Did you miss our integrations webinar? Check out the recap below for more info.
Each day it seems a new piece of technology is introduced to make our lives easier, or that a tried and true favorite software has received an update to keep up with the times. Technology helps us stay organized, streamline processes, and even help organizations increase revenue. However, we know that saving money is just as important as increasing revenue, which is why integrations have become a valuable asset to many businesses and organizations.
What is an Integration?
An integration is a process that uses technology to move any form of data from one place to another. Examples can include employee records, invoices, quotes, reporting, timesheet data, and more. Think of it as two systems working in harmony to share data between one location and the next.
There are several types of integrations, with some of the most common being manual uploads or downloads, file transfer protocol (FTP) drop locations or pickups, application program interface (API), and custom written integration. The types of data that can be integrated varies as well, but you’ll often see automated emails, CSV files, extensible markup language (XML) files, PDF files, and structured query language (SQL) database data files used for integration.
Why Integrations Matter
The benefits of adding integrations are numerous. The first is saving your organization money. Often, this is through automating processes that eliminate human touch. When you can focus your manpower on more crucial areas of your operations, you’re not only saving money but also increasing efficiency In addition to speeding up the workflow, utilizing this type of technology can also reduce human error.
The Complexities to Consider When Looking to Integrations
There is no doubt that incorporating an integration into your organization can be complex. From various types and difficult formatting to differences of opinions and even uncooperative vendors, the process of adding an integration can seem overwhelming. With so many factors to consider, it’s important to do your research up front as that can make the entire process smoother and worth the investment.
When you’re looking at integrating as a way to save money long term, you need to buy with compatibility in mind. Talk with your current vendors to see who they prefer integrating with and why they prefer to work with one over another. Any information they provide will be beneficial in making your final decision, so take good notes you can refer to later.
Also, understand the role of middleware when it comes to integrations. Microsoft defines middleware as the software that lies between your operating system and any applications. In other words, middleware acts as a translator so communication happens between one location, like a database, and an app.
Integrations Aren’t For Everyone
There are some circumstances in which an integration may not be the most beneficial choice for a business or organization. For some, an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system may be the optimal choice.
An ERP system is a multi-faceted software designed for business process management, and can integrate processes from across all business functions. Think financials, human resources activities, operations, reporting, and supply chain among others. By bringing these processes under one software, collaboration between departments is easier even while the business grows and its needs change.
Like integrations, ERP systems offer benefits like cost savings and increased efficiency, but the advantages don’t stop there. ERP systems also offer benefits such as improved decision making, greater agility for increased potential collaborations, and enhanced security of data.
Are you interested in incorporating integrations into your organization? Curious to learn more about the benefits this technology can offer in terms of cost savings? Use the form below to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you and scheduling a time to speak with you so we can learn more about your needs and how integrations might help your system.