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September 21, 2010

Tips for Salesforce and QuickBooks Integration

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Synchronization — Katherine Vasilega @ 6:30 pm

If you are using QuickBooks as accounting software and Salesforce.com as your CRM system, you probably wonder how to achieve accurate sales reporting, update of contact information, and accelerate order processing in both. QuickBooks integration with Salesforce can help resolve these issues. It will also enable you to save time on processing accounts, improve data accuracy and customer service, and bring visibility into accounting data.
However, successful data integration can be a complex process that may include the following challenges:

  • Disconnection between QuickBooks and Salesforce systems
  • Time-consuming and error-prone process due to duplicate data entry
  • Maintenance costs associated with processing the same records in two systems

ETL tools can simplify the process of transferring data from Salesforce.com to QuickBooks, and from QuickBooks to Salesforce, eliminating the need to enter data manually. ETL solutions reduce time on data entry and help avoid duplicating data.
An efficient Salesforce – Quickbooks integration solution provides for

  • Data transfer, including customers, accounts, opportunities, custom objects.
  • Data export without modifying the information
  • Secure and rapid connection between Salesforce and QuickBooks
  • One- or two-way synchronization of data between Salesforce.com and QuickBooks.

You’d probably want to deploy a user-friendly solution with intuitive interface that can be utilized by non-technical users, who don’t want to deal with code writing and tables. Salesforce – Quickbooks integration arms your sales managers with key information, including customer sales history and up-to-date product data, for better business management.

September 17, 2010

Data Mapping for Data Integration

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Migration, Data Synchronization, Database Integration, ETL — Katherine Vasilega @ 6:43 am

Your data sources grow together with your business. You have ERP, CRM systems, mail clients, Web forms, Excel documents and it’s getting harder to distinguish the accurate data. Data integration can solve this issue, but how do you transfer data from multiple sources in a nice and easy way? You’d probably need to deploy a system that allows automating the process of data transfer.

What is data mapping?

Data mapping is used in data integration when you need to gather information form multiple sources. Data mapping involves matching between a source and a target, e.g., two databases that contain the same data elements but call them by different names. A simple example of data mapping includes moving the value from a ‘customer name’ field in one DB to a ‘customer last name’ field in another DB. To do so, your ETL tool needs to know that you want to take the value from the source field ‘customer name’, cut out the first part (name) and leave the second part (last name), and move it to the target field ‘customer last name’. Besides, the steps of performing these operations need to be marked in the data integration process.

Data mapping tools

The modern ETL systems include the functionality of making data maps. Commonly, these are graphical mapping tools. They enable you to draw a line from one field to another, identifying the correct connection. It’s relatively easy to do if you want to, let’s say, move your contacts from the mail client to the CRM. But what if the task is more complicated, such as to move the information received through a Web contact form (first name, last name, address, phone, email, company name) to your CRM that has different fields for all these values? It will take much time to do it manually and it will take some time for you to draw a data map in your ETL tool, unless you are an IT specialist.

Open source ETL

Remember, if you are using an open source ETL tool, there is always a community behind it. People from all over the world create data maps for various purposes and make them available for free download. You can find great tools for complicated data integration tasks and use them for free. No need to draw a data map of your own, just use what has already proved to be effective. That way you can execute your data integration with no effort and money spending at all.

December 14, 2009

Cloud Computing: Think of Data Integration

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Synchronization — Olga Belokurskaya @ 9:26 am

The year’s end is closer, and traditionally, it’s time for next year predictions. And it seems that it’s a good time for cloud computing, for, according to multiple predictions, it will continue gaining popularity in 2010, and as a result, the rate of cloud adoption will increase. And that’s no surprise, for clouds turn beneficial for both IT and business users. What’s more, data integration growth will be driven mostly by cloud computing (that’s according to David Linthicum, a data integration specialist).

You know, there’ve been lots of talks this year about different issues of cloud computing, including security and data integration issues. However, I think most of those issues are not so hard to avoid. Let’s take data integration.

Seriously, many enterprises do not create any data integration strategy, and get really surprised when it comes to data integration and synchronization of cloud and on-premise systems. However, to avoid data loses and all the mess that will inevitably come together with the absence of data integration strategy, some efforts should be done before (and here the word “before” is essential) moving any enterprise systems to the cloud. This move should be prepared: data integration requirements for every system should be defined, architecture requirements specified, identified data sources that would need to be synchronized, etc.

So, I’m about to say, that the “issue” is not data integration itself, it is the absence of reasonable thinking, and so-called “cloud rush” (actually, rush is a phenomenon peculiar for any trendy technology adoption). Provide for data integration between both on-premise and systems moved to the cloud; don’t move to the cloud all at once, make it a gradual shift instead, ensuring successful data integration between newly shifted systems and the rest of enterprise – these are the recommendations to avoid data integration issues with the cloud.

