Salesforce – ERP integration: evaluate your options carefully
By Henning Lund - May 05, 2020
Today, Salesforce ERP integration is not impossible. There are actually several ways to approach integrating Salesforce with your current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution. The real question is which Salesforce ERP option you should integrate with and which solution will best suit your needs.
Salesforce-ERP integration: Where should you start?
Salesforce has become one of the most popular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and many companies wish to integrate Salesforce with their current ERP. They do that in order to have updated customer data in both systems and generally to improve their business processes. Answering basic questions such as "Should I build my own Salesforce ERP integration platform or should I rely on an existing proven data integration platform?" or "How can standard integration solutions support my needs?" should be your staring point.
What if you have existing customizations to your Salesforce and ERP solutions. How can you be sure that a Salesforce - ERP data integration solution will meet your business' needs today and in the future?
Here's a quick guide that will help you evaluate your data integration options and make the best decisions to fit seamlessly with your ERP.
Salesforce – ERP integration: choose the right solution
Build your own Salesforce-ERP integration Building a custom integration can be a tempting alternative to the ready-to-use integration platforms. Be aware that custom-made interfaces tend to have a higher initial cost compared to ready-to-use data integration platforms. You must build the integration from scratch. Ready-to-use Salesforce integration solutions may have a lower long-term maintenance cost; but the actual maintenance costs cannot be precisely defined at an early stage as you cannot have an overview of the changes you will need to perform in the future. Custom-developed Salesforce integration transfers rarely include additional functionality within scheduling, error handling, monitoring etc.
Data integration platforms If you decide to invest in an established integration platform, you will benefit from years of best practices integrating Salesforce with ERP. Today, most ready-to-use Salesforce data integration platforms are fast, user friendly, and robust. It is generally difficult to say how much a Salesforce-ERP integration should cost. Data integration platforms can be an affordable alternative.
Pre-configured integration templates Most companies have common ways of working and therefore data integration similar requirements. To meet these types of requirements, Salesforce integration tools can include a number of pre-configured integration points. For example, the RapidiOnline integration for Salesforce comes with out-of-the-box pre-configured end points for Microsoft Dynamics AX, NAV and GP, 365 Business Central and 365 for Finance & Operations. Having a properly configured ready-to-use end point for these systems could be the fastest and easiest way to perform Salesforce ERP integration. Access to these pre-configured templates makes mapping smooth and easy, facilitates scheduling and sequence of your data transfers and lets you handle errors in the most efficient way. They can also be developed to follow the updates and upgrades of your integrated systems, which is a huge advantage moving forward.
Data integration platforms have evolved considerably in the past few years. Solutions like RapidiOnline have been developed to make Salesforce data integration robust, fast, simple and affordable and might just be the most reasonable approach to systems integration.
Often, the trickiest part about Salesforce ERP data integration projects is deciding what you should integrate. These are the most common transfers between Salesforce and ERP solutions (and generally between any CRM and ERP system). You can read details about why these are often chosen here.
There are many other possible integrations between CRM and ERP platforms, especially for service and case management (Service Cloud). However these are very much similar to those mentioned above and they will follow the same logic.
Data integration does not have to be complex. Simple data integration platforms such as RapidiOnline can be an affordable, simple and robust alternative to custom developed integrations. How long should it take to integrate Salesforce with an ERP solution? If you are using RapidiOnline you get the above mentioned integrations as out-of-the-box standard, customizable integrations with an implementation effort of typically 4-8 man days depending on the size and scope, and any need for additional transfers or customizations. Feel free to get in touch if you want to know more.
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.