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Some strange and interesting integration use cases + our wish list

In our experience it usually takes sharing a few good use cases, in order for others (that don’t focus on integrations every day) to realise how powerful the solution of integrations is. It has the power to solve many common business problems. Most of the time, we try to share use cases in the specific domain the person we are meeting with is in. This assists in identification with/of problem areas. Today, we try a different approach by going across domains, writing about some of our clients that you might least expect!

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We debated sharing this blog with the world, as we admit it felt a little self indulgent. However, we opted to be bold and go ahead anyway. Since in our experience it usually takes sharing a few good use cases, in order for others (that don’t focus on integrations every day) to realise how powerful the solution of integrations is. It has the power to solve many common business problems.

Most of the time, we try to share use cases in the specific domain the person we are meeting with is in. This assists in identification with/of problem areas. Today, we try a different approach by going across domains, writing about some of our clients that you might least expect!

Assisting churches in digital gatherings

A collective of 800 churches were faced with the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic brought to all of us: how do we keep going, in a world where we are locked down and social distancing is the norm? It needs no further explanation, that social distancing is especially challenging in a traditional religious setting.

So first of all, they decided they needed a platform, something they could use to virtually connect with all their members and stream their services on. To assist with this, they deployed a social intranet. This allowed them to keep interactions going with their various congregations, and stay connected in an otherwise physically distanced world.

Although the social intranet worked really well for them, there was one issue: the various calendars with events, as well as the existing internet website were maintained on external applications. These external applications were ‘best-of-breed’ for them, and the churches didn’t want to change using them, since they were working well. They also didn’t want to have to manually replicate information between systems. They simply lacked the manpower to do so.

This is where Harmonizer assisted: the various calendars, with events, services and other important dates were synchronised to the social intranet. In addition, automated communication triggers were scheduled via Harmonizer, to ensure the various congregation members were alerted to events that are important to them. Calendars were also synchronised to the website, so that all main applications the churches use, were ‘singing from the same hymn sheet’.

As the churches and their congregations emerged from lockdown, they were even more enthusiastic about their new way of working. Having the digital layer of connection on top of the re-established physical layer of connection in a religious community, had a lot of benefits. For example, members could now interact regarding events in physical proximity as well!

Facilitating governance processes for a client in the health sector

Non Executive Directors need to have access to some information, but not to everything. This was the nutshell version of a problem that a health sector client was facing. To solve this, there are many governance document management solutions, but they usually come at a significant license fee. This fee did not fit in the budget the organisation had available.

Therefore, the IT Director had to think ‘outside of the box’ and wondered if creating different user groups could resolve the problem. This way, some, but not all of the information could be shared with the Non Executive Directors, and she could build controls around the user group to adequately protect the remainder of the organisation and its information.

The only remaining question was, who would populate the information for this user group, on the allocated SharePoint. After a few internal meetings, it became clear this ‘did not fit in anyone’s position description’. The various managers of organisational domains did not feel it was in their area, and of course they were all right as Governance is by definition a shared responsibility.

Luckily, we happened to know the IT Director in question and when we were having a conversation about her new projects, of which this was one, ideas emerged pretty quickly. By asking the employees that produced the information for the Non Executive Directors to add a tag to their document, an integration could resolve populating the separate SharePoint with ease, and fully automate it.

This health sector client never looked back, and have since expanded the portfolio of integrations they use Harmonizer for.

Enabling collaboration between insurers and their industry body

How do you deal with topics such as Master Data Management and Identity and Access Management if collaboration needs to occur between multiple organisations?

Within one organisation the answer would be quite simple, via Microsoft Teams, Slack, you name it - any type of software that is designed to allow different groups to collaborate. However, multiple organisations with different applications needing to share information yet also having contemporary information security requirements, is a different ballgame. This means the problem isn’t solved so easily.

The areas of collaboration between the insurers and their industry body, were:

*synchronisation of calendars, containing meeting dates and other important events

*sharing meeting papers with the right audience in a timely and secure manner

*inviting the right audience to the right meetings and other events

Due to the flexibility of cloud applications for collaboration, avenues were available to solve the problem by extending access to certain Microsoft Teams teams to external accounts, via Harmonizer. The Microsoft Teams teams were dedicated to the areas of external collaboration they were dealing with, so roles and associated permissions could be managed adequately. In addition, security of any data transferred between the external members and the Microsoft Teams instance is monitored via the Harmonizer platform, granting peace of mind in that regard.

And there is more, in this particular case. The industry body had a large line item in their budget each year, to build, maintain and expand on a custom designed solution for the collaboration outlined above. After subscribing to the Harmonizer managed service, this money could be used for other important initiatives, since Harmonizer simply leverages Microsoft365 functionality! This saved our client multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars (or to be frank: euros) per year. In addition, staff members at the industry body no longer needed to spend time on the integration, since Harmonizer is a fully managed service.

Our wish list

Nothing makes our day more than when we have a high-energy conversation about a possible use case for integrations! So if we could ask Santa for a few of those, they would certainly include:

*Facilitate collaboration between professional sport clubs / leagues

*Working with charities to ensure their much needed funding is spent where it’s needed most

*Help in any thinkable capacity with the Formula 1 (admittedly this one is our Dutch co-founders’ childhood dream)

But really, any new use case is always interesting :) So please do reach out if you want to discuss one. It’s free, and so is the coffee.

Image by Hands off my tags! Michael Gaida from Pixabay

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