WHAT IS SYSTEM INTEGRATION?
The term ‘system integration’ can be defined in various ways. Our definition of the term is: systems integration is, making two or more disparate IT systems communicate with each other.
There are often many different IT systems in a company: finance systems, CRM systems (customer relationship management), ERP systems (enterprise resource planning), payroll payment systems, self-service systems for customers, intranet systems, logistics systems, email systems, calendar systems, data warehouses, webshops, websites, native apps, etc. These IT systems may have been purchased from a software company or developed in-house.
In their original form, these IT systems are independent and do not communicate with each other. Upon integration, they start communicating with each other. This allows the automatic transmission of data between the systems and automatic triggering of actions in one system as a follow-up of actions in another system.
Thus, the term ‘system integration’ primarily means getting two or more IT systems to communicate with each other. The erstwhile disparate systems start behaving as a single unified system upon integration.
BENEFITS OF SYSTEM INTEGRATION
Automate manual processes
You can avoid manual actions by integrating programs. Manually copying data from one system to another can be avoided through integrations. You can, for example, automatically copy customer data from your CRM system to your ERP or finance system by integrating these systems. Through system integration, your business can save money, raise quality (as computers make fewer errors than humans when performing repetitive work), save time, etc.
New functionality for existing systems
You can create new functionality for your existing systems by building a new system and letting this new system integrate with the current systems. For example, this can be functionality that helps generate more revenue, reduces costs, increases customer satisfaction, and increases employee satisfaction.
Companies often use data from their existing IT systems when performing analyses. However, this data is fragmented and distributed haphazardly among different systems. To perform holistic analysis, data often needs to be collated manually. Manual collation is cumbersome and time-consuming, and therefore, in the end, some data ends up being omitted. System integration makes it possible to create a new central system that inter-links data from relevant systems. This allows you to gain holistic knowledge about your company and helps you make better analyses. It enables you to make informed decisions for your company based on accurate data and holistic knowledge instead of gut feelings.
SYSTEMS WE CAN INTEGRATE
We can integrate most IT systems. However, we need to know precisely which IT systems you would like to integrate before we say ‘it is possible’.
Systems are typically integrated through APIs (application programming interfaces). APIs allow you to manipulate data that resides in the system. Using APIs makes it possible to retrieve, change, delete, and add new data.
Speaking in general terms, there are two types of IT systems: custom-made IT systems and standard IT systems.
Custom-made IT systems
Custom-made IT systems are developed to uniquely fit your company’s requirements. These systems are either created internally by your employees or by an external company. It is possible to integrate a custom-made IT system with other custom-made IT systems and also with standard IT systems. The integrations generally take place through APIs. If a system does not have an API, we can build it before integrating.
Standard IT systems
Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, SAP, HubSpot, Pipedrive, Twilio, e-conomic, Zoho, Dropbox, Slack, ServiceNow, Mailchimp, and Zendesk are examples of standard systems.
Standard IT systems are developed by an external software company. These IT systems are generic and are commonly used by various types of companies. However, quite often, minor tweaks to standard systems can adapt them to your specific needs.
Standard IT systems can be integrated with other systems through APIs. Most major standard IT systems have well-documented APIs that make it easy to integrate them with other systems (all the systems mentioned above have APIs). The list mentioned above is just a small sampling of some of the standard IT systems we can integrate with. In practice, we can integrate with most standard IT systems – they just need to have an API.
TYPES OF INTEGRATIONS
Simply put, there are two types of integrations: ‘direct integration’ and ‘integration to a new system’. Below is a description of these two types of integrations and examples of how they look in practice.
Two or more systems can be integrated directly without the need to create any additional system. This integration allows the programs to communicate directly with each other without any new intermediary system.
The salespeople in Company A use a program called Slack as their primary tool for internal communication. Every salesperson opens and uses Slack on her computer or through an app several times a day.
As its financial system, Company A uses SAP. According to the company's policy, salespeople must call customers who have not paid bills on time. Currently, salespersons can see details of such customers in SAP only.
