When Salesforce debuted in 1999, it triggered a ‘Big Bang’ in the CRM universe. Salesforce has radically transformed how software is delivered and used.
And years later, this ‘Big Bang’ has resulted in a transformation in the enterprise app ecosystem; it’s now much more diverse and complex.
As an effective CRM solution, Salesforce improves the sales operations of enterprises and its wide array of innovative products and services make it a complete package.
Yet, Salesforce isn’t the only arrow in an organization’s quiver. Most organizations use lots of legacy and on-premise systems that are packed with important data. In addition, companies are constantly bringing new apps, data, and devices on board to optimize their operations across the organizations.
Ultimately, businesses need a way to bring all types of SaaS, cloud, and on-premise apps, data, and devices together in a seamless and scalable manner.
That’s where digital connectivity, or integration, chimes in.
How Does Salesforce Integration Help?
When you integrate Salesforce with other legacy systems on your tech stack, you can significantly enhance how you run your business operations, support customers, and provide products and services to your audience.
You can easily integrate your Salesforce with many other tools that you need to run your business and get more value out of your data.
So, to increase your organization’s competitive edge, Salesforce integration can be the ace up your sleeve.
Let’s dive more into the need for integrating Salesforce with other systems, its benefits, and what other Salesforce integrations we can see in the future.
Disparate Systems and Data Silos – The ‘Real’ Challenges for Modern Organizations
Organizations are constantly adding new technologies to their arsenal so that they can enhance everything their organization already does. However, each department in an organization may act independently, but if systems aren’t connected with other departments, this can create data silos. And pursuing initiatives in a siloed organization can never yield desired results.
According to recent research conducted by Salesforce, leaders of 57% of businesses state[i] that CRM is segregated, with many, or all departments that have their own CRM.
Your team’s productivity, especially when it comes to digital transformation initiatives, depends on how well your data is integrated across the myriad of tools, platforms, and apps being used in your organization.
According to a report by MuleSoft, integration challenges are decelerating digital transformation initiatives for almost 85% of IT organizations[ii]. Another report by MuleSoft suggests that 89% of IT leaders[iii] report that silos negatively impact their organization’s digital transformation initiatives.
Data silos are a confirmation that an organization has not integrated its data, and thus, their teams face business challenges.
Ultimately, it raises the need for businesses to integrate disparate systems to make each one much more useful since it allows the strengths of one system to complement the strengths of others. Your whole suite of systems becomes equipped to create seamless digital processes that lead to better business benefits.
The Benefits of Salesforce Integration
Salesforce has a plethora of built-in integrations that can help you expand the capabilities of your organization effectively. And even if you’re on the hunt to expand it to 3rd party applications, Salesforce is flexible enough to do that with its wide variety of connectors and applications developed by independent ISVs.
Let’s understand the benefits of Integrating Salesforce with other systems:
1. Single Source of Truth: With effortless access to all data, your employees won’t have to undertake the hassle of switching between systems to access the information they need.
2. Eliminate Tedious Manual Work: Manual tasks like maintaining multiple sheets or copying and pasting data to ensure it appears in all systems can get tedious and lead to mistakes. With integrated systems, you have automated checks to ensure they have the same information, and time spent duplicating data gets eliminated.
3. Improved Decision Making: When systems are integrated, it allows easy access to data. The more data you have in your hand, you can convert it into meaningful information to make better decisions.
4. Communicate Seamlessly: When teams work on disparate systems, data silos are bound to occur. However, when systems are integrated, it allows each team to work in the system they prefer, all while streamlining communications, improving visibility, and promoting better information sharing.
How Do You Choose a Salesforce Integration Tool?
No matter how productive you and your teams are, there is always room to improve and become more efficient. And the ideal way to do so is by integrating Salesforce with complementary tools that amplify its prowess.
Integration usually caters to different layers, depending on the requirement. By now, you probably know the benefits of system synergy, so, let’s focus on how you can choose a Salesforce integration tool that fits you best.
While selecting a Salesforce integration tool, there are many factors that must be considered, like the size of the sales team, IT resources, budget, scale of integration, Salesforce strategy, sales methods, etc.
The right Salesforce integration tool for you depends on the number of systems to integrate, their specifics, as well as the number of integration levels to cover.
Selection Based on Levels
You must explore different integration levels because the choice of selecting a tool should depend upon the integration levels to be covered.
There are 4 integration levels:
2 basic (data and process integration)
2 additional (security and user interface integration)
And the additional ones that often accompany one of the basic levels.
Let’s take a look at the 4 integration levels so that you can choose the right integration tool.
1. Data Integration
Data integration is about ensuring that the integrated systems exchange information instantly and on-demand. Through this, you can achieve data consistency and better team efficiency.
2. Process Integration
Process integration is about establishing a connection between apps and systems at the workflow level to execute end-to-end business processes. Any related integration scenario will require a robust solution to orchestrate interactions between systems, deliver reports, and manage processes.
