Wondering what the benefits of data integration actually are? In this article, we're going to take you through six key benefits of data integration, demonstrating why your business should invest in it.
What is data integration?
Data integration brings together data gathered from different systems and makes it more valuable for your business. It helps your people work better with each other and do more for your customers.
Without data integration, you have no way of accessing the data gathered in one system in another. For example, you might gather customer data in your CRM, which nobody outside your sales and marketing can access. Inevitably, other teams will want to access that data at times, perhaps when fulfilling an order or dealing with credit accounts. This leads to data being shared manually, via spreadsheets, emails and phone calls. And when that happens, mistakes are inevitable.
With data integration, information is shared seamlessly between systems. Staff can access ERP data in your CRM system and vice-versa. Mistakes are eliminated, everyone in your business has the data they need to perform at their best and you get the best possible value out of the systems you already have.
Why is data integration important?
Our customers tell us that when they start using our services, they can see the benefits of data integration immediately. They're able to work harder and compete better. They can grow faster, safe in the knowledge that they’re building on solid foundations.
Here are six quotes, straight from our customers, that demonstrate the advantages of integrated systems perfectly.
“This completely changes the viability of salesforce.com.” Sacha Rose, Managing Director, Derek Rose
Benefit of Data integration: increase your Salesforce ROI
Derek Rose, a high-end fashion brand, were using Salesforce to manage their customer relationships, and Microsoft Dynamics to manage their accounts. This meant that they were missing opportunities for development, unable to see where they could better direct resources to facilitate growth. We helped them realize the advantages of data integration by integrating the two systems to allow them to use Salesforce for financial reporting.
As a result, they can now access all the information they need, at any time. They've been able to increase their efficiency levels significantly and, crucially, increase sales and revenue.
“The integration allows us to save a half full time employee a week” Karla Sinclair, Operational Chief Manager, Homespice Décor
Benefit of Data integration: do more with fewer resources
As a small rug retail company, Homespice Décor had difficulty making Microsoft Dynamics work for them. They were using it for accounting, inventory and sales orders, but as they had only limited licences, their sales people had to share login details to use it. Like many small businesses, they found the cost of multiple licenses prohibitive, but sharing logins made their processes messy and vulnerable to mistakes. They then began to re-enter information in Salesforce instead, but this was time-consuming and also error-prone.
We helped them realize data integration benefits by integrating Microsoft Dynamics with Salesforce, so their sales people could see all the data they needed easily, with no extra work.
The business is now able to operate much more efficiently and has the foundation it needs to reach its potential. Responses times have improved and they're able to take advantage of opportunities to upsell that they weren't able to see before.
“The data coming from our ERP system to our CRM system can now be used in a product matrix, where we can get an overview of the total sales made by product and by client over time. Having this overview gives us a competitive advantage and leads to more sales.” Gert Lynge, IT Executive, InterData
Benefit of Data integration: increase your competitiveness
As a successful, growing business, InterData were struggling to keep up with large volumes of sales and invoicing. Many businesses manage without data integration when they start out, but find that, as they grow, it becomes difficult to manage working between two systems, both collecting large amounts of data. With over 6000 customers a day, InterData needed a reliable, automated system that could enable further growth.
We helped them integrate their CRM and ERP systems, streamlining processes and sales. They achieved full benefits of integration, including having full control over access to customer data and being able to see total sales for each customer within seconds.
“Having been able to integrate Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, all the information we need is now visible to all our account executives. This makes it easier for them to get an overview of the sales and make statistics without having to switch to other systems. This translates into better customer and partner relationships.” Peter Grandt, Online Manager at Milestone Systems
Benefit of Data integration: improve your customer and partner relationships
Milestone Systems, a leading video management provider, were spending so much time manually entering data across two systems that their account executives were stressed and finding it difficult to focus on building relationships. We helped them link Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics to get the full benefits of system integration so executives could concentrate on using numbers rather than entering them.
Data is now automatically exchanged between their systems and they're able to make full use of the Sales History add-on. The result? Better relationships, more opportunities and business growth.
“We have efficient, accurate and well-organized account information that translates into better decision making.” Allan Iskov, Business Process Manager, Netop
Benefit of Data Integration: better decision-making
Netop’s salespeople were relying on data that had been entered manually in two systems, which wasn’t always accurate and was often slow. It took expert staff away from developing the business, tying up their time with admin tasks.
As a market-leading software firm, they needed more. We helped them realize the benefits of data integration in business by integrating Salesforce with Microsoft Dynamics. This gave their sales team up-to-the-minute data to use to make fast, high-quality decisions. They've saved time and money, with their salespeople able to focus on growing the business, confident that they have accurate data at their fingertips.
“It was fantastic to observe the sales reps adopting the system almost instantly. The fact that known data was in the system made the training a big success.” Hans Kurt Hansen, CFO & CIO, Ole Lynggaard
Benefit of Data integration: increase system adoption
Ole Lynggaard, a Danish fine jewelry brand, introduced Salesforce to their business because they could see it could be a highly valuable tool to improve sales processes. To realize this value fully, they needed all their salespeople to use it. We helped them fill Salesforce with relevant data from their ERP meaning their team could see its value from the beginning.
They were able to use our pre-configured templates to allow the sales team to access vital data about customers and sales orders, including items, prices and supplier data. They could also see important reminders from the finance team.
They achieved the 100% adoption rate among salespeople they needed to make the project a success.
Now you know the answer to the question "why is data integration important?" Want to know more about the specific benefits of data integration for your business? Get in touch.
With over 25 years’ experience in strategically propelling businesses forward, Henning is considered a business development entrepreneur with a passion for transforming businesses, sales and marketing operations through out-of-the-box thinking, concepts building and process automation to improve overall performance and scalability.