Have you ever tried integrating data from a 3rd party application into Salesforce to give your B2B team a 360-degree view of your customers? If the answer is yes, we can guess it had most likely involved purchasing an extension of Salesforce with a third-party application (via the AppExchange) or by creating a custom application.
But what if there’s no AppExchange listing for your specific needs? Wouldn’t it be great if you could still hook that system to your Salesforce ecosystem and benefit from seeing that additional data?
The Value of Integration
Why bother with Salesforce community when you have a system that works great on its own? Before we give you some advice, let’s first underline the value of integrating your legacy system’s data with Salesforce. After all, if you don’t get buy-in from management or the team of business, your project will not get out of track.
- A 360-degree view of customers for the B2B team. This should result in higher revenue and happier customers.
- A decrease in the time that consultants spend proactively updating the B2B team on the outstanding support tickets. This will allow consultants to allocate themselves on external, billable projects, rather than focusing on internal initiatives.
- An increase in the productivity of the support/development team. The integration will automatically handle moving compulsory data into Salesforce, so the team won’t need to get involved.
- With all of the above, the management team will be able to see an increase in revenue and a decrease in operational costs.
Your list might look a little different, but the reality is that Salesforce quickly becomes the central piece of software (or “no software” to be precise) inside business units, and data tends to gravitate to it. Users of Salesforce demand higher reach and more visibility from within the comfort of the familiar Salesforce interface.
As the proverb goes, “With ease come difficulties.” This fits perfectly here. Through integration with Salesforce provides enormous benefits, there still exist a few challenges that are needed to be addressed. Let’s take a look at them.
· API Specifics
One of the questions you must ask yourself before performing integration is ‘what are the specifics of the legacy app’s API?’ You need to consider the type of the API, authentication method used, and format of data interaction. Don’t forget to consider whether the API of the legacy application is going to get changed.
·Different Technology Stacks
Software systems may be built using a different combination of technologies than Salesforce. In this case, integration might require customizing the legacy application’s infrastructure, which is time-consuming and expensive. In many cases, finding an alternative proves to be more cost-efficient.
For most companies, security is crucial. Though some naysayers had been doubtful about whether the cloud is a safe location to store sensitive customer data, at this point of time it is clear that such considerations are ungrounded. And, an in-house server might be much riskier to store critical data on, or otherwise too expensive to secure and maintain properly.
On the other hand, when combining a legacy system with the CRM, you might find out that the solution’s API security is not compliant with your company’s privacy policies. Customizing the application before integrating it with Salesforce can sometimes be very costly, which again will make you consider an alternate option.
·Complex Integration Projects
Some businesses need to integrate many legacy applications or their entire infrastructure with Salesforce. In this case, it becomes important for each app to be integrated. The integration scenario is much different for each app and requires its own unique approach.
· Low User Adoption
This is not handled during the integration process but rather right afterward. Getting used to new and better things, however great they are, may be tough, and some companies might find their users still sharing data from the CRM to the legacy system manually. So, to make sure your team takes advantage of the integration, provide user documentation and organize manual training sessions.
Another integration scenario is when a company has already invested money and effort in adopting software for some of its processes and doesn’t want to invest further on finding a solution, subscribing to it, and teaching employees how to use the new application.
Here, a more efficient solution would be to combine the legacy system in Salesforce. So, at one point or another, most companies using Salesforce will feel the need to utilize third-party integration. There are plenty of things to consider when setting out on this task.
Why Is It Important?
While Salesforce is worth utilizing just to put day-to-day activities in order and raise organizational efficiency, the main benefits of business automation are seen when a company starts to operate larger volumes of CRM-specific information to enhance decision-making. Also, companies often need to customize the platform to be able to import, export, and process large datasets, or just migrate crucial intelligence from some other storage to the CRM.
As you can see, there are plenty of decisions and tasks that must happen in order for you to be able to integrate your legacy data into Salesforce. Learn how to design, implement, secure, govern and publish an API to make it easy to access your Legacy application from Salesforce. Finally, see two ways to leverage these new APIs from a Salesforce Application and connect your Salesforce application to that legacy system.