Tag Archive for: technology


Making use of a CRM could be one of the most important decisions your company can make. With that being said, it can be quite a daunting task to do, and decisions can be overlooked when a company implements a CRM. That is why Commercient and Roycon have teamed up to make their customers aware of what can be overlooked when implementing a CRM and to ensure a successful implementation.

Here are the top 5 decisions that are overlooked when implementing a CRM.

1. A CRM Team

When implementing a CRM, companies may overlook the fact that when implementing a CRM you need a team to do so. This is to ensure that the CRM is used correctly. To avoid this happening, make sure you put together a team that includes the following:

  • An Executive Sponsor: The executive sponsor is someone who strongly believes in the power of the platform, and knows the value it will bring to the organization. They should be influential and be able to champion and support the project from conception through go-live, and beyond.
  • System Administrators: Your system administrators will be at the heart of your implementation. Not only will they need to have enough knowledge and understanding about Salesforce, but they’ll also need to have an in-depth understanding of your business processes, as well as the requirements from your managers and users.
  • Project Manager: A project manager will be a helpful resource to make sure that your project stays on track.
  • Power Users: Your power users will be helpful because they’re thinking about the end-user. They’ll make sure that the needs of the end-user, as well as management, will be met. Power users can also help with troubleshooting issues, and testing out solutions. Their feedback is very valuable in the process.
  • Trainers: Whether it’s a team or a singular trainer, they’ll be responsible for documenting processes and gathering and creating the appropriate materials to distribute to end-users. They’ll want to be thinking about adoption, how they will support your users, measure adoption, and encourage adoption.

2. Ongoing Maintenance 

You will want to have a plan to handle the ongoing maintenance  of the CRM after the project has been completed. (Salesforce post-implementation plan) Who will be the internal Product Owner responsible for training new hires and existing employees, regularly answering questions, building reports, and handling ongoing administrative tasks? Business processes change, strategies evolve and companies evolve, it’s important that you and your business have the resources to ensure your CRM can evolve with them.

3. Determine Expectations 

Before implementing a CRM, you have to ask yourself and your team, what are the expectations for using a CRM? Take the time to research and discover what you want to achieve and what your end goals are. It’s also worth considering the amount of work that needs to be put into the CRM implementation to ensure all of the processes are defined. In addition to that, requirements need to be clearly and concisely outlined, and all internal team members need to be aligned on the overall goals and scope of the project.

Your goals to achieve with a CRM can also include:

– Understanding your customer’s journey, to make better decisions.

– Improve your sales process.

– Making use of analytics to help gain insights

– To improve lead management

4. Importance of Data Quality

The data quality within a CRM is underestimated by many companies because of the work it’s going to take to transform the data.  This means it is going to require time and work to import old data into the new CRM as well as, how the new data will relate to other applications (if integration is included). If you need to clean your data, take a look at this article on best practices for cleansing Salesforce data.

5. Success Criteria

Without clear success criteria, it is hard to determine the primary areas to focus on during the build phase, in the event that requirements change or budgets shift. Therefore, when you are implementing Salesforce or any CRM you will want to have a clear way to measure the impact and ROI the project will have on your business.

6. Budget

This is to ensure that there is a proper budget for both licensing and implementation costs for a proper build-out. While allocating a budget can seem like you are putting in guardrails, it is meant to keep service implementations in line for expectation setting, and for validations to meet deadlines.

If you’re ready to start your Salesforce implementation be sure to download this Salesforce implementation checklist to make sure you’re set up for success.

Commercient is a leading data integration specialist, SYNCing ERP and Salesforce data with ease, giving companies a complete picture of sales, customers, and marketing. Roycon, a Salesforce implementation, and consulting partner has teamed up with Commercient to help educate businesses on decisions that can be overlooked when implementing their CRM. 

Contact Commercient or Roycon for a consultation today!


CRM software (customer relationship management) makes your business objectives easier to achieve. They provide the best outcome for your customers through your sales, marketing, and customer service departments. However, it’s good to be aware that there are risks involved when it comes to implementing a CRM in your business, and there are steps on how to overcome these challenges.

There are several reasons why your CRM feels disconnected from the rest of your company.

Why Your CRM Feels Disconnected From Your Business

1. Customer records are missing important information

When a file is opened to start integrating data, vital parts of information are missing which can include names, history, or even an email address. This is problematic because then customers cannot be contacted to rectify the issue.

Sales or marketing representatives can prevent this from happening by asking all the right questions to ensure that the correct information is there. Using an ERP could work alongside your CRM so orders and invoices can complete the customer data you need.

2. Using the wrong vendor

It is easy to choose the wrong vendor to implement your CRM because of different marketing and sales strategies. Consumers get caught up with the wrong information to make an informed decision that suits their company best.  But, to avoid this here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Does your company have the right CRM tools to use to implement?
  • What reviews does that vendor have?
  • How long has the vendor been in practice for?
  • How does the pricing work for the vendor and what is included?
  • Is the vendor flexible enough to customize what the customer needs?
  • Will your company outgrow the vendor?

