The way we manage business operations is changing fast. Although many companies are still struggling to manage data in disconnected systems, the most effective organizations are using technology to create connections. These are:
- Between their teams
- With their customers
- With their data
With these connections in place, you put your business in the best position to collaborate, deliver consistent customer experiences, fix data silos, and thrive.
In fact, over 80% of enterprise operations leaders say data integration is critical to ongoing operations.
The best way to get results from data integration? With an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS).
What is iPaaS?
iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) is a cloud-based solution to connect and integrate your business apps, so you can automatically share data between apps and keep your data updated across multiple tools.
Rather than trying to stay on top of lots of different tools and databases, iPaaS offers centralized management in one place for a more simple and reliable solution.
Benefits of iPaaS
1. Less Complexity
iPaaS is a low-code or zero-code solution, which means that you won't need highly-skilled specialists or custom API connections to integrate your data.
When you implement an iPaaS solution, the vendor has already done all the hard work for you in developing the technical side of the integrations. All you need to do is create an account, configure your connections in the way that best suits your business, and start syncing.
Integrations also enable you to do more with a simpler SaaS stack and have less need for in-house IT teams to manage complex systems.
2. Up-to-Date Data Everywhere
Without iPaaS in your business, it's all too common to have these scenarios play out:
- A customer starts a conversation via your live chat and your team has no idea who they are because they can't find their contact record.
- Your marketing team sends a 50% discount offer to a brand new customer who's just paid full price (ouch).
- Your reporting dashboard always comes with the proviso that "this might not be accurate because it's from app X."
iPaaS solves these problems by creating an up-to-date view of your data in every app. Whenever something changes in one app, it's reflected in the other synced apps.
Let's say you sync all contacts in your CRM that have the label 'Customer' with your email marketing platform and add them to a dedicated email list for customers.
If a customer churns and their label changes to 'Unsubscribed,' this will instantly be reflected in your email marketing apps and they will no longer receive customer communications.
3. Getting More From Your Tech Stack
iPaaS enables your SaaS apps to talk to each other and exchange data, so you can get more from each app.
For instance, you can connect your customer support app with your CRM for a 360-degree overview of customer data that enables your team to solve tickets faster and more effectively.
4. Fix and Remove Data Silos
Another problem that iPaaS fixes are data silos. Wondering what a data silo is?
A data silo is a collection of data that one department has access to but others do not. This can reduce transparency, efficiency, and trust within the organization and hinder business performance. Data silos also drain your resources as you pay for extra data storage and the cost of inefficiency.
By eliminating data silos, you break down barriers between departments and create a culture of transparency and collaboration. Instead of wrangling with data that's difficult to access and scattered between tools, everyone in your company can find key insights and numbers and collaborate effectively.
With iPaaS, you can also remove duplicate contacts and optimize data flows between teams. This leads to better alignment between different teams.
5. More Reliable Data
Rather than looking at siloed databases in every app, iPaaS enables you to treat your data holistically and create the strongest overall database. It becomes simpler to prioritize and sync the data that you need while cleaning up the rest. This means more accurate data in every app.
6. Centralized Contact Data
All businesses can benefit from having a centralized contact database that offers a reliable overview of all leads and customers. Usually, this centralized database is your CRM.
However, to get the most comprehensive and up-to-date view of your contact data, you should connect data between your CRM and other key business apps that store customer data, such as:
- Email Marketing App
- Customer Support Software
- Invoicing Systems
By syncing your CRM with other important apps, you can enrich the data on every contact record and create the most valuable and efficient directory of your contacts.
When done well, salespeople can get a full view of a new lead's journey with your business, including interactions with marketing. Customer support reps can similarly consult your CRM to best understand a customer's history when they submit an inquiry.
7. Stronger Internal Communication
According to Zendesk, more than 70% of customers expect companies to collaborate on their behalf.
With an iPaaS tool to keep everything in sync, every team and role has a clearer view of how the company is performing in different areas.
Your salespeople will know your marketing numbers, while your marketing team can stay on top of sales performance. By looking at integrated and reliable data, every team member can contribute new perspectives and notice problems that might otherwise be overlooked.
8. Less Tool-Switching
An integration platform enables you to get more done in your main app and quickly find the data you need. You won't need to hunt down separate pieces of information across multiple apps, because your iPaaS tool will have automatically connected all the data between those apps.
iPaaS also eliminates the need to manually update several apps with the same data. When something changes in one tool, like a subscription status or email address, it's instantly reflected in others.
9. Better Automation Workflows
51% of email marketers say data integration is the biggest obstacle to personalization. In order to implement stronger sales and marketing automation, your team needs in-depth and up-to-date data insights to create relevant customer segments and deliver personalized messaging. iPaaS instantly delivers this data in the right apps to enrich your automation flows.
10. Improve Customer Experience
Nearly 80% of customers expect consistency when interacting with multiple departments of the same company. For this to happen, all departments need access to the same data.
By syncing your customer support systems to your other tools – including your CRM, billing system, and phone apps – you create a centralized database with enriched data for every contact. This means that anyone who answers a customer support inquiry can quickly understand the full picture and provide the best service based on previous interactions.
11. Enhance Cost Efficiency
iPaaS is highly cost-effective, removing the need to recruit developers to create complex APIs and integrations. iPaaS is in the cloud and subscription-based, so you also don't need to invest in expensive on-premise hardware that requires ongoing manual maintenance.
12. A Clear Overview of Performance
Data reporting requires clean, up-to-date, and integrated data from all channels. This is another place where iPaaS steps in.
After centralizing all data, such as in your CRM, it becomes much easier to set up an all-in-one reporting dashboard for management to keep an eye on key insights and trends.
13. Increase Security and Compliance
iPaaS systems give you much more control over your data. This means a clearer view of the data your organization holds in every app and increases your scope for keeping it clean, secure, and compliant with regulations like GDPR.
14. Manage Integrations in One Place
In a pre-iPaaS world, your business would be left managing multiple integrations with different setups and rules. But with iPaaS, you can manage all integrations on one centralized platform to know exactly what's running and what needs optimizing.
15. Reduce Time Spent on Manual Tasks
By increasing collaboration between teams, reducing time spent on manual tasks, and increasing data accessibility, one of the top benefits of iPaaS is improving performance across the board. Every team member can work more effectively in their role and reduce time spent on busywork that doesn't bring value.
16. Optimize Scalability
The sooner you set up iPaaS, the better. It's an incredibly effective way to future-proof your business operations by making your organization more agile and enabling your SaaS systems to easily scale.
When you start using a new tool or migrate apps, you can easily slot the new addition in with the rest of your tech stack and sync all data to the correct places.