Many smaller businesses (and even larger ones) are caught up in a minefield of information silos. Recently I counted 9 different applications we’re using in our company. Yes, NINE! And none of them were integrating with one another.
Too Many Tools!
These are great tools and include – Buffer, LeadPages, Quickbooks. Zoho, Google Docs, Wix, Infusionsoft (now Keap), Stripe and TypeForm. But this also means 9 different payments, 9 different logins, 9 different systems to learn. This all means that the information is stored in 9 different databases.
Customers who pay, tracked via Quickbooks (or Freshbooks or another tool) can’t be properly marketed too through a sales tool like Zoho CRM (or Salesforce SMB Essentials or Keap).
Campaigns launched in Infusionsoft (or Hubspot or Salesforce or Wix CRM) work well but one can’t see in a unified fashion the financial side if the payments are received in another system.
Integrating Into 1 Solution
At Zoho Day, held at the end of January 2019, Sridhar Vembu, CEO and Founder of Zoho stressed the importance of one database to better serve customers.
In the past, Zoho has had a growing list of 40+ different tools for its customers, but with the launch of Zoho One, enabling one database and set of tools for marketing, financial and collaboration, Sridhar stressed the importance businesses having integrated applications.
Does this mean that services such as TypeForm, which specializes in feature-rich forms are going away? NO.
But this does mean that more and more companies, providing “point” solutions will be enabling more services to their core platforms. For example, Wix has been known as just a website creation company, but, it’s quickly moved into CRM and finance with Wix Ascend.
If you’re using a “point” solution and LOVE IT – keep it for now. Don’t rip it out and cause disruption in your business. However, test and see what parts of your business you can start to migrate to more unified solutions. You’ll see many companies increasingly making it easier to integrate your core finance, marketing and collaboration functions.
An integrated solution means you can get ONE view of the customer and your company’s overall operations and finances.
At ZohoDay we learned much more than the “speeds and feeds” of Zoho’s suite of applications but we also were refreshed about the culture of Zoho and what it’s all about. Sridhar’s opening presentation focused on two important things – educating young professionals without the need to go to college and why startups can thrive without going public and/or VC funding.