3.Complicated CRM

Some CRMs can be more difficult to implement than others, especially if you choose a vendor that does not provide support during your implementation phases. Keep it simple, and implement a CRM that has a powerful and user-friendly interface.

4.Users are Suspicious 

When we talk about users, we mean employees, whether it is in your marketing, sales, or customer service teams. Once your CRM has been implemented, you will expect instant results, right? Not always, because your employees need to get used to using new software which is why your CRM implementation can feel disconnected from the rest of your company. If you want to get your team on board, you have to demonstrate value. Mention how using a CRM causes fewer mistakes and saves them on time by spending less time with manual entry. 

5.Lack of Training

In order to use a CRM well, training has to be provided on how to use it otherwise employees will avoid it. With the right amount of training, employees will engage at a higher usage rate. But, without the correct training, it will lead to lower user adoption rates.

6.CRM Champion

When implementing a CRM, they are sometimes assigned to the wrong coordinators such as a CTO or COO. Your company can feel disconnected when not enough time is spent on the implementation to make it work. Therefore, it is advised to choose a CRM champion that has passion, the ability, and the time to work with the implementation.

7.Thinking CRM is Just a Technology Solution

Implementing a CRM is not just about technology but it is also used to improve customer relationships. So, users have to use it the right way. By thinking the CRM does not need to be utilized correctly, it can lead to your CRM feeling disconnected from your company. This means having trained staff, the correct workflows, and the right management to use the CRM to its fullest potential.


Commercient and Aptitude 8 have partnered to help businesses use their CRM to its fullest potential, and to avoid time-consuming and costly errors saving time and money. By choosing Commercient SYNC, we guide your ERP and CRM data integration with 24/7 support to ensure a successful integration, enabling you to carry on using correct data to achieve daily tasks.

Commercient can integrate your data in an affordable and seamless way while making use of their data integration experts. By Commercient integrating over 85+ ERPs and 5-star reviews, this shows Commercient has the experience and knowledge to implement your CRM the right way. Contact us today!

Salesforce is an incredible tool to maximize your sales pipeline. You can streamline and track your sales process with lead and opportunity stages; organize page layouts to give you the most relevant information first; set up alerts to notify your team of new leads and deals; access to unlimited reporting; and you can automate certain tasks and forecast with predictive intelligence. No doubt, Salesforce is a powerful tool. 

But what are you doing to fill your sales pipeline? How do you ensure that you always have leads ready to pursue? That is where marketing comes in; Sales is the back half of your pipeline. Let’s talk about the front half, marketing, and more specifically, marketing automation.

Marketing automation explained 

Imagine having a sales rep that works 24 hours, that can respond to thousands of emails right away without fail. Who consistently hands out relevant information to potential new leads, and every morning has a list of the top leads for your team to start working. Impossible, right? Too good to be true? With marketing automation, it’s all doable, and it’s the process of using technology to streamline and improve marketing activities.

Marketing automation systems, such as Pardot, Marketing Cloud, HubSpot, or Marketo, power automated and targeted messaging to your leads or potential customers based on their digital engagement with your company. These systems leverage information from digital ads, referring websites, social media platforms, lead forms, and website viewing history.

Marketing automation is able to segment these leads into categories you set up for targeted marketing. You can even set up scoring models based on this information, so you and your sales team are focused on the leads with the highest potential for conversion. This information can be automatically updated into Salesforce, so your sales team is able to consistently focus on the best prospects for conversion. 

As an example, let’s say you run an ad on LinkedIn which will link to a landing page on your website conveying relevant information from the ad. The landing page should have two to three paragraphs, a nice image, and a simple form for the lead to fill out with some basic information, often in exchange for an offer or access to value-add content. 

When the form is submitted, an email automatically is sent with the offer or content. You can then add this person to one or more lists segmented by geography, product interest, job title, etc. The marketing automation system can then begin sending more targeted email sequences to nurture the lead toward conversion.

The marketing automation system can then track the lead’s digital engagement with your company and rank them on likelihood of conversion, established on a lead scoring model based on your business. And all of this information can be synced to your Salesforce CRM system so your sales and marketing teams can have access to the same information about a prospective customer.  

By making use of marketing automation processes, the following benefits occur:

  • There is more time to focus on marketing strategies.
  • You will be able to obtain a full understanding of potential customers.
  • Marketing campaigns can be expanded.
  • Follow-ups with customers can be personalized.
  • Leads will be prioritized.
  • You can boost your marketing ROI.
  • Improve your ability to predict potential investments.


Salesforce is changing the way companies operate, so that clients can get the most out of their data. By making use of marketing automation, it provides an efficient and effective path to improving sales performance, and allowing your team to get the most out of its investment in Salesforce CRM. Commercient SYNC can help their mutual customers with marketing automation by sending important ERP data to Salesforce. NPWR and Commercient can lead you on the right path to assist in your Marketing Automation needs from any location in the world. Please feel free to contact us.

