I like technology but it’s what you do with it that matters. Having said that if you don’t know what a piece of technology is capable of be it your home cinema system or SQL Server then you might not be making best use of it.
One piece of technology from Microsoft that is little understood except by those already using it is BizTalk and I often get asked what the difference is between BizTalk and SQL Server integration services. The easiest way to differentiate them is to understand that:
- Integration services is about pulling disparate types of data together to form an integrated set of data for reporting and analysis (aka Data Warehouse or Data mart),
- Biztalk ensures that a process or activity can flow seamlessly across different systems be they humans, or computers in your organisation and in third parties such your customers and suppliers
On the one hand a data warehouse gives us the ability to measure what’s happening in a business, while BizTalk has the ability quickly to create and modify business processes. The interesting bit is that having found out what’s not working in your business using business intelligence, you might want to change the way you do business. the flip side of this is how do you know your processes are or aren’t optimised if you don’t have a mechanism to measure them. So in my opinion combining business intelligence technologies with a powerful process management suite like BizTalk is an important part of having an efficient and agile business.
If I then mention that even though the economy appears to be slowly recovering in some areas, it’s still very hard for some businesses to survive, then I think this stuff is quite important.
If any of this sounds like it might be of interest then we have an event organised around this on 9th Feb at our offices in Reading. There are a variety of speakers including a customer, partners and Microsoft experts and I get to do the business intelligence slot. To see the full agenda and book a place..