Why is Systems Integration Important?
In this post, we discuss why system integration is important, as well as the different categories of systems that can be integrated, and the many benefits of system integration solutions.
Why Systems Integration?
The system integration process is when communications are created between disparate systems that do not normally communicate with one another. The information communicated between systems varies widely from company to company. Typical information exchanges include customer information, orders, production line information, customer inquiries, and many more.
What Systems Can I Integrate?
There are different categories of systems that can be integrated between two systems. These are listed below with examples of each system.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
– Sales force, Pivotal, Microsoft Dynamics
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
– SAP, IFS, JD Edwards Enterprise One
– Ariba, SAP
– Sage, Microsoft Nav
Document Management Systems
– Digital Paper, eValue, SmarTeam / Swiftify
– Cadenas, KissMetrics, WordPress, LiveChat
– Microsoft Office 365, WOPI API
Marketing And Email Systems
– Mandrill, Pardot, Silverpop
– UPS Tracking
– Auth0, Okta
Software As A Service
– Toggl, Jira, Microsoft AI Services, Microsoft Business Intelligence
– PayPal, Payment Express
Custom In-house Software
What Are The Benefits Of Systems Integration?
Allowing different computer systems to communicate with each other provides several benefits.
1. Information appearing quicker
Before integrating systems, it is common for organisations to rekey the same information into multiple systems. This makes the flow of information within the organisation very slow. Information is often backed up, awaiting rekeying on a scheduled basis. One of the main benefits of system integration is after automatically integrating systems, critical information is more quickly available throughout the organisations. This allows for faster decisions to be made.
2. Consistent communication
In addition, to saving money on rekeying the same data over and over again, the automated exchange of information means that information is consistent between disparate systems. Prior to integration, it is common for information to become inconsistent between systems. For example, one system may be updated with a customer’s new address, but another system may not get the update. Integrating these systems eliminates the confusion that inconsistent information creates.
3. Saves you money and hassle
Integrating your existing systems allows you to leverage your investment in them. This means that instead of replacing several existing systems with a single, large, expensive new systems, you can integrate these systems at a lower cost and not go through the (sometimes painful) process of implementing a new computer system.
4. New essential insights available
Furthermore, it is common to establish a business intelligence (BI) system as part of systems integration. This can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or something more sophisticated such as Microsoft Business Intelligence. The BI system can aggregate data from various systems to give an overall view of your organisation. This can give you insights that would have been missed, thus making your organisations more competitive.
5. Contributes to sales increases
If you are looking to boost your sales, data connectivity across departments can really help your customers and encourage them to purchase what they have sitting in their baskets. Not only is a clear line of communication available to customers, but systems integration solutions can give customers access to the data that is most useful to them, making the buying process for them much easier. This means customers can effectively see what is in stock, how much is in stock, and how long it will take to be delivered to them. Transparency is a very effective tool when it comes to a customer deciding on whether to purchase an item, making systems integration a very valuable tool for any online sales process.
System Integration Examples
McKenna Consultants have integrated many systems over the years. We specialise in creating Digital Platforms that create a “plug and play” system that allows software to exchange information with any other software, within an organisation.
For example, at IMI Precision Engineering, we create a Digital Edge Platform that integrates their Tacton configuration system with their JD Edwards ERP system, communication systems (Mandrill, etc.), and shipment tracking systems (UPS).
For other customers, we have been able to integrate their existing legacy in-house developed software into a new digital platform. This allows them to incrementally replace the legacy systems with new systems, plugging into place to replace the old.
All of this is possible with an incremental build approach and without incurring expensive licensing fees. If you require assistance integrating systems, then please contact us to see whether we can help you.