One of the reasons why Salesforce has become the most popular CRM software is its innate capability to apply numerous useful integrations that streamline business processes.
Efficient integration with systems like databases, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and customer apps is of paramount importance if your business wants to gain the most out of CRM. And many businesses utilizing Salesforce are coming to this realization and as a result, start developing and implementing Salesforce integration solutions.
And Salesforce ERP integration can be one of the strongest solution for any business in a variety of industry domains.
What’s An Integration In Salesforce?
Salesforce integration is basically the process of connecting Salesorce to your business’ internal software, enabling you to leverage the combined powerful functionality of all the connected platforms. Consider instances where information is stored in one system but needed in another in your own technology stack. You can simply manage all of the information pertaining to various business activities and taking place across several platforms through good integration.
The importance of integration is only growing year by year – nowadays, it’s uncommon for software systems to operate independently because we live in a digital age when we continually need to increase our effectiveness and improve our customers’ experience to be competitive. And how to integrate our systems quickly and flexibly, we are going to look at in this article.
Why Would a Business Need Salesforce Integration Solutions?
Salesforce is adopted by many organizations worldwide for the purpose of becoming more efficient, primarily when it comes to customer relationship management, workforce mobility and overall agility of operations. But all the vast fields of data that are generated within Salesforce can’t just sit there. All the data needs to be reallocated and distributed across multiple business channels and enterprise systems. And that is where fully automated Salesforce integration solutions come into play.
All the different application modules that are used by your organization, such as inventory, accounting, shipping or any other, contain enormous amounts of information. And in the scenario when one or several of your departments work with a non-Salesforce application, you need to establish collaboration between these apartments and other staff members and make it as swift and efficient as possible. Salesforce integration does exactly that. It allows unifying your entire business infrastructure and syncing it continuously, which in turn leads to effective communication across departments and generally a better workflow.
A very simple example would be Salesforce email integration. Since nowadays pretty much every business relies on email as the primary means of customer communication, this particular solution is extremely popular. It allows instantly syncing all emails and calendars across multiple platforms with the CRM. So, Salesforce email integration can bring additional value to any organization that wants to improve its client communication, not to mention the role it might play for businesses that really struggle with it.
Key Benefits of Salesforce Integration Solutions
The number of potential advantages that an organization can receive by integrating its IT infrastructure with Salesforce might as well be limitless. It would very much depend on the type of business that you run. But nevertheless, there are the most common ways by which such solution will result in better business performance.
- Streamline processes. Right off the back, this is the most obvious one. Regardless of the industry domain, businesses can receive a boost to their cross-department processes, simply due to a faster flow of data.
- Restore broken processes. Very often when switching to a new system, companies, especially those that work under government regulations, need to keep track of present and past customer data, while maintaining precision. And integration of Salesforce with the ERP system lets you do it in the most efficient manner possible.
- Get real-time customer insights. Salesforce can be integrated with other customer-focused platforms and with your customer database, bringing the most current reports on client usage and interaction with a product or service.
These are only a few examples of key benefits that Salesforce integration can achieve if implemented correctly.
Salesforce Integration Approaches
We can identify two core ways of integrating Salesforce into your business, each coming with their pros and cons.
App-Based Salesforce Integration Approach
App-based integrations are low-code or no-code approaches to integrating Salesforce CRM. A proprietary app like MuleSoft Composer, which is available from Salesforce App Builder, or a third-party app like Zapier or Coupler.io can be used for this.
Although some of the most complex integrations may not be possible using this method, it is quite simple to set up – this describes really well both the main benefit and the main drawback of this method. Due to the fact that you can conduct the integration process yourself, app-based integration is a great option for SMEs and solopreneurs.
Code-Based Salesforce Integration Approach
Alternatively, you can utilize coding-based solutions to connect Salesforce CMS with other applications. The code for this Salesforce API interface will most likely be written in Apex, a language roughly akin to Java, and hosted on the Salesforce platform.
This strategy does allow for more complex and challenging integrations despite the additional effort of executing it. So if you’re a big enterprise with big needs, the code-based method should be your choice, however, chances are you will need an outside Salesforce integration expert team to assist you with that.
