How Integration FitsPosted: 30/06/2016 12:00am
One question we often hear is, “What is an integrated solution and does it make sense to pursue it?” Depending on the circumstances, the answer could be a bit different for everyone. An integration project automates the processes of data exchange between parties; however, when the groups taking part in this data exchange have different capabilities and requirements, it takes some work to ensure this process is seamless. As with any purchase, choice is an important aspect of the buying cycle because all businesses have their own individual goals and challenges.
Network with Your Trading Partners
Cortex is an e-invoicing network that connects businesses and allows them to securely communicate and transact with each other online. When dealing with differing financial systems and workflows, it can be difficult to find a solution that allows control of your requirements and data while also having a platform to universally transact over. The reality is that every company has their own processes and systems that work for their unique business; that’s why Cortex offers a network solution that can bridge those differences and connect them to their trading partners while allowing them to control their own data.
There are a number of ways that Cortex allows transactions over the network. The starting point for many is direct entry into the Cortex Portal to the desired Trading Partner. This allows for real time data entry and validation prior to submission. However, often times an automated solution is desired in order to eliminate part or all of the manual data entry. This is what typically leads clients to explore an integrated solution with Cortex.
Integrating into other systems can often be a daunting proposition, depending on the requirements. Everyone has their own unique needs and specifications when approaching an integration project. For example:
- How technically capable is your accounting system for integration?
- Are internal IT resources readily available for an integration project?
- How reliable and complete is the data in relation to the destination’s requirements?
- How quickly does it need to be implemented?
- What is the budget?
- What is the desired goal of the integration?
All of these factors are among the list of things to consider when integrating to a network such as Cortex. The last point, the desired goal, is critical in shaping the solution that will be pursued. For example, is the main goal to fully automate the invoicing process due to volume? Is it to simply eliminate as much double entry as possible? There are a wide range of reasons that a client may wish to automate their processes. Our goal is to offer a choice as to how to approach this process, so that a solution that best fits your needs can be pursued.
Control Your Data
There are a number of automation solutions that can be pursued to meet specific needs. For example:
- If volume is relatively low but the desire is to eliminate as much form entry as possible, data can be extracted from your system into a number of predefined file formats which can then be uploaded into Cortex, at which point you can then log in to review, complete, and submit the invoice to your Trading Partner, and manage all response statuses in the Cortex portal.
- If volume is high and/or the desire is to use a format customized to you while not spending a lot of time customizing your system to meet various data requirements that do not currently exist, a solution can be designed to take your data files and upload them into Cortex for your review and submission. This allows you to use the data that you do have and augmentation of data that doesn’t exist without having to modify the source system, while also providing all response statuses in the Cortex portal.
- If complete automation is required, a solution can be designed for you to fully manage all invoicing and response statuses within your own financial system. We work with you to ensure that the formats and processes fit your specific needs. If you wish to follow a predefined template, those can be provided. Alternatively, if you wish to use your own format, Cortex can accommodate the customized form so long as the data requirements for complete automation are met.
These are just some of the many ways that an integration project can be approached. Our teams will help you find the best solution for your business needs.
It is important to know that you do have options when looking into automation through Cortex. Whether you are more comfortable being given a pre-defined format that you can design around, or if you’re already connected elsewhere and want to use the same processes to connect to the Cortex network, we can work with you to build a solution that fits your business’ objectives. If you have never completed an automation project, we have an experienced project team to help you through the process. No matter what the specific solution, the goal is always the same: to help you run your business more efficiently.
We look forward to working with you!
Published by Arman Imani
The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Cortex Business Solutions.