10/8/2008 | RESOURCES

Evaluating Enterprise-Wide Integration Needs

n October 2008, a large, private-sector client engaged Audacious Inquiry to evaluate its enterprise-wide integration needs. The evaluation centered on two integration engine platforms: Microsoft’s BizTalk and Healthvision’s Cloverleaf. Though the company’s internal IT department was currently using BizTalk for its system integration needs, the standalone health IT team believed the platform was not agile or specialized enough to support current and anticipated HIT requirements.

As a final work product, AI produced a twenty-seven page report that included a comparison of BizTalk and Cloverleaf products, an evaluation of the suitability of Cloverleaf to meet the client’s immediate and long-term needs, a discussion of trends and standards in the healthcare industry, a SWOT analysis, a financial analysis, and a recommended hybrid architecture.

Our in-depth product evaluation addressed specific issues surrounding messaging technology, program development, extensibility, deployment, operations, business activity monitoring, reporting, training, product documentation, and help forums. This evaluation was framed by the client’s current development environment, existing workflow processes, and anticipated construction of future interfaces. A list of relevant healthcare standards for our client to consider was also provided in the report. Moreover, our financial analysis lent clarity to total cost of ownership, including factors such as hardware and software costs, licensing, training, and support and maintenance. Finally, we supplemented our recommendation with a strong justification for a hybrid architecture; anticipated points of contention were addressed individually.

In formulating a recommendation, AI leveraged primary interviews to determine current BizTalk pain points and present and future interface structures within the client organization. We also conducted a thorough survey of the broader integration engine market by evaluating KLAS reports, conducting interviews with current customers and product managers, reviewing case studies, and personally testing products.

Our study concluded that Healthvision’s Cloverleaf would dramatically improve the client’ health IT team’s agility for interface development and support. Cloverleaf was also found to be well-suited to meet projected future interface needs. On the other hand, the client had made significant investments in BizTalk interfaces over a number of years, with a large degree of success. As such, AI proposed a hybrid model that leveraged the agility of Healthvision’s Cloverleaf while also taking advantage of the previous successes with Microsoft’s BizTalk.