The Beginner’s Guide to Integrations

Attempting to analyze data from different applications and systems scattered throughout your organization can be difficult at best; at worst, it can lead to inaccurate data insights, lost time, and decreased productivity. But if you’re trying to use data to create a unified view of your customers and to improve their experiences, this can feel like an impossible task. 

The solution? Integration.We’re here to help you understand why.

What Is Integration?

Integration is all about making independent systems and applications work together seamlessly. For example, integration can enable a person working in one system to access related information about a customer stored in another system in a way that makes it appear that the data is all coming from the same place.

Why is Integration Important?

Integrations help businesses use their data more effectively by bringing together systems. Leveraging integrations can help your business:

  • Know Your Customers Better: Whether you’re in manufacturing, financial services or retail, every business is chasing the elusive 360-degree view of the customer. Integration is the engine that drives the Customer 360 view, allowing you to create great customer experiences, personalize your digital touch points, and achieve greater customer insights.
  • Access Data More Easily: With increased data accessibility, businesses can make data-driven decisions to drive towards their goals. 
  • Unite Siloed Departments: Integrations allow your team to share information more easily between departments, leading to better communications and increased productivity.
  • Avoid Duplication: Maintaining and analyzing duplicate customer profiles leads to longer timelines and decreased insight quality. Uniting these profiles can increase your team’s productivity.

Typical Integration Use Cases 

  • Data integration:
    • Data integrations share data between systems, either by providing data to one system that can only be found in the other, or by compiling data from multiple systems into a single repository for analytics and reporting. Data integrations physically move data between systems and usually run in batches at a prescheduled interval (once a day, once an hour, etc.).
  • Process Integration:
    • Process integrations share events, transactions and data between business process. This sharing happens in real or near-real time. Process integrations are often used to implement complex processes across multiple departments in an organization.
  • B2B integration:
    • B2B businesses can benefit from integrations that automate processes and communication between the business and its vendors, suppliers, partners and customers. Think of B2B integrations like process integrations that connect different organizations, not just different departments.
  • IoT integration:
    • Integrating the internet of things (IoT) means making IoT devices, data, platforms and applications work well together. Connecting IT assets like SaaS, business applications, and legacy data allows business to implement end-to-end IoT business solutions. An IoT integration is a type of process or data integration specific to IoT, where the focus is on streaming and event-driven architecture.

How Mulesoft Can Help You With Your Integration Needs

Mulesoft is the company that created the Mulesoft Anypoint Platform, a Gartner-leading enterprise integration platform. The name Mulesoft alludes to the “donkey work” of data integration, which the Anypoint platform was created to make easier.

While there are many integration platforms to choose from, Mulesoft Anypoint distinguishes itself from competitors in a few key ways. Tactical integrators are focused on delivering fast point-to-point integrations that are easy for users with little technical logic to create; however, these integrations are difficult to manage and reuse, leading to duplicated effort. Mulsoft’s more strategic approach is focused on reuse, leading to increased internal productivity. API specialists, another type of integrator, offer only API management capabilities, not integration development capabilities. Mulesoft Anypoint offers both. And while piecemeal platforms – typically acquired subsidiaries that have different user experiences and don’t work well together – can get the job done, Mulesoft Anypoint was built from the ground up as a unified platform.

What can Integrations Do For My Business?

CSA Group
One of the largest standards development organizations in North America, CSA Group knew they needed to improve their customer experiences to achieve their business goals. They had revised the complex product and pricing structure of their subscription and one-time purchase products, and needed a storefront that could support the various purchase options and bundles. They also needed to improve their after-purchase experience, making it easier for clients to access the content they purchased and manage content access to individuals within the buying organization.

Avionos provided one cohesive experience for multiple customer personas. To do so we leveraged Mulesoft in multiple ways, including:

  • Integrating the CSA site with a search engine for simplified search capabilities
  • Integrating the entitlement engine on Salesforce with the new Digital Rights Management engine to allow users to assign access permissions
  • Integrating the financial transactions with CSA’s ERP system

After launch, CSA Group saw over 50% increase in online revenue, 33% increase in conversions, 49% decrease in bounce rate and 24% increase in average order value.

Merz Pharmaceuticals
Merz Pharmaceuticals, which sells pharmaceuticals and medical devices, was using Salesforce Commerce Cloud for its digital commerce platform. But managing sales with HCPs, aestheticians, and other medical professional meant they needed increased B2B functionality for its complex buyers’ requirements. They also sought to modernize enterprise integration capabilities so they could re-use integrations and develop new capabilities faster.

Avionos led the analysis, architecture, design and implementation of the initial integrations between Mulesoft and Salesforce B2B Commerce. This enabled an API-led set of experience, process, and system APIs that can be reused, extended and expanded to multiple systems and experiences as they deploy globally.

How Do I Get Started? 

Ready to start your integration journey, but not sure where to start? Mulesoft-certified architects at Avionos are here to help. Get started by contacting us here

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