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June 3rd, 2018

Customer relationship management (CRM) illustration, showing various channels of communications with customers

Salesforce is the world’s #1 customer relationship management (CRM) company, with more than 150,000 subscribers. As more organizations move to a customer-centric approach with cloud-based applications and services, it’s likely that Salesforce will only continue to gain momentum.

However, Salesforce on its own cannot solve the data complexity of hybrid IT systems. Typically, data resides within distributed applications across the enterprise. Software platforms for order management, fulfillment, billing, analytics and customer service may each contain a different set of data, overlapping in some key areas but separately maintained.

Organizations need an integration platform that can help solve these challenges. Integration these days must be much faster and far more efficient than traditional enterprise service bus (ESB) middleware technologies or other legacy approaches.

In our experience, low-code, cloud-native integration has been the answer to delivering the agility that is so necessary to surviving and thriving in today’s digital marketplace. An integration cloud is critical to providing a viable, highly productive way to join together data silos and help companies build a single view of the customer.

In New Zealand, Davanti Consulting has been helping customers solve these integration challenges for quite some time. Salesforce, customer engagement, mobility and digital enterprise architecture are our primary areas of expertise.

Gain a Single View of Each Customer

A majority of our clients struggle with the consistency and quality of their customer contact data. There may be different systems for different customer focuses, or the company may have acquired products or services and related data. Chances are strong that there are inconsistencies in the spellings of people’s names, mailing and email addresses, employers, and more.

Some information may be sparsely populated in one system and more complete in another. While it’s normal for data to be housed in a number of disparate systems, this can result in businesses inadvertently spamming their customers, which nobody wants.

As an example, we’re working with one client at the moment that has a large number of different products. Each product database contains its own customer information, and there is no consistent single view. This can result in the same customer receiving unrelated communications relating to each specific product. Furthermore, this practice breaches privacy laws which can harm an organization’s reputation and cause significant fines.

These days most people may also have more than one email address. Creating a contact ID based off an email address no longer works for marketing automation. Bringing common characteristics together and managing them in a master data management tool can provide a single combined view of the customer, which can then be exposed to the Salesforce CRM front end.

Dell Boomi’s enterprise platform offers a configurable approach that aligns extremely well with Salesforce. Boomi makes it possible to present a single view of the customer. It does this through synchronization (coordinating the “golden record” for the data of multiple applications) and federation (servicing requests from external users against these applications).

The Boomi integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is 100% cloud-native technology, with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface for creating integrations. But that is just one aspect of the help that Boomi provides.

Boomi Master Data Hub synchronizes data across applications to ensure quality and consistency. And in combination with Boomi integration and API management, Boomi Flow extends Salesforce workflow capabilities across an organization. Extending processes with Flow allows people who are not typically interacting or updating Salesforce to also contribute relevant data.

Davanti uses Boomi to help customers minimize the time, cost and effort involved in setting up and maintaining Salesforce connections, as well as providing that single view of their contacts.

Making the Most of Salesforce With the Boomi Integration Cloud

There are a number of reasons why we recommend Boomi as part of our consulting and implementation strategy. These days — with proliferating cloud applications and a legion of legacy on-premise systems — Boomi offers out-of-the-box connectivity into Salesforce and most any application, database or API.

As just one example, I recently created a queueing infrastructure around messaging, which normally would take days to set up, test and configure through traditional methods. Within the Boomi environment, I was able to build it in a couple of hours. Boomi takes the technology details out of it. You don’t need to worry about how things are set up. You can just trust the platform.

Complete, combined offering

Boomi supports all the key requirements of integration for a modern hybrid IT environment. Beyond its excellent core integration capabilities, it has baked-in data quality management, API management, EDI management and workflow automation tools. With this full portfolio of integration support, organizations can address virtually any aspect of their integration needs.

Cloud-native

Many customers come to Salesforce because they are migrating away from their on-premise environments and want to move to the cloud. Boomi’s pure cloud architecture (single-instance/multi-tenant) eliminates any data center infrastructure investments or software management overhead, providing massive efficiencies and cost-savings.

Simple set-up

The focus should always be around configuration first, and only coding when you have to. With Boomi’s model of “clicks, not code,” you can very easily choose the options you want, whether it’s a Salesforce connector, a database connector or anything else. You can define your workflow visually using diagrams and drag-and-drop functionality rather than having to do any in-depth coding. This eliminates the risk of manual coding errors, greatly simplifies configuration processes, and avoids brittle custom integrations that are a nightmare to manage.

Faster deployments

Digital competition is all about speed. With Boomi, it’s very quick to get a concept up and running, with connectivity and functionality that you can then continuously improve and extend. Just go to your browser and start building out functionality, testing and delivering. This supports Davanti’s approach as an agile development shop: we believe in standing up solutions quickly and building iteratively based on usage and feedback.

Lower TCO

Boomi provides a dramatically lower total cost of ownership thanks to the innate advantages of native-cloud platforms and their ability to eliminate most all IT infrastructure costs and software management hassles. Boomi’s low-code development environment further reduces costs related to integration. Low-code greatly eliminates the need for expensive programmers or technical experts. With Boomi, even business users can build integrations.

MDM: A Central Point of Connection

Depending on the size of the organization, it may have one or more instances of Salesforce. Salesforce has limited heterogeneous data management capabilities. As a result, data quality governance is critical when integrating Salesforce with other systems, and still important if an organization is running multiple instances of Salesforce.

Boomi Master Data Hub provides that central point of management needed to orchestrate data among various data silos. Boomi Hub represents data consistently across an organization, helping data stewards model, match, synchronize, cleanse and enrich data from all the organization’s domains.

The integration layer provides access via the Hub to connect all the systems but also pulls it transparently from the source systems, ensuring data quality for applications.

Any data source, including Salesforce, that is connected to the Boomi Hub can contribute data to the hub or consume data from the hub. Boomi Hub also has built-in change detection services to reduce the noise between systems. By streamlining complex look-ups, Boomi helps organizations reduce the costs from data enrichment, operational overhead and synchronization development time.

Boomi’s intelligent capabilities can provide mapping guidance and turbo-charge the process of building data models — a painstakingly long peoject for a typical MDM implementation. Just being able to set up basic capabilities that would normally take days or even weeks to establish saves time and money, and Boomi makes that easy.

About the author: Iain Falconer is the chief integration architect for Davanti Consulting Ltd in Auckland, New Zealand. Davanti helps organizations across the greater Asia-Pacific region with Salesforce, customer engagement, mobility and digital enterprise architecture

For more information on Boomi’s enterprise integration platform, please contact one of our Boomi integration experts today.