Wednesday, August 20, 2014Global Administrator Businesses worldwide are investing heavily in developing and maintaining eCommerce properties and managing their finances using back-office (accounting / ERP) software systems. Surely before selecting which eCommerce platform and ERP are ideal for their business they are doing their homework and evaluating the different options available.

Selecting an integration solution shouldn’t be any different. A well-chosen solution will enable seamless data integration between systems and be the difference between a surviving eCommerce business and a thriving eCommerce business. And in many cases, success brings pain. This is when it becomes very important to have an integration solution that can evolve with your growing business.

You’re probably wondering what set of features or capabilities make up a great integration solution. It’s difficult to come up with a definitive list, as it largely depends on specific customer’s requirements. Instead, we’ve put together our own list, which has been cultivated from eBridge customer feedback. We think it will give you a good idea of what’s important to look for in an integration solution provider.

1. Universal Integration
Universal eCommerce - ERP Integration
Universal eCommerce - ERP IntegrationBusinesses working with eBridge Connections have access to the largest number of pre-built connectors and data flows (what we call touchpoints) in the integration industry. Our universal integration platform supports 40 accounting packages including products from Microsoft Dynamics, Sage, SAP, NetSuite, and Epicor and connects with many of the leading eCommerce platforms and marketplaces such as Magento, Bigcommerce, Volusion, Shopify, Mozu, Amazon, and eBay. Furthermore, we’re continually building new connections in order to better service the growing community of eCommerce merchants.

2. Lowest TCO (Total Cost of Ownership)

When looking at an integration solution it’s easy for a business to be nearsighted – the issues facing the business today are probably what they are focused on solving the most. While eBridge Connections understands the importance of delivering solutions that will solve existing issues, we have made sure not to overlook what could present challenges down the road.

Traditionally, we built integration solutions with individual maps for each data touchpoint. Unfortunately, this technology was getting very expensive for businesses when they wanted (or needed) to upgrade their ERP or set up new eCommerce properties – as the existing maps were not reusable. Each business platform change required more maps to be built.

On average, businesses are replacing their ERP systems every 7 to 10 years. Realizing that businesses are upgrading or migrating to new business platforms frequently, we developed our integration platform to accommodate those changes while minimizing the financial impact to the customer. Featuring reusable integration components and shared business rules on a cloud-based SaaS platform we’ve been able to bring down the total cost of ownership for our customers because new connections are much easier to set up and maintain.

3. Flexibility & Scalability

The eBridge Connections Integration Platform supports both multi-platform and multi-store integrations, with connections to the same accounting package or ERP. For example, an eCommerce business could have 2 Magento stores, an Amazon store, and an eBay store – all integrated with their Microsoft Dynamics GP ERP. We also offer multiple paths to integration. While customers choose to leverage our pre-built connectors, they can also write to our structured API, or use CSV file drops or SQL to integrate their data. For growing eCommerce businesses that might want to switch platforms or expand into other online channels it helps to be working with an integrator that can implement each of those connections.

As mentioned above, the ERP upgrade process is much simpler (and less expensive) for existing eBridge customers because we don’t have to build them a whole new set of maps. This allows our customers to take advantage of robust ERP functionality at a fraction of the time and cost.

Lastly, our platform can also help businesses scale in other areas, by supporting integration with thousands of EDI trading partners such as Walmart, Target, and Costco, and the leading CRM applications, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

4. Product Development, Maintenance, and Support in 1 Location

Software developers are notoriously known for outsourcing much of their work – often to the detriment of their customers. At eBridge Connections we build, maintain, and support our own integration solutions – all from within our Burlington, Ontario-based office. We do not rely on any 3rd party software or developers, and all customers have 24/7 access to our in-house technical support team.

5. 20 Years of Integration Expertise

eBridge Connections has been in the integration business since 1993 – over 20 years! In that time we have developed thousands of accounting integrations for our customers, starting with EDI integration and then evolving to the universal integration capabilities (eCommerce, CRM, and EDI) that we offer today.

With our personalized approach to project delivery, we take the time to understand our client’s needs and then deliver the most efficient and cost-effective solution for their business. In each project we leverage our experienced and knowledgeable team of Integration Specialists, Implementation Consultants and Technical Support Agents to provide full-service integration services – not just off-the-shelf software. We understand that accounting integration is not one size fits all, which is why we’ve built a team of experts to handle the complexities inherent in each specific business scenario.

Trust the eCommerce – ERP Integration Experts

There are many factors for an eCommerce business to consider when selecting an accounting / ERP integration solution provider. Most importantly, you’ll need to know if the integration provider can connect with your existing business platforms. However, it’s also key to consider how your business might change over time. Will establishing additional connections and data touchpoints be important? Will you need to upgrade your ERP? Ideally, you’ll want to have a flexible and scalable solution, that is implemented and supported by experts, and allows you to grow your business without growing your costs.

Contact us to learn more about how eBridge Connections can help you streamline your business processes and maximize the return on your eCommerce and ERP investments.

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