Many high-tech businesses house data of various sorts in multiple cloud technologies, on-premise servers, databases and spreadsheets. This often presents a major challenge in effectively mining the data to dictate marketing plans or sales goals. Knowing this, many businesses are centering their system of record around a CRM platform, where that data can be used more efficiently.
In parts one and two of this series, we talked about the cost of implementing Salesforce, including a scalable and strong quote to cash software such as CPQ. Data integration, however, is a whole other ball game compared to implementation. So, what are the core differences? Why should your business integrate all of its data? How should your business prepare for that integration? What could your company do tomorrow vs. today with access to all pertinent data? And finally, how much would a project of this magnitude cost your organization to complete this effectively?
Implementing vs. integrating
Implementing is the process of adopting a new software platform for your business and adapting your business practices to the new platform through change management—Simplus’ Advisory Services is full of experienced consultants ready to take your organization through changes with ease. When a business’s IT team or a consulting company’s team, such as Simplus, stand up a new technology within the company network, that is implementing.
Integrating, on the other hand, is the process of marrying data from legacy systems to the new platform for them to “talk” effectively. Often a business wants to retain historical data and the system housing that data, but have the new investment pull information from it for customer-facing communications and campaigns, including sales strategies and forecasting. The company may very well want this to be bilateral or allow the legacy systems to draw data from the new technology, such as a CRM. According to Christian Tooley, Data Practice Director at Simplus, a proper integration strategy yields the following benefits:
- Detailed and relevant reports can be produced to guide accurate decision-making.
- Users can remain logged into one system to complete all of their tasks.
- Workflows are automated with simple points-and-clicks.
- Customer interactions can be tracked from the initial lead to opportunity, quote, order, possible shipment, and service.
- Systems have automatic checks and balances to ensure the same information is available. This eliminates duplicate and bad data.
- The end result of these benefits? Employees get more done and can respond to clients and all of their business functions much more quickly and efficiently.
Dejunking your legacy data
Now that you know how integration will be helpful to your organization, considerations leading up to this transformation to help you prepare are crucial. Data preparation is like spring cleaning: you clear out what you don’t require any longer so that you can start with a clean slate. Here are some tips for preparing your data sources
Want to keep reading? Download the complete ebook, The True Cost of Salesforce Integration in High-Tech, today!