Company A wishes that a message automatically appears in Slack when a customer does not pay on time. At present, there is no connection between SAP and Slack. We, at Tiblo, can integrate these two programs. This integration will allow the information to be automatically exchanged between the programs. Once the integration is done, the salesperson will automatically get a message on Slack when she needs to remind a customer regarding payment.
Integration with a new IT system
If your requirement cannot be met through a direct integration between the IT systems, then it may be necessary to develop a new IT system. The new system can then integrate with the existing IT systems. Likewise, the new IT system can add extra functionality. When we make a new IT system, it will be technically developed as a web application. You can read more about the development of web applications here.
Company B sells a service to its customers. Every month, an arbitrary service employee from the company must physically visit the customer by car to deliver the service. The company wants a solution that helps optimise route planning so that employees drive the fewest possible kilometres and spend the least time on transport.
Company B has a CRM system that contains information about its customers, such as the date the customer was last visited, when the customer would be at home and available for the service, the customer's address, or other specificities about the customer.
Company B has all information about its driving service employees in a self-developed system: when any specific employee works and takes time off, address where the employee lives, the non-service business itinerary of the employee, etc.
Currently, Company B does not have any program that can do optimal route planning. We, at Tiblo, can solve this problem by developing a new system that can calculate the optimal driving routes. For this new program to work, it would need information: when were the customers last visited, which customers need to be visited on priority, at what time should specific customers be visited, which employee lives close to a particular customer, which employees are available for work when the customer needs a visit, etc. All this information is stored in the CRM system and the self-developed system. Once the new system is built, we can integrate it with the existing systems. After integration, our new program will automatically get the data it needs to calculate the optimal route for all the driving service employees.
Everything is possible
The above cases are just two out of many examples. We can make all kinds of integrations between all systems that have APIs. If your company needs integrations between systems, there is a high probability that it can be done.
MORE EXAMPLES OF INTEGRATIONS
Below are some more examples of integration that can be made and their benefits.
Often, companies want to make an improvement that requires a new IT system. But at the same time, these companies find it hard to remove their outdated legacy system. In such a scenario, they can get the new IT system and integrate it with the legacy system. This makes it possible to gain all the benefits of the new system while retaining the legacy system.
If you have a strong collaboration with other companies, you can make the integration between their systems and your system. This can increase the productivity and efficiency of both companies.
Instead of developing new functionality in a system from scratch, you can integrate the system with another system that already has these capabilities. You can, thus, expand the functions of your existing application cost-effectively.
You can unify enterprise applications by integrating them into one large system for real-time data exchange and automated workflows.
These are a few out of many system integration possibilities. There are almost no restrictions, and we can integrate nearly all systems with each other.
ARE INTEGRATIONS A GOOD INVESTMENT?
In most situations, it is relatively inexpensive to carry out integrations. However, you should assess your specific situation and calculate whether the benefits you achieve by implementing the integration are greater than the programming costs.
We would be happy to assist you in the cost-benefit analysis. You just need to provide some information, and then we will calculate if developing the integration is worthwhile for you.
TECHNICAL INFO ABOUT WEB DEVELOPMENT
We usually develop system integrations using Microsoft technologies. Microsoft is one of the world's largest technology companies and, in our opinion, makes the best technologies for developing system integrations.
We use the newest services and best frameworks for building integrations. This keeps our tech stack in line with the latest standards and lets us deliver fast and secure solutions.
We use Azure for hosting, which is Microsoft's cloud solution. This ensures high security on our servers and offers us numerous possibilities for creating a suitable architecture for your system integrations.
We develop the system integration with ASP.NET Core that uses C# as the programming language. C# is among the ten most used programming languages in the world.
Tiblo's competencies include more subject areas than just coding integrations. UX design, UI design, user testing, user behaviour, IT security, business process optimisation, finance, business strategy, marketing, etc., are other important fields that we are knowledgeable in.
Our team includes people with multifaceted expertise that can benefit your project. As an example, one of our experts has worked on business process optimisation (LEAN, Six Sigma, etc.) in some of Denmark's largest companies. Another expert has worked in the field of user research and consumer insights for one of the world's largest data and analytics companies (Nielsen).
We can help answer all your queries, such as: What are the best practices in relation to integrating systems? What should I avoid when integrating systems? How do I ensure high security when we integrate systems? How do I best ensure that the integrations will fit my business processes?
