- Competitively priced plans
- Integration with hundreds of SaaS apps
- Streamlined workflows
- Occasional integration glitches & syncing delays
- Not all integrations work
- Harder to master the right integrations
Zapier is a platform that integrates and syncs SaaS applications for ease of work functionality. Companies like Buzzfeed, Spotify, and Adobe use Zapier’s wide-ranging services to satisfaction. That said, we thought it would be essential to feature Zapier as a possible choice for streamlining a Capitol Hill office.
If you’re reading this review, the chances of you being a Congressional staffer are pretty high. If that’s the case, imagine this: a way to integrate the dozens of productivity and office apps you use through one triggering action. Zapier’s platform creates customized software integrations — or “zaps” — to ease your busy workdays.
Let’s say you have a colleague from another member’s office dying to meet with you to discuss tallies on a pivotal floor vote. You send your colleague the link to your Calendly dashboard to find a time slot that bests fit their schedule. If you decided to integrate your Calendly dashboard with your Outlook Calendar, then you’ll have the event scheduled. Then, you could use Zapier to integrate your Calendly dashboard with your team’s Asana workspace, and the office’s shared Google Calendar.
More on Zapier’s capabilities
Zapier takes the input action on one application and synchronizes with others so that output actions are the result. With literally thousands of SaaS integrations (and hundreds for free), users can create two-step automations to simplify complex workflow processes. Constituent information can be dispersed to the office’s constituent relationship management tool while populating in a task management platform. Or, communications staff can automate a press release drop from a static Drupal webpage to the office’s press list, social outlets, and digital channels.
By hand-picking the apps to integrate, Zapier users create steps and processes all in their browser. It’s straightforward, easy to learn, and accessible. All you have to do is select the apps you wish to “zap” together, follow the required prompts, generate the integration, and follow the directions on how to deploy the API into an existing application’s developer interface.
It won’t work all of the time
The integrations that you create may not work. In some cases, syncing with other apps took much longer than expected. For other users, some applications don’t integrate well with others. Additionally, other instances involved data and information duplications in triggering processes failing to produce action outputs. To resolve most of these issues, it takes some DIY alchemy and experimentation.
Plus, once you get an API set up, you also need to keep an eye on the expiration date. At certain times, the keys expire and fail to work correctly.
Pricing versus others
Most Zapier users enjoy the platform through its generous free plan. With access to hundreds of integration possibilities, free users get to create a limited amount of two-step zaps with necessary customer support. Paid plans start at $20 per month and climb all the way to a team plan for $250 per month. Enterprise solutions are offered on a consultative basis.
What we think
Zapier is an exceptional platform for integrating existing SaaS applications you use on a daily basis. On Capitol Hill, streamlining workflows and other vital processes could prove useful on several levels. You need to account for potential time saved and the simplification of the workday.
Zapier isn’t without flaws, either. As we mentioned, Zapier doesn’t always work well when integrating specific apps to one another. And, you shouldn’t deploy Zapier as an organizational implementation if your budget is tight.