Many businesses use off the shelf software for some of their common needs. Often people will have an accounting package, a sales package and a business-specialty package that they’ve purchased from 3rd party vendors. Connecting those packages to work with one another can be a tricky path. Often the 3rd party vendor has little interest in creating integrations with the other software packages. But if it’s going to help you, it may be in your interest to have an integration built.
As with everything in your business, you need to consider the costs and benefits. Integrations can be quite expensive, and if you don’t have much data coming through your system, it might not be worth it. For companies with a larger volume of data you might find that your people are spending too much time going back and forth between systems. Let’s say you have an inventory system separate from your accounting system. Imagine your clerk has to enter the same information twice, once into each system every time a sale is completed. You might be able to save .5hrs of each person’s day by creating an integration. If you have 16 sales clerks, that’s 1 person’s full day of work devoted to operating your “human integration”. If you had a system integration built that costs 30,000 to create and 10,000 per year to maintain, that would definitely be worth it. But if you only had 3 sales clerks, it might not be worth it for you.
Integration is a bit of a mine field, I will tell you that. Sometimes vendors will make sweeping changes to their systems which require an update to your integration - and that’s why in my example I budgeted 10,000 per year to maintain the integration. Most times however, enterprise software companies will maintain some form of backward compatibility or at least an easy upgrade path. Like anything you’ll need to weigh the cost and benefit of creating the integration even with the maintenance that could be required. If you aren’t sure what an integration might cost, chat with us, we’d be happy to give you a ball park so you know what you’re up against.
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