As the year has unraveled, a new virus came about that is highly contagious and changed our world in terms of how we work. Many employees around the globe started working from home to avoid being around other employees in an office environment. Many businesses had to adopt new technology to make it possible for their employees to work from home.
Technology provides a solution for companies to carry on with their business, while employees work from home and businesses are adapting to the changing circumstances, it looks like working remotely could be the new norm.

Your business has different departments that have to collaborate on a daily basis in order for all operations to run smoothly and efficiently. All these departments use different software to record and track their tasks, for instance, the sales department uses the CRM system to capture leads and follow up on opportunities or closed deals, on the other hand, the accounting department uses the ERP system to capture and record inventory or any financial revenue. 

If a sales representative is on Zoom meeting with a prospect and requires some financial data or check on product availability, on a normal day in the office the rep could say please hold while I get the data for you, but with the new normal everyone working from you could lose the lead while trying to gather some data. Thanks to Commercient SYNC your team can have one source of data where your departments can get the CRM and ERP instantly from their fingertips. Commercient’s SYNC data integration technology makes working from less stressful and more productive with no delays.

Let’s Take a Look at Other Technology Solutions Making Working from Home Easy

You might be wondering how one can work from home? Well, technology makes it a smooth process and possible.  There are different types of technology to assist employees working from home. 

  1. Video apps – These types of apps like Zoom, Google Meet, or Skype can help employees working from home connect with their employers or other colleagues as well as, other people for example in sales to meet up online with clients.
  2. Messaging Apps – Messaging apps can be instant and are commonly known as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, or even Zoom. By having these apps, it can assist employees to ask questions and get feedback straight away, without trying to arrange meetings. The only problem with this is that the corresponding party might not respond and complex topics will not be as successful. 
  3. Productivity Suites – This can also be known as Office Suites and it is many applications combined into one, which includes Office 365 and Google Suites. Office 365 includes email services, and office apps that have subscription fees like your Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. On the other hand, Google Suites have email services (Gmail), Hangouts, Google Drive that allows you to create documents through Google Docs, Google Slide and Google Sheets which can be stored and shared amongst other employees. The Productivity Suites are cloud-based which provides simple cooperation amongst employees in the company in real-time without having to meet over a video call and all information is stored in one place.
  4. Intranet – This is a network for employees to share information with each other as it helps fill in the gaps of communication and it is used to connect them digitally for integrations to increase productivity.
  5. Owning a desktop –  Having a computer can sometimes be cheaper than a laptop as you are able to upgrade it when new parts are needed, the only disadvantage is that it cannot be moved in case you want to work at a coffee shop.
  6. Owning a laptop – The great thing about laptops is that you can move them with you when you work in a different environment other than home. Some can be expensive but before purchasing one, you will need to make sure you do the research to get the correct specs and to make sure it can handle related work tasks.
  7. Headphones Working from home can get noisy if there are dogs barking, any construction work, or even kids screaming. Purchasing noise-canceling headphones can be a good idea to block the noise out and most headphones come with a built-in mic for video calls.
  8. Internet – In order to work from home, having internet access and at a fast speed, will be beneficial to be able to complete work objectives. 
  9. Work Management – There are cloud-based apps that can assist in supervising any work-related objectives by organizing, reporting, cooperation, and messaging employers and employees on what jobs need to be done. These types of apps can include, for example,  Basecamp, Trello, or Asana.
  10. Time tracking – There are also programs for employees and employers to keep track of their hours as the data can be sent to payroll to save time as well as to monitor employee activity. Such programs include Screenshot Monitor.
  11. Online security – It’s important to have security measurements in place to avert any hacking of crucial information. Ensure you have firstly, a VPN (a virtual private network) as it provides security for that are public connections, secondly, network security, and lastly, malware protection. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of working from home?

Some of the pros of working from home can be quite predictable but are still necessary to look at. 

  1. No traveling – Employees will spend less time traveling to offices which means spending a shorter amount of time in traffic and gives them more time in the week to catch up on things they need to do as well as, save money on petrol. 
  2. More flexibility – Employees have more freedom in the week to balance personal obligations and work obligations as well as,  their hours and location to work since they can decide where they want to work in the week. Also, In the week an employee can do their chores or exercise in their lunch break.
  3. Avoid office disruptions – If an employee prefers to work in silence, working from home is the way to go since they can keep away from any noises in the office. In addition, by working from home, there are fewer interruptions from colleagues which can increase your productivity.

Even though there are advantages to working from home, there are also some disadvantages that can differ between people.

  1. Less interaction with people – Some employees may find this difficult as you won’t be around other co-workers in an office environment which means less socializing as you will be home most of the time. 
  2. Difficult to separate your personal life from work – Since you do not have to travel to work and begin at set times, hours are more flexible and this could result in working longer hours than needed or some may find it tough to unwind by the end of the day and stop working.
  3. More distractions – In terms of this, for some employees working from home they might find more interruptions because of maybe having children or pets, or even wanting to do laundry. Therefore, employees working from home will need the discipline to focus on what they need to do for work.

