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The Evolution of Integration: How iPaaS Will Drive Business Forward

The Evolution of Integration: How iPaaS Will Drive Business Forward

With the ability to connect these systems using an integration platform as a service [iPaaS], businesses can uplevel their organizational agility and stay ahead of the curve.

For today’s businesses, operating in data silos is no longer a viable option. The speed of business has never moved at a faster pace and, as technologies evolve, streamlining internal processes has never been more important.

Moving forward, the key to managing a growing variety of apps within your business is to create strong integrations between them. Organizations need to step back and consider, how can essential systems such as CRMs and ERPs effectively work together?

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With the ability to connect these systems using an integration platform as a service [iPaaS], businesses can uplevel their organizational agility and stay ahead of the curve—creating an aligned and integrated tech ecosystem, improving the overall customer experience, and driving revenue.

The Foundation of a Robust Infrastructure: Data Preparation

Businesses have been connecting apps and services in integrated systems for years. However, these systems have been simple, just as an employer connecting an expense management platform with online hour tracking or employee management systems. While helpful for businesses, organizations will soon be able to move beyond these simple use cases and build an assemblage of connections that are even more powerful.

All systems hold their own data, and it can differ slightly from system to system. For instance, employers might need workers to input information into their payroll systems or ERP. When it is done manually, disparate information can vary slightly and can lead to potential errors and further hindrance.

With this in mind, data sitting in CRMs needs to be arranged so it’s all in the same language and passed across applications and services seamlessly. This includes standardizing data formats, correcting data where applicable, merging data to eliminate duplicates and removing unwanted outliers.

Once complete, a modern iPaaS solution can serve as a singular view to ensure a true end-to-end solution that combines data from numerous sources from an organization, rather than delivering it in multiple pieces. When done correctly, an iPaaS solution is greater than the sum of its parts.

Using End-to-end Integration to Future-proof Your Business

Today, there is ubiquitous demand for digital transformation. But behind the buzzword, behind the trend, what does this really mean for an organization?

Regardless of the size or type of business, the end goal of digital transformation remains the same: using the latest technology to effectively leverage all of an organization’s data to future-proof the business.

With API integration and iPaaS, forward-thinking IT leaders are creating ways to understand their customers with a 360-degree view, connecting with them at every touchpoint. The key? An “API360” strategy involving pre-built templates to optimize system integration. Because these templates can be used by all—even those without technical expertise—business can be nimble, quickly reacting to and solving problems. Integrating popular systems like Salesforce, NetSuite, SAP, Shopify, and Workday, among others, allows for a comprehensive view of the customer journey, improving experience, and strengthening customer and employee relationships.

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This 360-degree approach is built on four primary pillars:

  1. Application connectors. Connectors allow you to quickly connect APIs and perform data operations. These pre-built and reusable connections make it easy to interact with a specific endpoint, such as Workday for HR professionals.
  2. Integration recipes. Recipes are pre-built integration solutions that move data in one direction between two applications or systems—for example, moving account or product data from a CRM to an ERP.
  3. Process templates. These pre-built templates use data across multiple APIs to accelerate processes. Going back to our earlier HR example, a process template could streamline the integration between a compensation management system and a performance management system.
  4. Delivery services. Fixed-scope professional services help businesses deploy pre-built process templates—providing the ability to customize those templates to include additional objects and endpoints. This allows IT teams to scale use cases based on their organization’s unique needs.

With any or all of these elements, an iPaas platform can swiftly bring a business into the modern era. In fact, most businesses who take the leap forward and seamlessly integrate their systems find themselves wondering why they didn’t do it sooner.

The Future of iPaaS 

Digital transformation is a must for businesses that want to stay competitive in the marketplace—and to get digital transformation right, a 360-degree approach to API integrations is essential. This is essential to create what the industry is calling a “composable enterprise,” an organization that chooses between a range of apps and tools to create a competitive advantage.

What’s more, the potential of this area is only growing. As exciting new technologies including AI and robotic process automation (RPA) are integrated with iPaaS, businesses can do more to deliver an improved experience for internal and external users alike.

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In fact, the next generation of iPaaS is already here. For example, it’s now possible to create human-like chatbots that give field workers real-time access to data from across an organization, allowing them to find and request the resources they need with ease. The result? More efficient workflows, leading to happier employees and an increase in satisfaction among consumers.

[To share your insights, please write to us at sghosh@martechseries.com]

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