The Value of Having A Dedicated Salesforce Integration User

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Every #AwesomeAdmin knows that utilizing their Superpowers to champion productivity means finding the best tools to get the job done. And, for the last 13 years, the AppExchange has brought thousands of free and paid solutions to the fingertips of businesses to help them run more efficiently. In fact, in 2017 the AppExchange celebrated its 5 millionth App download! More and more businesses are taking advantage of integrating AppExchange Apps and other paid tools with their Salesforce instance.

So, what does all this mean for Salesforce Admins? Most Salesforce Admins today are managing a Salesforce ecosystem versus a Salesforce instance.

The AppExchange thoroughly vets all vendors, so you can trust that while expanding the value your organization gets from Salesforce, you aren’t compromising the security of your instance. However, tying all these external tools to your Salesforce instance presents Salesforce Admins with a new challenge:

How do you ensure all your integrations are stable, auditable, and secure?

An easy way to address this challenge is to invest in a Dedicated Integration User! Not only will this help you manage integrations more seamlessly but it’ll also increase your productivity by saving you time. Sounds like a win-win, right?

What is an Integration User?

An Integration User can be an Admin’s best friend. It is a dedicated (not used by any human) full Salesforce license that has a custom Profile, Permission Set, and is used for any 3rd party integrations, like: marketing automation, CTIs, data enrichment tools, and even your own custom API work. Integration Users are particularly important for these kinds of tools because they tend to update thousands (or tens of thousands) of records per day.

An Integration User is a more secure, auditable way to move data into and out of your instance without relying on an existing user’s license.

ROI of an Integration User: Security

The status quo in many organizations is Salesforce integrations are given access via the Salesforce System Administrator’s own license. While it’s easy to understand why this is the status quo, something to consider is: not all 3rd party integrations are downloaded via the AppExchange and have gone through a rigorous security review.

When you set up your Dedicated Integration User you clone a “standard user” profile instead of using the System Admin’s profile. The Integration User is more secure as it will not have the access or permission to do any of the items listed below.

By giving an Integration System Admin access, that means you’re giving that tool access to:

  • Create or delete your users
  • Delete records
  • Reset user’s passwords
  • Be able to log in as any user
  • Create new permission sets and assign them

(click here for more information on how to set up a Dedicated Integration User)

ROI of an Integration User: Stable Integrations

Having a Dedicated Integration User will make managing integrations simpler and save you time. For example: freezing and deactivating users is a labor-intensive job for a Salesforce Admin in the absence of a Dedicated Integration User.

When an employee whose Salesforce license is being used for an integration leaves the company or changes their password, it can create unforeseen problems. A change in their password will break any integration attached to that license and it can take a while before someone realizes the integration is broken.

This means every time you wind down an employee who’s leaving the organization you have to check if there are any integrations attached to that user and migrate those integration(s) to another user’s license. This also applies to any integrations that are attached to your Salesforce Admin license. For example, every time you update your password you also have to update every integration attached to your license. This makes simple tasks like updating your Salesforce password much more complicated and inefficient.

ROI of an Integration User: Reporting

The third benefit of having a Dedicated Integration User is improving data integrity and simplifying reporting.

Most times when creating reports you want to exclude automated systems to provide accurate results. As a Salesforce Admin, this is another area where you’ll see major time savings by investing in a Dedicated Integration User. For example, identifying how and why a record was created can be challenging and time intensive in the absence of having an Integration User.

With a Dedicated Integration User, it’s easy to filter out activities to identify what changes have been made by external systems. In doing this you can avoid hours of additional analysis to figure out how and why a record was created.

This can come in handy when looking at:

  • How many activities were created this week by actual team members (not by a marketing automation platform)?
  • What leads were created by a team member (and not created by a system)?

A Compelling Case

The upfront costs of an extra license and the work to set up a Dedicated Integration User can seem daunting to organizations and their Salesforce Admins. However, in the long run, it’ll make your life as a#AwesomeAdmin much easier and in turn, save you time and your organization money.

Have questions about how to set up a Dedicated Salesforce Integration User? Feel free to check out this blog post and if you have questions please drop us a line in the comment section below.

Looking for Salesforce Security resources? Here are our my top three favorite Salesforce Security Trailhead modules for Admins:

  1. User Authentication
  2. Data Security
  3. Security Basics

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