Workflow integration is like the final boss in all things business process management and efficiency.
It’s one thing to have workflows made, it’s another entirely to integrate them with other apps. Workflow integration connects tons of workflow-related applications into one place to help create some of the most efficient business processes out there.
If you’re interested in using integrations in your own workflows, this post is for you. We’re going to look at what workflow integration is, its benefits, the different types, some examples, and the best workflow integration software you can find.
Let’s dive in!
Workflow integration is the process of combining different systems, tools, and processes within an organization to create a seamless and efficient flow of work.
It involves connecting various components of a workflow, such as software applications, databases, communication channels, and other resources, to ensure smooth information exchange and task coordination.
At its core, the goal of workflow integration is to eliminate manual handovers, minimize data duplication, and improve overall productivity.
By integrating contrasting systems, organizations can automate repetitive tasks, streamline processes, and enable better collaboration among team members. It can be done within a single department or across multiple departments. It’s even possible to do it with external partners or vendors.
Workflow integration offers several significant benefits for organizations of all sizes and across various industries. Let’s explore some of its biggest advantages:
Integrating workflows eliminates manual handovers and reduces repetitive tasks by automating processes. This automation leads to faster completion of tasks, improved turnaround times, and increased overall efficiency.
By streamlining workflows and minimizing time-consuming manual interventions, employees can focus on more valuable and strategic work, boosting productivity.
Workflow integration facilitates seamless communication and collaboration between team members, departments, and even external stakeholders.
By connecting different systems and enabling real-time data sharing, integrated workflows ensure that everyone has access to the latest information. This fosters better teamwork, coordination, and decision-making, ultimately improving project outcomes and organizational performance.
I can attest to this one from personal experience! It’s a real game-changer.
Manual data entry and handoffs are prone to human errors like data duplication, omissions, or inconsistencies. Workflow integration helps mitigate these risks by automating data exchange and synchronizing information across systems. This reduces the likelihood of errors, improves data accuracy, and enhances the reliability of processes.
Integrating workflows eliminates redundant and time-consuming tasks, reducing operational costs and freeing up resources.
Through process automation, organizations can optimize their workforce and allocate human capital to more valuable activities. Moreover, streamlined workflows lead to faster project completion, shorter response times, and improved customer service, which can result in cost savings and increased customer satisfaction.
Workflow integration provides organizations with a consolidated view of their operations. When they connect different systems and data sources, it becomes easier to monitor and analyze key performance indicators (KPIs) across the entire workflow.
This enhanced visibility enables organizations to identify bottlenecks and make data-driven decisions for process optimization and continuous improvement.
Integrated workflows are designed to accommodate growth and changes within an organization. As businesses evolve, workflow integration allows for the seamless integration of new tools, systems, or processes.
That kind of scalability ensures that the workflow remains agile and adaptable, supporting the organization’s changing needs and enabling efficient scaling of operations.
Integrated workflows enable organizations to provide a seamless and consistent experience to their customers. By connecting front-end and back-end systems, customer information is readily available, allowing for personalized interactions and faster response times.
This improves customer satisfaction, strengthens customer relationships, and contributes to overall business success.
There are three types of workflow integration. It’s important to understand what they are before deciding which type is right for your business. Let’s take a look at them:
API integrations are characterized by a connection between two or more apps through their APIs. That connection allows data to flow freely between the applications without needing humans to lift a finger.
API integration facilitates real-time data synchronization, automates processes, and enables the utilization of multiple systems’ functionalities. It empowers organizations to leverage the strengths of different applications, creating a unified ecosystem and improving efficiency, productivity, and scalability.
Native integration refers to the built-in and seamless connection between software applications or systems without the need for external tools or intermediaries. In a native integration, the functionality and communication channels are pre-built and designed to work together, often by the same vendor or developer.
They provide direct access to features and functionalities of different applications, enabling smooth data exchange and interaction. Native integrations simplify the implementation process, enhance user experience, and ensure seamless interoperability between systems within the same ecosystem.
Third-party integration is the process of connecting software applications or systems developed by different vendors or parties. It involves using third-party tools, APIs, or middleware to facilitate communication and data exchange between disparate systems.
