What is iPaaS?

Read our quick primer on the best way to integrate your data.

iPaas, or Integration Platform as a Service is the simplest way for small, mid and even large size businesses to efficiently integrate, automate and connect all the data from their various day to day operating systems and applications. For example, an iPaaS can allow a user to connect theirERP, CRM, WMS, or TMS software to each other and share data that may have previously be sorted, moved or shared across systems manually by an employee or other resource.

Need those sales orders to automatically flow from your online sales platform to your fulfillment center or WMS? No problem!

Traditionally, integrating data was a complex process that required equally complex custom solutions and in most cases, was cost prohibitive for the majority of enterprises. iPaaS works to democratize this data sharing and gives control of the integration process to the user themselves.

Integrating your data through an iPaaS comes with many advatages over traditional integration. Firstly, many implementations can be done with lightning speed through the use of pre-built application connectors that make for a plug and play integration experience.

Once application connectors are in place, users have the ability to configure those connections, whether that be altering data as it passes between systems, controlling the order of operations within an integration, or simply designating which data sets are part of a given integration.

As businesses grow, so does the need for new utilities and applications to perform the necessary tasks and retain vital business data. The problem is, if you can't connect all those new systems, this abundance of data can become compartmentalized within itself, creating what we call Data Silos. Data Silos often contribute to lost time, an underutilization of critical business information and ultimately a slowing of potential growth. The dirty secret that most SaaS (software as a Service) providers won't tell you is that their applications, although abundantly useful, lack to fulfill their full potential if not complemented by a sufficient level of connectivity with the other systems you utilize most. This means that without proper integration and data sharing, you aren't getting the full potential out of the systems you already invested in.

Without integration, businesses are left with the antiquated task of moving data manually. For years, this has been the only way for businesses to leverage their data between applications - and it does work. However, the downsides to manual data entry can be dramatic - for instance If data is not integrated via an automated system such as an iPaaS, it creates a potentially dangerous snag in the chain of communication. Even a simple typing error such as a missing number or letter in a SKU or product code can mean a break in the chain and the potential for huge consequences. Unhappy customers, frustrated fulfillment teams, and more stress on you can all be avoided by making sure your data is automated correctly the first time. iPaaS integration allows for the ultimate level of flexibility and automation of data.

One of the greatest advantages of iPaaS over traditional forms of data integration is it's level of flexibility and agility. iPaaS is perfect for the business that doesn't have its own IT department and may be operating on a shoestring budget where margins are tight. However, unlike other integration methods, your business wont outgrow iPaaS, it just grows with you! As you move from small business to medium or large size operation, your iPaaS will function just as well for the team of Administrators within your new IT department as it did for the single user who oversaw the system previously.

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