Third-party applications are an essential part of business IT infrastructure. Nowadays there is an app for practically anything. Moreover, there are probably at least a couple of providers of similar solutions fighting for leadership on the market. For businesses finding Salesforce solutions for integration with third-party software isn’t the primary challenge, but it’s instead about coming up with the best one that will fit your needs.
Challenges of Salesforce Integration with Third Party
Any Salesforce integration with third party has a set of universal challenges that need to be considered and addressed. The four most common are the following.
- Software providers change the APIs, whether it’s due to the addition of a new set of features or changes in corporate policies. But no matter the reason behind these changes, if API requests are no longer valid, the infrastructure stops working properly and the end users no longer gain all the benefits of integration.
- The difference of technologic foundation is yet another common problem. If the technologies are not aligned to the user’s platform, the process of integration requires very delicate customizations to the architecture. Third-party software providers very often have their own business needs and don’t always care about applications or plug-ins that match your demands. So in some cases, it is much more preferable to look for an alternative with similar functionality.
- And there are some API security concerns that very often prevent businesses from integrating appropriate solutions. This is very true for large enterprises, although depending on the type of business, SMB-type companies might face a similar issue. Simply put, the API security provided might not be compliant with corporate data privacy policies, which either means that a business needs to choose another software provider or alternatively, refer to software customization again.
- Unique infrastructure of an organization’s IT environment makes every integration case unique. Differences in connection points and business needs mean that each scenario will require an entirely new plan and approach.
Salesforce CRM Integration Solutions
We’ve talked about different types of Salesforce integration in one of our previous articles. Briefly summarized there are three main types which are:
- data integration;
- business logic integration;
- user interface integration.
The next step in deciding which type of integration your company requires is to find a third-party software provider, and here is where many organizations face most pitfalls and difficulties.
Salesforce Integration Best Practices
Salesforce integration with third party solutions done right is the one when you don’t have even to think that you are using a completely separate tool. It all should feel and act as if two applications were done as one. Seamless user experience is what ultimately makes technology popular.
However, it’s practically impossible to know in advance what type of system will resonate best with your team and how effective it will be. So we’ve come up with a short guide to help you find the best possible integration solution and achieve your business goals.
Focus on your core business needs
It’s very common for people to wish for a new tool. Sometimes people will push some application for no apparent business reason except for “it’s good, and we need it”. Any significant integration with a third-party solution is a challenging endeavor, and it should solve problems and answer business needs.
There are certain Salesforce data integration best practices that you need to follow in order to ensure the security and integrity of your business. Before even starting the selection process and research, you should outline the core flaws and pain points in your business model. And only after that should you start looking for a product that can handle it.
Get your team involved
Changes in data structure and integrations, in general, can cause significant changes in your day-to-day workflow. So, simply integrating a new tool can throw your team off balance. That’s why prior to any integration you must get your team on board. All the affected departments need to be aware of changes to the infrastructure. And it’s vital that you listen to their voices in the matter of choosing applications since they are the ones who will be working with it and getting their opinion ultimately will help you make a better decision.
However, you need to assign a single decision-maker with the most comprehensive expertise who needs to make the final call.
Research your competitors
It’s always a good idea to know what other players utilize. If it works for them, it very well might work for you. But don’t just assume it to be true because you might be missing some crucial in-depth aspect of their infrastructure. Maybe a specific application works best for your competition because they use it in tandem with other systems, or perhaps because they chose very particular connection points, or it may be that they invested in high customization of their core CRM platform to work with specific apps.
You never know for sure.
Read the fine print
After you’ve got the product in mind, it’s time to look at the details. You will be surprised to find out, that many companies are not happy with their integration, but because they have signed a long-term contract, there is no way around it. Legal issues can cause a lot of problems in the future, so be sure that the product is right for you and minimize the possibility of unintended consequences.
Salesforce Integration Services by OMI
Regardless of what you are trying to accomplish with integration, you want it done right. And you want it to last for as long as it can. Neglecting to provide for future solutions can end up costing you more. With the technology evolving at the fastest pace ever, now is the time for businesses to build a sustainable infrastructure with capabilities to scale and adapt to the changes.
At OMI we specialize in Salesforce customization and integration services. With a team of veteran developers and business analysts, we can develop highly flexible and customizable solutions that will ensure the consistency of data across all applications. By utilizing the best industry practices, OMI can deliver you smooth and swift integration with your existing infrastructure.