You could argue that the main task of IT is to connect stuff together. We connect data to processes, processes to people and other processes, hardware to hardware … it’s all about getting stuff talking to achieve a goal. We turn shopping cart data into pick orders that result in people getting the junk they order online. We take text from users and relay it to other users and processes. We’re all about connections and connecting.
The problem is that we have to keep inventing and re-inventing ways to achieve these connections. Sometime — rarely — we can repurpose some old connection method to solve a new linking problem but even then, tweaks are often required.
There's a company that intends to make your app and data connection issues much easier: Zapier. In many ways, Zapier is like IFTTT which I first wrote about in 2011 with one major difference: IFTTT currently offers 160 “channels” (services that can be connected), while Zapier supports over 350 apps many of which are what you might think of as more business-oriented than those available on IFTTT; for example, Zapier can work with MailChimp, Zoho CRM, Github, Zendesk, and Quickbooks. Some of these business apps such as Zendesk and Salesforce are premium services that aren’t available on the free plan.
Also, unlike IFTTT, Zapier has a developer platform so you can connect whatever apps you please which is great not only for custom corporate apps but also for app developers looking to extend the functionality of their offerings.
Zapier uses “triggers” (i.e. events such as a message to customer support via Gmail) that execute “actions” (interactions with apps such as adding it to the inbound queue in Zendesk).
Subscriptions to Zapier start with a free account that allows for 5 “Zaps” (“a connection, or integration, between two apps that automates your workflow”) which run every 15 minutes and 100 “Tasks” (“A Task is counted every time we move a piece of data or take an action on your behalf.”). Charged-for accounts start with Basic at $20 per month for 20 Zaps every 15 minutes and 3,000 Tasks along with Premium Services (integration with business applications as discussed above), up to Infrastructure at $125 per month for $125 Zaps run every 5 minutes with 50,000 Tasks, Premium Services, and historical task logs.
Zapier is a powerful tool to help IT to keep making connections without going broke in the process and without incurring the time delays associated with re-inventing the wheel time and time again.
With more and more workloads going to the cloud, and the top vendors being as competitive as they’ve...
Sample some of the toughest job interview questions for technology professionals, as rounded up by...
The U.S. government reportedly pays Geek Squad technicians to dig through your PC for files to give to...
So far, there’s no reason to think this issue is affecting other iPhone devices.
Of the Everests that IT faces daily, identity and access management is a particular challenge. These 10...
New and dynamic authentication factors can help prevent identity theft.
A fresh round-up of venture-backed Internet of Things startups with a focus on enterprise IT.