Integration with Third-Party Tools: Why Do We Need It?

Posted by
Julia in Technology on 6/9/20215 min read

person juggling

It doesn’t matter what kind of goal your business has at the moment (better understanding of customers’ needs, investigating new trends, creating high-quality online help, etc.), data and information always have a crucial role. What we see today is that there are so many services, tools, and apps; some of them solve totally different problems, some of them solve identical problems, but in most cases, software pieces complement each other. Both companies and freelancers often use several tools to support their workflow. It may be challenging. It may take a lot of time and effort. Let’s say you have a huge database of clients, and you use more than one tool to manage and store the information. If you don’t want to add the same data in each tool manually and you need to get the information synchronized automatically, software integration or application integration is a must for you.

What Is Software Integration?

Almost all businesses have to use too many tools and services to perform well; the list can be from 10 to 100 positions depending on the industry, the number of employees, goals, etc. It leads to faster evolving integration requests. The main reasons are here:

  • Transfer of information from one tool to another and keeping it updated all the time.
  • Integration of legacy systems and new software.
  • Combining the functions of different tools in one environment.

Software integration is an engineering process of combining two or more pieces of software to solve the problem of data isolation and gather the components of the two sub-systems into a whole one.

It is used to reduce duplicating information and data redundancy. Collecting all the data in one system allows users to efficiently use and manage it. Fast and convenient access to data allows to better track business processes such as sales, operations, employees’ productivity, etc. Here are some vivid examples of software integration:

  • A project management tool can be integrated with a technical writing platform. It means that software development and technical writing may share the same working environment and go hand in hand.
  • A technical writing tool can be integrated with online chat software. That is a great solution to make the communication process faster as users may reach out to the support team to discuss unclear things and ask questions right away while they are reading a topic. A user left alone with a problem may give up using a software product.
  • A CRM tool can be integrated with an email service. That can help you create email campaigns right in your CRM interface.
  • A help authoring tool may be integrated with Google Analytics. An integration like that will help a tech writer see which topics are most popular, which are useful, which require updating. Users’ behavior tells a lot about the quality of documentation.
  • Your website or blog can be integrated with social media. Your accounts will be automatically updated as soon as you post something.
  • An HR tool can be integrated with an accounting service to make payroll calculations faster.

The list of integrations may be endless depending on your needs and goals.

Does Your Business Need an Integration Solution?

As a rule, new companies have quite basic software needs. Their processes are yet not complex and large. But those businesses that have a history often see that the amount of information they work with increases, sales are getting lower, customer support becomes less efficient. One of the reasons here is that employees do not cope with the amount of information they deal with, and routine processes take too much time distracting them from more important tasks. Here are the signs that your business needs an integration solution:

  • Your readers cannot leave comments or react to your technical documentation.
  • A lot of time and effort is required to maintain data.
  • You cannot track the efficiency of your technical documentation.
  • Employees make a lot of mistakes using systems that are not connected to each other.
  • Adding videos and other visuals to your technical documentation is challenging.
  • Your systems are already integrated, but they are too slow and do not work as expected.
  • It takes a lot of time to transfer data from system to system manually.
  • There is no single authentication system like Single Sign-On (SSO), and users have to keep multiple accounts to log in to different systems.
  • As several systems are used, a lot of duplicated work takes place when adding data to all of them.
  • You cannot add data to your system using each of your services equally efficiently.
  • You cannot manage translations in your help authoring tool.

Very often, software integration becomes a game-changer, and businesses get a lot of benefits from it. Some repetitive processes remain in the past, and employees pay more attention to what they are supposed to do - increase sales, improve customer experience, create high-quality documentation, etc.

woman using macbook

ClickHelp Integrations

Technical writing is another sphere that uses the benefits of software integration. Help authoring tools offer so many built-in integrations to improve the quality of technical documentation. ClickHelp is a cloud platform that follows this course. It is a flexible technical writing tool that allows using third-party software to make your online help even better. REST API contributes to that. Here are some of the most popular integrations:

  • Zendesk Integration. This type of integration is used by support teams to make it easier to share links and other resources with customers - they have all the content available in their Zendesk agent console, they don’t need to look for it in their help authoring tool.
  • AddThis Integration. It provides your technical documentation with website tools to get likes, followers, and shares.
  • LiveChat Integration. This integration allows you to add a chat to your technical documentation. A simple solution for those who want to provide readers with quick support.
  • Single Sign-On (Salesforce, Microsoft Azure, Google). It enables readers, authors, reviewers, translators to authenticate in your documentation portal using a third-party system. For example, they can log into a service and be automatically authenticated in your documentation portal.
  • Vimeo or YouTube Integrations. You can insert videos in your technical documentation, which is a trend today. Our post - Latest Tips on Using Video Content in Technical Documentation will tell you more about the reasons for using video content in technical documentation, the best tools to create videos, and the most popular video hosting platforms.

You can see the full list of integrations here - ClickHelp Integrations. There are more than 20 integrations that make our platform more powerful. If you need your own integrations, you can add them. For example, you can add JavaScript libraries or custom elements to your topics.

girl using desktop computer

Conclusion

Experts say that software integrations are developing rapidly, and in the future, the pace of this trend is not going to slow down, though it is a complex process that always looks easier on paper than in reality. Companies invest a lot in it as they get great advantages: they increase productivity, control costs, simplify many operations, improve data accuracy, and customize workflow to meet their unique needs. The best strategy for businesses is to make integration a repetitive process to let it work for you.

Good luck with your technical writing!
ClickHelp Team
Author, host and deliver documentation across platforms and devices

 

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