Our customers are continually asking questions like:
- Will Salesforce integrate with our website?
- Will Salesforce integrate with our finance system?
- Will Salesforce integrate with our stock management system?
- The list goes on
However the question people should really be asking is 'will the other system allow Salesforce to integrate with it?'. The reason being is that the restriction is very rarely with Salesforce, as the Salesforce API (i.e. the thing that allows systems to talk to each other) is feature rich, secure and supports all the major integration methods.
If there is a reason Salesforce cannot integrate with another system, it is almost always due to restrictions with the other system's API, not Salesforce's.
Provided integrating is possible, before going ahead and asking a Salesforce Developer to build a bespoke integration, you should always check to see if Salesforce has already built it's own integration for that application, like it has for Outlook.
If no luck there, the Salesforce Appexchange is the next place to look as there is a wealth of pre-built connectors for many different business applications including Xero, Quickbooks, etc. While this option may have an ongoing fee, you don't have to go through the exercise of writing your own code. Premium integration tools which may not appear on the Appexchange and are also worth exploring include Boomi and Informatica, or Zapier or Cazoomi at the cheaper end.
Finally, once the above options have been evaluated and you decide that it is best to go ahead with a bespoke integration, don't worry, it isn't necessarily as big a project as you might think as the Salesforce platform removes a lot of the hard work often involved in bespoke integrations.
If you would like any advice on the best approach to take, please to get in touch with the Nebula team - we would love to discuss your requirements in more detail.
One final tip, people often say that they want to integrate two systems without a clear idea of exactly what data needs to flow between the two. Before evaluating your integration options, it is important to determine exactly what data needs to be passed in each direction. Once you have a clear idea of this, choosing the right integration method will be much more straightforward.
How easily will Salesforce CRM integrate with our other business applications? What sort of integration capabilities does Salesforce.com provide?