September 12, 2018
intergration; data; api
READING TIME ~
Here we are in 2018 - a place where technology has reached levels we could have only DREAMT of a decade ago. A world so technically advanced that we’ve ALMOST reached a pinnacle of ideas, right?
Since apps first came about over a decade ago, there has been a continuous flurry of brilliant, innovative ideas that have changed the world. There’s certainly no danger of this trend ending anytime soon.
In 2008, many would have scratched their heads when hearing the term ‘app’. Now, this term is so widely used that all generations have not only heard of it, but have become DEPENDENT on their use.
Quite simply, apps are used to run our lives. Yes, I know what you’re thinking… ‘I don’t need an app to run my life’. Ok, this may be true, but let’s face it, they make some of life’s activities FAR easier.
Here are a few simple examples:
● How well would YOUR business run without email? Or any form of digital communication? Which device(s) or applications do you use to send/receive emails?
● How do you communicate to friends, family and colleagues on a daily basis? I bet it’s not via snail mail!
● How do you manage your daily tasks/activities? Again, some may use the old fashioned pen and paper, but it’s not as easy as a nice digital notification!
Furthermore, businesses have become RELIANT and far more EFFECTIVE with the use of apps and other browser based software.
Prior to my journey with EdgePetrol, I worked on an app for the wholesale industry, where sales staff were reliant on pen and paper to place orders with customers for circa 50 years.
It took time to convert some users’ way of thinking, especially those with a wealth of industry experience. However, one day, when a user dropped his device, he called me up and said:
‘Ellis, my tablet is broken, how do I manage without the app, I can’t see customers!’
This user fell into the above category.
This same situation applies to EdgePetrol. A high percentage of users have been in the fuel industry for decades. We are fully respectful of this. Our goal is to help make Petrol Retailers’ lives that little bit easier by giving them an overview of their site portfolio and helping them make valuable decisions.
BUT WHERE DOES INTEGRATION COME IN?
These apps are great! But how do they connect to YOUR data?
You’ll find that most people nowadays check compatibility with other leading software companies, like a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or accountancy application before making a decision. This is mainly because it gives users the reassurance that this new piece of kit can be used in conjunction with OTHER software that they are already comfortable with.
I won’t bore you with the details of integration, but there’s a really great analogy online that an API (application programming interface) is like a waiter in a restaurant. A messenger transporting information from the customer to the kitchen and vice versa.
At EdgePetrol we connect to multiple data sources - the fuel supplier, the POS and a nationwide pole-price service. Our API is the waiter transporting this valuable information to and from the data sources.
We make this process seamless, to ensure that YOUR data is kept in one central location in real-time, eliminating the need to access various, complicated portals. In short, we turn HOURS into SECONDS.
We also believe that fast, effective communication with our customers is imperative. That’s why we integrate with leading communication apps to ensure that we can stay connected with our users at all times.
System integration is a great way for any business to remain competitive. It helps you to meet the needs of your customers and handle every day business processes more effectively. Furthermore, it allows you to analyse what you might be doing wrong and what is preventing your company from reaching the ‘next level’. Without a reliable integration, it is almost impossible to gain accurate data.