Content Services Platform Integrations: How a Little Time Can Save a Lot of Money
Content services platform (CSP) integrations may not seem like an important topic, but consider this: Every week, businesses lose time while employees search for the information they need to do their jobs. How much time? The equivalent of one day a week for the year (source). This means you are losing 52 days worth of work time per employee. For some organizations, this represents billions in lost revenue.
Statistics like this underline the importance of having organized, aggregated, and structured content for teams to access no matter where they’re working.
In another blog, we went over the basics of content services platforms: what they are, what they do, and why your business will benefit from adopting this game-changing tech. Today we’re going to talk about content services platform integrations and why it’s important to create a network of tools for your business to easily navigate and access.
Like a lot of businesses, you probably use more than one tool. In fact, you probably use at least half a dozen. Because there never seems to be a single platform that can do everything you need, the number of tools you need seems to grow out of control as your business expands.
What are content service platform integrations?
A content services platform integration happens when your CSP is able to connect with a 3rd party tool to work together. Integration occurs when two or more platforms can work in harmony to create a more seamless and cohesive user experience.
Examples: Some common integrations you may already use would be something like your payroll software being integrated with Quickbooks, or Microsoft Excel integrating with your reporting software.
Because more than one tool is needed, it’s important to know what works with what and what doesn’t.
How to integrate other tools with a content services platform: 3 questions to ask
When onboarding a new client, we often focus on the following questions when it comes to the integrations they might need:
- What are your workflows?
- What are useful integrations for your business needs?
- Are custom integrations necessary based on those needs?
1. What are your workflows?
One of the first things that become apparent when adopting a CSP: process and workflows are a major part of your communications and data management. In another post, we discuss workflows and how automation of workflows can completely transform the way you do business, but today we’ll briefly cover what workflows and integrations have to do with one another.
The rush to digitize workflows and communications is nothing new, but in the age of COVID-19 and the switch to remote work seemingly overnight, having a digital portal through which your team can access needed information, documentation, and communications means the difference between success and failure on a scale we’ve not seen before.
The first step in understanding what integrations you need is to analyze your workflows to see what they are and how they may need to be optimized or changed in the move from on-paper to online. It is likely that you use other services and platforms to do your task management and communications as part of these workflows, so be sure to record them in a list so you know what integrations you’ll need and if your CSP will cover them.
2. What are useful integrations for your business needs?
This year, the amount of data created globally on a daily basis will reach 44 trillion gigabytes, mostly in the form of unstructured data (source), and on average, an employee might search up to 4 systems in order to find the information they need to do their job well. (source)
Having a central place to enter, organize, store, and manage your content becomes critical, not only to save time and money, but to ensure that all of your data is secure, organized, and accurate.
As we mentioned earlier, it’s a good idea to start making a list of the tools, platforms, and services that you use and how you use them so you can more easily identify what integrations you’ll need for your content services platform.
Some of the most common integrations that we see:
- Microsoft Office/Outlook
- DocuSign (if your DMS or CSP doesn’t offer e-sign functionality)
- QuickBooks or other accounting software
- Payroll software
- MQA’s e Licensing and Enforcement Information Database System (LEIDS)
Of course, this is not a complete list, so be sure to cultivate your own so that as you look for the right content services platform for your needs, you know exactly what you need before you start getting set up.
3. Are custom integrations important?
Short answer: yes! Long answer: while some data management systems and tools, like ImageAPI, include an application programming interface (API), not all systems are created equally. If your content services platform doesn’t offer a turnkey integration (like the ones listed in the previous section) that you need to efficiently manage your business, making sure it is capable of executing custom integrations is important. But how can you easily understand if that’s something your CSP offers?
To find that our for certain, look for a content services platform with an open API. Having an API is important because you can use published/available API documentation to connect and integrate with any software that allows it, giving you many more options to choose from, and the ability to truly create a content hub that can increase efficiency and decrease the amount of time spent searching for important information.
Integrations are an important part of your content services platform
At the end of the day, a CSP is only as valuable as you make it. If it can “talk” to other, important tools that your team already needs and uses, you can truly create an environment in which digitizing your workflows and information can transform the way business is done.
If you’re looking into how to safely, securely, and efficiently bring your paper-based processes online, check out our eBook written to help guide you through selecting a digital provider and establishing your new digital processes.