It’s 2020 (dun dun dun) and if you’re ready for your company to be (really) connected and data to move effortlessly, you’re in luck. The days of being mad at your software are over. Even just a few years ago things weren’t as easy as they are now, so listen up!
How about a quick history for some context? 10 years ago, programs were still just figuring out how to run efficiently on the web. Quickbooks, for example, was a stripped down version of what it is today and it didn’t have any connectivity to any other programs.
About 5 years ago, the bigger names started connecting with each other directly through application programming interfaces (API). APIs are how two applications (programs, systems, websites) talk to send data in and out of each other. The down-side was that there were few of them, they were often difficult to set up, and often lacked functionality.
Today, it’s an exciting world out there. A whole new industry has emerged, companies are building layers on top of APIs. These companies have built super simple interfaces with the average Joe in mind. Their goal is to make you (a non-developer) be able to connect any web based service to any other web based service! They’ve taken all the APIs and connected them in one service. My favorite tool for this is Zapier (I’m not being paid by them). Suddenly, we’re in a world where a non-technical person can do what it used to require a programmer to do.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s say when a customer shows interest on your website they request info by giving you their name and email. You can build a Zap (that’s what these flows are called in Zapier) that sends that customer a welcome email and form requesting more information, then sends the data to your CRM, then sends your salesman a text message, then creates a task to follow up in a couple days, then looks up the name of facebook, then records the facebook profile in a spreadsheet. I mean, I’m just throwing things out here, but the point is that you can do a whole lot of moving data all over the place without any effort. Once you build the flow, it just runs forever.
The automations you create for your company can save huge amounts of time and exponentially multiply what your office staff had time to do before. You’ll see that once moving data is essentially free, you can do more of it and make huge gains! It gets addicting. As you build flows and watch them work, you start to see where more flows could follow. Pretty soon you’ll be using them in your personal life!
Zapier has more than 2,000 applications on their platform. Every legitimate application has by now joined a platform like this. There are whole categories of participants for scheduling, accounting, sales, productivity, social media, human resources, file sharing, and so many more. To name drop a few: Google sheets, Gmail, Slack, Airtable, Typeform, Salesforce, Quickbooks, and Allmoxy (sorry, shameless plug). The quality of the applications on the platform is world class, and getting better every day. It’s truly an amazing movement.
With this new awesome power, comes a responsibility to leverage it. If you don’t, your competitors will. The last ones on the bus get the worst seat. I challenge you to look at your organization, scrutinize the way all your software talks to each other (or doesn’t), and fix it using this tool! Don’t be content with humans doing things that computers can do more efficiently. Let humans do things only they can do. Don’t rely on humans to perfectly record data, we’re not built for that. If a human is responsible for moving data in your office, fix it! If you get stuck because your software is outdated, find a new one that isn’t by searching this page. Outdated software will cost you exponentially more the longer you keep it.
If you want to do something like this, but don't have the time, we recommend a few service providers on this page. They specialize in setting these up for you.
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