Tech Tools For Business Growth – Part 7

The right technology can accelerate business development in many ways – from reducing overheads to increasing sales. 

Use our blog series to understand tech tool options for growth, and the advantages and disadvantages they present.

Part 7: Integration Software

abstract art blur bright
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In our final Tech Tools post we examine Integration Software, which allows business applications and processes to work together automatically.

All-in-one software solutions are often not the best choice when growing a business.  It can be more beneficial to select the most appropriate software tools for specific company needs.

However, it is essential that different online platforms can communicate and share data together –  which is where Integration Software is very valuable. 

Advantages

red and three blue jigsaw puzzles
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

– improved communication – all data shared within the same ecosystem so no important information is lost and less chance of misinterpretation.

– smarter processes – less time switching between tools improves productivity. One platform creates a more efficient environment for team dynamics.

– customised automated workflows – e-mail, document sharing, marketing software and other tools are brought together.

– silos eliminated – access hidden information to discover critical insights.

– real-time data-sharing – decreased processing and information delays.

– increased efficiency – prevents data loss and inconsistencies by creating a centralised management system.

– tighter security – a centralised platform makes it easier to discover and respond to threats. Compliance is easier as change is implemented in a single environment.

– versatility – cloud-based platforms connect to many applications, and evolve quickly, without waiting for developer input.

– no hardware purchase and maintenance costs – integration platforms are cloud-based.

– decreased overheads –  reduced employee workloads from automation of repetitive tasks. 

– better customer service – improved satisfaction and retention, through efficient and quicker task completion.

– business expansion – integration software allows the addition of new services provided by third-parties.

Disadvantages

assorted puzzle game
Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

– understanding the different types of Integration software solutions

– discovering the most suitable platform for your requirements

– time to train staff in new software use and monitor adherence

– accuracy of data input is crucial to the effectiveness of the system

– cost of software although should be mitigated by efficiency savings

Features

colorful ethernet cable
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Integration software providers offer:

1. Full Enterprise Integration Software which connects combinations of on-premise systems and cloud applications, within one or across many organisations. 

Market Leaders include Mulesoft,Tibco,

2. Simple ‘plug-in and play’ no-code Integration Connectors (iPaaS) for SaaS (cloud-based pay-monthly) applications.

This article concentrates on the ‘plug-in-and-play’ iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) Connectors, which are often more relevant to smaller businesses.

Integration software is a cloud-based platform enabling communication between multiple systems. Typical features include:

Business Process Integration – streamline processes by connecting systems and automating workflows between them. 

Automate frequently executed tasks that use different applications; create actions that are repeated after stimulation by triggers, such as sending a notification once an email is received.

Synchronise calendars, build and switch connections on/off easily, connect to numerous applications.

Access customisable templates and dashboard, rely on automatic software updates.

Scalability – flexible to meet changing integration needs; able to add new connections to existing systems.

Real-time data – real-time data provision for significant business impact; data import and export; data enrichment and validation.

Considerations

analogue antique black and white bronze
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Do you simply need to get your CRM and E-Mail to talk to each other?

Or do you need a full architectural overhaul and hybrid solution connecting old on-premise legacy and new ”patched’ cloud systems?

The size of your business and expansion plans will determine whether you are considering a full Enterprise ecosystem (planned by developers), or a ‘self-service’ plug and play integration solution.

The amount of installation support, training and cost will relate to the type of system chosen.

Whichever solution is decided upon, ensure robust security credentials are in place against threats such as hacking and data breaches (see security considerations).

Examples

person holding pen drawing on paper
Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Integration software to consider, as reviewed by Product Hunt, G2, Capterra, and Alternative Me includes:

1. Zapier

Zapier is a well-known solution for connecting apps, automating workflows, and sharing data between disjointed systems.

Easy automation, connect and automate over 500 web apps.

Lean dashboard to manage applications, task history feature monitors all activities and gives an overview of successful execution.

Creates up to 300 connections, synchronises with Google Calendar.

On/Off ‘Zap’ controls, create triggers and actions.

2. IFTTT

If This, Then This’ Functionality.

Easy use, create automation chains between apps so certain events trigger other events to occur automatically.

Streamline workflows by automating chains of events, works with over 500 apps.

Security alerts can be automated, services like Google Drive and Dropbox work with it seamlessly.

There are curated applets for use without having to create them.

3. Integromat

Connects apps and services into powerful integrations, to automate manual tasks into online workflows. 

Transfers and transforms data, allows integration with hundreds of popular apps such as Google Drive, Twitter, Slack, Dropbox, and email.

Use pre-made integrations, or create simple automation tasks or complicated ones with multiple integrations. 

Data logs create a record every time an operation happens.

4. Automate

Automate processes such as scraping data from a website or entering information into an online form.

Integrate cloud applications. Send automated emails, run drip campaigns, run smart social and mobile campaigns.

Streamline sales process, automate follow-ups, tasks, lead tracking.

Sync orders, reminders and payments to invoicing software.

Works with over 100 popular apps for CRM, Marketing, Helpdesk, Payments and Webforms.

Published by

janbarwell

Business Blog Writer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: