While technology is there to make our lives easier, there is a level of complexity involved when using multiple platforms simultaneously. Ultimately, there is little point in implementing the best technologies for your business if your platforms don’t talk to each other.
Every system that you select as part of your tech stack has its workflows and ways of making operations more efficient. However, the process of moving from one system to another can be both manual and time-consuming. If technology isn’t well integrated, it becomes an overall management burden, which in practice can make it a lot less efficient than it promised to be.
Connecting your technology stack and driving automated workflows through your project management process can provide significant value to your business. It is vital, however, that each part of your tech stack is set up correctly and adequately integrated to deliver increased value.
Common Tech Integrations In AEC
When deciding upon any new piece of technology, it is fundamental to determine whether it will work with existing platforms. The idea being that integrated technology will connect seamlessly, improve workflows, and simplify processes.
When integrated correctly, these platforms, as well as others, enable businesses to improve project focus, target and nurture leads more effectively and increase efficiency. Having the right blend of technologies means Return on Investment (ROI) can be monitored and improved.
Top Integrations with OpenAsset
Throughout our history, OpenAsset has developed its product and service through feedback from our client base. As part of that, we’ve looked at the other systems our clients use, and created integrations to help improve workflows for firms using OpenAsset.
The top integrations used by OpenAsset clients:
The largest Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system on the market, and probably the most well known. The technology combines lead management, marketing automation, and sales data to drive lead conversion.
Using Zapier, you can create powerful integrations with Salesforce. This can include creating new projects in OpenAsset when an opportunity stage changes to “closed", or update project fields with key data from opportunities and campaigns. Find out more here.
Deltek – Deltek Vision
Deltek is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution built to help project-based businesses. Software solutions enable project intelligence, management, and collaboration.
Our ‘Deltek Connector’ enables OpenAsset to integrate directly with Deltek Vision. Our purpose-built connector ensures a stable integration that allows firms to map fields between the systems effortlessly. This means you can connect project data with project photos, creating a searchable digital asset library leveraging Deltek Vision as the source of project information.
As well as creating a flow of data, integration allows firms to utilize data from Deltek Vision to create employee resumes with only a few clicks of your mouse.
A proposal automation system that integrates seamlessly with a broad range of third-party applications and web services. Integrations help you work more quickly and more efficiently while maximizing the power of your data.
Using Zapier, you can integrate Cosential with OpenAsset to update project fields in OpenAsset with key data from opportunities in Cosential. You can also create zaps that generate a new project in OpenAsset when an opportunity stage changes to “closed".
Github is a tool commonly used in the software development industry; the engineering team at OpenAsset uses it to collaborate on product development projects. By integrating GitHub and OpenAsset, users can create new projects in OpenAsset when a repo is added to GitHub. You can also update project fields in OpenAsset with key data from GitHub repos.
Another CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics, is great for boosting lead tracking, sales, and assisting with cloud-based business applications. The system transforms customer behavior into valuable data insights.
As with other CRM solutions, through a Zapier integration, information can be exchanged between the two systems.
The content management system (CMS) that powers over 30% of websites on the internet (including OpenAsset’s). Users build everything from blogs to full-blown websites, and thousands of plugins allow for simple integrations with common platforms.
WordPress helps developers and content managers to build sites around high-quality imagery. This imagery can be easily managed in the Media Library and optimized through the use of plugins and SEO tools.
Using a Zapier integration, you can upload new photos or videos to OpenAsset when they are added to WordPress, and vice versa.
Other Common Integrations
Some of the common technology platforms that work well together and often integrated within an AEC tech stack include:
- Deltek with Salesforce– being able to share opportunities, account, and contact information from Salesforce to Deltek allows for a much more streamlined process. Estimates, proposals, and project plans become much more straightforward to put together, saving time and money.
- Cosential with Deltek– connecting your financial system and project automation system, means you can prepare accurate submittals faster, ensure data integrity, and boost marketing data with financial data.
- WordPress with Dynamics– connecting your CMS and CRM creates powerful portal solutions. You’re able to design forms and insert them on your site, collect leads without any coding, and build customized record views.
How Easy Are Integrations?
Connecting technologies within a tech stack can be a daunting process. However, the complexity of integrations depends on the technology selected, as well as the tools used to carry out the integrations.
When it comes to integration, it’s best to look for APIs that integrate nicely with your existing systems. Tools that offer open or public APIs, using RESTful technology, will be the easiest to integrate. This technology is the industry standard and will ensure that the integrations you put in place are future-proofed.
How to Project Manage Integrations
The best approach to integrations will always be a staggered one. Trying to integrate all workflows and technologies at once can add complexity and impact success. Integration should be an evolving process within your business and, as such, should be approached logically.
The best way to know where to start is to look at the technology that will yield the most benefit. These will be areas where your employees waste the most amount of time, frequently repeating manual processes. Building incremental success with your integrations will help you to drive change management.
Also, at each stage of the integration process, you’ll want to evaluate the results. You need to be sure you’re getting the expected value and that the integration is indeed helping you to automate workflows and increase efficiency.
Removing Repetitive Tasks with Workflow Automation
As well as more complicated integrations between your tech platforms, workflow automation can make a significant difference. Manual, time-consuming tasks can be transformed into sophisticated processes, meaning that your employees have more time to focus on the things that matter.
Workflow automation tools can help you quickly automate tasks and become more productive. Some of these use web apps, and some are entirely offline. Desktop-based tools can be used to implement triggers to automate workflows within your computer. Meanwhile, the real growth area in workflow automation is in cloud-based providers who use API calls from web apps to trigger preset actions. These tools enable functions to be performed inside platforms without needing to log in within your browser.
One of the leading online workflow automation tools is Zapier. It has over 750 different apps that it can integrate with. Everything from the likes of Gmail, Slack, and MailChimp can be integrated, automating repetitive tasks without any need for coding or relying on developers to build integrations.
OpenAsset has a partnership with Zapier; this has substantially increased the number of integrations that can be set up between OpenAsset and other core business platforms. The setup process is straightforward; you can find out more by visiting our Help Centre.