40 Magical Ways Connecting ERP/CRM And Other Business Applications Can Help Achieve Business Success

04/12/2017 10:40 am ET

Josh owns a boutique footwear store in a large city. He invested in an ERP to automate his backend processes, and got a great-looking responsive website to sell trendy shoes to his domestic and international customers. Yet, he and his employees ended up working a lot harder to ensure data was constantly updated between his e-store and ERP. Worse, they often missed important sales opportunities and spent a lot more on inventory due to missed orders and failed communication.

What Josh needs is a connector.

Josh’s is just one example. Connectors help you integrate disparate apps and sync data between them easily, making workflow smooth and efficient. Tired of ensuring that data is synced between different apps? Using a connector solves this problem. Want your ecommerce site to sync data with your ERP? Sure. Need to integrate on-premise apps with cloud-based software? Why not? Connectors have revolutionized the way we do business, and are an integral part of the Integration as a Service model.

Here are 40 magical ways connectors help you achieve business success:

The Magic that a Connector Is

1. Easily customizable

Every business has a different need, and a different set of sub-customizations while integrating software programs. Customizing how each of your software programs interact with each other will help you to have a better control over your operations. Connectors can easily be customized using custom APIs, actions and codes so that you are able to decide how software programs communicate with each other.

2. Pick and choose modules to integrate

Most enterprise software suites come with a plethora of modules that help run businesses efficiently. While connecting two or more software programs may seem good on paper, you might still want to retain certain modules of each software programs as distinct identities. Connectors allow you to decide which modules you want to integrate.

3. Incremental adoption

Connectors or integration tools can seem intimidating in the beginning, because they come with a number of features. Yet, a connector can be looked at as an integration platform that allows you to use only those features which are required currently. You can add more features as your business grows, ensuring that your connector is prepared for your future growth and unexpected requirements.

4. You are the master of integration

To be successful, you need to be in control in more ways than not. Connectors help you to make decisions that are best known to you. You can decide how many applications you want to integrate, which communication protocols you want to use, if you want to include aggregation, forking or routing, and if there must be enterprise-level messaging systems.

Bring Magic to Your IT Department

5. Enhanced IT governance

App integration involves communication between multiple groups, apps, and even organizations. It is important to have an IT governance model that is managed and documented at the highest level. Using connectors can help you to take your IT governance strategy more seriously, which invariably reveals hidden and often-overlooked IT vulnerabilities. Use this as an opportunity to document and implement responsibility roles, control mechanisms and other entities that are integral to IT governance.

6. Enhanced cloud adoption

For medium and larger companies, it is not always possible to adopt cloud entirely. On-premise solutions still play a large role in maintaining and running IT processes. Connecting these on-premise solutions to cloud-based apps is a move that helps companies to take their cloud adoption to the next level.

7. Improved analytics and data management

Improved data sharing and richer analytics can bring your business valuable insights. Integration of multiple software programs helps you to manage your data better, while cross-using it for improved analytics and insights.

8. Eliminate software bottlenecks

While it is great to integrate software programs and store the data on a central repository, it could also become the source of a single point of failure. You can experience software bottlenecks under a heavy load as well. Connectors help you to integrate only those modules which need to be, and that helps to avoid bottlenecks which are caused by more invasive integration.

9. Sync data on cloud and on-premises

The single-most advertised feature of a connector is that it can sync data on your cloud and on-premises apps. Though it has often been repeated, this feature can turbo-charge your business by eliminating miscommunication, lost opportunities, and enabling a constant synchronization of real-time data.

10. Robust and flexible IT infrastructure

Worried about responding in a timely manner to your customers’ growing demand? That's one less worry for you, when you have a connector implemented in place. Software integration helps you to expand your IT facilities easily and take the action needed to meet your customers' expectations.

11. Lightweight tools

A connector can be as lightweight or as heavy as you choose it to be. Interoperating services help you to implement an integration solution that is as lightweight as you would want it to be. This ensures that your software programs do not merge into gargantuan proportions.

Catalyze Productivity Like a Wizard

12. Workflow automation

Usually, companies find a disconnect between there software programs. While a CRM might launch an effective email marketing campaign, it will separately have to be assessed on an ERP. A connector helps to automate these processes on disparate tools so that your workflow is streamlined. Check out how you can create a Workflow in Salesforce CRM!

13. Enhanced agility

If you were troubled by lost opportunities and reputation-related issues, worry no more. Connectors help you ensure that you can quickly respond to opportunities without any supply chain disruptions. All this can be done using a single interface, if you choose to, which enhances agility.

14. Increased digitization

You no longer need to worry about connecting digital dots manually, as a connector will do that. With a flexible IT infrastructure and enhanced workflow automation, you can quickly move toward deeper digitization, which is part of IT governance and policy-making of most companies today.

15. Eliminate redundant processes

There are companies which still use Excel sheets, questionable third-party software, and manual methods to sync data between different software applications. These kinds of redundant processes can be eliminated with the help of connectors.

16. Enhance interoperability

Usually, various components of your software infrastructure use various operating systems written in different languages. They may also have different data formats, preventing them from using a single interface. A connector eliminates this problem, and ensures that all components of your infrastructure can communicate seamlessly without any human intervention. And of course, you get to choose how many interoperable features you want to activate.

17. Enhance data integration

There is nothing more important than making sure that your data is built into a modular and distributed system. For this to happen, you will need to adopt a standard method of data flow between apps. Connectors help you do this, and assist you in data integration, which is crucial for maintaining consistency.

18. Simplified IT processes

If your managers and employees find it difficult to learn how to use various software programs implemented in your business, you can now heave a sigh of relief. Most managers come from a commerce or business background and may not feel comfortable with IT structure. Integration of software programs helps in simplifying these tools, where they can operate them on a single interface. In addition, many previously manual tasks shall anyway be automated, giving space and time to your employees to focus on more demanding tasks.

Save Money, Save Time

19. More time and capital for innovation

Think about all the time and money you will save from automating your processes further. This time and capital can be used to innovate your products and services. Innovation is one of the most important investments that a business will ever make.

20. More time and capital for core business activities

The same time and capital which is saved can also be invested in focusing on core business activities. Most businesses often waste a lot of resources on IT, when many processes can be automated. This saved time and capital can be used to build your skills, so that you develop a competitive edge.

21. Reduce travel costs

This might come as a surprise but disparate software programs can actually make you travel a lot. Think about having to visit a third party vendor just because you couldn’t assess the quality automatically and have it communicated it to your other departments. Connectors help to automate certain processes between software programs, so that unnecessary travel is reduced.

22. Reduce communication costs

Implementing messaging protocols between software programs helps departments to communicate more effectively, right within the interface. Expensive data and telecom bills can be reduced to a bare minimum.

23. Reduced storage expenditure

Connectors help you eliminate duplicate entries, which can take up a lot of storage space in the long term. By effectively halving the amount of storage required, you can free-up quite a lot of your cloud storage.

Be the Warlock of Change for Your Employees

24. Enhanced productivity and efficiency

Connectors ensure that there is improved data management, which boosts interoperability and enhances productivity at work. A smooth workflow not only encourages your employees to be more enthusiastic, but it also brings measurable increases in overall productivity.

25. Access internal experts quickly

52% of people interviewed in a survey mentioned that the speed with which they could access experts increased after using a connector. Inter-departmental communication is immediately enhanced when disparate apps are connected or integrated. Speedy communication is always important to resolve issues.

26. Increase employee satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is directly linked to improved bottom-line figures. If you want your business to succeed, make sure your employees are happy. For that to happen, do not put them through unnecessary tasks which can be automated. We are unfortunately seeing a situation where automation is enabled by manual processes. Some of these manual tasks can certainly be automated with the help of connectors, and that will relieve your employees of some burden.

27. Coordinate with various departments

As discussed earlier, inter-departmental communication is immediately enhanced when connectors are implemented. In addition, collaboration and coordination between various departments can be documented and tracked, which is very important for a business to be accountable.

28. Enhance access to knowledge

Knowledge which is stored on servers become accessible to those who need it, regardless of which department they are from. Front and back offices can access information and knowledge which weren’t easily available to them previously. All you need to do is set up access levels so that only authorized people are able to access data.

29. Search information easily

With all the data indexed correctly on connected software programs, searching for information becomes a lot easier. A lot of companies often waste time in searching for information, as their tools aren’t always connected. Connectors assist in making information more searchable.

30. Monitor and track disparate data

Data on different software programs cannot easily be read together. While it is certainly possible with a little effort, monitoring and tracking them is not easy at all. Connectors help you do that on a single interface. All this help you to bring more accountability to your business.

31. Implement patterns and workflows

Implementing patterns and workflows can be very difficult if one relied on just coding. Connectors help to do this seamlessly, in an automated fashion.

32. Get started with templates quickly

Templates help you to arrive at common solutions. From basic B2B solutions to complex SaaS connectivity, templates help you to connect and execute various functions quickly, all thanks to connectors.

Cast a Success Spell on Your Business

33. Make business scalable

Connecting and integrating software smartly can help you create bandwidth that previously didn’t exist. This bandwidth helps your business become scalable. You will no longer need to worry about missed opportunities and lost causes.

34. Bring stability to business

With continuous monitoring of data, streamlined communication, deeper automation and access to knowledge, you will be able to make your business much more stable than it is right now. Constant flow of market insights will help you to ensure that you are prepared for various outcomes.

35. Infinite opportunities

Connecting software programs can create infinite opportunities for a business. Be it reduction of time or money, or enhanced productivity, all these advantages can be used to create solutions that help your business to grow further.

36. Better customer services

One of the most important qualities of great customer care is immediacy. When you are able to respond and act immediately for customer concerns, you will naturally be providing better customer services. This is made possible by connectors.

37. Enhanced lead management

Use the rich data reports and insights to further understand your customers. Work on lead management and automate most of it too, so that you don’t have many creases left in your marketing process.

38. Improved marketing and sales

Reduced expenditure, saved time, better insight and analytics, and other benefits of using a connector will help you indirectly to devote more resources to your marketing and sales campaigns. In fact, a connector directly helps you to automate certain marketing and sales campaigns.

39. Digital-first strategy

Many years ago, companies began to adopt a digital-first strategy to brace for a brave new world. Today, it is more than a necessity and just going digital isn’t enough. Connecting various digital services and solutions to help you arrive at a gestalt is very important.

40. Prepare for the future

Of all the magical benefits that a connector can provide you with, helping you to face the future is one of the most important. Thanks to resulting deeper insights, you will be able to predict what your market is going to look like roughly in a couple of years, and prepare for those eventualities.

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