“Deep Integration” & The Meaning of “Great”

May 20, 2014

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What does it mean if something is “great?”  Would my definition of great be the same as yours?  Most likely my “great” is someone else’s “good.”  The definition of “great” is relative.  It depends on your past experiences and expectations.  But should the same hold for the word “integration?”  When it comes to live chat integration it appears that the word “integration” can be interpreted in a variety of ways – which can be misleading.

In a recent blog post called Third Party Integration with Live Chat:  The Must Have’s, I touched on the importance – and potential impact – of integrating your live chat solution with a variety of third party applications.  After writing that post, and later reviewing it, I realized that some could read this and be mislead or confused.  The reason for this lack of clarity comes with the fact that unfortunately there are differing interpretations of what it means to be “integrated.”  I thought that I would use this blog post to offer some clarity.

First, lets focus on live chat integration with CRM and support ticketing solutions.  These are the two systems that are most frequently “integrated” with live chat software.  When Velaro speaks of live chat software integration we are referring to the ability to do the following:

  • Allow live chat agents to seamlessly access the CRM and support ticketing system with a single log-in into the Velaro live chat agent desktop
  • Allow live chat agents to create new contacts and support tickets directly from the Velaro live chat agent desktop
  • Allow live chat agents to search existing CRM records, accounts, contacts, and support tickets directly from the Velaro live chat agent desktop
  • Allow the live chat agent to transfer data and chat transcripts (time and date stamped) directly into the CRM record – no cutting and pasting

Now, lets consider what some other live chat vendors refer to as live chat software “integration.”  Believe it or not, some other live chat vendors use the term “integration” to describe how they:

  • Allow live chat agents to click a URL within the live chat agent interface to access the log-in page for the CRM or support ticketing system
  • Allow the live chat agent to have to then log into the CRM or support ticketing system even though they are already logged into their live chat software interface
  • Allow the live chat agent to have to cut or copy information in their live chat system interface and then paste it into the appropriate fields in the CRM or support ticketing system

I don’t know about you, but the definition of live chat software integration used by some of Velaro’s competition sure doesn’t seem like “integration” to me.  It surely doesn’t seem “great” – it doesn’t even seem “good.”  But what do I know?  I guess it’s all in your own personal interpretation of “integration” – so I’ll leave it to you to decide for yourself.

Written by Jeff Mason | Jeff Mason is vice president of marketing at Velaro, where he oversees the company's entire marketing function. Previously, he served as vice president of marketing at Social Solutions and co-founded Artifact Software. He was also vice president of corporate communications and marketing at Sequoia Software.