The Salesforce ecosystem is one way to instantly transform your business. Once you have team members trained on the ins and outs of Salesforce’s various systems, your company will be more flexible and efficient than ever before.
One of the key pieces of Salesforce is integration. But before we can dive into the benefits of Salesforce integration with business apps, we must first discuss APIs and provide an explanation of Salesforce integration.
What Is Salesforce Integration?
Whenever you bring two or more systems together in the Salesforce ecosystem, you are performing an integration task. The main goal of integration is to streamline different processes by combining them and removing all the unnecessary parts.
Regarding your business, consider applications and systems that require one another to complete a task. For instance, you may have one system that holds your data and another that needs the data to perform analyses and provide results. Wouldn’t it be simpler if you didn’t have to access two separate systems to get the required result? That’s where integration comes in.
Application Programming Interfaces
An application programming interface, or API, is the method through which two applications communicate. You utilize APIs every day without ever realizing it—that’s because the APIs are so well-integrated into your devices. Whenever you fire up an app on your phone that accesses the internet and presents information from a server, APIs facilitate this effortless transfer of data.
Thus, it is through APIs that Salesforce integration is possible.
Salesforce Integration Architectures
Salesforce integration is a well-trodden path, meaning you’ll have several options available when the time comes to integrate. It’s essential to understand the integration architectures at your disposal before undertaking an integration task since each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks.
To visualize hub-and-spoke integration, think of a wagon wheel. In the center of the wheel, you have the hub—an area where all the spokes collect. In this case, the hub acts as a centralized system that is the means of communication between all the connected systems.
Those connected systems are like the spokes of a wheel—they all connect through the hub, but they don’t directly touch each other. While this means you only need to build a single connection from each system to the hub, there’s something to be said for direct connections between systems.
Point-to-point integration removes the hub from the equation—all that matters are the various systems and their interconnectivity. This certainly creates a tricky task for your business’s integration builders and maintenance workers. When you add a new point to the integration, time must be spent connecting that point to all the applicable systems.
In a real-world scenario, this could look like shipping, tracking, and billing systems. Billing needs to connect to shipping, which then needs to connect to tracking. However, if there’s a need for billing and tracking to connect, your team will need to build another integration. The work can pile up quickly, and this system is not ideal for interchangeability.
Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) Integration
Enterprise service bus, or ESB, integration takes the hub-and-spoke model to the next level. The center point of an ESB system can facilitate processes between systems like routing, orchestration, transformation, and security. All your systems connect to the bus with easy-to-disconnect plugs, allowing for scalable integration over time. With ESB integration:
- Routing can easily transport messages from one system to another;
- Orchestration allows you to put transactions in a specific order;
- Transformation lets you translate messages into other system languages prior to routing; and
- Security can perform authorization and authentication checks before messages enter your systems.
Now, consider the benefits of Salesforce integration, starting with increased productivity. This goes back to streamlining your systems. Why make your employees access multiple systems separately when putting those systems together saves time and energy?
While toggling between two systems doesn’t take all the time in the world, imagine how much time employees can save in a week—or a month!—by utilizing an integrated system.
Effective Decision Making
Accurate data and effective decision-making are directly connected. If it takes a long time to get data in front of you, or if the data you look at isn’t spot-on, you might find yourself making questionable decisions. Integration makes it easier for you to review accurate data and make informed decisions.
Repetitive tasks are things of the past when you use Salesforce integration. With click workflow automation, Salesforce can bring business apps and systems together to accomplish busy work that employees don’t want or need to do. Automating workflows makes processes happen more quickly while also bolstering the morale of your team members. After all, no one wants to do menial labor for hours on end.
Deepened Customer Connections
Customers expect more now than ever before; they want businesses to cater to them personally, and integration makes this possible. The key to strong customer connections is understanding who your buyers and users are. A system that can easily look over data from several sources gives you a complete picture of your customer base. From this point, you can quickly determine the various pain points and needs of all your customers.
When you make deeper connections, you increase your business’s customer retention. You may find it easy to bring customers in, but keeping them is the trick. Integration helps you tailor your systems to your customers so they’ll want to stick with you for the long haul.
Better Online Sales
Ease of use is a big factor for customers. Salesforce integration is all about making things easier, and that extends to your business’s online sales platforms. Customers are more inclined to purchase when you make buying easy.
All these benefits come part and parcel with Salesforce data integration. Salesforce is a system designed to be exceptionally useful no matter what you’re using it for, so you can customize it to your every need.
Now that you know these benefits of Salesforce integration with business apps, make Salesforce a powerful tool in your kit. With so many unique systems that work together to produce effective results, Salesforce is an instrument you can’t afford to miss.