Is the Future of Customs Modernization an Approach Using "Best In Breed" Systems?

I was recently pointed to this document by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA):

"Key Factors in Establishing Single Windows for Handling Import/Export Procedures and Formalities: Trade Facilitation and the Single Window"

While it's 5 years old, it still offers great insight.  Electronic Single Window (ESW) projects have become a major focus for many global customs administrations.  It's also taken a few years for the community of technology vendors to come up with suitable solutions that offer a good return on investment (ROI).  "One size fits all" solutions usually offer one powerful and robust component, but many of the other functions are inferior to what is available in the market place, and/or sometimes non existent.  That can be frustrating for any customer.  These single ESW style solutions are also cost prohibitive for many countries.  For consideration, we think there could be a better way:  There is a trend emerging for "best in breed" components, and P17 of this ESCWA document supports our view on this;

"the contention that a particular vendor might have a single window solution may soon bear unfavourable comparisons with a collection of a core system integrated with best of breed modules, supervised or project-managed by a competent systems integration vendor. "

We are seeing about 5 key vertical technologies that are regularly sought to horizontally work together to accommodate an ESW: 1) Declaration Processing, 2) OGA Management (for permit processing) 3) Operational Risk management (targeting and selectivity), 4) Horizontal Integration at a data processing level, and 5) Management Reporting and Business Intelligence.

After working closely with A-TS and PAE to help deploy the Barbados Electronic Single Window, and seeing similar approaches now emerging in the Bahamas and the Middle East, it has become evidently clear that a competent integrator can compile a team of "best in breed" or "best in class" to solve the requirements of an Electronic Single Window.  In fact, we might consider the approach is a sound way to address any aspect of a border management system.  Examples include 3CE, who have arguably built the most leading edge Commodity Classification Technology available in the market today.  Another includes the (now acquired) Greenline Systems Risk Management Technologies for cargo, vessel, and crew/passenger.  Now owned by PAE, these technologies are still ahead of their time.  At TTEK, we have decided to work not only with the most advanced solutions, but ensure they perform together harmoniously within all aspects of customs commercial processing.  Horizontal integration is key.  It's not easy, and there will always be architectural challenges.  We understand these issues at a granular level, and can solve + offer greater value for your investment. Please contact us for more information: