In an ideal world, all your company’s software solutions would be able to easily share information. If you needed an important detail about a customer’s purchasing history while working in your customer relationship management (CRM) platform, it would be simple to call it up from your enterprise resource planning (ERP). Within a few clicks, everything you need would be right there.
But in the real world, software integration tends to be a little messy. It can take a lot of work to get two unrelated business programs to talk to one another, much less reliably share their data.
Meanwhile, it’s never been more important for business software to make these essential connections. Overall, the more efficiently these systems work together, the better it is for your company’s bottom line.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at five software integration trends that have become increasingly important for all types of businesses. Here they are:
- Cloud ERP with CRM
Cloud ERP solutions aim at combining the flexibility and cost-savings of self-hosted software with the reliability, security and access of the cloud. This solution can be powerful for the right business.
While a Cloud ERP is typically known as your “back-office,” the trend has shifted towards an integrated ERP platform with CRM. By integrating a CRM solution with a Cloud ERP, your company can gain a 360-degree view of your entire operation.
- Social Media and Digital Marketing Integrations
It’s no secret that today’s sales teams increasingly rely on social media and online marketing to effectively do their jobs. Unfortunately, most older CRM solutions weren’t built with social media and digital marketing in mind.
Today, sales professionals rely on external tools. This outcome isn’t ideal, as it tends to make the CRM itself less useful. Unsurprisingly, CRM integrations for both digital marketing platforms and social media are now on the rise.
- IoT Integrations
To many people, the Internet of Things (IoT) still seems like a science-fiction dream. But for some industries, it’s reality.
IoT technology has created a world where warehouse shelves can run inventories on their own, and every machine on a factory floor can give instant updates about their own efficiency. This information is useful for integrating ERP with CRM, and it allows managers to gain real-time insights while they improve demand forecasting and other long-term projections.
- AI Integration
From a customer-service perspective, so-called “conversational AI” has the potential to be a total game changer.
Most of the support calls your company receives probably don’t require the involvement of a real, live human being. Customers usually have routine problems that could easily be solved through an automated system, or even by looking up the solution on your website. But when something goes wrong, most people prefer to talk to another human being about it. This tendency involves having an expensive human being on the other end of the line, even for the most mundane support issues.
If only there was a way for your customers to talk to an automated system in a more organic way. That’s where conversational AI comes in: using natural language-processing to create virtual assistants that are almost as good at their jobs as real, live people. Customer service integrations are just the beginning for this advanced AI. This technology is just scratching the surface of its usefulness in business.
One of the most frustrating things about investing in CRM or other business technology solutions is realizing that your employees just aren’t interested in using it. They don’t see the long-term benefits, such as the boost to efficiency. They just see more work.
But what if there was a way to make this entire learning process more engaging? Or even kind of fun? That’s what gamification is all about. By using game-like mechanics (such as competitions, leaderboards, badges, and prizes), you truly turn your CRM into an employee-motivation engine.
Don’t get behind on software integration trends. To learn more about the ways your company can benefit from the right software integrations, contact FayeBSG for a free consultation.