BCS Integrating Off-the-shelf Software Solutions — A 3 day course
Increasingly, organisations are seeking COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) solutions to their IT system needs since these can offer more features, faster implementation, greater resilience and industry best practices. However, for these benefits to be realised it is important that the right solution be selected and integrated with pre-existing solutions and the business processes that they support.
Integrating Off-the-Shelf Software Solutions provides a usable and auditable process for software package selection using weighted matrices with appropriate modelling techniques from the Unified Modeling Language (UML).
Integration of a chosen solution with existing solutions and underlying business processes is critical to the success of a COTS solution. The course looks at integration from a variety of perspectives: integration with business strategy, IT strategy, the procurement process, the business process and the IT architectural requirements (component, application and data integration) are five of the integration themes. The role of ETL (Extract Transform and Load) tools is also considered as is the final deployment of the solution and hand-over to a service management (business as usual) function.
The successful deployment of a COTS solution involves a broad range of stakeholders and the course identifies the roles and responsibilities required in order to make this approach successful.
A very comprehensive course manual is provided. The course may be tailored to reflect the circumstances and requirements of a specific customer.
- Advantages and disadvantages of the software package/COTS approach
- Strategic issues: relationship of the COTS approach to business strategy, IT strategy & business processes
- Risks of the COTS approach
- Legal issues & requirements
- Applicable standards (IEEE)
Roles and responsibilities in successful COTS selection and integration
- Project roles
- Architect roles
- Service Delivery and management roles
Selecting a suitable COTS solution
- A framework for COTS solution selection
- Solution requirements and matrices
- The Invitation To Tender (ITT) / Request For Proposal (RFP)
- Evaluating a software package
- Maintenance and support agreements
- Licensing agreements & supply contracts
- Managing the long-term relationship with the supplier
The role of requirements and modelling in successful off-the-shelf solution selection and integration
- The requirements catalogue
- Identification of relevant business functions and significant events
- Identification of system functions and their triggers (use cases & use case diagrams)
- Mapping of system functions to business functions and events
- Data (class) models in package evaluation
- Non-functional requirements (performance, usability/user-interface, interfaces with other systems, security & audit, legal issues, archiving, backup and recovery)
- Technical requirements and conformance
- Product design requirements
- Implementation requirements
- Infrastructure requirements
- Supplier citizenship requirements
- Integration protocol issues
Component and system integration issues
- Tailoring and amending the package solution
- Data integration issues
- Component integration strategies
- Modelling component interfaces
- Component integration and system integration testing
- The role of ETL (Exact Transform Load) in COTS solution integration
Deployment and service management issues
- Business change considerations (changeover strategies, training, documentation, deployment plans)
- Technical considerations (data conversion/take-on, software release management, configuring the solution & software configuration management)
- Service management issues (the service transition plan, upgrade arrangements and management, site acceptance testing)
This course prepares participants to sit a one-hour, open book, BCS Professional Certification (ISEB) examination leading to the certificate in Integrating Off-the-Shelf Software Solutions. This certificate is a specialist module for the Diploma in Solution Development.
The exam is taken on the last day of the course, and the exam fee is included in the course cost.