What does Integration really mean? - Vehicle Vision

March 2022

3 minutes, 5 seconds
Aidan Rooney

Aidan Rooney

Founder and Product Director

Aidan Rooney, Vehicle Vision’s Product Director and Founder has written an article to bust some myths and explain what is meant by ‘integrations’.
He talks about integration in terms of development and what it means for dealerships and how it effects their day to day.

We hear a lot of people talking about integrations and how they provide increased efficiency. Can you help explain this word a bit more? What does it mean in software and development terms?

Integration is a pretty broad term actually. Effectively, integration refers to the process of combining two pieces of software in order to solve a problem – for example, sharing of data leading to increased efficiency.

Vehicle Vision provide Software as a Service (SaaS) products. The nature of a SaaS product means that it can scale on demand, it’s typically cloud based, it’s customisable, benefits from regular updates and benefits from a lower adoption cost. Oh – and it’s managed by the provider, i.e. Vehicle Vision. Most SaaS products will have an Application Programming Interface (API) which expands the possibilities to integrate – essentially providing a way for one software product to talk to another. An API states the rules for the communication to happen, the protocols if you like. Using APIs is the quickest way to integrate two software products, from a secure, documented, and scalable perspective. What’s more we can have a two-way integration that sends information back and forth, this can help keep different databases in sync for example. There are workarounds for this if a particular software provider will only allow one-way communication. For example, one system can poll or ‘ring the doorbell’ (as we like to refer to it) of another system to check if there is an update etc.

And what does that mean for the dealership?

As I stated earlier, ‘integration’ – it’s a broad term, and in the modern world of cloud-based software it shouldn’t be a headache for a dealership. Their software providers should have APIs and be ‘connectable’. After all, it’s the software providers’ responsibility to provide modern solutions for the dealership they supply, and that includes having a method to utilise and consume data from one dealership system into another. In a modern dealership, there will be numerous software systems, and this will only increase as new software is developed to provide new solutions and efficiencies – but to be truly beneficial for the dealership they must connect to one-another – ‘Integrate’.

The modern digital dealership software ecosystem cannot comprise of siloed software systems – it can’t survive any longer in this way. In conclusion, software providers to dealerships (like ourselves) must be open to integration and have APIs to make this happen.

At Vehicle Vision we are really focussed on developing new integrations, why is that?

For this reason, we’re heavily focussed on integrating with other dealership systems that complement our products and provide tangible benefits and efficiencies to our dealership users. We’re here to provide a solution and provide improvements to dealerships, so the question is ‘why wouldn’t we?!’

What integrations does Vehicle Vision currently have?

During 2021 we had a focus throughout the year on improving existing integrations and embarking on new ones. 2022 is continuing in the same vein with a focus on lead management and CRM systems in Q1. Q2 will see an exciting and enhanced Keyloop integration, as well as cap hpi and further BNPL payment provider integrations. This is in addition to our existing integrations with AutoConnect VHC, Bumper BNPL, Eskimo lead management, Hubspot CRM, Infomedia Superservice Triage, iTrackLeads lead aggregator solution, RTC vhc and Vehicle Visuals animations. As you can see, adding to and improving our integrations is and will continue to be fundamental part of our development roadmap.