Sage Podcast: David Furth, building your Integration Tech Layer

David Furth recently appeared on The Modern SaaS Finance podcast hosted by David Appel, Global Head of Subscription and SaaS Vertical at Sage Intacct. They discussed how to build a durable integration layer in your tech stack. David is DataBlend's CEO. For the past 20 years, David has worked with senior executives to improve business outcomes through the use of enterprise software. He understands that all software purchases need to be tied to value and leads a team at DataBlend that delivers on this promise every day. David has worked in the Sage Intacct community since 2007, having founded one of Sage Intacct's Premier Resellers, Leap the Pond, which was acquired by AcctTwo (now Baker Tilly) in 2018. 


Why is a coordinated integration strategy important?

Imagine the multitude of applications your finance and accounting teams use daily, from HR/payroll to budgeting and revenue-supporting applications, all integrating with the ERP/General Ledger. The importance of a coordinated strategy for the movement of data between these applications cannot be overstated. As David Furth puts it, "Think about all the different applications in your finance organization that you are relying on for order to cash, quote to cash, secure to pay, and reporting; those are the things that you need to think about for what's the best way to manage that flow of information."


What is important in deploying integrations?

A crucial first step is to list all the applications you use, the information flowing through them, and the processes you or your team are using to obtain this information. David Furth suggests starting with that simple exercise and then thinking about the daily, weekly, and monthly effort you might be making to move that information. Then, prioritize the areas where you can make a significant impact and gain the most value from integration. "Many times, people come to DataBlend when trying to replace a process they are doing manually. One of the many benefits of automating integrations is that you can do them more frequently because it isn't manual and doesn't require as much effort. And that ties into data latency and having up-to-date data so that you can make better decisions."


What are tips on how to plan and execute integrations?

  1. Map out all the different applications in your tech stack, such as source and target applications. 
  2. Then, consider the flow and frequency of data, how much volume, and how you are currently moving that data.
  3. David's final advice concerns minimizing data latency and prioritizing the most relevant information for applications.


What are the mistakes to avoid when rolling out integrations?

  1. Don't make it more complicated than it needs to be.
  2. Treating integration as a point-to-point solution to an immediate problem and not thinking strategically about your entire tech stack. Thus, not having an integration platform as part of your tech stack.

David Appel points out that "instead of looking at integrations as an inconvenience, see them as critical (because data is flowing across different systems), make them part of the strategic layer, and embrace the technology that can meet you where you are in the size and sophistication that your organization can handle."


Listen to the podcast!