Outreaching the functionality seems to be the common issue faced by the companies of all sizes and shapes. And software integration appears in the top positions of demands for high-performing tools and apps.
From the another perspective, either corporations or small firms run numerous processes and activities using business services and solutions. The support and synchronization of several data flows require a specific architecture development, expenses, and time.
So far, many companies are seeking for seamless software integration between their solutions and platforms. Being a developer of business tools, you need to listen to your customers demands and expand functionality and, therefore, your market of clients.
#1 Gain Overall Business Visibility
As you want to progress and transform the business landscape immediately, you may also fall into the trap of dealing with technical issues. In fact, many vendors think too much about data channels and volumes, user interfaces, etc.
First and foremost, you should recap your business priorities of present-day version, and invest some efforts and time for scoping future needs and functionalities. Include strategic objectives and customers’ requirements into the critical toolbox to agile your workflow.
#2 Draw a Roadmap to Software Integration
Just remember: the more systematic and flexible your plan, the more efficient integration process will be performed. There is a set of steps once you solve them, you will be focused on business running, but not the technical issues. So, anchor your attention on them, and enhance the estimation time and expenses of development.
With this cheat sheet, you’ll succeed in the software for integration process:
1. Map and document business processes (i.e. what information is accessed, how it is used, what app or tool is used for data manipulation, etc.)
2. Define the weaknesses and pain points.
3. Generate a toolbox of features to address those shortcomings.
4. Determine approaches to software integration
- data replication (only on informational level),
- b2b integration (APIs is used),
- service-oriented architecture (functions work as services).
5. Request your IT department, or consult with a skilled developer, to estimate the efficiency of building or buying integration solution.
6. Evaluate the cost and time of the process, include the following aspects:
- number and type of platforms that will be integrated,
- impact on the workflow and functionality performance.
7. Add the solution support cost to the complete benefits analysis.
8. Come up with final decision (build or buy), then choose the software integration approach, and define time frames.
#3 Take on Potential Challenges
In agile workflows, software integration comes with a set of off-putting concerns. First one is the connection of systems produced by different manufacturers may bring some inherited difficulties (i.e. varying data formats, custom and default fields, etc.)
Another issue you may face during this process is a lack of data unifying structure and unwieldy frameworks of various application and support systems what impacts on the information delivery to major business units.
To overcome the possible data exchange and communication among integrated systems, you should build up a step-by-step plan to connecting multiple solutions together. Due to more precise milestones in the timeframe of your software integration, you will achieve expected functionality and get a scope for a future system scalability.
#4 Consider API Approach
The efficiency of application programming interface lies in enabling the access and connection to different software and/or apps without any previous user knowledge or intervention. In other words, APIs help different solutions to speak one another’s language.
As an example: you run a campaign with the help of email marketing service, and you have customers’ addresses, reports, etc. there. Let’s say this software integrated with your CRM. By means of APIs, these systems will connect, synchronize and verify the data between each other. Moreover, the whole procedure is seamless and excludes the impact or change of information, and third-party access either.
Once you integrate your software with other systems, they will function more like a single solution with more features available at your disposal.
#5 Disclose the Value of CRM Integration
Currently, business software providers encounter the customers’ requests for more functionality and the opportunity to integrate with CRMs. Not surprisingly that your users are striving to streamline the data entry, speed up the sales and marketing performance, and reorganize their clients’ data for relationships deepening, and therefore, ROI and revenue growth.
Either you offer email or marketing automation, web conferencing tool, ERP, project management service or data enrichment solution, your customers are looking for improving their data synchronization, follow-up facilitation, product catering, and lead generation process.
It is easy to stay in one’s functionally-perfect solution bubble, even if you deliver outstanding service performance, smart and agile analytics and reports, your customers still will demand more capabilities. In brief, the integration with CRM helps you to strengthen the relationships with existing clients and gain new ones, as well.
#6 Connect Multiple CRMs via Single Solution
While you must always keep an eye on cost, efficiency, and expectations, there is also the danger that your software integration will need some configuration and technical support. There are questions every smart business owner would ask. The expenses on the development of one CRM integration are too high, and there is no guarantee that lots of your customers work with that very solution. Moreover, the Ikea-style support of it definitely will bring extra costs and headaches.
The web-based integration service Data2CRM.API offers you connection and synchronization with multiple CRM solutions along with a sense of certainty and a clear insight into the process. With this solution, you develop and, therefore, support only one system that ‘speaks’ to 16 market-leading CRMs.
Besides, this integration solution delivers deeper synchronization overcoming default API limits in CRMs and enables manipulations with the data that are hard to retrieve. Data2CRM.API has a transparent process, and you can look through the used methods and documentation with code samples and patterns.
To sum up, the process of software integration isn’t a short-sighted decision and requires a definite plan. If your goal is overall growth and success, you can’t lose sight of priorities - design, security, data analytics and scalability. And API based integration comes as a beneficial approach to solving this issue seamlessly and efficiently.
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