Minimize your data integration issues

Posted by Henning Lund on Wed, Aug 24, 2016

I’m currently working on a new data integration handbook for companies wanting to integrate ERP and CRM, for example Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. One of the sections is about how you can make your systems more robust by utilizing a data integration platform instead of custom-build interfaces. It has inspired me to share some findings around something that is often neglected early in data integrations projects, namely how to handle errors.

One of the biggest challenges when you are transferring data from one system to another is to have full transparency on the data transfers. When companies build their own custom interface, they often forget to consider what happens when an error occurs. And then, when an error does happen (because it always does), then they have typically just planned for the system to display a message stating that the file won’t load. Sometimes your systems might provide you with some additional guidance in regards to what went wrong. But then it is up to you to figure out how to solve the problem, and more importantly, you also have to figure out how to bring back both systems in sync. It is not a major problem if you only sync a few fields from one table, but say that you are transferring all information related to a customer or an order… then the task is somewhat bigger and much more time consuming!

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Tags: Data Integration, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics

3 easy steps to plan your data integration project

Posted by Henning Lund on Thu, Aug 18, 2016

What is data integration?

In reality, data integration is just another word for integrating systems. The main task of data integration is to secure a flow of data between different systems (for example an ERP system and a CRM system), each system dealing with the data with whatever business logic that is built into them. Very often, data integration transfers operational data from one system to the other, for example: Customers, Contacts, Items, Quotes, Orders, Invoices or Sales history.

But the scope of data integration can also include other types of data, for example either traditional master data (such as posting groups and other metadata that secure a consistent system setup and reporting) or it can basically be any table or field that you choose to map between the different systems. In reality, there are no limits to which data that can be relevant for data integration, it only depends on your system landscape and the business processes you are following.

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Tags: Data Integration, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics

Top challenges of data integration projects

Posted by Henning Lund on Thu, Aug 11, 2016

Collecting, integrating and analyzing data can give enterprises the full picture of business performance, trends and the visibility they need to understand business patterns and take corrective actions. However, the relevant data does not always make it to the mission critical systems that need and require it. In most companies, systems are implemented to collect data, for example CRM systems gather customer and sales information while ERP system have a stronger focus on accounting and financial information. Without integration between these quite complementary systems, companies only create silos of information and the data collected does not add much value. It is vital for companies using several systems to ensure that data makes it to where it needs to be and that data can be represented, changed or transformed as business requires it.

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Tags: Data Integration, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics

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