2021 has arrived and it brings both challenges and opportunities for businesses following the uncertain post-COVID-19 market. Thousands of businesses have benefited from the Salesforce Platform© and its solutions. A major reason for this is the Salesforce integration that enables multiple business tools to work together on the platform.
As you look to increase your company’s competitive edge, Salesforce integration is a key component. Let’s look at why.
The Power of Connection on the Cloud
2020 revealed a lot. In the midst of a global shutdown, businesses on the cloud still keep working. In fact, some even thrived despite facing pandemic difficulties. While organizations quarantined, the interconnectivity shared through cloud platform solutions, especially Salesforce, kept business sustainable. The ability for instant communication and cross-collaboration was impacted by how various business tools work together on Salesforce. This is referred to as integration, an IT connection allowing apps to share data and work together.
As the world’s leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Salesforce integration takes this connection to a whole new level. All your business data and tools can be accessed and used on a single platform. Other benefits include:
- Eliminating the need to re-enter information, saving you time.
- Being able to seamlessly monitor and track events in real time.
- Gaining stronger, more reliable data.
- Achieving easier, faster business processes that empower better customer interactions.
Because Salesforce is cloud-based, your team can access the tools and data they need from any location at any time. Salesforce users get true visibility into all of the critical data and factors guiding their business.
In addition to Salesforce-based solutions, apps like LinkedIn and Dropbox can be integrated for easy use. All of these connections make everything from administration to sales more streamlined. Instead of siloed solutions, businesses have a network of solutions working together to accomplish goals. Salesforce integration is the key, but there are things to be mindful of.
Salesforce Integration and IT Solutions
As a CRM platform, Salesforce is equipped to house multiple solutions in the same ecosystem. The integration required depends on the kind of solutions your business works with. In the Salesforce world, these IT solutions can be grouped in two categories:
Native Salesforce Solutions
Native solutions are built on Salesforce and share the fundamental IT architecture of Salesforce. These solutions are ideal for use on the platform. In addition to sharing Salesforce’s inherent flexibility and resilience, they are literally built to naturally connect with each other. This connection is what we refer to as single-platform integration. Getting these solutions to work together is far less expensive and labor-intensive than traditional integration.
Non-Native Salesforce Solutions
Apps built outside of the Salesforce Platform aren’t native to Salesforce. They do not share Salesforce Application Programming Interface (API) and foundational architecture. Therefore, in order for these solutions to work with and communicate with other solutions on Salesforce, traditional integration is required.
What are the Types of Salesforce Integration?
When it comes to integrating solutions on Salesforce, some options are better than others. Traditional integration itself can have several drawbacks and have several costs to consider. Besides the initial integration, the software integration must be maintained and updated, adding to the costs of time and money. There are several integration options that let you connect solutions to Salesforce. Let’s look at a few of these options.
Single-platform integration (sometimes called native integration) is not an integration in the traditional sense. On the AppExchange, users will find many native Salesforce solutions, meaning they’re built on the platform. Again, this means that these solutions don’t actually require traditional integration to work on Salesforce or each other. They are naturally designed to share data within the ecosystem. This is the easiest, most effective, and least expensive option because data sharing is much more streamlined and reliable. Compared to outside integration, single-platform integration requires only ⅓ the work to efficiently relay data. Single-platform integration is the best Salesforce integration option.
Custom Code Integration
Custom code integrations are developed for your unique solution and requirements. Developers must create custom connectors using Salesforce API and hand-coded solutions to synchronize data between Salesforce.com and the application. This integration, like many, has drawbacks. These are costly to develop and must be meticulously maintained when Salesforce or the application in-question is updated.
Batch integration is probably the most common salesforce integration. This integration relies on data updates based on an hourly, weekly, or monthly basis. The only drawback is that this provides a snapshot of data at a time. The data isn’t fluidly logged all around the IT system. Even importing and exporting data frequently can leave individual applications out-of-sync. When data updates or changes, you likely won’t see this in real-time.
Real-Time and Near Real-Time Integration
Real-time integration is less challenging and generally efficient at handling errors and control queues. However, like other integrations, data is constantly traveling back and forth between Salesforce and the application. All this data having to travel between systems can still cause delays or dysfunctions to occur.
Mashup integrations rely on creating a user interface in Visualforce to create customized User Interfaces (UI)s. These integrations are known for being able to assess and share data from external systems efficiently. However, there are still restrictions in real-time. Therefore this is ideal for smaller integrations that rely on smaller amounts of data. Another drawback though is that workflow and reporting functions do not work on the external data in this method.
Consolidate on Salesforce for Stronger Connection
While Salesforce does have a robust, flexible API, some integrations are still at risk of being dysfunctional. The best way to avoid these is to not use any integration by using ‘single platform’, or native, integration. Or at least, by primarily using single-platform integration.
Having a network of native solutions working together is the best way to ensure a streamlined and connected IT system. For the best results, you’ll definitely want core business functions like accounting and sales to be native Salesforce solutions. These reflect constantly changing variables that you must incessantly monitor in real-time.
When you do integrate to outside solutions, look for partner apps associated with native solutions. These partner apps have proven integrations that work with the Salesforce infrastructure. For example, native accounting solution Accounting Seed reliably connects with Avalara to provide customers with the top sales-tax management features.
As you build your Salesforce Platform, the connection is key, especially for financial management and decision making. On Salesforce, Accounting Seed is accounting without the strain of traditional integration. Schedule your free demo to learn how you can better your accounting for Salesforce.