Does your company need help integrating data between your ERP and CRM to help your employees be more productive while working from home? Look no further than Commercient SYNC. Contact us today! SYNC is a cloud-based app and it is not like any other data integration apps. SYNC provides an easy installation process and hassle-free since it requires no mapping, coding, or ETL. This provides a seamless integration experience and we handle everything for you.

Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series on digital integration, cutting-edge technology from Commercient. Our goal is to help modernize your business and improve sales.

It’s no secret that the world has become a more connected and digital one. This has transformed the business landscape into a technology-driven playing field where tech has become an essential part of doing business.

Industry leaders are leveraging cutting-edge technologies to stay ahead of the game and drive sales. As technology continues to evolve, businesses have become increasingly competitive in their efforts to survive and succeed. To ensure the continued survival of your business, you must adapt to this digital world by embracing innovative technologies. Failure to do so will leave your business at the mercy of circumstances.

Technologies That Help Businesses Increase Sales

There are several innovative technologies that can be leveraged to help your business successfully increase sales. Here are a few technologies that have dramatically changed the sales game.

Cloud CRM Software

Cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is an invaluable tool that can be used to dramatically increase sales. CRM software empowers salespeople with real-time customer data. This gives salespeople greater visibility into their sales pipeline and they are better equipped to close more deals leading to increased sales.

CRM software also provides your sales team with the means to foster more meaningful relationships with their customers and improve customer relations. Implementing the right CRM solution in your business can help streamline the sales process, increase productivity and efficiency, improve customer relationships, close more deals, and much more. Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, and Zoho CRM are just three options to consider.

ERP Software

At the most basic level, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is used to control production, logistics, accounting, inventory, distribution, and other functions in a business. There are many benefits to implementing ERP software including automation of manual processes, increased productivity, efficiencies, and more.

Popular ERPs include those from Sage, SYSPRO, QuickBooks, SAP and others. Many have evolved into the cloud, which offers an even more powerful and affordable solution vs. on-premise ERP software.

Data Integration Technology

Used separately, ERP and CRM has many benefits, but the data remains siloed. To realize the full benefits of these two systems combined, a seamless CRM and ERP integration is necessary. The objective is to create an end-to-end system where applications “talk” to one another. This allows a business to receive the benefits of both these tools in a combined manner.

Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration app for sales, is a powerful app that can help your sales team make the most of data in order to optimize data-driven sales strategies and maximize profits. SYNC seamlessly integrates your CRM and ERP giving you a 360-degree view of all your customer data, providing a single source of information for your sales team. We currently integrate over 85 ERPs and several popular CRMs. Click this video to watch how.

Your sales team can access ERP data directly in CRM, giving one access point for all that data. This includes customer information, sales history, invoicing, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, multi-ship to addresses, and more.

SYNC provides timely access to accurate data, and your sales team will be aware of inventory, ordering patterns and customer buying behavior. SYNC enables you to derive meaningful insights from customer data, and promotes data-driven decision-making. This also helps improve customer service and support, thereby increasing sales and customer satisfaction in the process.

Artificial Intelligence

It’s a well-known fact that customers have become increasingly impatient. Waiting for a response to an inquiry has become a thing of the past. Businesses now have to respond instantly, or risk losing a potential sale.

By using conversational chatbots with artificial intelligence, you can provide your customers with better customer service by instantly responding to customer queries or concerns.

Social Media Platforms

The relationship between a business and its customers has evolved. Interactions have become closer, informal and more instant. Your business can harness the power of social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more, to connect and bond with potential and existing customers and drive sales.

Is your business taking advantage of the power of technology to increase sales? If not, find out how Commercient can help you by contacting us today!


Innovative technology has become a competitive edge that wields the power to drive business success and accelerate profits exponentially. Large corporations such as Laurentide Controls and Sentury Tire, credit a large portion of their success to technology upgrades that revealed new and innovative ways of doing business. Their business success is proof that the long-term benefits of investing in technology far outweighs the cost.

Leverage The Power of Technology

1. Enable Easy Access to Data By Integrating Business Systems

Many corporations today are burdened by multiple business systems that aren’t connected, which can complicate processes and hinder operations. Using these systems, like ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, can result in siloed databases. Extracting data for reports from multiple systems becomes a time-consuming process that produces outdated, less valuable information.

The most effective way to bring together and analyze data in real-time is to integrate business systems. Integration allows a company to unlock the true value of business data, and transforms it into meaningful and valuable information which is critical in today’s data-driven world.

Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, connects sales and accounting systems, enabling easy access to data by allowing a company to view all the data stored in these systems on one platform. Businesses can view ERP data directly within CRM, giving real-time visibility into the overall performance of operations.

Your data is updated in real-time in both your ERP and CRM software simultaneously, and can be accessed from any system on any device, ensuring that the right data is delivered to the right people, every time.

This data, from ERP to CRM, includes customer information, sales history, terms, serial numbers, inventory, invoicing info, etc. From CRM to ERP, new accounts, customers and invoices are SYNC’d.

Hilton Cordero, Territory Sales Manager of Sentury Tire, a leading tire manufacturer, turned to Commercient SYNC to help give visibility of vital sales data to his team, which would otherwise be stuck in Sage 100.

