Integrating Business Central and Salesforce to Simplify Processes, Reduce IT Workloads, Achieve More With Data

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Integrating Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central with Salesforce can boost the productivity of users and make many processes more efficient. Sikich offers a Business Central and Salesforce integration that is more powerful and flexible than many commonly used integration tools. It can support complex data synchronization and scale to increasing transaction volumes while keeping IT involvement to a minimum. Compared to hiring integration development expertise or tolerating the process inefficiencies of redundant data entry and users interacting with two software tools to do their work, it can also help you control costs. In this article, we provide an overview of how Sikich helps you meet both challenging and more straightforward integration requirements for Business Central and Salesforce.

A strong business case for integrating ERP and CRM

Integrating Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central ERP is one of the more frequent requests Sikich receives from companies that use both systems. They prize Business Central and Salesforce for providing powerful capabilities in highly usable, intuitive, streamlined software tools. They don’t want to complicate business processes by asking team members to navigate two software environments. Often, a large number of people in sales, marketing, and service teams use Salesforce, whereas a smaller group of finance, HR, operations, and executive users relies on Business Central.

Business Central and Salesforce have many data elements in common. You can work with customer records, sales leads, quotes, orders, invoices, returns, and many other aspects of customer engagements in either system. It makes sense to avoid duplicate data entry and accelerate many processes, such as quote-to-cash, by integrating the two. Both Microsoft and Salesforce make it possible not just to integrate their solutions, but also extend objects with additional fields or introduce new forms or custom tables.

Scalable, high-performance solution for challenging integration scenarios

Sikich has developed a highly versatile Business Central and Salesforce integration that can be implemented quickly. In many organizations, completing a deployment may take less than a week. For some Sikich clients, a main reason for using this integration as opposed to off-the-shelf integration products is its flexibility in accommodating specific and changing business needs. It also supports more complex, enterprise-level integration goals for Business Central and Salesforce that we find in companies of all sizes.

Most integration products are a great fit for creating simple, point-to-point data flows with a relatively low volume. Integrations can become fragile and require continuous attention and maintenance from IT when they are not built for the data and transaction traffic an organization generates. We engineered our integration to scale to rapidly increasing and very large data volumes. It’s also designed to support one-to-many integrations, sending data from a single field in one system to multiple fields in another or in several systems. In addition, it syncs data in real time, which can be a challenge in environments with high numbers of simultaneous transactions.

Taking advantage of the power of Microsoft Azure Integration Services

The scalability and resilience of the Microsoft Azure cloud are key to enabling the scalable, sophisticated integrations our clients with high data and transaction volumes require. We use Microsoft Azure Logic Apps—a component of Azure Integration Services—to meet many complex integration requirements and help you avoid overburdening IT with integration management challenges.

For example, if you want to sync an out-of-the-box table in Business Central to another one in Salesforce, our standard integration—described below—will facilitate the data flow. However, if you need to sync a table in Business Central to two tables in Salesforce, or to a table in Salesforce and one in another application, we create a Logic App to augment the integration and provide Business Central with the right endpoints to call. In addition to Logic Apps, Sikich uses the Azure Service Bus and Azure API Management to create highly performant integrations between Business Central and Salesforce. When you acquire the Sikich integration, it includes Azure Integration Services with all of its components.

For our clients, our use of Azure technologies enables complex, reliably syncing hub-and-spoke and high-volume integrations that have minimal maintenance requirements after the initial implementation. If changes in Business Central or Salesforce impact some data flows, the integration remains intact. You can isolate and perform corrective measures in just the area that requires intervention.

Short time-to-value and simple, everyday adjustments

Before we deliver a Business Central and Salesforce integration, consultants will show you how to audit and cleanse your data to ensure a friction-free project. Many clients manage and refine the integration on their own once we implement it and provide them with initial training. While data mapping is part of our integration deployment, many clients ask to be trained on this task so they can perform it on their own.

Following the initial deployment, you can add, expand, sync, and de-sync objects, configuring integration details in the Salesforce Integration Setup utility in Business Central. You can map both standard and custom fields unidirectionally and bi-directionally. The Setup tool provides a simple dropdown to define which items to sync between Business Central and Salesforce with a bidirectional or unidirectional data flow.

A sequence of code written by Sikich, selectable in another dropdown, determines how data is transferred between Business Central and Salesforce. You can simply map standard fields to link them to each other without any development. However, to accommodate customized fields and objects in Business Central or Salesforce and allow data syncing, Sikich will write custom code or code classes, and show your IT team how to do this. Most companies use their Business Central and Salesforce with many custom fields, thus requiring at least some coding to complete the integration.

The power of data mapping

The integration’s intuitive, streamlined mapping function lets you use dropdowns to create the relationships and data flows between tables and fields in Business Central and Salesforce to suit your specific processes. You use the same tool to turn mapping and integrations off.

Much of the time, companies will simply map fields in Business Central and Salesforce one-to-one, but you can also implement more complex mapping. For example, imagine you need to show in Salesforce a product unit cost, which would be a result of a calculation in Business Central that divides the total value of an order by item quantity. By means of a custom class and code, this outcome would appear in a custom field in Salesforce.

The integration’s mapping provides ways to navigate efficiently between the two software systems. For example, in Salesforce, you can set up custom fields which use hyperlinks, not just data. Clicking on the link brings up the record in Business Central.

When an error in mapping or field definitions causes a logical conflict which the integration cannot process, it provides full visibility of the pertinent details. You can then take the right steps to resolve this—the preference of most clients—unless you have configured the integration that it makes corrections automatically. To understand and forestall errors, you can audit complete synchronization histories and all data exchanges between Business Central and Salesforce. Using dynamic links to navigate between Business Central and Salesforce, you can see who made what kind of change when in either environment and how it impacted data flows.

How integration components behave in your software environment

After Sikich deploys the integration, you will see its components in your Business Central and Salesforce environments. The Sikich Salesforce Connector moves data from Salesforce to Business Central. The Sikich Integration Manager sends data from Business Central to Salesforce and enables bidirectional data flows. You can flexibly configure the Integration Manager to determine which data travel to Business Central in what manner. The Salesforce Connector supports out-of-the-box fields and tables, and you can create your own connector to accommodate custom entities. Without interacting with our integration app’s source code, you can thus augment the integration in a simple process Sikich consultants will be glad to explain.

Both Integration Manager and Salesforce Connector highlight errors in data transfer requests between Business Central and Salesforce. Often, errors and mismatches happen when companies missed records in their pre-deployment data cleansing. Once again, you can choose whether you want the integration utility to resolve duplicates and other errors—Sikich will write the appropriate code for this—or whether you prefer to have IT or technology users address them.

Here to help

If you want to connect Business Central and Salesforce—no matter who deployed the systems for you—we’ll be glad to put our integration to work. Once we complete deployment and training, you can manage and fine-tune the integration with your own resources. Alternatively, you can engage the Sikich managed services team to take care of it.

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This publication contains general information only and Sikich is not, by means of this publication, rendering accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or any other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such professional advice or services, nor should you use it as a basis for any decision, action or omission that may affect you or your business. Before making any decision, taking any action or omitting an action that may affect you or your business, you should consult a qualified professional advisor. You acknowledge that Sikich shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by you or any person who relies on this publication.

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