Integrating Sage X3 with an External eCommerce Solution

Maximize Business Potential while Keeping Costs Down

An eCommerce integration with Sage X3 is capable of extending the reach of a business while maintaining the same number of resources. It also allows for a dramatic scaling of a business within a particular market and enables growth into new markets, without having to significantly increase overhead. In many cases it's possible to even reduce overhead while increasing margins. In order to leverage a Sage X3 eCommerce integration, it's necessary to integrate with the Sage X3 APIs, which utilize web services or REST protocols. With most versions of Sage X3, the web service endpoints are usually the most reliable and use SOAP technology.

These web services allow Sage X3 to essentially expose any of the endpoints that are available within the system. The covered areas can include:

  • Customers
  • Contacts within the customer record or company
  • Addresses
  • Associated sales orders that are tied into a particular customer
  • Tax levels and tax exemption status
  • Credit limits
  • Shipping and billing information
  • Past purchases
  • Account and location-specific pricing
  • The ability to show replacement parts for purchased items
  • And more

By using the Sage X3 APIs, it's possible to expose all of these entities and their associated fields within Sage X3. This translates to not just including the core fields but extending the access to any additional custom fields as well.

The Clarity Connect platform allows the Sage X3 integration to perform seamlessly because it leverages best practices with Sage X3 APIs and the eCommerce platform web API framework. This allows customer and account information with all their associations to go between the systems smoothly, supporting data that includes:

  • Category
  • Product
  • General catalog data, such as attributes and associations
  • Product information, including SKUs
  • Pricing
  • Inventory levels and store or location-specific inventory data
  • Imagery and meta information, if available
  • Associated category data
  • Tax classes based on the product itself
The Value of a Two-way Integration with Sage X3

Safeguard your Operation with a Reliable, Secure, and Fail-Proof Connection

As a next step, the entirety of integrated information from Sage X3 can then pass back into the eCommerce back-end. This essentially enables the platform to hydrate the data with more robust marketing information that is shared with Sage X3. The Clarity Connector platform can intelligently facilitate these systems to sync and allow the eCommerce side of things to enrich the data once received from Sage X3. Thus, the eCommerce platform can serve as the marketing team's focused management area with respect to product data. In addition, the Sage X3 API integration grants robust capabilities for the following:

  • Sales orders
  • Invoices
  • Quotes
  • Any kind of checkout process
  • Ordering information
  • Users that are created
  • Line items and the details within them
  • Taxes and any form of tax integration, like Avalara or TaxJar
  • Shipping and fees
  • Customs and duties
  • Multiple discounts (on the item order or shipping level)
  • Payments and transactional information, including split payments
  • Refunds for line items or the entire order
  • Associated calculations for reversing any shipping, taxes, handling fees, etc.

The above information in its totality would be available by using the Clarity Connect platform to integrate Sage X3 with an eCommerce system. The key to successfully enabling this integration is to set up a connector of superior capability that can smartly handle all the different processes. We typically refer to those as jobs or tasks that line up and the connector performs. Within those tasks, there’s the ability to complete scheduled and business logic-based data transformations or workflows. The access covers the full collection of entities and fields, including custom entities and fields within Sage X3. A queue-based persistent task engine ensures that each of those different integration tasks runs, and then reports back to a dashboard utility.

The application enables scaling, failover, and heightened security, all combined under the system’s persistent performance. Queue-based models work exceptionally well for the enterprise in this respect, rendering the system powerfully redundant and scalable. The effort is guaranteed to continue even if a system is offline, as the connector persists with its tasks or jobs until they complete successfully. In addition to customer's accounts, categories, product sales orders, invoices, and quotes, it's also possible to integrate shipments, shipment status, transactions, and payments. Within shipments and orders, their status can be identified and then real-time, or near real-time, data with tracking and overall order information can be provided from Sage X3.

Further Possibilities with an Adaptive and Flawless Integration

A Solution that Adjusts to the Evolving Needs of your Organization

Another available option enables payments for Sage X3 invoices to be paid into the eCommerce website and quotes from Sage X3 to be converted into invoices. Therefore, Sage X3 invoices can be paid inside of the website even if they didn’t originate there. Sage X3 quotes may be converted into an actual order in the eCommerce system, from what are typically referred to as negotiable quote cards. You can further enable user and location integrations, along with any custom entities, extensions, and plugins. As a result, whenever a new user signs up within the eCommerce website, the information could pump back into Sage X3 and be associated with a preexisting entry in terms of a company or customer record, through certain account-based logic.

