4 Roadblocks to Software Integration Success
Here at Datix, we have always been strong advocates for CRM and ERP integration as a way of promoting positive change in your business processes. However, a poorly executed enterprise software integration can turn into a huge headache that costs your business money and time. So today, we’ll be going over some of the biggest red flags for software integration failure so that you know the best practices for avoiding project missteps from the get go.
Whether you’re halfway through an ERP and CRM integration or just beginning the process, carefully comb through your project plan to make sure you’re avoiding these four guaranteed roadblocks to success. After all, software integration is one of the most proactive steps you can take to maximize the ROI on your software systems and truly transform your business into a customer-focused revenue machine—make sure nothing stands in your way of a powerful integration!
1. No Clear Scope
It should go without saying: if you don’t have a clear, specific and achievable goal and timeline for your integration, your project will fail. After all—how do you measure scores with no clear goalposts? Without clarity in your software integration project, you are actively inviting scope creep, one of the major killers of any software integration project.
If your C-Suite doesn’t have a definitive guide of what the integration will achieve, they will begin to expect more and more from it and want you to get it done faster than the team had planned—all while working on the same budget that you started off with. Confused expectations and increasing demand without evidence will only strain your integration project past your original plans and budgeted time and expense. The result? Inevitable failure.
2. The Project is IT-Focused Only
You would be surprised at the number of businesses who believe that their IT team should be solely responsible for the integration of their enterprise systems. This limited view simply isn’t logical. Once your integration is complete and the go-live date has long passed, your interconnected systems will be utilized and have an effect on every single member of your organization. So why should your IT team be the only ones involved in getting the project off the ground?
Of course, your tech department is instrumental in getting the fine details of the integration complete, but every department and their processes should be mapped out and aligned with your new integration procedures. Which department’s data needs to be moved between ERP and CRM in real time? Are there factors which only need to be caught up weekly? Only by involving every single member of your organization will you get the detail you need to map out your software integration project.
3. The Kitchen-Sink Integration
Just because we’ve told you to include all of your business in a software integration project doesn’t mean you need to toss everyone into the deep end straightaway. Too many companies decide to dive headfirst into a software integration once they hear about the myriad of benefits and cost-saving opportunities. While this enthusiasm for any software integration project isn’t a bad thing, it is often misplaced. Too much too soon will likely overwhelm your employees, leading them to abandon the integration before it’s even really gotten off the ground.
Proper change management is key in this situation. Start with your IT department and then roll out from there, ensuring that everyone in your company has a say in what they want from the final solution and a full understanding of how to use the new system. Integration should be rolled out in stages, not all at one time to ensure that your company doesn’t undergo software shock.
4. No Cross-Software Understanding
While it is always advisable to have people on your project team with complex knowledge of each of the systems that you will be integrating, it is also imperative that these experts are not working in silos. It seems obvious, but it bears repeating that you cannot carry out software integration without total communication between the two systems that are being connected—you’re obviously going to need someone who can speak both kinds of software languages.
If you can put someone on your project who has a sophisticated working knowledge of both systems, all the better. Two experts in each system who can collaborate effectively can also be an invaluable asset to your project at this stage. This is also a good time to bring in outside help if you don’t have someone who fits the bill within your organization. Software consultants have far more complex and wide-ranging experience with various software systems.
Without a thorough knowledge of your enterprise systems, you will not be able to create the necessary customizations and specific sync points that will keep your data where it needs to be. Your project team is critical to the success of your software integration project. Make sure they have the know-how to make it run smoothly.
Enterprise software integration is fast becoming a necessity for modern enterprises, and innovative solutions have made forming a connected enterprise easier than ever. But businesses can still put themselves at risk if they don't fully understand their business needs or follow best practices.
The best way to ensure integration success is to team up with experienced consultants and select a robust solution. The expert consultants at Datix have specialized in ERP, CRM, eCommerce and integrations for over 20 years. With Unity, our flagship integration platform, we can quickly connect your Epicor ERP instance with a range of front-end systems. Pre-built with common bidirectional sync points, our Unity solution is installed by our consultants and requires no coding on your end, making it the easiest method of connecting your software. We also take care of updates and maintenance after go-live at no extra cost. Basically, it's a fool-proof system that'll maximize the value of your enterprise data.
Datix knows enterprise software integration better than anyone. Check out our integration e-book and Unity video demos, and get in touch with us today to join your software platforms into a single source of truth!