The Value of Software Systems Integration
Isn’t technology wonderful? Gone are the days of tracking your business operations on paper, storing every customer touch point in gigantic filing cabinets and shelves of endless three-ring binders. Through advanced software we can now capture every interaction and store and share it in one place, usually our customer relationship management (CRM) solution. But if you are not using software systems integration, you are not getting the most for your money.
If done improperly, technology integration for your business equates to simply swapping paper for technology. In fact, the average employee jumps between applications more than 1,000 times a day (1). Considering it can take up to nine and a half minutes for that employee to get back into a productive workflow after bouncing between digital applications (2), your team could be wasting a monumental amount of time, money, and resources.
To ensure a seamless workflow and gain a competitive advantage, you need every bit of information and insight gathered throughout your marketing and sales efforts. And you can do it with software systems integration.
Important Things to Know About Software Systems Integrations
At Paradigm, we work every day with business leaders who have turned to software solutions to help them meet their business goals. Each solution is intended to fill a specific role – from your email system and client tracking software to your bookkeeping software, project management program, and more. Too often, our clients allow those tools to perform their individual functions and rely on their teams to put the pieces together. But this shows a lack of understanding of the possibilities presented by workflow software systems integration, including:
Workflow systems integrations provide a multitude of benefits. Software systems integration forces your systems to talk to each other, removing the burden and responsibility from your team. The advantages include:
- Increased automation, efficiency, and productivity
- Reduced costs and higher ROI
- Quicker turnaround time and faster lead follow-up
- Decreased human error
- Better customer and client service, engagement, and retention
- Enhanced sales and forecasting
- Improved data quality
- Eliminated duplicate data entry
Your existing systems may have hidden potential.
At the beginning of our work, new clients often present us with a laundry list of systems they use and a desire to avoid a large financial and time investment by incorporating yet another tool into their organization. We begin each project by mapping out their systems, as well as if and how they communicate with each other. It is always enlightening when we are able to help business leaders realize integration opportunities they weren’t aware of. Sometimes it means tapping into a resource in their existing tools they weren’t utilizing, or a simple upgrade in their license. Sometimes it could mean introducing a new system, but it also means you may be able to consolidate and eliminate systems with duplicative functions. While the transition might be difficult at first, it all helps to save time and money, reduce errors, and capture valuable information.
Not all integrations are created equal.
Like any relationship, some software connections are stronger than others. Some software system integrations are direct, sometimes called native integrations, where two systems have an existing business partnership to ensure they communicate and work together seamlessly. One example of this would be Salesforce and LinkedIn. These systems have an integration that allows your sales team to access LinkedIn data directly within your CRM system. LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator will surface “suggested leads” based on the information integrated with Salesforce CRM data. That is not the case with every software system, like with Salesforce and QuickBooks where they need a mediator, like Workato or Breadwinner, to work together. While these third-party integrations offer simplicity and convenience, they can get pricey. To cut costs, businesses will sometimes hire a developer to write a specific code that will force two systems to work together, but that route can be risky. If you swap out one of those vendors or your code breaks, you are right back where you started.
While software systems integration can be a huge cost and time saver, it can feel overwhelming to figure it all out on your own. That’s why Paradigm’s team of software systems integration experts will review your entire ecosystem of technologies, identify the best systems to meet your business needs, and integrate them for a seamless workflow of automated communication. By streamlining and integrating your systems, we can help you not only reduce costs, but also create smoother workflows and enhanced efficiencies across functional teams – from sales and marketing to finance, operations, and more. To ensure you are pulling the most value out of your systems and maximizing your IT spend, contact our software systems integration team today.