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Discovery First: Ensuring a Seamless MuleSoft Integration

By Youssef Mounasser

Youssef Mounasser is the Integration Practice Lead for North America at Customertimes. For more than 17 years, he’s worked on integration architectures using a variety of different solutions, and for the last 5 years, he’s worked exclusively with MuleSoft.  

Here, he shares his insight on how to set each implementation project up for success from the outset, starting with Customertimes’ unique approach to discovery.  

 

Project Success Depends on Discovery 

As an integration tool, MuleSoft unifies data with an API-led approach to deliver that all-important single customer view. Companies choose it to help integrate platforms like, for example, SAP and Salesforce, and once they’ve purchased it, they reach out to a recommended partner like Customertimes to help with implementation and integration.  

I often begin working with enterprise clients at that point. Our MuleSoft practice at Customertimes has grown 7-fold in the last year, so I work with our team of experts to help guide companies through the process.  

For many, they don’t have an API practice in place yet, and they find themselves lost when it comes to the design and scope of the implementation. As a first step, I take my clients through a comprehensive discovery and assessment phase that leverages my experience as a MuleSoft architect, helping them establish a clear vision and a realistic roadmap. 

Project success depends heavily on your level of preparation. At Customertimes, we have a proprietary discovery and assessment process that leads to a well-defined vision for your project and an achievable roadmap with clear benchmarks along the way. For us, it’s a no-brainer, and we think it should be for you, too. 

 

Your To-Do List 

First, start by breaking through traditional silos and ensuring that information is shared across key teams in your organization, like marketing and sales, data engineering, operations, backend, and support. The more, the better! In some businesses, that’s easier said than done, but the effort will pay off in the form of a streamlined implementation process. 

Second, make sure the project manager (PM) has sufficient information to accurately break up the project into appropriate tasks, estimating the work that will go into each one. These tasks should be based on project requirements, from startup through go live, and a high level of detail is critical here to ensure the wellbeing of your project.   

The team from Customertimes will work closely with your PM to make sure they have all the information they need to manage the project internally, and if you don’t have a qualified PM available, we can provide one. Either way, we’ll cover all the details so everyone is on the same page from the outset.  

The third priority is to work closely with your architects to establish KPIs, then use them to define the right scaling for each new implementation project. This will go a long way towards building confidence in the infrastructure’s ability to support project goals while accounting for security, response time, and usage levels.  

Again, Customertimes will support this process, guiding the architects as needed to help determine KPIs that work for your organization. Our goal is to help you get the maximum possible benefit from your MuleSoft investment while removing any internal roadblocks.  

And speaking of roadblocks, these tend to be the most common:   

  • Managing any growing pains as a new system shakes up the established company culture 
  • Maintaining confidence in the platform’s technical architecture 

We’ll help you anticipate those challenges and address them in your prep work, so you’ll be in a great position to increase confidence and buy-in from leadership throughout implementation and integration. 

 

Three Independent Streams

Customertimes’ proprietary discovery process involves three independent streams. Completing all three successfully helps make sure your environments are created and configured properly, complete with detailed integration design, a realistic roadmap, and best-practice implementation methods. 

  • First stream: Environment setup and configuration. Determine security, identity, and connectivity needs. 
  • Second stream: Project scoping. Develop technical integration design, set realistic estimates, and establish a product roadmap.  
  • Third stream: Initiate a global API practice. Define implementation guidelines, best practices, and recommended CI/CD pipeline approach.  

Once you complete all streams, the DevOps team should have everything they need to implement your CI/CD pipelines. 

Thorough Discovery; Smoother Delivery 

The Customertimes discovery process lays the groundwork for better delivery results. The extra effort is always worth it, resulting in several important benefits:  

  • Increased platform performance 
  • Increased delivery speed  
  • Minimal need for rework 

It also adds a new level of maturity to your API practice, or, if you don’t have one going in, gives you a solid foundation for building one.  

One of the most valuable things the process will bring to your organization is a change of culture. We come in ready to take on the “sacred cows” of established procedure. Expect challenges to your preconceptions and assumptions.  

For most CT clients, this becomes a favorite aspect of discovery, pushing them to rethink old cycles, break with tradition, and uncover brand new options.   

So, not only will your CT-led implementation and integration be a success, but the impact of our dynamic discovery process will benefit your organization for years to come. 

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Youssef Mounasser

Youssef Mounasser is the Integration Practice Lead at Customertimes. A systems consultant with more than 10 years of cross-technical leadership in the implementation, validation, and deployment of complex integration systems, he is a Salesforce Certified Administrator, a MuleSoft Platform Architect, a MuleSoft Integration Architect, and a MuleSoft Certified Developer.