The year was 2013 when Salesforce partnered with Mulesoft, a data integration platform that allows apps and systems to become cross-functional across any cloud. Just the year before that, the path to CRM and ERP integration was a long and difficult process — one that entailed long hours of back-breaking coding work and customising point-to-point integration. But things started to change with the arrival of Mulesoft, making system integration faster and more convenient. So how exactly does Mulesoft help us with the process of CRM and ERP integration? Let’s take a look at all the bits and pieces involved and how these are all brought together to function seamlessly with increased reliability.

Business Systems: CRM and ERP

Today’s popular CRM systems like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM, Pipedrive, and Zoho CRM have gone through years of development in terms of functionality and compatibility with other business systems, particularly with ERPs. And while a CRM and ERP system may appear similar on the surface, they actually possess different capabilities, and at the core, serve entirely different, but equally important functions in today’s businesses.

Old School Approach vs Modern Day Approach

Bridging the gap between these two different business platforms was never without challenges, such an endeavour is anything but a smooth-sailing journey. These challenges typically call for standard industry solutions, specifically: point-to-point communication and program customisation. However, both of these are only effective and manageable for a short period of time; as newer apps and devices become available, the dev team’s work becomes a perpetual work-in-progress. Even those who start with program customisation may end up going the point-to-point route, in the interests of saving time and money, and reducing downtimes as well.

These problems necessitated the need for a stronger, more stable connection. Enter the ESB: a truly lightweight and completely scalable solution that carved a path through the bumpy and problematic road of systems integration.

What is an ESB and How Does it Work?

ESB stands for Enterprise Service Bus. It provides connectivity both for on-premise and cloud-based CRM and ERP systems, which dramatically improves the communication and visibility between the two systems. Salesforce started its journey towards implementing a complete and seamless method of integration with Mulesoft in 2013. This was done through the use of Anypoint Platform: an ESB that possesses universal connectivity and enables painless integration of existing systems and apps, despite the difference in infrastructure. Here is a 2-minute video to show you how an ESB makes things work.

With an ESB, information interchange is stable and adding newer architecture components takes no more than a few clicks of a button. Different teams within the organisation no longer have to resort to the “swivel chair” method to exchange information and dev teams no longer have to endure long hours of troubleshooting, allowing them to focus on the nitty-gritty work of programming. Simply put, an ESB is an honest-to-goodness straightforward solution that enables you to completely circumvent all of your previous CRM and ERP integration issues.

What an ESB does is it ties the loose ends of your current network of systems and apps by providing a seamless connection between them. It is also well-suited for future integrations, giving you the scalability and control that you need in order to build a robust network of systems that will help your team work more efficiently. If you are integrating 3 or more applications or services, you need an ESB to enhance data sharing and processing, so that your teams are always in sync and on top of things.

An ESB also allows you to integrate other messaging protocols, including messaging systems designed to deliver messages to customers and update them regarding the statuses of their orders, from beginning to end.

What’s in it for You

ESB is a powerful integration method that gives both start up and enterprise businesses the agility to keep up with the constant changes and growing demands of their business and their customers. It allows businesses to maximise their time and direct their efforts toward methods that help strengthen their teams and to keep up with the pace of technology. This huge leap in the area of integration gave way to a more reliable system that dev teams can easily handle and tweak to meet every new requirement that comes along, with little to no downtime at all. It also took the previously tricky CRM and ERP combination and turned it into a dependable and steadfast internal communication system, making teams better equipped and constantly aligned as they work together towards accomplishing their shared goals. The ESB integration method has truly revolutionised the way businesses run and communicate, both internally and externally.

How to Get Started

Mule ESB comes in two different editions: Enterprise and Community. The Enterprise version comes with additional features and capabilities that are ready to use, immediately after implementing it, especially if there are critical financial implications that need to be quickly addressed. The Community version is ideal for facilitating an application that requires a huge amount of integration, but needs to be done quickly and easily. Both versions are built on an identical codebase, making it possible for you to switch from Community to Enterprise in the most trouble-free and uncomplicated way possible.

To learn more about what these two versions have to offer, head over to this website to get the 411 on this game-changing ESB technology.



Further Reading