Enterprise Application Integration, more commonly referred to as EAI, refers to a framework that is developed from a collection of technologies and services. The resultant system makes it possible for software applications and hardware systems to be integrated, thus consolidating all the company’s applications and hardware systems within one framework that is easy to manage and monitor.
For most companies, EAI professionals are instrumental in linking applications such as:
- Customer Relationship Management Systems
- Supply Management Applications
- Payroll and Human Services
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Without integration, these applications and systems would independently; compromising inter-communication between the systems and consequently, between departments within the company. Data would get lost, and many systems that could otherwise be automated, would not. EAI professionals improve connectivity within the company, enabling it to run effectively and efficiently. During the headhunting and recruitment processes, recruiters look for the following qualities in order to find the ideal EAI candidate:
A candidate who frequently hops from one job to another is flagged by recruiters as, not ideal for the EAI position. The reason for this is that the success and effectiveness of EAI is firmly rooted in its ability to facilitate inter-communication within the company. The ideal candidate therefore, is one who develops a relationship with the company. The more they understand the company, the more they are able to come up with innovative ways to integrate the systems, technologies and applications. It is this relationship and deep knowledge of how the company works; that enables them to be more effective at their job.
The nature of Enterprise Application Integration is that it is constantly changing. New systems, technologies and applications are continually being developed, and so are the means used to integrate them. Recruiters look for an EAI candidate is one who is not rigid in their way of thinking. They are open to input from other members of their team, as well as other professionals in their industry.
Besides this, the ideal candidate is also one is who actively looks for new information. They could be doing this by subscribing to informative and regularly-updated newsletters, attending workshops and conferences, as well as doing research on their own. This is especially necessary because the standards within EAI are not universal. They differ from one system to another.
Enterprise Application Integration professionals are essentially responsible for the system of systems. The decisions they make could potentially affect various departments within the company. For this reason, it is important for the recruiter to hire a professional who is accountable for his/her decisions within the company. This includes taking credit for what works, as well as taking responsibility for what doesn’t. Besides this, they should be able to make and stand by their decisions, as well as effectively solving any problems as they arise.
Within any company, various departments generally have different agenda and requirements. Oftentimes, these requirements can be conflicting. The EAI professional is responsible for the final structure of the system, and not the independent agenda of the departments. It is important for them to recognize this clearly in order to avoid being sucked into the requirements of separate departments within the company.