Why is Systems Integration Important?
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 enquiries and many more.
What Systems Can I Integrate?
The different categories of systems that can have integration between two systems are:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM e.g. Salesforce, Pivotal, Microsoft Dynamics)
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP e.g. SAP, IFS, JD Edwards Enterprise One)
- Procurement Systems (e.g. Ariba, SAP)
- Configuration Systems (e.g. Tacton)
- Accounting Systems (e.g. Sage, Microsoft Nav)
- Document Management Systems (e.g. Digital Paper, eValue, SmarTeam / Swiftify)
- Customer Enquiries (e.g. Cadenas, KissMetrics, WordPress, LiveChat)
- Office Software (e.g. Microsoft Office 365, WOPI API)
- Marketing And Email Systems (e.g. Mandrill, Pardot, Silverpop)
- Shipping (e.g. UPS Tracking)
- Product Management (e.g. Fredhopper)
- Identity Management (e.g. Auth0, Okta)
- Software As A Service (e.g. Toggl, Jira, Microsoft AI Services, Microsoft Business Intelligence)
- Payment Systems (e.g. PayPal, Payment Express)
- Custom In-house Software
What are the benefits of integration?
Allowing different computer systems to communicate with each other provides several benefits:
1. Information appearing quicker
Prior to 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. After automatically integrating systems, critical information is more quickly available throughout the organisations allowing 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.
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 to allow 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.