Unlike native integrations, third-party integrations are typically developed by external vendors or developers specializing in integration services. These integrations bridge the gap between different applications and allow them to work together, enabling seamless data sharing and functionality.
They offer flexibility by supporting connections between various software platforms and expanding the capabilities of existing systems.
Want to know what workflow integration looks like in action? Here are some examples:
Zapier is a popular cloud-based integration platform that enables users to connect and automate workflows between different web applications. Zapier integrations are created using “Zaps,” which are workflows that connect trigger events from one application to corresponding actions in another application.
Zapier offers a vast library of pre-built integrations, allowing users to connect hundreds of web applications without the need for coding or technical expertise. These integrations cover a wide range of categories, including project management, customer relationship management, marketing, e-commerce, productivity, and more.
By leveraging Zapier integrations, users can automate repetitive tasks, streamline data transfer, and create efficient workflows across multiple applications. For example, a Zap could be set up to automatically create a new task in a project management tool whenever a new email arrives in an inbox, or to add new leads from a form submission directly into a CRM system.
One of the key benefits of Zapier integrations is their versatility and ability to connect applications that may not have built-in integrations or APIs. This enables users to bridge the gap between different systems and create a unified workflow without relying on complex custom development or coding.
Salesforce is a leading customer relationship management (CRM) platform that offers a wide range of features and functionalities to manage sales, marketing, customer service, and more.
Salesforce integrations can take various forms, including:
Data integrations: Integrating Salesforce with other applications or databases allows for the synchronization and sharing of data in real time. This ensures that customer information, such as contact details, leads, opportunities, and interactions, remains consistent across systems.
Application integrations: By integrating Salesforce with other business applications, organizations can leverage the strengths of different systems and enable seamless data flow between them. For example, integrating Salesforce with marketing automation tools can facilitate the transfer of leads and campaign data, while integrating with finance or ERP systems can streamline the quote-to-cash process.
Custom integrations: Salesforce provides robust APIs and development tools that enable custom integrations tailored to specific business needs. These integrations can involve building custom functionalities, workflows, or interfaces that connect Salesforce with other applications or systems.
AppExchange integrations: Salesforce’s AppExchange marketplace offers a wide range of pre-built integrations and third-party applications that can be easily integrated with Salesforce. These integrations extend Salesforce’s capabilities and provide additional features for specific industries or business needs.
Slack provides a wide range of integrations through its App Directory, offering seamless connectivity with numerous software applications and services. These integrations enable users to bring information, notifications, and actions from other tools directly into Slack, creating a centralized hub for collaboration and communication.
Slack integrations can be categorized into several types:
Productivity integrations: Slack integrates with productivity tools such as project management platforms, document collaboration tools, and calendar applications. These integrations allow teams to access and share project updates, documents, and event schedules without leaving the Slack interface.
Communication integrations: Slack also integrates with various communication tools, including video conferencing platforms, voice calling services, and email clients. These integrations facilitate quick and direct communication within Slack, making it easy to start video or voice calls and stay connected with team members.
Notification integrations: You can connect Slack to notification services, such as monitoring tools or alerting systems. This integration enables real-time notifications and alerts to be sent to specific channels or users in Slack, keeping teams informed about critical events or system updates.
Bot integrations: Slack allows the integration of interactive bots that automate tasks, provide information, or facilitate workflows. Bots can be used for various purposes, including managing to-do lists, conducting polls, fetching data, or initiating actions in connected systems.
We’ve looked at some great examples of workflow integration, but I want to show you something new: workflow software with integrations.
It’s different, I swear!
Zapier is integration software, Salesforce is a CRM, and Slack is a communication app. They’re all awesome at what they do, but none of them are dedicated workflow software.
To get the most out of workflow integration, you should use a tool like Process Street.
Process Street is a workflow management solution that integrates with a number of third-party apps. Not only does integrate with the three above, but it also integrates with:
With all those integrations, you can create some of the strongest and most efficient workflows out there. Just about every part of your business operations can be automated using Process Street integrations.
It’s great because it centralizes all of your recurring tasks and makes it easier for teams to keep track of data and workflows.
If you want to see Process Street integrations in action, book a free demo with us! We’ll walk you through how they work, how to set them up, and answer any questions you have.