By integrating Sage 100 and Salesforce, Commercient SYNC provided clarity to all the vital data in Sage 100 for report building, and drastically reduced an 8 hour process to just a mere hour, saving the team hours of data entry work every day.

Cordero explained that he would only get quarterly reports until SYNC was implemented: “I can now get reports from Sage 100 up-to-the-minute, and I can look into my reports once a day now.”

Read the Sentury Tire Success Story here.

2. Adopt a Customer-Focused Approach and Use Customer Data to Increase Sales

Operating since 1968, Québec-based Laurentide Controls Ltd. is the recognized leading provider of automation, measurement, process control, and reliability solutions to industries in Eastern Canada.As part of their key strategy, Laurentide Controls implemented Salesforce to help modernize their sales system, and increase overall sales and efficiency.

“One of the reasons we decided to go with Salesforce was the ability to include [ERP] data in it, such as during an integration with our IFS system,” explained Simon Chapleau, CIO at Laurentide Controls.

That need for integration to get important customer data from IFS into Salesforce led them to Commercient SYNC, which can be deployed rapidly, is affordable, and features premiere support. Commercient SYNC helped Laurentide Controls increase revenue and provide better customer service.

Simon Chapleau, CIO at Laurentide Controls, discussed how Commercient SYNC has helped qualify Opportunities in Salesforce.

“It’s allowed us to get the data out of the silos [from IFS], and make it available to our [inside sales team in real-time]… to make a decision right away, whether that opportunity is worth pursuing, or that customer is worth pursuing,” he explained. Chapleau went on to say the company’s sales teams have been able to increase their Opportunity Win Rates, which is helping to close more deals.

Commercient SYNC also helped their outside sales team. “[Customer data] is available for them on their mobile device, in real-time,” Chapleau said. “They know what cases are open, what orders are open, what orders are being delayed for some reason or not, what service requests are open, which one is at a critical stage… [Our sales teams] are able to track what’s happening in real-time, and intervene and facilitate things.

Chapleau also commended Commercient’s premier support team: “It has been great, really helpful in aiding us in setting it up. They’re very responsive and always there to help when we needed it. [Support also helped with] understanding the data, how to SYNC it, how to make it available in Salesforce in a way that makes sense.”

Read the Laurentide Controls Customer Success Story here.

3. Optimize Business Processes

Implementing new technologies designed to improve efficiencies and optimize business processes makes a significant contribution to managing costs. Commercient SYNC helps boost employee productivity and allows them to work more efficiently.Commercient helped Sentury Tire to optimize their sales processes by integrating their sales and accounting systems. Prior to Commercient SYNC, their remote sales team didn’t have access to important data in Sage 100.

“There was no visibility to the information, which only lived in Sage 100,” said Hilton Cordero. “The sales team would have to manually search through emails, and sometimes an email might be forgotten, and [Commercient’s bi-directional SYNC] gives visibility of Sage 100 to the entire sales team.”

With Salesforce, Sage 100, and Commercient’s two-way SYNC, Sentury Tire now have efficient, streamlined processes.

4. Make Your Business Part of The Internet of Things

Commercient’s IoT Pulse enables companies to take productivity to new heights by automating your migration, via an integration of your ERP to the internet and with more than 1,100 internet apps for your ERP. Integrating data across all of your business systems with Commercient’s IoT Pulse will help promote productivity and allow the automation of daily tasks.

In Conclusion

By combining business and technology expertise, Commercient helps industry leaders by providing leading data integration technology designed to drive results and increase profits. Contact us today to find out how we can bring you closer to making your next billion.

SYNC Demo integrate CRM ERP

The evolution of game-changing technologies is leveling the playing field in many industries. The adoption of these technologies is on the rise, giving cognizance to forward-thinkers in various industries to reimagine what’s possible.

2019 will see an increase in technology-driven organizations, as more businesses embark on the digital transformation journey. With artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and robotic process automation (RPA) poised to usher in a new way of doing business, traditional business processes will soon cease to exist.

Advancements in natural language processing and sentiment analysis will revolutionize the service industry as we know it. And it won’t be long before the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a standard in every industry.

Commercient is ready for the Top 5 technology trends in business with our apps, like SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, which connects your ERP and CRM, such as SYSPRO and Salesforce, and many others. Your sales team will have access to important ERP information such as customer data, sales history, invoicing, terms, serial numbers, inventory, and more. From CRM to ERP, you’ll be able to SYNC your new orders, new and updated customers, etc.

The Top 5 Technology Trends Predictions for Businesses in 2019 (and Beyond)

There are a number of emerging technologies that could impact businesses in the near future, but these 5 technology trends will demand increased attention going forward, and should be your main focus for years to come.

1. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence is everywhere; from navigation apps to smart devices, people around the world use AI on a daily basis. There is a growing interest from every industry about the benefits to be gained from using AI. But what exactly is Artificial Intelligence, and how can it benefit your business?

