Connecting Services

Connecting Services

When an existing software solution needs to integrate with another application, we call that a ‘Connected Service.’ The goal is to pull in the power of existing processes to create more efficient business operations. While this might be part of your existing business logic, it is most often an add-on to enhance your processes through outside platforms. For example, an eCommerce system might tie into a supplier’s inventory management software to make order fulfillment faster and keep inventory costs down, thereby benefiting both sides of the equation.

Typically, your existing software applications can be enhanced or expanded directly or by bolting on other modules. If the solutions are pulling data from the same data source, then an integration is not required. But when one application needs another application’s data, that is when a custom, connected service is required.

Implementing Connected Services

We have three primary options when it comes to connecting services. The method will depend on the existing software deployments and available integration methods.

  • APIs and Web Hooks: Most software today includes a relatively simple way to share information with other applications. These are known as an API -- application programming interface. These can often be ‘called’ by a simple web address with parameters added onto it -- web hooks. Once called, the integrated application responds with structured data or confirmation of an executed command.

  • Third-party Integrations: Software developers like Ping! Development used to have to write a new piece of software called middleware to connect two applications together. Today, there are providers that offer these services on a broad, subscription basis. If one of these is available and offers the functionality we need, we can quickly set that up and get it going. The drawback is that we now depend on that solution to remain stable and operational.

  • Custom Middleware: It is rare that we have to fully develop a custom piece of middleware to connect services. It can be done, and we do it when needed. However, the most typical path we take is extending existing applications, meaning we add onto their base package with our custom code, turning it into the integrated piece of software we need for our connected services.

Benefits of Connecting Services

Connecting Services can benefit any business with processes tied to software. Here are a few examples:

  • eCommerce: Connect to shippers to generate shipping labels.

  • Mortgage and Real Estate: Provide brokers with information from other platforms, including Mortgage Backed Securities and listing warehouses.

  • Law Firms: Sync client information with online scheduling software and marketing automation applications.

The real benefits in connecting your software services together are operational efficiencies and automation. The outcomes include:

  • Focus: Employees focus less on mundane tasks and more on contributing to the company’s goals and objectives

  • Consistency: Automated tasks are done the same way every time. This helps employees predict time, schedules, delivery, etc.

  • Cost Reduction: When employees spend less time on these tasks, it costs the company less. On the flip side, increased efficiency also reduces sales and cash cycles, thereby increasing operational cash flows.

  • Customer Satisfaction: Faster order fulfillment and delivery; issue resolution; better communication. All of these result in happier customers.

  • Reporting: You may be able to report on KPIs and metrics that were not available before you connected your services. Internal data can often be broken down and distributed to other departments for use and analysis as well.

  • Compliance: More and more, we’re seeing governments, US and others, impose compliance regulations on businesses. With connected services, you can ensure that compliance tasks are carried through your entire operation.

Get Connected

CEOs, COOs and Business Owners see the need for connecting services before they even know what this means. If you see the need to get different applications talking together to make your business run more efficiently and free up your employees, contact us to get a gameplan going for your solution.

 

Ping! Development

1000 Characters left