Not another database / CRM system?

Hosted web applications are a no-brainer these days. They offer a solid service that just works letting you get on with what you do best – running your organisation.

It’s all too easy to forget the problems we used to face with installed software:

  • days lost installing, upgrading and fixing software
  • lack of remote access
  • worries about backups and disaster recovery plans
  • high upfront costs

Sigh.

Cloud-based applications generally solve all these issues. But one of the biggest challenges – integration – remains. You could argue software-as-a-service (SaaS) makes integration harder as you use more applications.

Back in 2010, the youth charity Adventure Plus asked James (founder of Sheep) to find a replacement for their Microsoft Access database. Adventure Plus needed remote access and didn’t want to waste resources managing IT systems so a hosted SaaS product was the obvious choice.

While there are hundreds of cloud database systems (usually branded as customer relationship management or CRM), none were fit for purpose. Most focus on sales pipeline management, so aren’t a great fit for charities that need a database that spans all stages of their operations. Those aimed at the charity sector could only meet some of their data management requirements.

The integration problem remained. And this is why we built Sheep.

All good SaaS providers realise they’re part of a bigger picture and can’t operate in isolation. They provide interfaces (APIs) so other systems can access and manipulate their data.

But when it comes to setting up these integrations you’re on your own. There are emerging platforms such as Zapier to help with this, but it’s still difficult to get right. You’ll need a lot of valuable time or have to call in an IT consultant – both of which are expensive.

Even if you get these integrations set up, you end up with a complex and brittle web-like architecture:

Integration nightmare: a web of interconnected apps

The problem here is there is no central view of what’s going on. Some data like names and addresses are duplicated across multiple systems and quickly get out of sync. And when it comes to running standard reports that need data from multiple sources you’re back to the tedium of CSV exports and spreadsheets.

Unless you’re using Sheep.

Sheep is the hub that finally brings together the power of all your favourite apps into one easy-to-use system:

Sheep – the hub to connect all your cloud apps

Read more about our integration partners

With our simple all-inclusive monthly price there’s never been a better time to implement Sheep. Contact us now to see how Sheep can improve your operational efficiency and unlock the value in your organisation’s data.

Photo credit Euan Cochrane.

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