Products

Tech Talk: What It Means to Integrate Two Systems

July 20, 2020

Key points:

  • Understanding system integration is incredibly important for school professionals looking to implement new software into their processes.
  • Integration is one of the cornerstones of digital transformation for most businesses, including schools.
  • School software integration has huge benefits for schools, by dramatically reducing the time spent performing manual tasks.

We’ve written previously about the power of school software integration and how it can help to maximise time and streamline school processes. But, when you get down to the nitty-gritty details, what is integration all about? 

To put it simply, integration is a process where one digital system seamlessly transfers information to another. The purpose of integration is to make your job easier by streamlining your existing tools and enabling them to ‘talk’ to one another and function as one.


Why do I need to understand system integration?

If you don't consider yourself to be the most tech-savvy person in the room, talking about things like APIs and data-syncing can be a little overwhelming – we get it! However, if you’re looking to implement any new system at your school, it's essential to understand the basics of integration. 

System integration is the cornerstone of digital transformation within most businesses — including schools. Knowing how integrations work means you can:

  • Ask your software providers the right questions
  • Be well informed about how your data is being transferred from one system to another
  • Confidently discuss your system integration with your team.

If this sounds like something that would be useful to you, read on! This post will give you the tools to understand the ins and outs of system integration. 

 

 

How does system integration work?

In the past, integrating two systems required custom-built, inflexible solutions. Thankfully today, we have the tools and technology to quickly integrate new software into existing business functions.

When integrating one of your school's existing systems with a Digistorm product, we use an Application Programming Interface (API) – this allows us to connect one application to another to communicate and share information. We like to think of an API as a middleman or translator between people who speak different languages. 

For example, the API connection between the Digistorm App and Schoolbox allows information such as student information, calendar events, timetables and more to travel from the Schoolbox system, directly through to the app. Updates and changes made through the Digistorm App for Schoolbox are automatically updated in Schoolbox so that there is always a single source of truth. Data is never duplicated or inconsistent between systems.

 

API_blog

 

What are the benefits of integration?

Without meaningful connections, schools end up with a set of connected digital tools rather than an integrated digital ecosystem. When it comes to integration, the number one objective is always to provide a better experience for users. With this in mind, there are two main ways that integrations can really benefit your school.

 

1. Your enrolments team will become more efficient

Powerful system integration should drastically cut the amount of time that your admissions team spends processing data entry. At your school, there are likely multiple different sources of student data that need to be combined in order to process an enrolment. Adding a system integration will remove manual data entry, so your admissions team can spend their time performing more valuable activities.

2. Your school website will be the one-stop source of truth

Your website is the most important tool in your marketing toolkit and an essential part of your school's digital ecosystem. It's often the first touchpoint prospective families have with your school, and it's your existing community's go-to for information. Your website is also the basis of many digital integrations that enable your school to operate more effectively. From mobile apps and school news to event calendars and learning management systems, integration makes your website the heart of your school.

 

Digistorm's approach to integration

At Digistorm, we’re focused on building powerful integration partnerships with leading school software providers across the globe. So whether you're looking for an integration that will streamline communication in your school app or better manage your leads and online enrolments through seamless data transmission, we've got you covered. Head over to the integrations page on our website to learn more about our partners.