HAMK took control over its integration development with the help of the FRENDS integration platform
The cooperation between Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) and HiQ began in a modern way with Google. After a quick intro, it was possible to get acquainted with the FRENDS integration platform through a demo. HAMK was interested in the integration platform as an iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service). In addition, University already had the appropriate Microsoft and C# technology expertise that continuously supported the adoption and use of the FRENDS iPaaS.
Modernize old infrastructure and have a quick transition to FRENDS
The initial evaluation of the IT infrastructure at HAMK showed that previous integrations had been executed in a non-unified way and by using multiple tools. The scripts were loose and hard to work with. Further, it was discovered that the centralized system to monitor integration statuses was partially missing. However, the biggest challenge was in the fact that the solution at that time was missing some critical features and capabilities. For example, it was impossible to build event-based processes and the number of triggers was very limited. That evaluation made it clear that HAMK’s systems needed to undergo modernization to correct those shortcomings.
FRENDS has responded excellently to HAMK's needs, and iPaaS’ flexible pricing model made the experience of purchasing a solution very smooth. That quickly led to the first project stage, the most important of which was the library customer management process.
By that time HAMK's future plans had already been clear. One of the solutions that needed an implementation, for example, was a web application developed for the education instructors to allow them to invoice their fees electronically. As the next step forward, FRENDS was to implement an integration that would transfer the data generated by that web application directly into the Basware’s Wintime accounting system.
The inherent change cycle of HAMK's systems has clearly accelerated from before. Old integrations have been inherently migrated to FRENDS as old systems changed.
Our students can now join the library with a mobile application implemented by HAMK and operated by FRENDS. We saved both time and money when we were able to implement the entire mobile service ourselves. In addition, visual monitoring of FRENDS helps us to easily identify possible fault situations. We will be able to see the real benefits when the new school year begins in August 2019. About 2,500 new students will be able to seamlessly access their library user accounts without having to manually enter information into the library system. FRENDS was also made available when the travel service provider was changed. In the future, personal information will be automatically obtained for the new operator.
Team Supervisor, HAMKMika Rintala
Prerequisites for success: Adequate resources and good documentation
The IT team was particularly pleased with how easily FRENDS was made available for day-to-day use. During the beginning of the partnership, the period between October-December was reserved for four half-day workshops. In addition, HiQ's assistance was required for only a few individual inquiries. Otherwise, HAMK learned quickly how to manage processes independently.
In total, the integrations implemented at FRENDS on a one-year scale are an estimated one-person full-time investment at HAMK. There are 3 FRENDS experts in the team, and with this investment HAMK has achieved good results, even though the integrations required dedication.
The success of the project was secured by having a good and unified documentation process in place. FRENDS provided HAMK with templates for documenting integrations. This changed the previous approach and provided support for documentation.
“Unified documentation format will continue to be a great help, as information about integrations is documented in a unified way, which is also used by HiQ's integration experts in their daily work. When the information is commensurate, we can help the HAMK team quickly if necessary, ”says Antti Toivanen, Business Director of HiQ.