Aim for simplicity: Make sure that if it’s going to take a lot of time to implement and maintain the integration, you are solving a real and ongoing problem, not just creating something that looks pretty on paper. Trying to daisy chain a string of applications together can absolutely solve a workflow problem if you know how to do it correctly, but the room for error and a huge amount of wasted time is also a reality. Some applications are purpose built to go together and have detailed integrations. You may be able to install them yourself, but there’s a possibility you may need help. For example, at SecureDocs, we integrated our CRM system with an electronic signature system so we could generate contracts quickly and get them signed seamlessly. The fine detail of making the integration work required some consultant input (not much, a couple of hours) and it was a great move, the integration has been flawless for the last 2 years.
Find Experts and Use them: Integrating with legacy apps could be a daunting and complicated task. Some of the common challenges are that legacy apps, by their very nature, contain a lot of historical data that may lack structure, certainly contain inaccuracies, possibly contain corruptions and are unlikely to use the same formats and protocols to mesh neatly with more modern applications you are looking to implement. I am guessing that there are situations where legacy applications simply have to be integrated with newer applications but it wouldn’t be something I would want take on without expert advice if we were looking at CRM, accounting or ERP type systems.
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