Order-to-cash integration in publishing

Publisher launches online checkout through order-to-cash integration

Influential Software delivered a bespoke order-to-cash integration solution that allowed seamless online payments for magazine subscriptions.

People with e-books representing order to cash integration in publishing

Executive brief

Boosting sales with order-to-cash integration

Our client provides publishing services for subscription-based media such as magazines. Influential Software’s systems integration experts assisted the company by developing an order-to-cash integration solution. This project provided the following benefits:

increased online sales

reduced manual data entry

smooth purchase process

unlocking on-premise data

Wondering how we developed this order-to-cash integration with magazine subscription software? Read on to learn more.

The full story

Arrow encouraging readers to scroll down for the full order to cash integration in publishing case study

The challenge

Checkout had no access to customer data

With digital disruptors like Amazon seizing a large share of book sales, today’s publishers have stiff competition. These market pressures made a compelling case for our client to diversify into online sales.


At the time of this project, Influential’s software engineers had developed an online checkout portal for the publisher’s customers to buy magazine subscriptions. The last piece of the puzzle was to connect this online checkout, built in a Microsoft Azure cloud, to the customer data that it needed to place orders.


However, there was no in-built connectivity between the cloud-based checkout and the company’s on-premise customer relationship management (CRM) software, from AdvantageCS. For this reason, this order-to-cash integration effort required some in-depth expertise with Azure Integration Services.


Without that CRM data integration in place, the company faced the following obstacles:


  • the need for sales staff to manually check and update customer data
  • a high risk of inaccuracy and duplication in customer and sales data
  • low customer satisfaction due to the lengthy purchase process


In light of these issues, it was clear that an order-to-cash integration solution was critical to the company’s growth.

The solution

On-premise CRM data integration with the cloud

This publisher knew of Influential’s integration work for publishers like Taylor & Francis, Hachette, and Oxford University Press. And having demonstrated our Azure expertise in building the online checkout system, our team was ideally placed to deliver the customer data integration as well.


The solution concerned a common integration challenge, namely how to connect an on-premise system to the cloud. Our decision to use Azure technology to achieve this was based on this platform’s low-code, top-security, and high-value features.


Because of the complex queries that the checkout needed to perform on the on-premises CRM, a pre-built Azure connector was not sufficient. Instead, we took the approach of developing an on-premises API that would query the customer database.


Breaking the project down into two halves, on the Azure cloud side there were:


  • the online checkout portal
  • an Azure Logic App
  • a custom Azure connector


And on the on-premises side we had:


  • an Azure on-premise data gateway
  • an ASP.NET Core API
  • and, of course, the AdvantageCS CRM


With all these elements in place, the online checkout system was automatically updated with accurate data from the company’s CRM. And when a customer placed an order in the checkout, the CRM automatically received that data. In this way, the order-to-cash process had become smooth and self-sufficient for both customers and the sales team.

The benefits

Growing sales with customer data integration

Through our innovative approach to on-premise data integration, the client’s primary goal was achieved: a seamless, automated online checkout.


Overall, the business benefits of this order-to-cash integration were:


  • increased sales by enabling customers to buy online
  • improved efficiency by eliminating manual data tasks
  • greater customer satisfaction through seamless purchasing
  • added value from existing software by bringing data to the cloud


With this online checkout up and running, the publisher was able to capture a slice of revenue that had previously been beyond its reach.

We know publishing software

Influential has served the publishing industry for 30 years, developing and integrating systems for the likes of Taylor & Francis and Hachette. To learn more about what we can achieve, visit our systems integration page.


5th November 2020
hybrid integration, order-to-cash, CRM, data integration

Privacy Preference Center




Analytics cookies collect information that is used either in aggregate form to help us understand how our Websites are being used or how effective our marketing campaigns are, or to help us customise our Websites for you.

Google Analytics
The cookie _gcl_au is used by Google Analytics to understand user interaction with the website.

For example, in order for Google Analytics to determine that two distinct hits belong to the same user, a unique identifier, associated with that particular user, must be sent with each hit.

The analytics.js library accomplishes this via the Client ID field, a unique, randomly generated string that gets stored in the browsers cookies, so subsequent visits to the same site can be associated with the same user.

By default, analytics.js uses a single, first-party cookie named _ga to store the Client ID, but the cookie's name, domain, and expiration time can all be customized. Other cookies created by analytics.js include _gid, AMP_TOKEN and _gac_. These cookies store other randomly generated ids and campaign information about the user.

Google Analytics
_gcl_au, _gid, _ga, gtm_preview


WordPress uses cookies for authentication. That means that in order to log in to our WordPress site, you must have cookies enabled in your browser.

There are two types of cookies set by WordPress.
1 — Session cookies — These are ‘strictly necessary’ cookies as WordPress will not be able to function without it.
2 — Comment cookies — These are not ‘strictly necessary’ cookies and are set when users leave a comment on a post.

Wordpress Session cookies:
Users are those people who have registered an account with the WordPress site.

Wordpress comments:
Comments are usually turned off by default.
If by chance they are still active on a post, asides being turned off when spotted, data from these are not saved by Influential.
- When visitors comment on a post, they too get cookies stored on their computer. This is purely a convenience so that the visitor won’t need to re-type all their information again when they want to leave another comment. Three cookies are set for commenters:

Wordpress, Intercom
comment_author_{HASH} comment_author_email_{HASH} comment_author_url_{HASH} wordpress_[hash] wordpress_logged_in_[hash] wordpress_test_cookie wp-settings-{time}-[UID]