7 application integration examples worth implementing

As you look to integrate applications between your internal systems or between your product and 3rd-party applications, it can be hard to pinpoint the best opportunities. 

To help you brainstorm and land on the application integrations that can yield the best results for your organization, we’ll highlight several impactful examples. 

But first, let’s briefly align on the definition of application integration.

Related: The top benefits of application integration

What is application integration?

It’s the process of connecting software applications via their APIs. This can be either integrating the applications you use internally or connecting your product with the applications your clients use.

The two types of application integration

Related: What is software integration?

Examples of application integration for internal use cases

Here are some valuable ways to integrate your internal applications:

Escalate tickets to engineering effectively

As your customer-facing support teams and engineers work to resolve specific issues, they’ll likely find, collaborate, and update these issues within separate ticketing systems. For instance, your support team might rely on a tool like Zendesk while your engineers might rely on a tool like GitHub.

In many cases, however, the two functions need to be working in lockstep in order to resolve an issue quickly and effectively. 

To help facilitate this, you can integrate the ticketing tools each team relies on and build the following workflow: Once support escalates a ticket, it gets added to the engineering team’s ticketing system. 

The ticket in the engineering team’s system can be pre-populated with certain fields to help them tackle the issue quickly. And, any time an engineer updates the ticket, the corresponding changes can take place in the support team’s ticketing system, all but ensuring that support is kept fully in the loop.

Route leads to sales as soon as they reach a certain lead score

As your team nurtures leads in your marketing automation platform, you’ll want to route them over to sales as soon as they’re deemed qualified. It’s only then that sales can have meaningful conversations with prospects and convert them to clients.

You can accomplish this by connecting your marketing automation platform with your CRM and establishing a data flow where once a lead in the former reaches a certain lead score, it gets added automatically to the latter. 

And, to help reps reach out to prospects more thoughtfully, specific fields can also be synced over, such as the lead’s company, job title, engagement with marketing activities, etc. 

Lead routing flow

Related: Common API integration examples

Add new hires to your HRIS solution to help streamline onboarding

Once a target candidate signs their offer letter, you’ll need to add them to your HRIS so that HR can become aware of their start date and can begin the work of pre-boarding them.

To that end, you can integrate your HRIS with your ATS and build a flow where once a candidate is marked as hired in the ATS, their profile gets added in the HRIS. In addition, key fields can be synced over from the ATS, giving HR and IT additional context that could help them pre-board the new hire (e.g. shipping out work equipment to the right address).

Examples of application integration for customer-facing use cases

Here are some examples of integrating your product with customers’ applications:

Automatically provision and deprovision users in your product

Over time, your clients will need to add, remove, and modify users’ information in your product.

Forcing them to perform this work manually can become extremely time-intensive and can lead to costly human errors. Your clients may not, for example, deprovision departed employees or add new hires who need to use your product.

To avoid these issues altogether, you can integrate your product with clients’ HRIS solutions and sync employee data from the HRIS with your product. 

A visual breakdown of automating employee onboarding and offboarding with your product

Related: A guide to auto-provisioning 

Enhance your AI-powered deal prediction capabilities

Let’s assume you provide a sales automation solution that, using AI, helps reps and sales leaders identify the opportunities that are most likely to close. 

To aid your AI capabilities for each client, you can integrate with clients’ GTM applications (like their CRM systems and marketing automation platforms) and sync historical data related to their customers and leads.

A visual on syncing product data to improve your product

Related: Software integration examples worth trying

Add key documents to your product

Imagine your clients need to access specific documents to carry out tasks in your product. 

To help them add these files to your product automatically, you can provide integrations with a variety of file storage platforms. 

A visual breakdown of automating file uploads in your product

Through the file storage integrations, you can sync specific, predefined files with your product.

This allows your product to store up-to-date files, remove any that are no longer relevant, and avoid unintentionally storing files that shouldn't live in your product. 

Sync newly-sourced prospects with your clients’ ATS systems instantly 

Say you offer a product that helps identify ideal candidates for your organization. 

To help your users (recruiters) identify these suggested candidates and follow-up with them promptly, you can offer integrations with your clients’ ATS solutions

A visual breakdown of automating candidate sourcing

Once your product identifies a potential candidate, they get added to the clients’ ATS solution with all of the information the recruiter cares about, such as their first name and last name, current employer and job title, links to their portfolio site and Linkedin page, etc.

Related: How to integrate applications successfully (7 best practices)

Implement any customer-facing integration with Merge

Merge, the leading unified API platform, lets you offer a whole category of integrations with a single unified API, whether that’s CRM, HRIS, ATS, file storage, marketing automation, etc.

The platform also offers comprehensive Common Models, along with advanced features for syncing custom objects and fields (e.g. Field Mapping), to help your clients access and sync all of the fields they care about.

Lastly, Merge offers Integrations Management, a comprehensive suite of features and capabilities to help your customer-facing teams manage any potential integration issue with ease.

Learn more about Merge by scheduling a demo with one of our integration experts.

Application integration FAQ

In case you have any more questions on application integration, we’ve addressed several commonly-asked ones below.

What are the benefits of application integration?

The benefits largely come down to the specific integrations you’re building. That said, the top benefits include improved customer retention, a higher close rate for new business, greater employee productivity, an easier path to expand into new markets, and fewer human errors.

What are the different types of application integration?

The different types, or methods, often come in the following categories:

  • API: building to and maintaining a connection with an application’s API endpoint
  • File: exporting a file from one application, performing certain transformations to fit the data model of the destination system, and then importing the file into the destination system, where the data is then processed 
  • Screen scraping: using a script to automatically copy a predefined set of data from one application and paste it to another

How should you evaluate application integration solutions?

The most important criteria is determining how well certain application integration solutions can support your current use case(s) as well as your planned use case(s). This involves receiving custom demos, reading relevant case studies, testing during a trial or proof of concept, and so on.

Aside from their functionality, you should explore other areas, such as their levels of support, security policies and certifications, and reviews on 3rd-party sites. 

What are some challenges to application integration?

The challenges depend on how you’re building and maintaining the application integrations. 

Generally speaking, if you’re building integrations in-house, one of the biggest challenges lies in your engineering team’s ability to keep pace with integration requests, identify, diagnose, and resolve issues on time, and juggle building and maintaining integrations with other core parts of their job.  

If you’re building integrations through an application integration solution, on the other hand, common challenges include getting onboarded onto the platform, scaling it in a way that’s cost-effective, and leveraging it to support all—not just some—of your integration use cases.

How should you design and implement an application integration strategy?

Crafting your strategy requires cross-functional alignment on the answers to the following questions (and potentially others):

  • What are the top goals from the application integrations? The answer can help you prioritize certain integrations over others
  • Do I have enough developer resources to build and maintain integrations today and in the foreseeable future? If the answer is no, you should look into investing in a 3rd-party platform; if the answer is yes, it might make sense to build and maintain integrations in-house (but the “build vs buy” decision depends on several factors)
  • How should we take the integrations to market? This requires deciding on the model for supporting the integrations. And if the integrations are customer-facing, you’ll also need to decide on how sales presents them during demos, how they’re priced, the marketing strategies for raising awareness of them, and more