Integration is key. Apple and Google have delivered on this focus i.e. tight integration of their products, platforms and services. On Apple iOS devices the built-in iTunes and App Store own the music and software franchises. On Android devices, Gmail and Google search are tightly integrated. Microsoft meanwhile has not exactly kept integration in mind. An explicit download of Windows Live Essentials is required to get Microsoft IM client, blogging client and photo editor.

In the software product development environment, product integration has become very important. The steps listed in the CMMi process framework provides a clear sequence of the process involved.

  • Prepare for product integration
    • Establish and maintain integration sequence
    • Establish the integration environment
    • Establish product integration procedures and criteria
  • Ensure interface compatibility
    • Review interface description for completeness
    • Manage interfaces
  • Assemble product components and deliver the product
    • Confirm readiness of product components for integration
    • Assemble product components
    • Evaluate assembled product components
    • Package and deliver the product or product components

CI has worked on several projects involving integration of ERP’s with add-on products and CRM’s. While all projects may not have involved all the steps the basic framework for the project usually tends to be the same.