There are all sorts of business developments between companies, joint ventures, co-marketing initiatives and so much more. However, one of the most exciting partnerships that happens is when companies blend two or more services together to make it easier for customers.
Microsoft Office is probably the best known software for integration. Its Office suite, including Outlook is integrated with hundreds (probably thousands) of different programs.
QuickBooks is another software into which hundreds (or more) 3rd party programs are integrated. From scanning software, sales applications, marketing tools and so much more, hundreds of companies ensure their services are “QuickBooks compatible”.
Beyond traditional software, I find most exciting what more and more companies are doing to seamlessly and easily integrate their applications.
The grand daddys of integration in the online world are Facebook, Twitter, Salesforce.com, Google’s tools, Zoho.com and others. For example, TweetDeck enables you to update your Twitter and Facebook status at the same time, in addition to other features.
TimeBridge (which helps groups of professionals automatically coordinate their calendars) is integrated with Box.net to enable people in meetings to quickly share documents using Box.net.
This new feature allows TimeBridge users to upload, share, and collaborate on critical meeting documents. As documents are revised, organizers and attendees can make sure they walk into meetings prepared to discuss, decide, and act—making meetings a better use of time for everyone.
What does this mean to you?
As you use applications, whether free ones you find online or fee based ones that your development team is behind, ensure you can integrate two or more applications to make the pieces better than the whole.
Maybe you have a powerful sales program. Why not integrate it with your email marketing and CRM software to enable each to be more powerful than they could be together?