An integrated system is the key to a 360° view of data lying in different applications.
If you are looking for the secret to start growing or to maintain a Thriving Business, start with Systems Integration.
Whether you are a large organization or startup, today, most organizations have the same common goal of exponential and sustainable growth in this fast-changing technology world. The one common enterprise strategy in many successful organizations is that they all have a Connected Business plan!
So, what is Connected Business? Connected business means your applications are smoothly integrated. Connected applications help build efficient business processes like Quote-to-Cash, Sales Order Management, and Revenue Recognition, etc. A connected business enables you to improve the performance of individuals and teams, so they don’t waste time on manual, repetitive work. Instead, they spend time on something better and innovative!
Take the example of a simple sales process. Suppose you have a CRM system that keeps track of your sales process, and you have an ERP system to handle the order, fulfillment, financial transactions, and much more. If your CRM and ERP systems are not connected, you will have to manually create customer records, sales orders, and fulfillments, etc. These manual processes take an immense amount of time, and they are error prone. Just think, if you are closing 10 Opportunities or Orders in Salesforce on an average, every day, and if you are spending 30 minutes manually creating the customers and related sales order records, then you are actually spending 300 minutes (5 hours) of manpower per day. But if you have your CRM and ERP systems connected or well-integrated, all these activities can be performed in a few seconds. We all know the saying "time is money," so why waste time with silo systems when you can integrate all your applications and maximize data visibility through integrated platforms?
The Benefits of Integration
There are various benefits of an Integrated system or connected business.
Integration is not just about connecting the application. It’s about “Data." Data integration is the most important aspect of any successful business. Using an Integration platform helps data flow and data transformations between applications. One application can make use of data from another application to complete a specific task. Integration can help get a 360° view of data across various applications or systems.
The most valued benefits of Integration are:
- Reduced Cost of Operations
- Improved Quality
- High Reusability
- Accelerated Speed to Market
Now you may be thinking, “How do I begin an integration? How can I connect my applications and automate business processes?" or “How can I achieve a faster Integration implementation ?” Here are few guidelines which may help you achieve your goal of faster and effective Integrations between your applications.
1) Track where you or your people are expending lot of effort in manual processes
The best way to initiate any project or implementation is to have a business case or business needs defined. But how can you define your business case or business needs? Figure out the pain points, where you or your people are expending lot of effort in accomplishing manual tasks that could be done easily through integration platforms.
2) List and Prioritize the Use Cases
Once you identify pain points, it’s time to list down the use cases in as much detail as possible. You should identify source application, target application, and if possible, the business rules for any data transformation. It’s always better to prioritize the use cases based on business needs.
3) Setup the Roadmap
You can setup the roadmap based on the prioritized use cases and plan accordingly.
4) Evaluate if you need an Integration Platform
When the use cases are identified and prioritized, it’s time to decide if you want to go through custom development or use a middleware/Integration platform/iPaaS. There are pros and cons of custom development and using an integration platform. You can read the article "4 Key Steps to Consider While Choosing an Integration Platform (iPaaS)" to understand how to choose the best integration platform for your business needs.
5) Proof of Concept (PoC)
It’s always a good idea to run a pilot project or PoC to evaluate the proposed solutions or integration platforms. Take one or two critical use cases and develop the integrations, evaluate the result, and the cost of ownership.
6) Do the Math
With a PoC, you will get an idea about the high-level cost for a full implementation. You should also consider the licensing cost of an Integration Platform. It’s time to do the math to calculate if the integration project is financially beneficial. You may initially have to invest in Integration platform tools and their Implementation; however, you will quickly start receiving the return with an improved, well-connected business.
7) Consult a System Integrator
It’s always beneficial to consult experts if you don’t have in-house skills. A system integrator can help you evaluate the integration platform based on your organization’s technology landscape and business needs. You should look for a Systems Integrator who has expertise implementing leading integration platforms with satisfied customers.
8) Define an Integration Methodology
I always recommend our customers to go with a Hybrid, Iterative Integration Methodology, as it brings faster value. It’s better to implement 1 or 2 critical priority use cases as soon as you are happy with test results, rather than wait for the entire project to be completed. Integrations can always be handled in an iterative way to get faster value and faster adaptability to absorb any requirement changes. Stay tuned for an upcoming article on Jade Global’s Integration Implementation Methodology.
A Connected Business, or Integrated Business, can help to get 360° views of data across various applications or systems. System Integration brings Agility to Adapt to changing markets and competition. It provides real-time and Improved Data Accessibility for people across your organization, bringing Improved Productivity and Cost Savings.
You are wasting valuable time if you are not connecting your business with robust System Integrations! So, STOP Wasting Time and Start Integrating!
Jade Global is a Certified System Integrator with extensive expertise on leading Integration platforms. Jade has a great track record of implementing both small and large-scale integrations for many organizations. For an example of integration success between Salesforce, Oracle and ServiceNow systems please visit the following link: 70+ Integrations in 6 Months! Salesforce, Oracle Fusion, and ServiceNow Integrations | Case Study (jadeglobal.com). With rich expertise, pre-built accelerators, and ready to use templates, Jade can help you jumpstart your integration journey.
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