Complete system integration is critical for a successful company to operate properly. Each business application must be able to work together simultaneously or valuable data will be lost. To avoid problems in operations and developing an application to solve an immediate problem, it is important to enable functionality.

This can be done several ways, from data access via intranet, extranet or Internet using a browser-based application solution. Companies today must develop a method to organize the individual requirements of the business while identifying the technical components that will house this functionality.

American Power Conversion has developed its own unique solution to solve system integration concerns. "We offer prepackaged standardized power solutions for system integration," said Domenic Alcaro, director of availability consulting for APC. "We provide the foundation for IT equipment. Because separate custom components need to be engineered, purchased and installed together, it's important to be sure that it all works together. For example, most data centers have a lifespan of 10 years. When building a data center, it is difficult for companies to predict where they are going to be in a few years because there are a lot of costs associated with building facilities. We came up with PowerStruXure, which replaces engineering components so you can buy prepackaged zones of infrastructure. It's available modularly so you don't have to guess about the scale of a facility."

This system uses an information controller that creates its own internal private network, permitting all the information within the system to be sent to a centralized location, therefore providing an uninterruptible power solution. The entire system can be managed from a single interface that includes a Web-based interface and integrates with most major building and network management systems.

"Because the racks get denser and denser from a power standpoint, this system now alleviates that part of the problem," Alcaro added.

Maintaining a successful business requires seamless interconnectivity with all enterprise systems. While upgrading an entire infrastructure of core systems is often costly and time prohibitive, there are ways to ensure the uninterrupted flow of information and processes.

Small data centers use Type A systems, which are ideal for data rooms, MDF/IDFs and wiring closets. Because it minimizes downtime through a fully integrated rack-based infrastructure, Type A allows a row of racks to be powered up within a few short minutes without custom electrical work. Medium-sized data centers need a Type B system, also a rack-based infrastructure; however, Type B, with its three-phase, 10-40kW N+1 UPS, offers the highest power density available. The information controller in this unit collects the information from the subsystems and integrates them into building management systems. Large data centers need the Type C system. This system is necessary for installations of 1 MW or more and also allows for the addition of power in 200 kW increments, as needed.

Packages like Intellution, Genesis or Labtech have been the primary methods of interaction with computer-controlled machinery. Typically speaking, these computers communicate to the equipment through standard serial communications.

From server configuration, installation and administration to remote-site networking, it is important to properly integrate new systems with existing ones. Providing this simplicity enables companies to achieve rapid integration without lengthy custom coding or expensive systems overhaul and to implement mission-critical applications without costly delays.

These systems offer a wide range of computer integration and value-added services, including application-ready turnkey systems with custom and standard packaging.

Some companies require an information-storage solution that can integrate with multiple systems and applications to deliver its full range of services, while being centrally managed for easy administration. While others must be quickly and easily scalable to accommodate new service offerings, changing customer needs and a rapidly expanding user base.

Customers are a company's greatest asset and having consistent, reliable information about these clients is essential for a business to succeed. In nearly every industry, customers are increasingly demanding higher levels of service over multiple delivery channels. In today's highly competitive market, poor customer service and inefficient customer processes lead quickly to declines in revenue, profit, market share and market capitalization.

All companies seek to protect their current technology investments, while adding new features. Businesses cannot afford to reinvent their entire infrastructure as new technologies are continually introduced to the marketplace. System integration companies have now developed a way to protect the client's previous investment in its enterprise database system, while simultaneously adding a new application. 

SPEED is a freelance writer based in Weymouth, Mass. She can be reached at 617.529.2676 or kkspeed@aol.com.