How to Choose an Integration Platform for Business Automation
According to Gartner, 70% of digital transformation projects fail due to poor quality of system integration. Businesses strive to effectively manage data, but they face challenges such as outdated and inconsistent systems, data clutter, duplication, and more. Then they resort to manual system integration, leading to insufficient information security and poor data and business management. By adopting an integration platform, businesses can avoid such consequences and enhance the quality of integrating multiple applications.
The main purpose of an integration platform is to rapidly connect and combine all systems, regardless of their database type and storage format. This enables businesses to facilitate program interaction and expedite data exchange, obtain unified data from various systems for analysis, make more informed decisions, and swiftly and securely implement new technologies.
But which platform is the best and what aspects you should pay attention to? To guide you in choosing the most suitable integration platform, in this article, we will explore three popular solutions in this article. You can find a brief comparison of them in the table below.
Let's now take a closer look at the advantages and disadvantages of each of these products.
IBM – an integration platform
The IBM integration platform is a software solution based on cutting-edge technologies that allow for the integration of applications in any cloud or on-premises environment. The platform stands out with its pre-built smart connectors and a low-code comprehensive automation toolkit based on artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) technologies. This improves task and operation efficiency, reducing risks associated with data collection, analysis, and the execution of robotic process automation (RPA) functions.
The platform's strength lies in its ability to scale and seamlessly adjust to the company's current business needs, such as personalizing customer interactions, improving the speed and quality of application operations, cost reduction, and more. The modular structure allows for selecting only the necessary functionality. Among other platform benefits are the following:
- convenient data management through a centralized control point, advanced analytics, and real-time monitoring;
- reliable information transmission processes with no data loss, duplication, or complicated recovery mechanisms in case of system failures;
- cutting-edge security technologies that protect APIs, transferred data, and associated systems;
Despite all the benefits of IBM software, entrepreneurs have identified a range of challenges when using it:
- integration is seamless only with IBM applications, while integration with third-party cloud services may be time-consuming, require coding and a knowledge base;
- instructions and certain documentation (log files, reports) are complex and difficult to understand;
- support is unresponsive, and the initial setup process is not that simple;
- the system is slow when handling large volumes of data and complex automation workflows.
- frequent updates that often disrupt configurations, requiring adjustments to be made.
Zapier – a business automation solution
Zapier is a no-code platform for automating routine tasks and integrating web applications. One of its key features is that users can create personalized connections, rather than just selecting from pre-built options. Additionally, developers can independently request to add their service to Zapier. The platform enables adding several actions into a single integration, exchanging data between them, and creating complex multi-functional connections across multiple applications. With its intuitive categorization system, Zapier streamlines the search and selection of the required programs.
The key advantages of the service include a user-friendly interface, ease of use, and repetitive tasks automation, while not requiring technical knowledge or web development skills. Another significant benefit is the extensive support for more than 3000 systems.
A downside of the product is its high cost and, at the same time, strict limitations on the free plan: no more than 50 integration triggers per month and the inability to use a range of popular services. Moreover, Zapier is not compatible with a vast number of applications that are common in Ukraine and the CIS countries. Other disadvantages include:
- limited range of tasks it can perform, Zapier does not cater to all business needs and lacks customization options;
- the proper configuration of the connection between applications may require multiple attempts and errors;
- inefficient and slow customer support, primarily providing responses related to in-app task execution rather than addressing technical issues;
- some features are difficult to understand, and there is a lack of training resources for new users, which hinders the learning process.
Integration Kit from FreshTech – a convenient low code system
Integration Kit is a set of tools designed to seamlessly connect external and internal web applications, services, accounting, and any other systems (ERP, CRM, BI) into a unified integration platform. The solution is developed based on the multifunctional low-code platform, fdForge. The platform is designed with a modular architecture, providing almost limitless configuration possibilities, integration with other systems, and features for mobile and web applications.
Integration Kit from FreshTech lets you do the following:
- simplify collaboration with a large number of partners, each with their current automation systems;
- consolidate all the information into a single desired format, rather than adapting to individual systems one by one;
- implement flexible automation and integration to create unique, complex, and customized solutions for various business aspects.
The system integrates any type of data, handles high loads, is compatible with various programs and services, and provides a clear and well-documented API, logging and versioning systems. Integration Kit is suitable for addressing any business tasks, such as accelerating new products launch, enhancing customer loyalty and increasing competitiveness, attracting new partners, and much more. With this approach, you will gain the following benefits:
- maintenance and management cost reduction;
- decreased risks and the opportunity for risk control;
- simpler business restructuring processes (mergers, acquisitions).
- quicker data transfer between applications and access to the necessary analytics;
- seamless connection of different internal systems within the company and with external software;
- creation of a single reliable source of data.
How to automate business processes with IT solutions?
As observed, the IBM integration platform boasts a strong security level and enables customization to align with business requirements. However, accomplishing this task will be a challenge due to the intricate and unintuitive instructions, as well as poor support service. On the other hand, working with Zapier is fast and easy, requiring no coding, but it may not be suitable for customization, even with the most expensive subscription plan.
Adopting FreshTech's Integration Kit not only encompasses the entire spectrum of functionalities offered by the two aforementioned products but also a range of additional benefits:
- We initiate the project with a research phase conducted by our analysts in collaboration with the client's business representatives. We delve into the company's operations and analyze internal processes. Based on these insights, we develop a technical specification that ensures the project's functionality fully aligns with the initial request.
- Responsibility and control are entrusted to the IT agency.
- Extensive customization and fine-tuning to align with the entrepreneur's requirements, censuring their comfort and satisfaction throughout the process.
- Training for new users and responsive support for prompt assistance.
- Post-launch, we consistently provide innovative ideas and introduce cutting-edge features aimed at driving project growth and maximizing its profitability.
- More than 15 years of expertise in the realm of integration.
- With the Integration Kit built on the fdForge system, you can have your MVP up and running in just 2 months, leveraging pre-built modules and seamless integration.
If you are looking to streamline your business processes using an integration platform, feel free to contact us, and we will arrange a convenient time for a free consultation. We will take the time to understand your ideas, analyze your needs, and evaluate your internal operations while helping you choose a solution that will improve business effectiveness and ensure its sustainable development.