It is no secret that today’s companies use multiple softwares solutions in their operations to improve management. For instance, if an apparel company’s customer base is expanding, its owner may rely on inventory management and order optimization solutions to effectively meet demand. Although using multiple solutions is beneficial, it creates disparate data sources. Luckily, you can use integration software to synchronize these different sources to give you better business insights. Below is a breakdown of what integration software is and the type of solutions out there.
Defining Integration Software
Integration software is any solution that allows you to merge your enterprise’s different applications and data. Let’s assume your company provides third-party logistics services. You will need to rely on several software solutions, including customer relationship management and warehouse management software, simultaneously. In addition, you may need to consider several front-end applications and other supply-chain-related solutions. The sheer number of systems you may need to use can complicate your IT environment and make it hard to manage dataflows.
This is bad for businesses since it affects productivity, delays decision-making, and decelerates your enterprise’s revenue generation efforts. Fortunately, you can rely on integration software to access data in your organization’s different software solutions from one place.
Types Of Integration Software
- Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
EAI simply facilitates communication between different enterprise applications. It establishes a middleware framework that ensures that data flows freely between enterprise applications without serious changes to database configurations or the applications. As such, they ensure a streamlined process and better data availability. One of the biggest advantages of using EAI is that it is highly flexible, so your business can rapidly add or subtract different processes into their environment.
- Data Integration
Data integration solutions allow enterprises to combine, manage, and make sense of all the data from different sources in one platform. This way, the data becomes more useful to your organization, helping you make better business decisions backed by statistics and analytics. Most data integration solutions have a master server, users that access data from this server, and a network of data sources.
- Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Software
EDI is the computer-to-computer transfer of electronic business documents over a standardized and secure connection. It helps business partners speed up transactions, eliminate manual errors by automating communications, and cut costs. EDI software solutions are built to handle all the important functions of EDI like sending and receiving documents, translating EDI documents to easier-to-use formats, and integrating EDI with your back-end systems.
The Importance of Integration Software
- More Functionality
Organizations enjoy more functionality when syncing software solutions together. For instance, connecting your employee scheduling software to your human resource software will automate all payroll processes, ensuring pay accuracy.
- Merge Disparate Systems
Integration can also help order fulfillment brands and other companies that operate with more than one system. For instance, a 3PL provider that uses an inventory management system and a supply chain management solution can use this software for better insights into their operation.
- Cost Savings
These solutions guarantee better security, higher availability, and quicker implementation cycles, all of which guarantee cost savings.