Application integration

Application Integration: Why Businesses need to Integrate

Today, businesses in all sectors rely upon multiple business systems and applications to drive growth and improve company performance. These systems such as an ERP, CRM, WMS or eCommerce solutions store relevant information and transaction based data within operations and trading environments. Independent systems and applications achieve what is asked of them for a specific purpose; the only downside is that they work in isolation causing process bottlenecks and productivity issues which can put an organisation at financial risk.

What are the Common Reasons for Application Integration?

  • Company Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Enforce Compliance Procedures
  • The need to Eradicate Cross Platform Data Administration from Workloads
  • High Operational Costs
  • To Improve the Visibility of Business Critical Information
  • Integration Benefits: Enables a variety of systems and applications to “talk” to each other to aid performance comparisons and assist future corporate management strategies.

Including business software in an environment where it is empowered with increased functionality to integrate and synchronise their distinct information sets ensures that each platform is utilised to its maximum capability to streamline business processes and improve company performance.

Simplifying Application Integration

Most business systems are designed to provide a flexible and easy to use frameworks with clear functionality for integration with third-party software.

A well-designed platform gives Business Process Automation and Application Integration software the opportunity to offer code free application integration and data synchronisationacross practically any online or on-premise information system or database store. For example:

  • Integration with an eCommerce web store and sales order/stock synchronisation.
  • Real-time notifications and document automation e.g. Send real-time alerts to external partners via HTML or plain text emails with attachments (PDF, MS Word, MS Excel etc.) or SMS text messages.
  • Workflow e.g. discount approval and multi-level purchase order authorisation.

Common Scenarios Associated with Transactions between Systems

There are many scenarios that can be configured using an automated and integration flow between one business system and another. This can be associated with the three following examples:

1. Transactions that occur between the sale and supply of goods and products

As an example, this is used to integrate an eCommerce store such as Magento, PrestaShop, Shopify, Bigcommerce, eBay, Amazon Marketplace etc.

Common eCommerce integration scenarios:

  • Automatic insertion of sales orders, transfer of online payment and transaction ID’s into an accounting or ERP system.
  • Automated transfer of order statuses, stock availability, product descriptions from an accounting or ERP system to an eCommerce solution.
  • Automatic synchronisation of customer information between an eCommerce store and a CRM system.
  • Real-time placement of an order with a selected courier service(s) such as Parcelforce, DPD, Interlink Express, FedEx etc.

Application Integration: eCommerce Transactions

Seamless eCommerce integration in this scenario will result in the following benefits:

  • Removal of repetitive data entry and associated human errors.
  • Significant reduction in order fulfilment times.
  • Improved customer satisfaction, increasing the probability of repeat sales.
  • Reduction in operational costs and the need to recruit temporary seasonal employees.

2. Synchronisation of General Records Management

The automation of general records management is predominately used to aid the lead management process by synchronising sales and marketing website registration forms, including campaign data from email marketing solutions such as MailChimp, dotmailer and HubSpot.

Common sales and marketing application integration requirements and scenarios include:

  • Automated capture and importing of website lead opportunities into business systems.
  • Automated lead capture distribution to sales teams and/or individuals.
  • Synchronisation of marketing lists and unsubscribes between an email marketing application and CRM solution.
  • Automatic creation and distribution of campaign reports.
  • Automated importing of campaign statistics into business systems.
  • Automatic creation of follow-up activities distributed to sales team members.
  • Automated creation and distribution of email campaigns based on business rules e.g. slow moving stock.

Application Integration: Records Management

Record management synchronisation will:

  • Eradicate sales and marketing data entry and repetitive administration.
  • Remove repetitive reporting procedures.
  • Improve sales and marketing performance.
  • Safeguard against selective website lead follow up activities.
  • Ensure sales leads are processed to exact business rules.

3. The Day to Day Upkeep of Financial Management Data

The following scenarios enable the automation of day to day activities within financial management processes. This can include key accounting control requirements and procedures used with accounting and finance solutions and applications e.g. Creditsafe, VIES, Companies House and Credit Control Software.

Some of the common accounting and finance application integration requirements include:

  • Credit Control process and report automation.
  • Company credit report automation (e.g. Creditsafe).
  • Business credit limit approval workflow automation.
  • Automated VAT number checks (VIES).
  • Automatic retrieval of Companies House data in response to a data driven event.

Application Integration: Financial Management

Successful financial management automation will:

  • Remove the risk of trading with companies who are financially unstable.
  • Provide 100% accurate audit trail.
  • Deliver complete visibility of financial information.

Businesses initially install accounting software or an ERP system for their business needs, over time departments implement an application that is suitable for their exact requirements – this results in disparate systems and applications which do not have the ability to ‘talk’ to each other. As the business grows, administration and the demand of real-time cross-departmental data increases. Having disparate applications means that business processes become disjointed, employee productivity decreases and business growth stagnates.

Business Process Automation and Application integration platforms provide organisations with the ability to simplify integration projects. Integrating disparate systems and applications enables them to improve the visibility of critical business information, increase productivity levels and drive the business forward.

To find out more about how you can integrate your business systems and applications, please fill out the form below or call +44 (0)330 998 8700.