Upon transfer to Sage X3, this particular new user might be matched and tied with specific pricing, which then gets pumped from Sage X3 back into the eCommerce system. It’s definitely attainable to implement intensely advanced logic with the Sage X3 eCommerce integration. The information could be shared back and forth as directed by the desired business requirements. It's also possible to enable omnichannel capabilities, including things like transfer of inventory, the ability to look up inventory in other nearby stores, and geographical searching based on zip code or proximity. Ultimately, we are empowered to leverage the full omnichannel capability that is integrated between Sage X3 and an eCommerce platform on multiple locations.

Some location examples where omnichannel is applicable include multiple warehouses, distribution centers, and physical store locations. Practically the full spectrum of the enterprise can be effectively handled as per the unique details your organization desires. Enabling an advanced enterprise-level capability can be very expensive and cumbersome depending on the solution. The Clarity Connect platform is meant to be incredibly nimble and simple to implement, yet simultaneously scalable and dynamic. This gives your business the opportunity to enhance and grow from a base Sage X3 integration to a more robust and customized offering that matches the needs of your business as it continues to grow.

How Can Clarity Help

Sage X3 Integration Specialists

Of course, we remain at your disposal and would be happy to provide you with a complimentary needs analysis or consultation. If you would like to receive more information, click on the button to request a quote and we'll promptly set up a free review with you and/or your team. You're always welcome to explore the additional resources that are available on our website. If you find that a particular topic of interest isn't fully covered, feel free to click the Ask the Experts button and our specialized team members will gladly provide a thorough response to any questions that you might have. Our experts in Sage X3 integrations possess extensive experience and can adeptly assist with anything you need for your upcoming project.

Act-On + Sage X3 Integration

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of Act-On to Sage X3, including the automation of business processes and the sharing of data. Why would you do this? Every company, as well as every need to integrate is different. The most common is to marry the front-office web property with a back-office application, such as an online storefront connected to and ERP to pass orders automatically when the order is placed online.

There are many considerations when designing the connection between Act-On and Sage X3. There can be security and performance criteria, as well as the physical access available to the applications. The two common connection types of applications that are typically connected are SaaS and On Premises.

Pricing
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Connecting with Clarity Connect:

  • Act-On

    Act-On

  • Sage X3

    Sage X3

Clarity Connect is a middleware platform that facilitates the integration of Act-On to Sage X3, including the automation of business processes and the sharing of data. Why would you do this? Every company, as well as every need to integrate is different. The most common is to marry the front-office web property with a back-office application, such as an online storefront connected to and ERP to pass orders automatically when the order is placed online.

There are many considerations when designing the connection between Act-On and Sage X3. There can be security and performance criteria, as well as the physical access available to the applications. The two common connection types of applications that are typically connected are SaaS and On Premises.

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Be Nimble, Be Quick

SaaS or In-the-Cloud Applications

SaaS-based integrations are very common. These are exclusively online and used to integrate applications like Salesforce, Office365, USPS, UPS, 3PL, Avalara (Clarity is a certified Sage, Microsoft and Avalara partner) and any other application that is served up in the cloud.

In any of these scenarios, the eCommerce storefront is hosted on a cloud-based server (usually at a provider like Amazon, Azure, Rack Space, Liquid Web, Managed.com, etc.), and Clarity Connect is installed on the same server, with the connector or adapter communicating to the other online application across a secured Internet connection.

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Working from Within

On-Premises Applications

Another common implementation is when a client has their ERP or CRM installed on premises, behind their corporate firewall. In this scenario, Clarity Connect is then installed on a server on premises, along with the connector at the client’s facility and configured to communicate securely within their network to the back-office application(s).

Then an IP exception, with specific port and public / private key combo is used so that Connect can securely communicate with the other application’s connector / adapter in the cloud, improving security and ensuring that the client’s ERP / CRM are not exposed outside of their network.

Act-On
Innovative & Robust

How Middleware Integration Works for B2B Platforms

Integrated Act-On & Sage X3 applications can foster greater customer loyalty with business process automation that delivers consistently outstanding customer service. Order processing speeds up, customers can access a range of information about their accounts such as order history and shipping options, so that it’s easy to place complex orders. Examples of how integrating ERP software works in practical terms include the following automated processes:

  • Customers and prospects visit an eCommerce website.
  • A record of the visit is generated and converted into a format that works in Act-On & Sage X3 software (Contact record -> Activity log).
  • If a sale is made, a Customer Record and Sales Order are automatically generated.
  • Visitor behavior is tracked and recorded to build user profiles for custom displays, marketing messages, recommendations and content curation.
  • Sales Orders and Quotes are sent to the appropriate staff for review, fulfillment and shipping.
  • Shipping details are converted into readable formats and forwarded to the eCommerce store.
  • Inventory figures update in real-time.
Sage X3
A Better Experience

Customer Service Takes its Place at the Top of the Queue with ERP Integration

The usefulness of both CRM and ERP software depends on how efficiently business process automation works, and that depends on how fully the software is integrated into operations. If customers must contact sales or customer service staff frequently to troubleshoot problems with orders, get answers to simple questions or manage other issues with their accounts, the hidden and labor costs can be tremendous.

