Integration is a Crucial Part of Software Evaluation
We’ve all been there. Sitting on the edge of our seats, waiting for a launch of technology we are excited about to get new leads, store information better, or open up new avenues of communication. We are ready…but then, something happens: It won’t work.
Of course, it does what it was meant to do originally, the basic task you had in mind but it doesn’t really meet the requirements you set forth in planning for this new technology. You were assured that it was going to work but all of a sudden, it doesn’t work the way you need it to.
If you work in business, you’ve been there and sadly, this scenario is more common when it comes to key business technology and SaaS like CRMs that need to integrate with marketing automation platforms and more. Your software should integrate with each other—we live in a connected world and connecting technologies is a requirement, not a luxury or nice to have. We often invest in technology for its integration capabilities, to maximize its internal contribution and role. Because of this, integration is a key capability of any software product that you buy and should be evaluated.
If your new technology won’t integrate, then you might be faced with the following options:
- Find a vendor that does integrate
- Find a partner to your current vendor to do the integration for you
- Find a third-party vendor to do your integration
- Create your own internal workaround
- Work with your current vendor to get the integration
- Live without the integration
What solution is best for you depends on your internal factors such as technological and hardware investments, the investment of time, and the flexibility of the budget. If you’re like most companies, you figure out this balance before you buy technology. You have a budget and a set of requirements. It’s crucial to make sure that integration is a key part of those requirements otherwise you may not find you have what you’ve asked for.
Evaluating a Vendor Based on Integration
When you’re evaluating a business vendor for software, it’s important to ask questions like what other technology they integrate with. Some items are built into the software, others are always added at an additional cost, and some vendors have a mix of both. Chances are though, the vendor is expecting you to ask what they integrate with, if they are blindsided by the question, it might be time to look at alternatives.
Important questions to ask include:
- What native applications integrate with this product?
- What other applications do you support via partners?
- Do you offer free integrations?
- What technology is the platform built on?
- Who are your preferred vendors for third-party integrations?
- What plans are in the roadmap to increase the number of integrations you currently have?
Asking these questions can provide key details and unlock new avenues of conversation in the discovery and evaluation stage. They need to be asked especially when it comes to software integration.
In a world of consumer choice, vendors have no option but to allow integrations in order to survive and it’s one of the reasons that we launched Sugar Integrate—we would, of course, love for you to have our complete CX suite but we know that sometimes that just isn’t an option and your technology has to work for your business. At the end of the day, it’s about our customers and their needs, not just Sugar’s and while new technology is good business, it has to serve our customers. Question is, how is your current vendor keeping your needs first?