Contract Lifecycle Management Software Integrations: 5 Steps to Ensure You Make the Most Productive Connections
Software integrations connect business departments and allow data to flow freely among them. Integrations also expand the number of manual processes that can be automated.
Contract Lifecycle Management software (CLM) integrations form strong and stable connection points among your most important systems to help legal, procurement, sales, and management teams stay up to date and collaborate more effectively. CLM integrations also work to improve accuracy and enhance visibility in ways that reduce risks and help to assure compliance.
Preparing ahead of time when you plan to integrate Parley Pro with your CRM, ERP, and CPQ systems will save you time and hassle later and ensure your integrations result in productive, long-term success. Here are five tips for ensuring your integrations build long-lasting connections that enable scalable automation.
1. First, discuss the integration with the people it will affect
This step is often overlooked. When integrating software systems, perhaps the two most beneficial results are the bidirectional flow of data and the ability to automate interconnected processes. Therefore, before you get started, it makes sense to speak with the employees who repeatedly perform the manual activities that will be automated.
- What are the steps involved?
- What information do they need to complete each step?
- Where do they get that information? (i.e., are you connecting the right programs?)
Also, talk with your managers and executives.
- What information do the reports they receive contain now?
- What new details should be added to help them fulfill their roles better in the future?
To better envision where Parley Profits with your company’s overall technology strategy, you first must fully understand how each department creates, negotiates, and manages contracts now versus how they would like to do so in the future.
What are the individual, repetitive steps that can be automated? How can pain points be eliminated?
First, you must piece together a complete picture of all your company’s contracting processes from start to finish. Then, you’ll know exactly what goals your CLM integrations must achieve.
2. Bring IT into the loop early
Step 1 points the way ahead. Step 2 ensures that you put the appropriate guardrails in place to keep your integration journey on track. Legal and management professionals work together to determine what needs to be done and why; but your IT team is best suited to determine how to achieve the goals you’ve set.
Bring your IT in as soon as technical considerations arise, which will be right after you’ve done the background research in Step 1 and you’re just entering the planning phase. As you craft the roadmap ahead, you need technical specialists to spot and assess any potential technical roadblocks or hiccups. You don’t want to spend weeks charting a path that can’t progress past the third step because of a technical issue. Consult IT leaders all along the way to protect the viability of your plans.
3. Document your requirements for a complete knowledge transfer
Document all the steps you take throughout each integration process. You may want to create checklists for each stage to keep track of all requirements. Documentation is a powerful form of knowledge management. It can also be essential for security and compliance reasons. Tracking exactly what happened and when makes it easier when you or others need to fine-tune or adjust any elements later.
IT teams will have the reference materials they need to provide effective user support later, which will help to ensure faster user acceptance and adoption. Your documentation will serve as fundamental guidance for future integrations and provides an instruction manual for whenever someone needs to stand in for or replace an employee who becomes unavailable.
4. Collect and act on feedback from system testing and user acceptance testing
Your IT team should perform system testing and user acceptance testing to verify that integrations work as they should. System and user tests occur at different stages of the integration. Goals of system testing and user acceptance testing include ensuring that:
- the software modules and dependencies function as they should
- data integrity is preserved
- new functionalities are user-friendly.
Early testing ensures you learn of and fix any errors or complications before the integration is released companywide. It is much more difficult to make repairs after the integration is released to an entire organization.
If a released integration fails, you’ll also need to fix any damages that result, which would include convincing employees to let go of their trepidation and work with the repaired software again. It’s much smarter to plan ahead and work out any defects in a pre-test environment.
5. Consistently monitor systems status
Most software programs produce error logs or other alert mechanisms to notify you that something has gone awry and the system needs attention. Subscribe to receive status reports, error logs, and notifications via email. Then, pay attention to them. Software updates and other changes may affect the integration at any time. When you receive an early notification, you can send the technical team in to shore up and repair any issues. Staying on top of the system’s status ensures it operates as smoothly as possible at all times.
Integrating Parley Pro with other systems helps you build a more modern and intelligent digital workplace. Follow these tips to establish resilient, scalable integrations that spread Parley Pro’s powerful capabilities across your company.