3. Security Integration
Security integration is about blending different authentication mechanisms to deliver a better user experience and minimize administration.
4. User interface (UI) Integration
UI integration is about combining the UIs of two or more systems. With this integration, users get a single point of entry into multiple applications, and thus, this way it enhances the user experience.
Salesforce + MuleSoft – Better Together
In 2018, Salesforce completed its acquisition of MuleSoft. This was a great move for businesses that didn’t formalize digital transformation processes. Most enterprises find it tricky to tackle the complexity in integrating legacy infrastructure, automating manual processes, and managing data growth.
With MuleSoft, you get the ability to integrate multiple systems and apps, which means, you can communicate between applications and services via integration.
MuleSoft offers you the ability to create APIs so that you can connect to any system, application, and data source, thus, making it easier for Salesforce users to access data in real-time across systems, be it cloud or on-premise, and get a unified view of customers on a single platform.
Now with the power of Salesforce and MuleSoft combined, you can accelerate your digital transformation, unify systems together for comprehensive insights, make decisions faster, and deliver connected experiences to your customers.
Salesforce’s New Integrations for a Digital-First World
Customers expect connected experiences, based on the information they share at various touchpoints. However, if data resides across systems, you can’t get insights into past interactions to deliver truly connected experiences that your customers expect.
To deliver such data-driven, personalized experiences, Salesforce is constantly working on advancing its capabilities to enable organizations to succeed in a hybrid world.
Soon after Salesforce’s acquisition of Slack was officially closed, the company unveiled an initial set of integrations for a powerful digital ecosystem.
- Slack-First Sales – To enable sales teams to collaborate on customer deals in real-time from anywhere and to monitor and manage pipeline health directly within Slack.
- Slack-First Marketing – To enable marketing teams to collaborate on customer journeys quickly.
- Slack-First Service – To make it easier for support teams to cross-collaborate and deliver real-time support to the customers.
- Slack-First Analytics – To enable data-driven business decisions, Slack and Tableau ensure better visibility of analytics across the organization.
These pre-built integrations between Slack and Salesforce will help teams to streamline workflows around CRM data and have a unified source of truth for their business. These will be generally available by Summer 2022.
And to help teams across organizational boundaries embrace this hybrid world, now they’ve revealed more Slack innovations that improve collaboration across teams and industries.
- Slack-First Commerce – To enable teams to gain a better understanding of their business, tackle changing trends, and connect with their customers and colleagues.
- Slack-First Digital Experiences – To help companies deliver personalized digital experiences quickly and engage more customers.
- Slack-First Platform – To enable admins and developers to create and deploy apps faster with low-code tools.
- Slack-First Trailhead – To make the learning platform more accessible, you can now search for learning material directly within Slack.
- Slack-First Analytics – To provide teams with in-depth meaningful insights to make faster and smarter decisions.
- Slack-First Integration With Mulesoft – With this, you can integrate numerous business apps directly into Slack, thus, eliminating the need for your teams to switch between multiple systems.
- Slack-First Quips – This enables your sales teams to work in alignment in a single digital workspace and achieve a single view of the customers.
For Every Industry:
- Slack-First Sustainability – To enable organizations to coordinate with their suppliers with ease when they need to get investor-grade scope 3 reporting and to reduce carbon emissions.
- Slack-First Corporate and Investment Banking – To help bankers streamline communication and collaborate with team members about account information in the Slack channel.
- Slack-First Healthcare and Life Sciences – To provide one integrated platform to manage employee engagement and streamline knowledge sharing.
- Slack-First Philanthropy – To enable employees to donate, volunteer, and share their activity directly within Slack.
- Slack-First Non-profit – To ensure non-profit organizations have a unified platform that helps them collaborate with their community easily.
- Slack-First Education – To enable educational institutions to create connected experiences by ensuring faculty, staff, and students are aligned.
These integrations will be out in Summer ‘22.
- Salesforce CMS Integration for Slack – To enable alerts for key teams to know when new content is published and plan how to distribute content to maximize return. This is bound to be out in Spring ‘22.
What to Expect From Salesforce in the Integration Space in the Future?
These integrations between different products vary in breadth and depth. They highlight Salesforce’s focus on integrating products and its determination to make it easy for teams to break down silos.
And we can expect to see more Salesforce integrations across clouds.
The enterprise ecosystem will continue to grow and so will the need for brands to integrate multiple systems together. And Salesforce is making sure that you can easily integrate it with the apps you already use. From productivity to service to collaboration and beyond, you can count on Salesforce.
In the near future, more and more enterprises will increasingly integrate technology suites in favor of ‘best-of-breed’ solutions that best suit their strategies, even if their strategies change quickly. Salesforce, with its forward-thinking approach backed by a visionary leader, is constantly making sure it stays ahead of the curve and enables its customers to grow in a scalable manner.
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