eli5: System integrator

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I’m a copywriter tasked with writing a website copy for an industrial automation software company. As I was doing my research, I kept stumbling upon this particular term: system integration/integrator”. Now, I’m not the brightest of folks when it comes to explaining technical terms. So, loves, please explain it like I’m 5.

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

A system integrator is a bit of a generic term for a company that pulls together various pieces of equipment into a more or less functional or complete system.

Say someone wanted to build a complete automated assembly line to make some product. They would go to a system integration specialist that would design the entire system that might involve control software, robots (made by someone else), assembly stations, conveyor belts, transfer systems, fixtures and monitoring systems. The SI basically buys and configures all these various elements, puts it together, installs and test the entire assembly line. In many cases the SI might not manufacture any of these different elements themselves, they’re just responsible to integrate it all together.

Sort of a combination of architect and general contractor combined if we use the analogy of home building.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Just replace the word with “admin”.

In 99% of cases a system integrator is literaly just the administrator.

In theory they do slightly different tasks, like a system intergrator is supposed to setup systems like servers, but in all real world cases its the same position.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It will depend on context, but in general it refers to someone or a company who is responsible for assembling a complete product (or system) or application from parts/components (integration) they procure from third parties.

Examples in manufacturing include pretty much all car manufacturers (They buy components from third party suppliers) or ASML (They buy a lot of parts for their lithography machines from third party suppliers).

In the software world this is typically a consulting company like Accenture. They might use software from Microsoft, Oracle, or IBM to build a final application. For example, taking Azure web services with an Oracle database, and IBM made server software to create a website.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Dell is a manufacturer. They make* a bunch of the important guts that go inside a computer. Custom motherboard, custom power supply, custom case, etc.

Falcon Northwest, Ibuypower, Puget are system integrators. Mostly.** They use commodity motherboards, commodity power supplies, commodity cases, commodity coolers. The same stuff you could order from newegg. And then they put it together and at least say that they tested it, and ship it to you.

*At least notionally. I’m sure in reality a lot of their parts are subcontracted out, but they’re still in some sense Dell’s parts.

**A lot of PC system integrators “make” at least a few parts, typically cases (but these are usually standard products from business-to-business manufacturers — places that exist to put your company’s logo on their product)