Artificial Intelligence refers to the ability of machines to emulate human intelligence, and perform tasks much faster and more accurately than humanly possible. AI works by making use of algorithms and fast, repetitive processing to combine and analyze large amounts of data, allowing machines to learn automatically from patterns and features in the data. AI can solve many challenges faced by businesses today. Using AI solutions in your day-to-day business operations can help increase sales, improve customer experience and minimize labor-intensive operating expenses.

AI has unprecedented potential, and organizations will flourish or wither depending on whether or not they realize this potential.

2. Machine Learning (ML)

Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence that provides machines with the ability to automatically learn and progressively improve their performance, without human intervention or programming.

The power of ML lies in self-teaching algorithms, which automatically study and analyze large amounts of data in order to identify patterns and make predictions or decisions. Systems can learn automatically from experience, and provide improved results as time goes on.

Machine Learning will have a major impact on an organization’s efficiency and profitability, and will enable businesses to predict customer behavior, make product recommendations, automate business processes, and detect fraud. With the real-time insights gained from using ML, businesses will have a better chance of identifying profitable opportunities and avoiding unknown risks, thus gaining an advantage over their competition.

3. Chatbots

The birth of chatbots and virtual assistants was made possible by Artificial Intelligence. Google’s Home, Microsoft’s Cortana, Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri all make use of AI-based algorithms.

A chatbot is a computer program designed to convincingly imitate human conversations. Chatbots can help improve customer service, streamline the shopping process, personalize communication, improve response rates and automate repetitive tasks.

The chatbots we interact with today are built to perform simple tasks, but with the help of machine learning technologies, chatbots will be capable of more contextually relevant interactions.

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 85% of customer relationships will be managed without human interaction.

4. Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another technology that is automating jobs. Based on AI and ML, RPA uses software to automate human activities that are manual, rule-based and repetitive. RPA robots work by mimicking human actions and interacting with software applications to perform time consuming tasks, such as data entry, transaction processing or responding to simple customer queries.

RPA is part of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and will gain popularity in the years to come. This will drive a new wave of productivity and will help improve accuracy, efficiency and reduce costs across industries.

Manufacturing firms have been using robots on their assembly lines for many years, but as their capabilities advance, technologies such as Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence will give Robotic Process Automation the ability to provide many more benefits to industries across the globe.

5. The Internet of Things (IoT)

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of physical objects such as smart devices, vehicles, home appliances, machines and more, that are connected to the internet. Connecting these objects to the internet and to one another enables them to communicate, collect and share data, without human intervention.

IoT is the driver behind the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and businesses have much to gain now and in the near future from it. IoT can provide businesses with real-time control over business processes, predictive maintenance capabilities, improve customer service, increase employee productivity, and gain unprecedented levels of insight to make better business decisions.

The integration of IoT is already in place in various industries, and the possibilities of how IoT can transform and modernize business operations continue to grow.

No industry will go untouched by digital transformation. As these technologies continue to evolve, businesses should identify the opportunities they can provide, and capitalize on their potential in order to stay in the game.

Take part in the Fourth Industrial Revolution today, and contact Commericient to find out how we can help you.

About the Author

Anna Kinnear is a Sage Financials Consultant at Edgeware, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting Science from the University of South Africa. She has always had a passion for reading and writing.

Technology has changed every aspect of the way businesses operate. It has improved the way teams communicate and has made team collaboration possible across time and space. In fact, you can now use technology to change the way your employees work together. In this blog, we’ll show you just how you can use technology to improve team collaboration.

Leverage Online Communication Tools

If you want to improve team collaboration,one of the best ways you can achieve this is by leveraging online communication tools, such as Slack and Skype. These tools allow multiple users to stay connected and work together on projects from any location on nearly any connected device.

With Slack, users can send direct messages and share documents and files with a single person or a group of employees. There is also the ability to organize conversations into different channels.

In essence, online communication channels save your employees from having to email colleagues, go from office to office, and leave voicemails every time they complete some element of work and pass it along to other team members. And the best part is you can connect your online communication tools to your ERP system by using Commercient IoT Pulse, which will not only help you to improve team collaboration, but will also help you to automate tasks. Check out all the apps that you connect with your ERP system using IoT Pulse on our integrations page.

Integrate Your Business Applications

Another great way you can improve team collaboration is by integrating your business applications. For example, if you have standalone CRM and ERP systems, by integrating the two using one of our SYNC data integration apps, you can see your ERP data in your CRM, and vice versa.

Commercient SYNC serves to keep you and your employees up-to-date with the changes made to your ERP and CRM system simultaneously, which helps to keep everyone on the same page. This helps to facilitate smooth workplace collaboration, creating a more positive day-to-day experience for your team.

Deploy Project Management Tools

Deploying project management tools can also help improve team collaboration. These tools can be used to enable collaborative working, and help teams reduce time spent on unnecessary administrative tasks.

