Incentive Compensation Management (ICM) solutions help companies manage their sales compensation plans and calculate commission payments. These tools have been around for decades, and today, the growing complexities of product and service offerings and sales channels, organizations are finding they need to replace their current ICM systems or spreadsheets with next generation of ICM solutions.
Today’s ICM solutions are aimed at optimizing more than just sales compensation, focusing on end-to-end sales performance management (SPM). With the addition of any new application, companies continue to ask key questions during the evaluation process, including:
- How seamlessly will the system be integrated into our existing infrastructure
- How quick will the deployment and implementation process be? (Remember, the faster an organization can get their SPM solutions up and running, the faster the ROI.)
Integration is Key
When solutions don’t easily and fully interoperate with existing systems, companies can’t maximize full system ROI and business value. With tens of millions of dollars invested in their data warehouses and critical business applications (i.e. ETL, ERP and HCM systems), companies continuously look to protect and maximize the investments.
The ability to easily integrate data sources together can save organizations hundreds of hours of manual labor. To maximize business efficiencies and effectiveness, new systems must integrate with the critical applications organizations already have in place.
Therefore, enterprise SPM solutions need to fit into the broader goals of a customer’s business architectures. How applications integrate with each other is critical to business efficiency and effectiveness. Organizations need to know how a new system will work with the tools they already have in place, as well as its ease of implementation.
Very seldom will organizations look to completely rip out and replace their existing infrastructure to suit the new application or solution being installed.
What Companies Want to Solve with SPM
SPM solutions help solve a wide range of issues companies face in sales planning and execution. Some of the business issues organizations are looking to solve while evaluating the next generation of SPM solutions include:
- Increasing number of highly repeatable processes to improve accuracies: Many organizations who use ICM to automate compensation still use manual processes to solve some of the data integration issues their current ICM systems face within the existing infrastructure. For example, organizations might need to manually upload their compensation data into their existing ERP or CRM or HCM system and vice versa due to lack of seamless integration. Whenever manual processes are introduced with existing automated solutions, the probability of errors and inaccuracies increases. Thus, organizations are constantly looking to increase the repeatable processes to increase accuracies. Seamless integration to existing systems is one step to increasing repeatable processes within organizations.
- Requiring solutions to adapt and adopt to work within the existing environment: Enterprises have invested tens of millions of dollars in data warehouses and critical business platforms, such as ETL, ERP and HCM systems, among many others. SPM solutions should always be navigating towards the customer environment and must be flexible and fit into the broader goals of a customer’s business architecture.
- Freeing up time for innovation on other important tasks: Seamless integration, with an open, standards-based platform, frees up time for innovation on other important tasks. When applications aren’t easy to get up and running, organizations lose time and resources. Lack of visibility from siloed software applications ultimately hurt employee productivity, waste IT efforts, and hinder business agility.
An open, standards-based approach eliminates the need to learn a new proprietary process, which requires considerable time and effort. This makes it easier for IT and development teams to implement, maintain, and modify systems.
Scalable and standards-based solutions deliver greater efficiencies, lowering the cost of technology for businesses. With a standards-based approach, companies can ensure a broader familiarity with the technology and a higher degree of integration with other solutions.
How Xactly Connect Can Solve Today’s IT Need for Seamless Integration
Built on SQL, the industry’s most common, standards-based language, Xactly Connect is an open, secure and scalable platform that delivers connectivity across Xactly’s entire sales performance management (SPM) suite and integrates seamlessly within an organization’s existing system architecture.
With built-in connectors for Workday, Salesforce, and Microsoft Dynamics, REST APIs and ODBC/JDBC drivers, Xactly Connect integrates with any ERP, CRM, or HCM solution, driving business agility and giving organizations the flexibility to manage their own implementation, customizing it to works best for them.
Xactly Connect automates and streamlines inbound and outbound data flows across the entire Xactly SPM suite, including Xactly Incent, Xactly AlignStar and Xactly Commission Expense Accounting (CEA) powered by Obero. Using Xactly Connect, organizations can easily extract data for use in downstream systems, such as payroll, data warehouses, and other reporting applications as well as export data to general ledgers.
With a graphical web UI and an easy-to-use dashboard, Xactly Connect gives organizations greater visibility into their data integration and automation processes. Xactly Connect also:
- Provides more control over data and the flexibility to choose how to implement their data integration processes
- Enables development teams with more flexibility and agility because they don’t need to spend time learning the rules of a proprietary API
- Drives faster IT adoption and rapid deployment times with built-in connectors for Workday, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and Azure SQL, REST APIs and ODBC drivers
- Increases trust with secure mechanisms to pull and push data from any platform, including the web, existing ETL applications, legacy on-premises applications, or any mobile device, allowing IT to access data from any platform
See the effects of seamless integration for sales performance management for yourself in a personalized demo or read more about our approach to building Connect, please read our detailed blog on Xactly Connect.