Yes. Of course you can!
However, like all software projects there is a broad mix of great ways and terrible ways to do it. Most businesses using tools such as ServiceNow, Salesforce and Jira together are doing so to improve the lifecycle of service improvements and to create better customer experiences. Disjointed, disconnected and stop-start ways of working slow the business down and throttle success. Then, as the way we use technology grows and matures, the connectivity and integration across all the tools we use improves too. In this article, I want to discuss and show you some really important lessons I have learned from decades of experience in integrating tools like these.
What are the business benefits of doing this?
Most businesses want to create greater customer experience and reduce friction between the teams that deliver those experiences. These are very valuable goals and are the key to using IT to develop competitive advantages in your marketplace. But integrating these tools can also solve really important problems in the business too. Many of the IT leaders I meet all too often have little visibility of the impact caused by not having appropriate integrations in place. High performing integrations across key business systems such as ServiceNow and Salesforce can remove hours of manual work a week and completely prevent certain outages.
ServiceNow allows internal service management queries to be delivered well, thus ensuring all staff have the right tools in place to do their jobs. Jira enables that any internal projects and technologies are improving at a rate that supports the success and ambitions of the business. And Salesforce supports the customer facing staff, by ensuring the data and services are always at their fingertips. But it also provides insights and data to feed into the improvements driven through platforms like Jira and ServiceNow.
When all three of these platforms work together in synchronised harmony, work simply flows around the teams and business effortlessly. Data rarely mismatches, people are on the same page and you can trace the way requests move from origin to completion in a single place.
Why do businesses struggle to get it working?
This sounds like a dreamy way of working and for many it is. Many businesses see all this as an achievable goal, but then end up with something very different that just creates problems rather than solving them. But why?
It goes wrong because they expect technology to solve all the problems. And, because product APIs are seen as the silver bullet solution to making all this happen. No matter how ‘integration friendly’ a software product is, nothing at this level of software integration is as simple as connecting API’s. This is because an API has no logic to it and it cannot understand or detected context from the various end points it is sending data too.
For example, a customer enquiry in Salesforce, which requires a new feature request to be raised, cannot determine which technicians or teams that feature request should be assigned to within Jira. All it can do is take the information within Salesforce and place a copy of that data within a Jira task or ticket. Meaning that nothing can be actioned till a knowledgeable worker assesses both the information in Salesforce and Jira and routes the task as required. However, a well-configured integration can interpret and look for additional information in a request to better understand the context for a request, then populate information within a Jira ticket in an automated and meaningful way.
The old-fashioned ‘point and shoot’ API approach can end up creating more work than it saves, which is why businesses don’t get the value they need from them. Modern hub-based integrations turn this around and focus on generating the time, money and resource saving activities needed to make software integration a success.
It’s not a fight between teams
A common mistake I see organisations make (and it’s a problem that occurs organically if you don’t get ahead of it) is that a project to combine a set of tools such as ServiceNow, Salesforce and Jira becomes about one team vs. another. Each team is going to have their own set of processes and ways of managing certain bits of information. Now, because all these tools were not really designed with each other in mind, there are going to be overlaps in their business functionally and data. When you approach teams and explain to them that you want to connect their software with another teams, they will say things like “Yes but we already do that with Salesforce”.
The natural progression from here is for fear to kick in and to think that the way ‘I do things’ is about to be replaced with the way ‘they do things’. This might not be what you are intending to do at all, but it is a very common and real People issue we face in service integration projects.
The great thing about modern service integration-hub led software ecosystems is that all processes are integrated too. No one feels like they are losing control of how they work, they keep their tools, they keep their processes and nothing other than time spent updating information manually goes away.
So instead of the sales team having to give up on important Salesforce features, so that IT can more easily manage service requests in ServiceNow. And then IT need to give up on their CSI register so that Development can keep up with change requests… then Development have to show the sales manager for the 100th time how to add a bug report in Jira… Now, data flows seamlessly between tools and the processes are mapped so no team ever has to leave the tool, which has been especially built for them.
It’s important to think People, Process and Technology. All three have to move forward together and be seen as equal. If not, you run the risk of using technology to solve a people problem, which has been proven time and time again to fail.
Perhaps you are using ServiceNow, Salesforce and Jira… perhaps you’re not! Maybe you are using BMC Remedy, FreshSales and Hubspot… or any combination for business tools to get the work done. At ONEiO we have provide single service integration hub, which seamlessly connects all your tools and allows you teams to work collaboratively to deliver excellent customer experiences. Maybe you want to watch a demo how ServiceNow is seamlessly integrated to Jira and Zendesk providing superior client experience.
Use our cost saving Calculator to find out today, how much time and money you could save per ticket, through seamless software integration.
If any of these ideas or challenges sound familiar to your organisation, get in touch with our expert team today and we’ll be delighted to talk to you about your service integration goals.