For instance, tools like Asana allow users to assign and handle tasks effectively in one place removing the need for email communication between team members and creating projects that are easily tracked across your team. It gives everyone on your team visibility into what’s going on each task and gives each of your team members the ability to share attachments, follow conversations, comment on tasks, give feedback and much more. And what’s even better is that if you connect Asana to your ERP system using Commercient IoT Pulse, you’ll be able to automate tasks between your ERP system and Asana.

You can start improving your business today by leveraging Commercient SYNC and IoT Pulse. Contact us today; we’d love to work with you.

Since technology is constantly evolving, small businesses everywhere must adapt to suit the needs of the ever-demanding customer. Over the years there have been great advancements in cloud services, data management and IT services. However, with all these options, deciding on the correct path for your business may be daunting. In fact, many small business owners actually avoid addressing their IT problems due to uncertainty and lack of knowledge. That doesn’t have to be you. With a little research and careful planning, you can overcome those IT challenges and save both time and money in the process. In this post, we’ll go over three big technology challenges businesses face and how you can overcome them.

Challenge #1: Choosing the right technology according to company’s needs

Investing in new technology can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. The many stories of failed implementations, the abundance of choice, and the fear of choosing the wrong tools can lead any business to hesitation in acquiring new technologies. In order to stay competitive, businesses must take the plunge. The good news is that you do not have to make irrational or uneducated decisions because there are key aspects to look at before making a decision.

Choosing the right technology correctly the first time can be done by:

  • Knowing your business’s strengths

Focus on points in your company where you are succeeding and where you can improve. Consult with managers and employees to assess pain points and in turn understand how much time is spent on specific activities and where optimisation is needed. For example, slow Wi-fi speeds may slow down day-to-day operations. Scaling up to a faster package would increase productivity and increase business growth.

  • Knowing your employees

Understand the skill sets of your employees. Trying to implement new technology to a team that refuses to adapt is a futile endevour. To avoid such an issue, ensure that you understand the strengths of your team and where they will need support. A piece of technology that requires significant investment in constant training may not be worth it.

  • Being User friendly

User friendly technology is extremely important, as having a product that causes frustration amongst staff may result in decreased productivity.

  • Researching the technology of interest

Researching a product before you buy is similar to test driving a car before you purchase it. You need to ensure you assess what products are on the market and find reviews from other users. Allowing the key users of the technology to lead research efforts, will ensure they benefit from the new product or system.

  • Ensuring technical support is available

Through the implementation process, the chances of having a highly trained team are unlikely. To ensure the smooth transition from the old to new system, support, in the form of training, security, upgrades and troubleshooting services are vital. 

Choosing the right technology means choosing the right system that not only delivers the capacity you need today, but can also meet tomorrow’s expansion needs. At the same time, you need to ensure you are not paying for more capacity than you need. Fortunately enough, there are now apps like Commercient SYNC that allow you to pay per user, per month, and has the flexibility to scale up as your business grows.

Challenge #2: Integrating applications

Integrating applications is another challenge that businesses often face. Sometimes newer technologies do not integrate well with older systems or legacy applications. Independent systems also prove to be an issue, as they act in isolation and are not able to be integrated. Due to this, operational and employee efficiency can take a huge hit such as integration issues like: duplication will be forced of tasks and the inability to quickly find and track data. Integrating applications assists in comparing performance with a variety of others and helps with business management procedures. Furthermore, IT facilities are developed easier and when customers have expectations, they can be responded to in good time. 

This is why it is important to check whether your existing systems will integrate with any new technologies you want to leverage. In essence, your payments system should work with your accounting system, and your accounting system with your CRM, which then should work with your marketing tools, and so on. 

CRM integration allows all your sales team’s essential functions to be in one place. This creates a space where emails, accounting, customer support and document management can be dealt with and linked.

Integrations can take place in one of three ways:

  • Native integrations are built into the CRM software

They are the easiest to use and can be turned on with one click, within your CRM. Moreover, it enables you to work with common business tools. However, limitations occur with this integration platform; as they are only available for a small number of business tools.

  • 3-rd party integrations are developed by independent companies

This integration platform is especially useful when many business tools are being utilised by a small business team. They are able to connect a wide range of business tools with your CRM and provide a large range of opportunities. 

  • Custom integrations are created using APIs (application programme interfaces).

This integration platform is a software-to-software interface that allows programs to connect and communicate with each other on a larger scale. All cloud-based businesses utilise APIs, which allows other types of software to access your CRM. 

Custom CRM integrations often requires technical expertise, however, when all your applications are connected, your business can operate more efficiently, and employees can be more productive. You can experience this with Commercient SYNC, which serves to integrate your CRM and ERP system, which automates data migration and frequent tasks by connecting your ERP with thousands of internet apps, such as marketing systems CRM (like Salesforce), email, social media, etc. You can have assurance that your data is protected and is seamlessly transferred from one application to another.

Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, makes it possible to see important accounting data directly in your sales system. It keeps you up-to-date with changes made to your ERP and CRM system simultaneously. It supports over 85 ERPs and most major CRMs. Commercient handles everything, including hosting, so you don’t have to hire an IT specialist to install it and a server. SYNC helps businesses streamline sales and customer service, cut costs, increase customer satisfaction, and drive profitability.

