How Function Point APIs Will Help Agencies Optimize Operations

As a project manager at an agency, you might be needing to connect financials with project timelines, calendars, maybe even with a CRM or other applications in your tech stack. Have these scenarios ever crossed your mind?

“I want to make sure that when I add a Calendar event for a member of my team in Function Point, that it will also show up on their Google Calendar. Right now I have to enter it in both places”.

“I assign tasks to my staff, but we’re so busy and the creatives rarely check email, but they are always on Slack. I wish I could have a notification from FP to Slack when I assign something to a team member”.

If yes, other questions you might be asking yourself:
– How can we connect our financials to FP?
– How can we keep our tech stacks synced with each other and ensure we spend less time inputting duplicate data into multiple systems?

You may have been hearing a lot about API integrations lately and how they’re becoming more important to what you do. APIs allow other applications to communicate with Function Point to consolidate data in one place. API integrations are the solution you need to save time and boost productivity.

What is an API integration?

Essentially, a Function Point API (application programming interface) will allow other systems to communicate with Function Point, enabling automated data exchange and keeping these systems updated with the same data. This will reduce or eliminate the need to check multiple systems for information. API integrations are the solutions to saving time and boosting productivity.

Behind the scenes, an API is a standardized set of specifications for a system that will allow for data exchange. An integration handles the transfer and rules of that data exchange between one or more system(s). For example, if your Salesforce account is integrated into your Marketo account, they communicate data back and forth through APIs – so a new contact in Marketo is automatically added to Salesforce and vice versa. API integrations allow for your high-performing business to keep data in sync, enhance productivity, and drive revenue.

Planning an API integration

Planning is essential when getting started with using API’ s to build API integrations. Knowing information you’d like synced and how each system is configured allows you to build connections efficiently, managing the number of calls that the system is making, knowing what you are syncing, what information needs to be connected etc.

Think about the following before getting started:

  1. Understand and communicate the business case for the integration:
    ● What problems will this integration solve?
    ● How can we establish goals that align to business vision and how we can measure success?
    ● How can we help the decision makers understand how this will help your our agency?

  2. Get input from internal teams and understand resources:
    ● How will the different teams interact with the integration?
    ● What value will the teams get from this?
    ● What internal processes will this affect?
    ● Where does the data currently reside?
    ● What are tools used by departments for handling data?

For an API project to be successful, business and IT teams need to work hand- in- hand and ask the right questions before beginning.

  1. Research relationships between data in each system:
    ● How can we create new relationships across these systems to ensure a clean data transfer?
    ● How will we access data from multiple sources?
    ● What are the cases where applications and systems are disconnected?
    ● What methods are in place to ensure security best practices?
    ● Are there any public APIs in use in any of my use cases?

  2. Building and testing the integration
    ● Who will lead the API project? Do you have a developer? Architect? Designer? Product manager? QA?
    ● Do we need to outsource work?

  3. Monitoring integration performance
    ● What is the failure rate? Tracking the number of issues and types of issues that occur.
    ● What is the request per minute? Number of requests the API can handle per minute.
    ● What is the network latency? The time it takes for data to go from the source to the destination.

Please note, the time it takes between the initial research and the final implementation is quite considerable. It may take a few months to fully develop the custom solution with the use of the APIs as cases vary based on the complexity. Feel free to reach out to us for advice!

How Will Function Point APIs Benefit Agencies in the Future?

Financial Management
One of FP client’s, is a digital marketing agency based in the US. They create media buy orders in WideOrbit but manage projects and financials in Function Point. Their integration integrates the two systems to account for media buy expenses in Jobs within Function Point to reduce the doubling of data entry or manual reconciliation by the accounting team.

Final Thoughts

APIs discussions can be quite a technical topic, and this article provides only a high-level overview. There will be a learning curve for external development teams to work through to leverage the API, depending on what they are trying to achieve with a custom application or integration.

We are here to support you to the next level of efficiencies with APIs. As you begin your discussions about Function Point APIs with your development team to start planning how they can best benefit your business, do not hesitate to reach out to us for any clarifications.

Function Point APIs and Future Integrations

Function Point is currently working on a SaaS solution similar to Zapier to act as an integration manager within Function Point to allow us to create new integrations. Whether you want a Task Comment to show up in Slack or automatically push an invoice into XERO, you will be able to centralize data to save time and prevent costly mistakes. Stay tuned for more updates on this!

Call for API Beta Testers
We welcome hearing from you on your API interest, and we are currently taking applications for API Beta Testers! Click here to apply!

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