Box 2.1. Definitions of Systems Integration

''Fulfilling a practical objective through the assemblage of diverse component technologies and disciplines that are critical to each other's success. It is a teaming of technology components that results in high synergy.''

—Jeffrey M. Heller, Senior Vice President, Electronic Data Systems

Systems integration is "process innovation—to simplify basic business operations, to compress the time they require, and to narrow the gap between the product or service and the customer."

—W. James Fischer, Managing Partner, Andersen Consulting

"People building upon existing components to satisfy a customer's need."

—Robert L. Martin, Vice President for Software Technology and Systems, Bell Communications Research

"Effective integration implies a system-level architecture that permits the integration, or connection, of system components and permits later integration of unplanned components. Effective integration also implies an integrating mechanism that permits components to share data. It implies an overall model that permits the user to understand what the system is doing. It implies a constant user interface. It also requires integration of the functions of the applications that the system supports."

—Larry E. Druffel, Director, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University

"It started with technology—putting bits and pieces together—and grew into managing information. It has grown into understanding processes and now, I believe, it is getting into understanding the human element of what we are trying to accomplish."

—Michael Taylor, Central Systems Engineering Manager, Digital Equipment Corporation

"Solving a problem efficiently, recursively; giving disparate components a single-system look and feel. . . We should keep [integrated information systems] simple so that we can maintain them and use them, and we should keep them affordable so they will deliver the greatest value to the largest number of people."

—Alfred V. Aho, Assistant Vice President, Bell Communications Research

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