Companies routinely lose orders, fail to upsell accounts and frustrate customers when self-service eCommerce applications don’t work seamlessly with back-office data, pricing and automation. The costs of staff intervention also raise human capital costs and prevent staff from pursuing revenue-generating tasks.

  • Generating customized email, marketing promotions and newsletter marketing.
  • Generating customized reports and 360-degree views of each customer’s profile and real-time actions.
  • Automating line of business applications to foster seamless connections with multiple databases and internal management systems.
  • Delivering customer-centric tools for order fulfillment, support requests and ticketing applications.
  • Triggering custom quotes, accelerated workflows and faster management decisions.
  • Triggering custom quotes, accelerated workflows and faster management decisions.
It's All About Endpoints

Business Logic & Endpoint Types

Business logic are workflows that are the real meat and potatoes of the integration. It's where all the business processing happens and is made up of events, triggers, rules, and more. It's what allows all of the real-time or batched communication and automation of the front-end website with data and logic from the back-office applications. This is what extracts and exposes all of the value of your website / marketplace project.

The workflows can be very simple, such as checking a product's in-stock inventory count, to something much more complex. The basic endpoint categories are:

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Contacts

Individual users, typically customers or individuals of partners

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Accounts

Customer accounts, partners, resellers, etc.

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Products

Products or services that your company provides or sells

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Inventory

Stock quantities of products or services

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Pricing Tables

Pricing set on your products or services

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Sales Orders

Orders placed on the web that are pushed to the back office for processing

There can be literally hundreds of endpoints an API can expose to a connector (Clarity's eCommerce API exposes over 10,000) and the list can be very different from the two sides you're integrating. This is important because you may want to push or pull information from an application that can't be easily accessed or loaded to an application that doesn't support that type of data (Accounts and Contacts may both be in your CRM and ERP, but products and inventory may only exist within the ERP).

Possible Complex Workflow Samples

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Login Authentication Workflow

When a user logs into your store, Connect can go to the integrated CRM, look up the user, see what account they belong to. Is the account status on hold? Does the user have permissions to purchase on account? What pricing table does the account get assigned? Which products should be made visible to the user, etc.?

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Viewing a Product Workflow

When a user clicks on a product category, go to ERP in real-time and check to validate their (the account's) pricing, inventory story quantity and whether the product can be back ordered.

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Displaying Multiple Stock Quantities

If you stock products in multiple warehouses, how do you let users know how many are at each location? Connect can pull that information from your ERP(s), and display that on the website, allowing users to order from the closest location that has the number they need in stock.

Workflows and Benefits Supported by Act-On

Act-On uses REST for its Connector-Adapter (API). This allows for the integration of data in the Product and Orders categories. Here's a brief list of some possible workflows:

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Login & Tiered Pricing

Automated login can validate users & account-based tiered pricing with Sage X3

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Lead Capture & Generation

Capture leads to support your marketing activities

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Automate Sales Orders

Automate push Sales Orders for processing into Sage X3

Workflows and Benefits Supported by Sage X3

Sage X3 uses EDI File Exchange for its Connector-Adapter (API). This allows for the integration of data in the Pricing and Fulfillment categories. Here's a brief list of some possible workflows:

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Products & Services

Automatically pull products and services from Sage X3 into the Act-On storefront

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Inventory & Stock Quantites

Display accurate stock and inventory counts on your Act-On store by pulling real stock quantities

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Invoicing & Payments

Pulling invoices from Sage X3 into Act-On allows customers to save, print and pay their invoices online

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Integration Cost & Timing

Since the endpoints expose what is accessible to each connector, those applications with robust, well-defined APIs allow you to integrate more quickly and at a much lower cost. Simple integrations (i.e. forwarding orders to the back-office, pulling stock and quantities to the front-office) can start around $15k (including the platform's one-time license fee), especially for those that we've already developed robust connectors for. The complex integrations or those with many workflows and dozens of endpoint calls, may run as much as $30k all the way up to $100k for multiple applications.

It all depends on the number of applications being integrated, the ability to easily integrate with the applications, and the numbers and complexity of the business workflows being built. Using Clarity Connect, typical integrations can take from a few weeks to a few months. Over more than a decade, Clarity has done over 3,000 integrations and although 40% of the integrations that come our way are new, we haven't met an integration that we haven't been able to develop. Give us a call today to discuss your integration project.

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