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Posts Tagged ‘integration’

Death by 1,000 Integration Tools

September 12th, 2014 No comments

Unlike traditional on-premise software, the economics of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) allow for profitable delivery of narrow, highly-specialized applications. As a result, the average SaaS application user consumes more applications than an average user of on-premise software. GetApp currently tracks over 5800 business apps and estimates that there are around 10,000 SaaS vendors, worldwide. And according to Intermedia, the average small-to-medium business uses more than 14 applications, from a variety of vendors.

Few applications, SaaS or otherwise, function as closed systems. So it’s no surprise that the explosion of SaaS applications has produced an aftershock of tools for integrating with external (cloud and on-premise) data and applications. SaaS leaders like Salesforce.com and NetSuite support ecosystems with tens or hundreds of integration options. But even the smallest SaaS application vendors offer one or two integration options. Read more…

Healthy Processes Simplify Change

June 23rd, 2014 No comments

What causes a company to change? It could be something as large as a merger or acquisition, or as small as deciding to use less paper around the office. Sometimes change can be scary, in part because it tends to shine a light on the dysfunctional processes within the company.

For example, when planning for change, a company might notice that they have been following a process that no longer is relevant or efficient. Too often a process is accepted, even if it is a dysfunctional one, which ultimately impacts the bottom line. If companies are not evaluating their operational processes on a constant basis, adapting to change will become more difficult.

Establishing regular evaluations of business processes will give more control over operations and help reduce the “fear factor” of having to make a bad decision while adapting to change. That said, evaluating processes requires having complete visibility to them. To do this, companies who have fully integrated their systems and application data will be able to see where their workflow bottlenecks or drop-offs are.

With a single integration tool connecting the entire organization, any department can view the health of operational processes. Automated notices can be set up to alert specific people of process disruptions, while dashboard views and on-demand reports can be called up by anyone, from the IT Manager to the CFO. Looking at data moving through the entire organization gives companies a global view over whether invoices were received, bids were answered on time, or even to check against a chargeback claim.

Whether companies strategically change for growth, or reactively change from market pressure, evaluating current process efficiencies will be at the top of the change plan. Utilizing integration to proactively maintain healthy processes will not only keep the pain of adapting to change at a minimum, it will certainly help companies achieve growth much faster.

How to Grow a Business through Integration

February 24th, 2014 No comments

Going for Growth

You’re ready to take your company to the next level, and know that in order to do this, you’ll need to change the way you do business. How do you better serve your customers, become more competitive, and take on new customers faster without breaking the bank, or over-extending staff and resources?

Processes Ease the Pressure

When it comes to IT, most small to mid-sized businesses face the same challenges: lack of budget and lack of staff. These departments struggle to maintain day-to-day operations, let alone have time to think about long-term strategies to help grow the business. In order to ease the pressure off IT, you’ll need to focus on creating more efficient processes that you can then automate.

Automation Starts with Integration

Before you look at what current processes can be condensed and automated, you need to make sure that all of your systems are, or can be, properly integrated. With a true integrator at the center of your data, you will be able to quickly increase the number of automated connections between applications, data and partner interfaces – without any custom code.

One Integrator to Connect Them All

A true integrator will connect to and exchange data with your existing internal systems, and the systems of your customers, vendors and suppliers. It will give you complete control over your data, and allow you to automate the processes that enable you to easily communicate with all parties, make faster business decisions, and take on new customers in far less time. A true integrator is designed with business “rules of engagement” in mind – meaning, no matter what your IT infrastructure looks like today or in 5 years, you will always comply with new and existing customer requirements. See how EXTOL integrates > 

 

Don’t just get by. Get Smart.

September 17th, 2013 No comments

Linking systems through a single integration platform gets your business moving faster

Over the past few years, there have been many changes in the landscape of enterprise integration.  In the mid to late 90s, there were multiple tools to handle the different integration requirements for data, business to business (B2B) and application to application (A2A).  This meant if your company had to meet all of these integration requirements, you had to either code your own solutions or purchase and support multiple products to solve that one problem, Integration.

Your first integration requirement may have been B2B.  Why?  Mainly because your largest trading partner told you to do it.  They were changing the way they do business and requested that you stop calling in and faxing your orders to them and instead, start sending them electronically.  Most often they would specify the data format, which could be EDI or flat file and later XML.  This single request, with possibly an unrealistic deadline, lead to a quick fix to accommodate this partner.   It wasn’t planned; but it had to happen.  Current projects had to be put on hold and re-prioritized in order to fulfill this request.  Once implemented, the fire is out and you could go back to business.  But, as time goes on, more and more of your trading partners are requesting to do business this way.   This tactical solution soon became an integral part of your normal business activities. Read more…

Integration Keeps You Competitive through Faster Transactions and Visibility

March 11th, 2013 No comments

Increased Process Efficiency and Reduced Latency
The elimination of redundant manual tasks and inefficient processes results in increased efficiency and reduced latency. With a revenue-sensitive set of business processes, such as order to cash processes – where time is literally money, it’s crucial to take latency out of processes. Efficient business integration enables the fast turnaround of orders, invoices, payments and other documents that are involved in the order to cash cycle.

Read More: Accelerate your Business

Error Reduction and Quality Improvement
Business integration allows organizations to automate systems, implement automated validations and look-ups, and provide on-demand visibility. This ensures accuracy of the information, introducing higher levels of quality and a lower level of errors.

Read More: Integrate Everywhere without Coding Read more…