Building an interconnected ecosystem: Unification vs. Integration

Today’s software market is flooded with conceptually driven, enterprise-grade tools that cater to businesses of all sizes. When implementing these solutions in the beginning, businesses can be successful in fixing process loopholes and putting a better system into place.

However, over time, challenges like integrating the organization’s data, syncing historic data, and finding the right software integrations begin showing up. For a while, you may think that your business has hit the sweet spot as you continue to aggregate it and smooth out the overall business management system.

But in the long term, you may require a robust business operating system that is effective in bringing a unified view of your business without a disproportionate amount of complex integrations with other databases.

In this blog, we’ll explore how a unified, symbiotically self-sufficient business operating system would be a better choice than a multiple app system that habituates and relies heavily on third-party integrations. Read on to learn more.


Integration vs Unification
Graphical representation of Integration vs Unification

The disparate sprawl for data across systems

Integrations are usually known to be the most realistic way to derive value from multiple software components. You can make most things work well with the help of integrations and enough money.

But how do you effectively add more functionalities as you grow? As a growing business, the challenges you’ll face to get disparate data systems to talk to each other by connecting individual products will be far more cumbersome than you possibly could have anticipated.

Let’s walk through a few challenges that you’ll probably face when trying to unify your business:

  • A lack of an immediate strategy to minimize impact when a new market demand applies pressure for more integrations.

  • A lack of ample resources to build integrations for various different ecosystems in a short span of time.

  • Alignment from internal teams toward working on the long-term goal of digitization and functionality expansion.

  • Loss of multiple hundreds of dollars in potential revenue during the transition.

That said, we’re not completely against data integrations. Integration saves time and prioritizes data safety and security. However, the traditional way of implementing integrations has its drawbacks. Executing such integrations needs multiple workstations and separate operation managers to take care of those processes.

Also, administrating integrations to connect multiple best-of-breed solutions requires a separate team of specialists or experts. They may have to resolve issues that arise from multiple integrations requiring expensive maintenance contracts to keep them functional with each application update cycle.

Additionally, data flow is limited. KPIs (such as sales forecasts) can be affected because of a lack of transparency when multiple profile and role hierarchy systems give rise to inconsistencies in the final reported data metric. When this happens, it leaves no room to adapt and evolve through digital transformation.

Moving beyond integrations: Modern-day parallels 

Unlike best-of-breed, multiple-app integration, a unified system is a single platform that centralizes all of your modular solutions.

Unification helps to make sure you deliver a consistent customer experience by providing a unified front that maintains a consistent UI/UX throughout your business management system. This also provides AI technology that helps you cut down the disparate sprawl even further and achieve all of your business goals. As a bonus, you get to reduce the burden on your IT team.

With a streamlined, flexible system that renders a common silo, unification helps bring multiple teams and departments together, making sure communications are aligned and overall business unity is maintained.

Not only that, you can distill each of the apps to fit your business size and its needs. A unified business operating system is progressively enhanced over time to prevent fragmenting of other processes, as opposed to a single heavy update that dismantles other processes.

A unified approach toward a single source of truth 

A business ecosystem is very similar to a natural ecosystem. They offer necessary value to each of the elements in the ecosystem, and act as a good catalyst for providing a good customer experience. However, helping consumers attain true value while using multiple solutions can be hard work.

A unified ecosystem is analogous in nature. It works seamlessly within your business processes without the need to jump between systems for additional information. This helps to reduce multiple data silos and allows you to maintain control over a number of areas within the system.

Other than the primary set of solutions that you implement within the business software, you can keep adding necessary solutions that suit your business when the need arises.

With Zoho One’s unification you can:

Easily  deploy effective sales strategies 

Reach the right customer, engage, convert, and grow your business at a consistent pace. Zoho One allows you to identify new opportunities for cross-selling and upselling, monitor customer sentiment to improve retention, and eliminate redundancy by automating most of your sales processes, such as an approval process for discounts that need to be approved by a sales manager.

Build a strong relationship with your customers 

Easily offer remote support when you’re not able to resolve an issue over a phone call or live chat. With Zoho One, you can offer informed responses to customers via different channels, direct assignments, and regulated workflows to increase productivity.

You can also resolve issues with our AR solution. With social media integrations exclusively designed for businesses in the post-pandemic era, you can now offer support directly from your social media channels, get real-time insights, track threaded tickets, and maintain a healthy customer relationship.

Maximize productivity with better structure  

Declutter your data into better, more meaningful insights with the help of Zoho One’s productivity suite. Prepare presentations and impress business stakeholders. Schedule and manage your tasks to increase your overall productivity. Conduct video conferences and webinars right from your browser.

Your teams can share a common inbox and clear tickets that require intervention from multiple people. Now, you can organize and share your files in a shared space, encouraging team learning and knowledge sharing by providing a centralized hub for your business data.

Automate tasks and business processes

Manage your business processes and automate tasks on the go with Zoho One. Project management will be a breeze with built-in Gantt charts and timesheets that can help you track activity, forecast goals, and analyze workflow performance.

Transform your billing processes with a sophisticated, yet easy to use, workflow with Zoho One’s billing system. Move and manage your finances online with smart accounting, tailor-made subscription models, and billing lifecycles.

With Zoho One’s HR modules, you can easily manage employee databases, track attendance, automate your HR tasks, and implement smart HR workflows.

Zoho One: A new path toward a unified and secure business  

We hope this article has shown you the value of having a unified system over a cluttered integrated business platform. Yes, integrating multiple best-of-breed solutions is good but, in the long run, adopting a unified solution is better. Zoho One will help you to successfully scale your information systems as you grow your business.


1 Replies to Building an interconnected ecosystem: Unification vs. Integration

  1. Hello Despite the ability to unify, I think a simplification of the number of applications becomes necessary. Because when we start we will use an application, then realize that we wasted time and that we should have used another ... Zoho campaigns vs. Zoho Marketing Hub, Zoho Assist vs. Zoho Desk.. I would prefer a single application that takes the best of each. Yesterday I was using Assist, I'm switching to Desk, and today Assist integrates Meeting... Unification will go through a decrease in applications, but with an increased increase in the remaining applications.

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