How many software platforms do you use every day at work? Usually, it is more than one. Is it convenient and efficient enough? No, not at all, and that is why many companies look for digital transformation. System integration is the way to build a data or processes bridge between all software systems a company uses to ensure business activities and operation.
Why may system integration be useful?
Every company uses tools, software and platforms to ensure operations, to automate business activities, to simplify data gathering and processing. And managing data in several systems is not that easy. People may make mistakes. For example, they may forget to transfer necessary data about a customer's order from a CRM to an ordering and fulfillment systems. The error may result in a delivery delay and poor customer experience.
On the one hand, multiple platforms cover different business needs, and on the other hand, using several software platforms results in many problems. Switching between various data sources and platforms may be distractive. Analyzing separated pieces of data from a massive set of everyday operational information may be confusing. Having one piece of software covering one business need may be an error-prone and less productive approach for middle and large businesses. Each platform requires dedicated personnel to run and maintain it. A company may need to establish a complicated workflow with an abundance of duplicating activities to connect different tools that may function independently or have overlapping features. Moreover, more resources may be wasted on double-checking reports and analytics from each of the used software separately.
System integration is a method to connect many software solutions, simplify data flows, streamline business processes, reduce duplication and prevent data losses, to enable the opportunity of analyzing overall performance.
System integration implementation and application examples
A service ordering system for a Telecommunication operator
A customer wants to order a service from a telecommunication operator. An assigned employee takes the order, negotiates the required details with the customer, and enters all the information to a customer relationship management system. While negotiating requirements, a telecom operator's employee should check whether there is an ability to satisfy customer needs, including network capacity, hardware availability. According to the reference data, an order is placed in the various subsystems to fulfill it and tasks are assigned correspondingly. In case there is a lack of equipment, an integrated solution allows creating a procurement task to purchase the required hardware. A Telecom software tracks when a warehouse receives materials, initiates a relevant department to install it and activates the service for the customer. A customer support service informs a subscriber about the activation of the ordered telecommunications services and other details. A solution combines various business processes logically, assuring the correct workflow and relevant user experience.
A dealers' portal
A vendor provides a system comprising a common data warehouse, custom relationship management and a knowledge base for authorized traders with diversified access levels restrictions.
When a customer addresses a trader for products or services, an authorized dealer may access the portal which integrates with multiple vendor's systems. Application integration allows reaching the information about a customer, history of orders, or the full list of service offerings available from a vendor, along with exclusive deals and trader's discounts. Also, a dealer may order or ask for maintenance and support. The solution helps a dealer with all the reference data for effective operation.
An integrated call-center
When a client calls for support, a call center operator can see clients' profiles, consult on a product catalog, assist with an order, payments and delivery, as well as replacements and returns. A solution allows a call-center operator to reach the functionality required for satisfying customers' needs.
Corporate internal network
It incorporates various policies, information about employees, office staff ordering subsystems, vacations, corporate news, dashboards, calendars and a call center. So, an employee may find corporate information and initiate an internal organizational question via one integrated solution.
Benefits of system integration for a business
Focused business workflow
With system integration, a company may connect business processes and activities into an interrelated solution. Workflows, structured by business logic, allows for minimizing working efforts and focusing on customer satisfaction and experience.
Optimized interaction between different departments
Structuring and optimizing processes may help to reduce their number and clarify their interconnection, so various company departments may cooperate and interact more productively.
Common background and better communication
Uniting different sources of information into a solution functioning as a shared knowledge base helps use the same data in diverse business activities by various subsystems. Knowing what to do, operating the same data and understanding how the task should be done is an approach that reduces errors and customer complaints and prevents conflicts and misunderstandings.
General resource management
When all software platforms that a company uses work as an integrated solution, it is easier to analyze the overall picture, manage or reorganize the resource usage savvier. Also, managers can use aggregated data to make plans and create strategies for further development.
Nurturing business values
With system integration, a company may prioritize, order and structure business activities to concentrate on essential business tasks, and eliminate or reduce auxiliary efforts.
Reducing OPEX and CAPEX and increasing ROI
A company may save on operational and capital expenses when implementing system integration. Optimized processes may reduce requirements to the operational personnel in both skills and a number of people. Prolonging the life-cycle of the existing software instead of dropping it and investing in a new platform is the way to spend reasonably. Integrating different systems and platforms is a cost-effective method to meet new business and operational requirements.
How to know that a business needs system integration?
As a company owner, you may use system integration to improve your business processes management and automate activities and enhance operational performance. Use the checklist to find out whether you need to start planning system integration right now.
- Your business processes are complicated and include many steps.
- You are using more than one software system, especially if they are from different vendors.
- The processing time of one business task seemed to be inexcusably long.
- Customers complain about the poor experience more often.
- The existing solution does not cope with processing the current amount of business tasks.
- Your operational and capital expenses become a burden.
- New challenges, business needs or responsibilities appeared, and your existing solution does not have a functionality to meet them.
- Your business processes include many iterative actions.
- You need to duplicate or renter the same data within different platforms.
- The cost of operational errors and mistakes is unbearably high.
- Data entry errors and software failures occur too often.
If any of the statements above is valid for you and your business, it is a sign you need to think over the implementation of system integration.
We may assist you, analyze your business and consult you on system integration ways and methods. SYTOSS has experience in implementing system integration solutions: including data warehouse (DWH), customer relationship management systems (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), telecommunication operational and business support systems (OSS/BSS), tailored SAP applications. Our solutions help enterprise-grade clients from many verticals, such as Telecom, Real Estate, FinTech, Publishing, Shared Economy, and Digital Commerce, globally.