Looking to scale your business through software integration?
Integrating software saves time and money. Whether that be through scaling, reduced admin, error reduction or speed of data transfer.
Some integrations are easy, some are difficult. Some apps already and connections and plugins available but do they do what you want or need?
As B2B eCommerce consultants regularly dealing with data at the scale we've completed hundreds of integrations over the last decade. Some are achieved with plugins, some are custom built and some are a mixture of both.
The complexity of integration is NOT in the code. That part is easy. The hardest part of integration is turning a manual human process into a set of digital rules a computer can understand. This requires a deep understanding of the process and excellent planning.
I spent 30mins on the phone. It was immediately clear that Rixxo knew their stuff. They unravelled my integration issues and pointed me in the right direction, giving me three clear options to move forward. I can’t thank you enough
Jill Fountain - Managing Director | Digitalab
IntegrationScoping & Planning
When planning your / integration it is going to be important to fully understand how objects move, transform and mutate as they move through your business processes.
We take the time at the start of all integrations to understand the current manual process. This allows us to translate your actions into a ruleset that a computer programme can understand.
We challenge the current processes by asking why? what if? and what happens when? so the integration is able to handle as many use cases as possible.
We'll document this process in several ways.
- Instructions and process manuals
- Diagrams of workflows
- Field mappings
- Screenshots and mockups
When it is clear to everybody what we want to achieve we can decide on a development route.
About Integration Development Methods
The method on which you choose to develop your integration must be derived from your planning and not back to front.
If you decide to use a plugin that offers a set of features, and then compromise your business process to fit it, you run the risk of expensive and time-consuming procedural change.
Conversely, if you choose to build a custom module without understanding the full scope of your requirements you may complete an expensive and time-consuming development exercise only to discover pre-made connection exists on Zapier or in your platform's extension store.
The benefit of using an experienced integrations team like Rixxo we can ensure you build your integration in the most efficient, affordable and maintainable way.
We'll present the features, benefits and costs of each development method so you can make an informed decision.
Route 1: Use a plugin
Nowadays we expect pre-built integration packages for everything. The global "app store" however is vast and the combinations endless. Only the most popular platform pairings are easily found on Google.
When you do find one you probably find:
- They don't do what you're business needs them to
- It cannot be changed and you are expected to change your business
- It only does a fraction of what you thought
Off-the-shelf plugins are great! For a small number of businesses, they cover the entire requirement.
If there is an off-the-shelf plugin available that will deliver your requirement we'll let you know. You may choose to do the rest yourself or, ask us to help finalise the integration.
Route 2: Custom build
Our least preferred route and reserved only for the smallest of use cases.
You may have proprietary software, security or legal requirements or a process that is unique.
A custom integration when properly planned is NOT expensive. Through an understanding of procedure time saved, scalability and how long the integration will take to ROI you can make informed decisions through a limited cost scoping exercise.
Custom integrations become expensive when they do not have a clear and demonstrable brief with clear rules of how it must work. A common tale of woe in businesses we work with is the "neverending project". If you don't know where you are going, how will you know you've arrived?
In most cases, a hybrid solution of using an off-the-shelf plugin and a little bit of development will offer a best-of-both solution.
Let's talk about a business software integrations
Route 3: iPaaS
iPaas stands for Integration Platform as a Service.
With an iPaaS offering, you spend less time worrying about IT and more time growing your business. The provider keeps the platform up-to-date and hosted. A platform as a service is a bit like an extension except you rent it rather than own it.
They can be quite expensive and in many instances are overkill for the level of integration needed. They do offer a shorter time to be operational however and so it's important to weigh up the benefits and ROI.
Zapier is a great example of a service. Many smaller businesses will find they can get the job done with a few Zaps. It could be a very quick and easy job for somebody at Rixxo to set this up for you - get in touch.
Route 4: Best-of-all
Most integrations we undertake go along this development route.
Nearly all modern applications have an API that helps to get data in and out of the platform. If well documented an integration can sometimes be done in a matter of days.
If there is an existing plugin and it does the majority of the requirements then it makes sense, if possible, to extend this functionality rather than duplicate it.
This is often the cheapest and fastest route to developing and integration BUT it does rely on a thorough understanding of how the integration should work to properly scope the project.
We will let you know as early as possible in the sales or consulting phases which route we believe will be most effective.
You'll understand why our clients trust us beyond being just an agency.