We will incorporate all our multifaceted knowledge and experience when we are building your system integrations.
YOU DO NOT NEED PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF SYSTEM INTEGRATION OR PROGRAMMING
If you choose Tiblo to do your system integration, you do not need prior knowledge of system integration or programming. You just need to tell us your initial thoughts and ideas. We will work and guide you through the entire process to transform your ideas into sophisticated system integrations.
90% of our clients have no technical skills, but that is not a problem at all. We have the skills and experience for effectively communicating complex technical concepts in simple and easy to understand language.
SHORT DELIVERY TIME
Specific delivery time examples of previous system integration projects:
Development of simple system integration between two systems.
Development of medium-sized system integration between two systems.
Development of advanced system integration between four systems.
SYSTEM INTEGRATION PRODUCTS WE OFFER
We integrate two or more disparate systems directly without developing any intermediary system.
Integration with a new system
We develop a brand-new system based on the functionality you require and integrate it with your existing systems.
Change of existing integration
We restructure your existing system integration based on your current needs, which could change the way data is transferred between systems, create new functionalities in the integration, etc.
MAX 50 GBP PER HOUR BUT OFTEN SIGNIFICANTLY CHEAPER
We prefer to provide a fixed price for your system integration project. That way, you know the exact cost of the project right at the start itself. However, it is only possible to calculate the amount after we know what you have in mind, such as which functions the integration is expected to perform, how many systems need to be integrated, the variety of information to be transmitted and processed, etc.
If you require system integration work done at hourly rates, it costs a maximum of 50 GBP per hour. The hourly rate falls with an increase in the number of hours purchased. 90% of our clients buy fixed-price projects and, in practice, obtain hourly rates that are significantly below 50 GBP per hour.
The mentioned hourly rates apply to all our experts irrespective of their seniority level or domain (project managers, team leads, software architects, senior developers, etc.).
Our prices are significantly lower than many other UK agencies that develop system integration. In our experience, our prices are also lower than many agencies in Eastern Europe (Poland, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Lithuania, etc.) that integrate IT systems. This is, of course, without compromising on quality. You may be wondering how we can offer system integration products of high quality, with a short delivery time, at such low prices. The answer lies in The Tiblo Model.
YOU OWN THE RIGHTS
Once you are satisfied with the system integration and you have paid the entire amount, you own all rights to the code. If you decide to do further development in the future, you can continue working with us, find another (external) company or do the work in-house. You own the rights, so it’s all up to you.
After we develop your system integration, you can host it in two ways: either we host your system integration for you, or you can find an external provider for the same. If you’d like us to host the system integration, we will handle all the work, and you don’t have to do anything. We typically use Microsoft Azure, which is one of the biggest hosting providers globally and has a high level of security, performance, speed, and uptime. You can read more about our hosting services here.
We would be glad to invite you to meetings where we can share our knowledge and learnings about system integration. You can decide the subject for our meetings. We will offer valuable advice regardless of the stage you are at: ideation stage, development stage, a live system integration, etc.
The meetings are 100% free and non-binding. You are in no way obliged to buy anything from Tiblo after these meetings.
Read small excerpts of what companies and individuals have said about their collaboration with us.
Tiblo developed our bespoke loyalty app. Customers can use the app to gain benefits when shopping in one of our 700 physical stores in Europe. Tiblo has functioned as a close and valuable sparring partner throughout the process, maintaining constant support from the idea stage till the app launch and beyond. The cooperation with Tiblo has been satisfyingly productive. We are delighted with the high quality of work delivered promptly and at a fair price.
Director and CFO
Danske Idræt is an independent sports association for employees of Danske Bank in Denmark, with approximately 2,000 members. We needed a new digital platform (mobile app and administration module) to offer our association members a better experience and, at the same time, to simplify the administrative work for our volunteers. Tiblo has been a competent partner while working with us on this new digital platform. Tiblo understood our requirements and took the time needed to understand our organization and pains. We are delighted with the collaboration and the high quality work, offered at a good price.
*The picture of Christina Jørgensen is a dummy. The correct picture will be uploaded soon.