In the third and final part of our article on what to look for when choosing a software integration platform, we discuss pricing, support, partners and more.
Is the pricing transparent and predictable?
Application integration platforms for small businesses generally have very affordable monthly pricing. However, some use price models with vague terminology or, even more confusingly, have limits on the number of transactions per month. Make sure you fully understand what you’ll be paying each month and that the price isn’t going to fluctuate depending on whether you have a lot of transactions (such as new contacts, orders, invoices, timesheets or project updates) in a particular month.
Is it intuitive and easy to use for non-IT people?
A number of application integration platforms are available, but while some claim to make integration fast and easy, these platforms are designed for larger businesses with an IT department. Check that the platform has a simple Wizard or guided quick start option and that no coding or technical implementation is required.
Does the platform provider have a network of partners that can help you get set up?
Although most platforms for small businesses are easy to set up and use, external assistance may be helpful, especially if you have complex processes and you need to customise your workflows. Your local IT consultant can most likely help, but often your accountant can too, as they probably understand your business better than anyone except you. It may also be helpful if the platform provider works with a range of accounting firms or can work with your accountant if needed.
Does the platform offer support?
Your core business applications are fundamental to your company so you need to be sure that support is available if you have questions about your integration platform. Check the level of support offered by the platform provider; some offer ‘Get Started’ wizards and video tutorials, while most have online, email, social media support and FAQs. Phone support may also be available with some of the platforms.