April 20, 2009

Working with CRM Consultants: Best Practices

Filed under: Data Synchronization — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 12:30 am

CRM implementation is a challenging step for every company, and qualified consultant is a valuable asset for such a project. However, it’s no less challenging to form successful relationships with the CRM consultants and system integration partners.

Here are five best practices to help overcome the challenge:

  • Establishing requirements – One of the most important phase of preparation to implement a CRM is to set requirements for the CRM project and determine which areas of the project will require the most help from consultants. Having clear requirements from the start lets both the company and the consultant to be on the same page going in.
  • Defining the relationship with the CRM consultant – By establishing relations and setting boundaries, the consultant’s made fully aware of his/her role and the overall scope of the project. Otherwise, s/he is less likely to be helpful.
  • Selecting project team members – One of the most important things for a company is to get its best employees working with the CRM consultant.  Involving the best people from both the IT and business side of the company ensures that there will be total buy-in for the project and a large cross section of skills that can be utilized.
  • Having a well-defined project plan – Make sure that everyone involved has a unique set of responsibilities throughout the project. The plan must be as specific as possible, including the names of consultants, each consultant’s responsibilities within the CRM project, and dates for each project phase.  Moreover, each stage of the project is better to be documented to reduce confusion once the consultants have moved on.
  • Controlling the CRM project from start to finish – Taking control of the CRM project from the very beginning is something mane organizations fail to do. However, this is just the thing that helps ensure a successful outcome.

July 14, 2008

Hosted Salesforce.com and QuickBooks Integration

Filed under: Data Integration, Data Synchronization — Alena Semeshko @ 3:23 am

Apatar has recently launched Apatar On-Demand for Salesforce.com CRM and QuickBooks accounting software. Apatar On-Demand Edition is a hosted service that synchronizes order data between Salesforce.com CRM and desktop QuickBooks accounting software. It was designed for business users, so the process of setting up the integration link does not require technical skills. Apatar On-Demand Edition for Salesforce.com and QuickBooks allows running one- or two-way, recurring or one-time synchronization of account, contact, order, and opportunity data, while preserving links between tables in both Salesforce.com and QuickBooks.Designed specifically to avoid double entry, subscription to Apatar software also includes embedded data quality service. To free its users from manual data upkeep, Apatar software searches and removes duplicate accounts every time it synchronizes order data.

Apatar On-Demand is available on AppExchange

Why Salesforce.com and QuickBooks users should care?

According to Forrester Research, 66% of North American and European enterprises are afraid to adopt SaaS applications due to integration issues. Apatar On-Demand solves this problem by providing easy-to-use integration and synchronization of data between Web-based and desktop applications. A recent survey by Kelton Research confirms the enterprise’s increasing interest in on-demand services, with nearly 73 percent of large companies saying they had adopted or plan to adopt SaaS in the next 18 months.

Features and benefits: * Accelerate billing
* Shorten collection cycles
* Eliminate duplicate order data
* Avoid double entry and manual coding
* Quickly process new and existing customer sales orders
* Arm your sales and customer service representatives with key information, including customer sales history and up-to-date product data
* As easy as synchronizing your BlackBerry!

Supported QuickBooks editions include QuickBooks Pro, Premier, Enterprise 2003, and, later, QuickBooks 2007.

More details here.

June 28, 2008

Oracle to Survive it all

Filed under: Data Synchronization — Alena Semeshko @ 6:38 am

Crisis might have done harm to some parts of the industry, but definitely not to the relational database management systems market, which saw a 12.6 percent growth spike in 2007 to US$18.8 billion compared to $16.7 billion in 2006, according to IDC.

Oracle Corporation is leading with 44.3 % of the market and a revenue growth of 13.3 percent.

This is a lot due to the release of their 11g, with a large majority of ursers upgrading to it in the recent year. This and their Real Application Clusters is what really contributed to the company’s continued growth throughout the year.

June 11, 2008

Quickbooks going up

Filed under: Data Synchronization — Alena Semeshko @ 5:07 am

I came across an article about QuickBook’s lattest step forward towards the SMB and enterprise market, I though I’d share it with you.

Intuit is making some strategic improvements in its QuickBooks application, which now integrates with Microsoft Outlook, works well under Linu…and much more.

Underneath the welcoming interface is quite a hearty financial system with a lot of the same Electronic Data Interchange capability and features that larger competitors have. With a starting price of $1,199 for a three-user pack, QuickBooks Enterprise is cost-effective. Although it’s questionable if this edition is ready to deploy on Linux, as a Windows client/server application QuickBooks Enterprise 8.0 is a good alternative for small and midsize business looking for a low-cost, relatively low-maintenance financial platform.