration Platform: 

  • Bidirectional Synchronization: A staple of any successful integration solution, bidirectional synchronization ensures data is shared between systems, prevents data from being siloed, and allows you to get work done using one unified system rather than several individual systems.  
  • Performance Reporting: Featuring detailed PDF and XML reports that share valuable information about errors, missing values, and more, the Geonexus Integration Platform ensures your organization always knows exactly how your integration is handling your data. 
  • Multipoint Integration: While custom-code integrations typically only integrate two systems together, the Geonexus Integration Platform supports multipoint integration between all the many systems in its library of connectors. 
  • Controlled by You: When your organization decides to move forward with a Geonexus integration, we make sure you‘re given the knowledge you need to control your integration in the future. Instead of hiring a team of developers to make changes to your integration, you’ll be able to use our powerful user interface and the information you receive during the implementation process to configure your integration exactly how you want to. 

What Makes a Good Integration Solution? 

There’s a lot to consider when choosing an integration solution that will last your organization many years. Of course, you’ll have to look closely at things like the upfront cost, the time it will take to implement, and how the integration will fit your organization’s needs, but there are other crucial attributes your organization will want to look for in an integration solution. We outlined three of the Geonexus Integration Platform’s most important attributes (Configurability, Scalability, and Transparency) in a past blog post about modernizing asset management initiatives. 

These attributes are what set OOTB integrations apart from custom-code solutions. Organizations taking advantage of features unique to OOTB integrations are setting themselves up for future success and avoiding issues like bad data and technical debt. 

How the Geonexus Integration Platform Fits Your Needs 

The Geonexus Integration Platform features all the best parts of an OOTB integration solution and adds premium features like data reporting, world-class support services, and an easy-to-use, powerful GUI that allows for full configuration of your integration. Geonexus understands that organizations shouldn’t have to configure their needs to fit an integration. Instead, the integration should be configured to fit your specific needs; that’s what the Geonexus Integration Platform is designed to do. 

The Geonexus Integration Platform is built with flexibility and configurability in mind, which is why Geonexus offers multipoint connectors to many systems.  

About Geonexus 

At Geonexus, our mission is to ensure the integrity and reliability of enterprise data to support effective decision-making. The Geonexus Integration Platform is an enterprise-grade integration platform that’s easy to use, reliable and includes out-of-the-box connectors for Esri® ArcGIS®, IBM® Maximo, SAP®, ABB® Ellipse, Oracle® Utilities, HxGN® EAM®, and other leading enterprise systems. Asset-intensive organizations across the globe use the Geonexus Integration Platform in industries including utilities, telecommunications, pipeline, transportation, and government. 

To learn more about how Geonexus can fill your organization’s integration needs, reach out today! 

We would love to show you what our Geonexus Integration Platform can do for you and your team. Submit your information, and we’ll be in touch.

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