3. Integration and Interoperability

For more than two decades, the focus in most enterprises has been shifting from acquiring or developing functionality, into enhancing adoption and user experience. It is no longer sufficient to provide ways for the user to do the required tasks, it is growingly imperative that he can work in a familiar environment, and do the tasks with the least possible effort, not having to repeat his or other people’s already accomplished tasks.

The explosion of captured information has also added to the problem, making it ever harder to have a single version of the truth. Many organizations struggle with conflicting information coming from different systems and solutions.

This imposes that the all the systems and solutions work together and operate on the same information. The problem is that many systems are not built to talk the same protocols, and the information has different formats and contents.

The last decade has seen great evolution in terms of standards. Many of those standards have defined common protocols and common formats. Some have even approached the issue of standardizing content. However, in any organization today, many of the systems are not built with those standards, either because they predate the standards, or simply because they had requirements that cannot be satisfied by those standards.

Integrating heterogeneous systems is difficult because it involves understanding all the systems to be integrated, and understanding the problems that can result from converting formats, protocols and content.

Even integrating homogeneous systems can be arduous when one starts integrating multiple systems; it is easy to oversee the impact of events on one system on systems it is linked to through multiple links to multiple systems.

A lot of work has also been done in the last decade in methods of managing multiple integrations, giving birth to such paradigms as “Enterprise Application Integration”, “Business to Business Integration”, “Electronic Data Interchange”, and “Service Oriented Architectures”.

Malek Kemmou has been active on the field of Integration for over 15 years, and has lived through the elaboration of the new paradigms and standards, and has helped building successful integration solutions throughout that time period, facing the issues as they arose and when they were not yet well known, and worked on solving them. Also, as the person in charge of the technical and pre-sales aspects of Integration business in Microsoft Middle East and Africa for over 5 years, he had to know in depth the offering of the various vendors, and the different ways of solving the issues at hand.

Malek Kemmou has also been active in advancing the Interoperability between different vendor’s platforms in the early days of “Service Orientation”, and has participated in many groups including “Interoperability Warriors” which was an international endeavor by people working on different technologies to make interoperability real. He has helped design “Service Oriented Architectures” for large enterprises, including banks and governments, since 2003.

He also coached and trained over the years a large number of engineers and technical resources on Integration methodologies, Integration Patterns and Best Practices, and on Microsoft Biztalk Server which is the most used Integration Product. He has also spoken  on the subjet at many of most prestigious technical conferences.