We’re all looking for simpler ways of doing things – and that goes for running your business as well. Some things we’re not lucky enough to have automated, like our opening procedures or office-cleaning practices. Other things are automated but don’t work as well as we want, much like that lifeless bean water your office ‘coffee machine’ brews. The good news is there are several software automation programs that can help streamline your processes and improve the quality of work you get done in a day.
Fortunately, Omega Digital Solutions has a team that can help determine who to use, when to use them, and which works best for your company (and your wallet).
But for those looking for some quick information on-the-go, here’s our breakdown of a few available software automation options and their advantages and disadvantages based on our experience:
Zoho Flow is growing its claim to fame, stating it connects to 650+ apps, which is a big number, to be sure. At $24/month, the cost is reasonable offering more budget-friendly billing than its strongest competitor Zapier. Inside of the Zoho ecosystem, it is fantastic. Its easy to use and will make operating Zoho One a snap, especially when combined with Creator. Outside of the Zoho ecosystem, its lags behind its competitors. Though it integrates with many apps, it is limited in its functions. For example, when a deal goes Closed/Won in your CRM is a common trigger, but Flow doesn’t have this for Salesforce, most likely because they want you using the Zoho CRM. This is just one example of similar pain points across many popular platforms.
In summary: this has the same feel as other Zoho products – rush to market, tout a big number (650 Integrations!) and hope to figure the rest out later. Use it if you use Zoho products, skip it if you don’t.
Zapier is the de facto industry leader. It integrates with over 3000 applications and many apps come with built-in connections already. However, it comes with a heft price tag for most businesses at $73/mo. Some applications are only available on premium plans, so make sure to check that before starting down that path. Note: there is a free version that lets you try out five automations.
Unfortunately, the problem with Zapier is that it’s an event-driven, one-way system. It works best on topical applications like “When someone clicks submit on this form, write it to a database and send me a Slack message.” It cannot handle more complex logic such as ETL operations, back-up, two-way sync, and has no capacity for error handling.
In summary: Zapier runs expensive, but it works well and integrates with everything. If you have the budget and just want simple functionality, this is the app for you.
A more sophisticated tool that allows for more complex operations. Although it appears clean and simple in design, Integromat is a shade more difficult to use and learn. It doesn’t have as many integrations as Zapier – it clocks in at 1000, but it also has a free plan, though most businesses will come in at $29 per month. Integromat has scenarios, which are automated workflows that can parse data and even handle errors. Other applications simply stop if there’s an error. As a result, Integromat is one of the most powerful integration options available (and one that we use in-house). Their routers make it easy to send information to multiple places at once, and there are Excel-style formulas.
In summary: Integromat has way more horsepower than the competition and it’s cheaper. If you want to get fancy (push notifications, anyone?) this is your jam.
A newer entry to the space, Skyvia is a cloud-centric option. It comes with built-in functionality for backups, syncing, warehouse integration, and connecting. Skyvia has powerful ETL and parsing options as well. In addition, it is a little easier on the wallet than others – you can get unlimited data sources and unlimited endpoints for only $39/month.
Skyvia’s main function is to allow for easy transfer of data from one place to another. It doesn’t exactly have a large list of connectors either – only 80. However, depending on your needs, Skyvia can be a valuable tool. It is more data-focused than its workflow-oriented competitors, so if there are repetitive tasks, it can do things they can’t.
In summary: If you want to transform data, sync systems, create automated backups, and integrate multiple data sources into a warehouse, Skyvia is the product for you. This is another one we use internally here at Omega Digital Solutions.
In truth, the market for these products is still continuing to grow. Heard of one we haven’t listed? Let us know and we’ll give you our deep-dive assessment. After all, knowledge is power!