Types of Integration Patterns in Salesforce CRM
But what kind of integrations can you implement in your business? Most commonly organizations of any size and across multiple business domains connect their CRM to external systems at the process and data levels. These can be spread out into three main types of integration in Salesforce that we are going to look at.
- Data Integration is necessary when you need to sync data from two or more systems. As a result, every extension that has been integrated will share real-time data.
- Business Logic Integration. This particular type of integration allows building powerful all-round business solutions that incorporate various back-end systems and apps.
- User Interface integration. If you want to build a centralized user experience for every user, then you might want to consider user interface integration. Salesforce provides tools necessary to do so, even if users utilize different applications in various languages.
But the process of Salesforce integration is not as easy as it might seem. Finding the right Salesforce integration company or getting every department on board with this idea can be a challenge.
Key Salesforce Integration Options
Having learnt the main approaches to Salesforce integration as well as its main types, let’s take a look at some of the key principles that we can use when connecting the systems together.
This is a principle whereby data is only stored in Salesforce, but all the other important actions such creating, retrieving, updating, or deleting of the data are performed by a remote system. It is typical for businesses that use an order system and then require to update Salesforce with new order statuses.
Request and Reply
This principle is about Salesforce requesting a remote system to perform a certain process and then waiting for that process to get completed to get some sort of response.
Fire and Forget
Much different to the previous one, this time Salesforce requests a process from a remote system, but doesn’t wait on its completion. A remote system only recognizes said request and then proceeds to give all control back to Salesforce – hence the name fire and forget.
Batch Data Synchronization
This is a case of Salesforce and a remote system sharing updates with each other, and doing so in big batches all at once, on a predefined schedule. For instance, you can get customer activity info from Salesforce and deliver it to an on-premise data storage on a biweekly basis.
UI Update Based on Data Changes
This is the case then the Salesforce UI needs updating as a consequence of alterations to the data – for instance, when a Case Manager wants to check the Case Update Status. If so, then you must create a custom UI and use the Streaming API with PushTopic that you can subscribe to and see the alerts.
Data virtualization is a case of data being displayed in Salesforce on demand, but does not need to remain in Salesforce permanently. Data virtualization can be used when dealing with Apex SOAP, Salesforce Connect, or even REST Callout via a Visualforce page.
How to Implement Salesforce Integration
When companies are considering implementing ERP integrated with Salesforce CRM, what they usually are planning to achieve can be summarized in four objectives:
- 360° customer view;
- boost in efficiency;
- increased user adoption;
- removing any need for manual re-keying of data.
So the first step to successful integration would be clear placement of the objective.
Each integration scenario will be unique, changing depending on business requirements. The process of integration needs to be accounted for when developing a long-term business strategy.
One of the common aspects that can slow down and reduce the effectiveness of Salesforce integration is lack of executive involvement and corporate-policies. The reason is that projects that involve data management can be a very delicate subject inside the company and not all of the departments might be onboard. And while the IT department would play a key role in this type of project, getting the support of more executives may as well play a critical role.
The next point that needs to be discussed is identifying key integration points. The process of integration itself can be done in a very short period of time with little to no change in the original code, so the main priority would be choosing what exactly you want to integrate. The most common points of integration include accounts, contacts, item price, sales order, payments and so on.
Just like any other software implementation project, you want Salesforce integration done right the first time. However, for most companies, even with a strong IT department, this particular task poses a challenge. At OMI we provide our customers with the most upscale Salesforce integration services on the market. By utilizing only the best industry practices we can ensure smooth and swift integration with your existing infrastructure, whether on-premise or cloud-based.
ERP integrated with Salesforce can bring your business many benefits, if done correctly. From improved visibility to stremlined processes, you can turn your workflow into a competitive advantage. And as one of the prime Salesforce integration companies, Outsourced Management Inc. can deliver you a first-class solution.
Our team of experienced engineers will ensure the consistency of data across all applications and we will develop stellar unified interfaces. The experts at Outsource Management Inc. know the Salesforce ERP system like the backs of their hands. They will analyze your existing system, identify any potential roadblocks and come up with the best possible solution that will be just right for your business.