Automate your Business with Integrations!
Since the beginning of Trail 9, we've been offering more than just website development work— we've also been building internal proprietary systems for our clients by using point-to-point integrations. This concept sounds complicated, but it's actually used for business workflows all the time. Chances are that YOU'VE used point-to-point integrations at some point, even if you haven't realized it! In this post, we'll get into what these integrations are, how we've been using them in our projects, and how they could automate your various business processes.
Point-to-Point Integrations: What are they?
Point-to-point integration refers to data being sent back and forth between two different places, or systems. Think of when you order something to be shipped online. Your order is transported from the online company to your address, right? It goes from Point A to Point B.
Now, think of what happens during the typical online ordering process. First, you order the item, typing your credit card information into the website you're shopping on. Then, that payment info is sent to a payment gateway, like Authorize.net or Paypal, where it's checked and either authorized or declined based on its validity. THAT'S a point-to-point integration. Your payment info automatically travels from Point A to Point B— from the website to the payment gateway.
Now, there's usually more than one point-to-point integration that happens during a process. Sometimes, there are many integrations, and data is automatically sent all over the place. Like with an online purchase, data is sent back and forth from the website to other systems, and sometimes to and from other third parties. This is how business processes happen quickly and easily— with these integrations.
So, this is what we've been working on at Trail 9— automating and helping business's workflows by using integrations. We don't just build websites— we integrate processes and systems together. Do you want to automatically publish social media posts to all of your different social channels simultaneously, without leaving your website portal? No problem! How about managing your ERP software through your website, so you can have access to everything in one place? Yep, that can happen! Maybe you want a support ticket system? A Request a Quote system? Database Storage? An automated approval/denial process? Whatever it is, if you want an automated solution to help your business workflow, it can likely be done through point-to-point integrations.
Our Projects using Point-to-Point Integrations!
Integrations work especially well with eCommerce systems. At the moment, we're building a platform to support our client's multiple eCommerce websites. Then, instead of upgrading those different websites independently, we'll migrate them over to the platform and consolidate them, so the client will only have one system to maintain. Additionally, when an order comes in, it'll be directly added to their workstation. Currently, their process is pretty lengthy and tedious, and it involves a lot of potential for human error. Our goal with this automation is to eliminate human error throughout the orders' processing.
We're working on another project where our client's website stores the data that THEIR customer sends over. The data is stored in our client's database, which then automatically moves through their business logic (database tasks and workflow). And then, within that business logic, there is a second integration where the system reaches out to ANOTHER third party and brings back new information. So, multiple systems are working together automatically to help their data storage process through integrations.
Special Authorization forms
Sometimes, businesses need to collect some very specific and often sensitive client information, like social security data, for instance. In our ongoing form integration project, we're setting up an integration so that sensitive data will be directly transferred into a billing system, where it'll then enter an approval workflow. So, no one needs to re-enter that sensitive information and risk messing it up— after being input directly by the client, the information will move to the correct system automatically, after which the correct person will be notified to approve the submission. This will speed up their process and provide less paperwork for them, as well as less potential for human error.
Growing Online with Integrations
At Trail 9, we excel with projects that grow over time, adding more functionality and a better user experience as the client business grows. This growth-driven method works especially well with— you guessed it— integrations! For example, we've done projects where we start the client out with online forms so that their visitors could request information and sales. Then, we helped them branch into a support ticket system, and finally a full billing system for their business. So now, communicating with their visitors and customers online is simple for them. And, now that their requests get more immediate responses, their customer experience is improved.
The next step here would be to tie all of these systems together by creating a user-friendly interface for the client's staff. This way, they'll be able to check their support tickets, billing statements, and keep track of all of their customer interactions in one convenient, simple place.
So, while point-to-point integrations are, in essence, automated data transfers, OUR integration projects aren't so simple! We aim to provide automated solutions that help to improve and streamline business workflows and processes. Now, we're still building websites, no doubt about it! But, we're also increasing our focus on building internal proprietary systems for our clients through integrations.
Curious about an integration project for your business? Contact us, and we'll be happy to discuss it with you!