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Data Integration Platforms: FAQ about CRM-ERP Systems Connection

Why Do Enterprises Need ERP-CRM System Integration?

First, let’s define the term “data integration.” It is the technical and business process of data consolidation between multiple sources into a single database to provide consistent access to data across departments and a single view of customers. The value data integration can bring to companies cannot be underestimated since it fosters business management and customer data. With data integration, your enterprise will get robust reporting, enhanced analytics, and improved strategic decision-making leading to strengthened business intelligence.

What are the main benefits of ERP-CRM data integration?

While ERP systems are focused on the enhancement of backend corporate data (finance, manufacturing, logistics operations, etc.), CRM systems, such as Salesforce, improve efficiency and customer loyalty due to data enrichment and real-time data delivery. The main benefits are as follows:

     Redundancy of manual inefficiencies

     Data quality enhancement

     More accurate predictions

     Complete visibility of customers

     Streamlined workflows

     Employees efficiency increase

     Marketing efforts facilitation

     Robust reposting and advanced analytics

Who can benefit from ERP-CRM data integration?

1.    Salespeople. With data consolidated in one centralized system, sales reps have a total view of their customers’ journeys. Having all real-time information at their fingertips, they can provide more advanced solutions, product-demand forecasts, and improve overall sales performance.

2.    Administrators. With the elimination of data entries, all business processes are carried out faster and in a more optimized matter, so that there is no headache for administrators to handle a multitude of data points and suffer from inefficiencies that manual data can cause.

3.    Manufacturers. Data integration empowers shop-floor employees to get access to prompt information from the CRM system that is reflected in their own system, which leads to faster and more accurate decisions. For example, having data regarding the shipping dates, manufacturers can better prioritize plans for production.

4.    Customers. When you have data combined from various touchpoints, you get a 360-degree view of customers; thereby, these insights enable you to understand your customers better and provide them more effective solutions than before. 

How is the transferred data displayed?

Let’s imagine you’re going to transfer data of sales history from your ERP system to the CRM system. The curious thing here is how this data is displayed, and how the users will feel while navigating through functionalities? Data integration platforms such as RapidiOnline are purposely designed in such a way to remain the same feel and look of your systems. Therefore, there will be no inconvenience for employees to adopt the new system. Moreover, after integration, data is available immediately so that sales teams will be happy to leverage it for successful campaigns.

What will happen if an error occurs during data integration?

It is essential to be prepared for data integration and to estimate potential errors that can occur during the process. That’s why utilizing the best integration tools will help you identify and avoid these issues. Data integration platforms are able to handle errors properly thanks to integration templates that include required data mappings and migrations between standard fields. In addition, such platforms provide a log that contains data about all transfers that can be preventative for future errors.

Why is it so essential to transfer only high-quality data?

The quality of data defines the ultimate success of your data integration project. Without a thorough approach toward data cleansing, integration between systems can lead to a fiasco. Valuable integration is possible only if you deliver valuable, cleaned, and accurate data. For this purpose, you may need to spend a significant amount of time in order to elaborate long-term strategy for data quality and its integrity maintenance.

What are the most common pitfalls when integrating data?

1.    Cost. The cost of your data integration project will depend on the solution you choose. For example, the development of custom integration from scratch may appear as a cheaper solution to start with, but the maintenance cost might be very high. As your business grows, and as time passes,  you might need to upgrade your systems, which could be challenging for a custom integration solution. Usually, integration platforms have extended functionality and pre-configured integration templates that can save up a significant part of your budget when your business scales.

2.    Customization. Often businesses choose customized solutions to get out-of-the-box applications that can completely meet their goals and needs. But you have to realize that custom modules and features need more support and development efforts; consequently, it will be negatively reflected on your budget. A bit of good advice: whenever possible, limit customization.

Does data integration need additional code changes?

Not necessarily. Compared with a custom-developed integration interface, ready-made integration platforms with flexible and robust frameworks don’t require any code changes, even when upgrading.

How to know how often, and in what order I should transfer the data?

In order not to create unnecessary overload to the system, you need to define your business requirements first and align the transfer sequence according to them. With data integration platforms, you obtain flexibility when scheduling transfers. Since there is a data hierarchy, you need to start building the sequence of transfers at the lowest level.

How long will the CRM and ERP integration take?

It very much depends on the data integration you choose. On average, with a solution like RapidiOnline, data integration projects might take just a few days, but it depends of course on the scope and additional customizations.

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