You’ve built an amazing product or service, and you want to make sure that every piece of hardware and software you purchase works together seamlessly. After all, you can’t expect your customers to have much fun if your products don’t work as a team.
You’ve heard of product integration, but what is it exactly? Let’s explore.
What Is Product Integration?
Product integration is the process of combining two or more products or services into a single streamlined flow. When a business owner or operator sees the term ‘product integration’, they often think about combining a hardware product (such as a router or a server) with a software product (like a web-hosting control panel) into a single package. While this is a classic example of product integration, it isn’t always as easy as it sounds.
Product integration can also mean combining two separate software applications (like an email marketing program with a CRM). In many cases, the two applications work together to create a better user experience for the person using the combined product. For instance, when you integrate your email marketing program with your CRM, you can pull email lists directly from your CRM so that you can send targeted marketing campaigns to specific groups of people.
Innovation is at the core of every business. Without it, your products could never become obsolete, and your customers could never find better ways to do business. When it comes to staying innovative, some companies choose to stay independent and operate in their own space. However, the most innovative companies know that when they work together, they can push each other to new limits and can accomplish more in the long run. This is why every business, big or small, integrates certain products or services to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology.
Why Should You Integrate AWeber And Registration Systems?
Ah, the dreaded word ‘integration’. When a business owner or operator hears the word ‘integration’, they often feel a little apprehensive. After all, integration means that you’re bringing two or more products together that were never meant to work together. Typically, this leads to a lot of problems.
Let’s use the example of a web host and a registration system. The host provides the platform for your site, and the registration system allows visitors to access your site. If you were to integrate these two products, you’d have to examine each product’s documentation and figure out how to make them work together. Even then, there is really no guarantee that the integration will work smoothly. In many instances, the integration can cause significant technical errors and difficulties that could potentially damage your site.
Fortunately, this is rarely the case. Most businesses that choose to integrate aWeber with another product or service do so for a reason. Usually, the integration is performed to improve the user experience. This means that the hardware or software that you are integrating with serves a purpose that is more vital to the functioning of your business than the products themselves. In the example above, the host’s product is primarily used to provide a platform for your site, while the registration system’s purpose is to allow visitors to access your site. When you integrate these two systems, you can rest assured that the products will work together to ensure that your users have an extremely positive experience.
How Do You Integrate AWeber And Registration Systems?
So you decided to integrate AWeber with your registration system. How exactly do you go about doing this? There are several steps you need to take to ensure a smooth transition for your users.
The first step is to examine the purposes of each product and identify what needs to happen for their individual functions to work together. In the example above, the host provides a platform for your site and helps you to administrate your content. The registration system provides a way to verify and authenticate users so that they can access your content. It would be a sad day if you were to lose all your content because the registration system was unable to function correctly.
Since the two parts serve separate purposes, you don’t want to integrate them without taking the time to figure out how each part works. Once you know how each part fits into the function of your business, you can determine what will happen when you integrate them. In the example above, you would need to adjust the registration system so that it can work with the host. In some instances, you might need to purchase additional licenses or modules to make this happen. Once this is done, you can use the registration system to boost site traffic.
The Second Step: Testing
One of the most critical steps in the integration process is testing. Just because you figured out how each product or service works separate from one another, it doesn’t mean that you can just plug them together and expect everything to function smoothly. Even the most experienced business operators (and there are certainly some really experienced ones out there) can make mistakes that cause significant problems for their businesses. Since you’re investing in a business that is critical to the success of your company, you want to make sure that every aspect works as intended before you start using the product or service in your daily operations.
Even then, it’s not necessarily easy to test every aspect of an integration. Sometimes, the processes that you’ve set up to make the integration work can cause significant traffic to be shifted to your site that you’re unable to control. This is where testing comes in. Before you integrate aWeber with another product or service, you need to be able to test how everything works together. If you’re unable to test how each part individually works (i.e. if you’re combining these products or services for the first time), you might need to set up a separate testing environment before you start using them together.
Step Three: Documentation
When you’ve tested the integration and confirmed that it works as intended, it’s time to move on to the more tedious (and often error-prone) task of documenting the process. Even if everything went perfectly during the integration process, things can and will go wrong during operation. Naturally, things will break, and you’ll need to figure out how to correct them.
If you’ve followed the above advice, you’ve already taken the first step towards implementing a successful integration. By examining the individual purposes of each product or service, you were able to determine exactly what needs to happen for the integration to work. This makes it much easier to document the process and ensure that everything is correct when you’re done. If you’ve opted to integrate AWeber with your registration system, the next step is to examine how each product works together.
Just because something is integrated doesn’t mean that it has to stay that way. In some instances, you might want to divorce the two products completely and integrate them separately into different parts of your business. In the interest of keeping things simple and as streamlined as possible, it is preferable to keep the two separate.