Whenever the topic of website system integration (SI) comes up, many CTO’s will reach for the Pepto Bismol. Just the thought of the subject stirs thoughts of their venerable site strewn in pieces on the ground like a plane wreck. Yet, the truth is if your site is not fully integrated, you may be siphoning profits from your bottom line. A truly integrated website lets the left hand know what the right hand is doing. The result is fewer snafus in inter-departmental communications, a more cohesive portal that disseminates information in a user-friendly environment, and fewer lost opportunities.
Integration Complexity is Determined by the Number of Disparate Systems
An integrated website need not be tantamount to open-heart surgery. It could be as simple as exporting data from one place and importing it somewhere else. Simply put, integration builds a conduit that funnels the disconnected components into a system that will function as one. An example of this kind of re-engineered platform is a system that permits the marketing department to access information located in the sales department. This kind of cross-reference capability reveals opportunities that may otherwise get lost in a non-integrated system. Another example of a malfunctioning system is shipping product on an online web store that cannot communicate with the inventory application. This type of disconnected database creates lost opportunities and unsatisfactory customer experiences.
The level of complexity in web integration is largely determined by the level of flexibility one wishes to convey into the system. The greater the number of disparate subsystems involved determines the complexity of the project. A more complex integration may require customized architecture along with updated hardware and software. Specific chores may involve a myriad number of services including project management, the use of application programming, and web services. One of the biggest challenges is found in the need to establish interoperability between two stand-alone systems. This may require cooperation between separate entities such as the sales office of one company connecting to the product distributor platform of another.
A Happy Customer is a Loyal Customer
A major advantage of integration is a vastly improved customer satisfaction score. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications thrive in an eco-friendly environment. By employing a more user-friendly system. Cross-departmental access to data collected from disparate systems is the gold standard for analyzing customer behavior and anticipating future needs. Information funneled from CRM pipelines provide a road map for ways to attain growth and enrich the company’s coffers.
Integration tools have proliferated throughout the digital landscape as of late as companies realize the benefits of incorporating their platforms into a more unified data system. The phenomenal growth of the cloud has contributed to the popularity of data integration solutions. Automated data integration tools have become a growing resource for companies wishing to update their often fractured platforms. Open source data integration tools are now available for companies that desire to avoid more costly proprietary systems enterprise solutions. Open source also has the advantage of maintaining complete control of data in-house.
The Cloud Proliferates Integrated Systems
The data integration platform market is growing by around 10% per year. Providers that offer integration platforms include Informatica, Information Builders, Microsoft, and Oracle. However, the big dog in this market segment is none other than IBM. The best integration platforms as an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) software includes A variety of data integration platforms are available, but the market is led by IBM, Informatica, Information Builders, Microsoft, and Oracle. Other vendors that dominate market share includes Pentaho, SAP, SAS, and Talend. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) have dramatically dummy downed the build and use of integration platforms.
It’s important to differentiate enterprise application integration which has a focus on supply chain management, logistics, and distribution. Data Integration involves the building of data-sharing among application platforms in a seamless platform that permits data-sharing capabilities. There are methods that can be deployed to detect weakness in your current system. For example, when a timely business opportunity may weigh on an unopened email, the moment may be lost. The ideal integration system is robust enough to avoid such an unforeseen event.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platforms, on the other hand, functions as a business process management software that provides an integrated approach that automates many back office functions such as technology, services, and human resources. ERP software interconnects diverse applications to one unifying platform that replace dated legacy systems into a single source of enterprise applications. If your business scales smaller, there are integration solutions that serve small and medium-size businesses as well.
Naturally, digital agencies vary in the scope and complexity of Integration services. When selecting an Integration Specialist, be sure to determine their ability to best serve your integration needs. Bash Foo exemplifies the high standard of expertise required to successfully integrate your disparate digital compartments into a well-oiled, seamless communications powerhouse. Bash Foo takes a holistic approach in all of your digital needs. Services include marketing plans, web design, integration infrastructure, email campaigns, graphic design, social media, and PPC ad placement. Bash Foo’s seasoned staff is ready to increase your footprint in today’s highly competitive digital landscape. For more information on how Bash Foo can revitalize your business, contact us.