Within CRM, your sales team will have access to ERP information such as customer information, sales history, invoicing, terms, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, A/R information, multi ship to addresses, and more. New accounts, sales, opportunities, etc., created in CRM are SYNC’d back to ERP, avoiding double data entry and possible errors.

Challenge #3: Securing company data

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, and small businesses are being targeted now more than ever before, which means they are at much more risk from a security breach than larger ones. Imagine if your business data fell into the wrong hands, just a single breach can be enough to completely ruin people’s trust in your brand; employee information, customer payments and business strategies are personal which need to be kept out of the hands of criminals. Taking these important steps mentioned below is essential to ensure your company doesn’t become a target. 

  • Create BOYD (Bring your own device) policies

With over 68% of employees accessing files from their smartphones, it is essential to create policies to keep sensitive data safe. Outdated operating systems and lack of encryption on smart devices are a cause for concern in terms of data leakage. Software installation, updates and maintenance should be provided to employees utilising smart devices. 

  • Utilise identity and access management (IAM)

IAM allows companies to control and monitor who accesses specific data through identity mapping as well as restricted data. Real-time and continuous risk analysis can be maintained to ensure data is accessed securely. 

  • The use of encryption

Encryption is beneficial for both data and devices on the move. Ensuring mobile devices and USBs as well as sensitive data are encrypted while moving to and from the cloud reduces the risk of data breaches. A type of encryption is known as, cloud cryptography and one of the benefits of this is that if, unauthorised users tried to breach through the security systems, businesses would be notified and the only ones who have access to this information are the ones with cryptography keys.

In order to overcome the challenge one must take the necessary steps to secure your sensitive data. This includes leveraging cloud-based apps like Commercient SYNC, which provide you with a safe and secure way to quickly take payments in your ERP, CRM or eCommerce system. In addition, you’ll have access to effective and updated anti-malware solutions, administering employee cybersecurity training, policies governing internet usage, BYOD’s, and access to sensitive company data.

The right technology will stay with your business even as it grows. Choosing the correct technology, ensuring smooth integration and a safe data platform can all be achieved with a little knowledge and know how. Allow Commercient help you overcome the most common technology challenges faced by companies. Our ERP and CRM  experts can help you choose the right application for your company. We can also assist with integrating your existing applications. Commercient provides you with a secure cloud environment for your business data. If you have any other technology challenges that you want to know how to overcome, We are here to help you in the best way we can. Contact us today!

About The Author 

Shana Vilensky currently works in the finance sector while studying law part-time through the University of South Africa. She is passionate about technology, research and writing.

These days, many businesses are currently adopting new technology to gain a competitive advantage, it might be tempting to rush and do the same. Too often, businesses invest in technologies without taking the time to make an evaluation of whether they really need what’s being offered, and end up regretting it in the end. In order to save yourself from an expensive disappointment, here are five questions you should ask yourself before adopting new technology.

Is There A Learning Curve?

Before you adopt any new technology, you need to determine if there is a learning curve. It’s vital to know how much time and training your team will need to get it up and running. If you go with technology that is complicated and requires extensive training and research, your employees will most likely show some degree of resistance. As a result, your project may never get off the ground. Tor swift adoption, a system that’s simple and easy-to-use like our SYNC Data Integration App, which is rapidly deployable without any heavy lifting from your team, is always best.

Does It Enable Collaboration Anytime, Anywhere?

Not only do you want technology that is easy to use, but you should also seek out tech that will enable collaboration anytime and anywhere. Such technologies will create new ways for your employees to do their work, making it easier to communicate and share knowledge. For instance, with our SYNC App, everyone on your sales team can be on the same page and see inventory, search customer records, and complete orders in real time. It also enables your sales reps to provide premiere customer service anytime and anywhere.

Is It Scalable?

Before adopting the next solution for your business, check to make sure it’s scalable, as well. If you are expecting future business growth, you have to ask yourself, “Will this new technology be scalable as usage grows? How expensive will it be to add additional users to the software?” Your software should be able to expand to handle your growth, and if you factor in scaling from the beginning, it will be much easier to deal with later.

How Well Does The Software Integrate With Other Systems?

As a small business, you probably use different applications to manage your various business operations. For example, you might you use an e-commerce platform, CRM system, or other types of third-party software. When researching new technology, you should seek to adopt a solution that will integrate well with your other business applications, as this can often augment and enhance the core capabilities and functionality of your software. This will help you get more work done from one platform. See all the benefits you can reap by integrating your systems with our SYNC Data Integration and IoT Pulse Apps.

Is It Secure?

Will your new technology pose any risk to data security? This is one of the biggest questions you should ask before adopting new technology. Security is always important because you will want to make sure your personal information, along with your employees’ and customers’ information is protected. If a user were to log in and have his or her personal information compromised, it would be a disaster!

At Commercient, with our SYNC Data Integration and IoT Pulse Apps, we provide all customers with a safe and secure environment for integrating data. So when you leverage any of our apps you can that extra piece of mind. And, we are always here to help you.