Understanding Software

We now use software solutions more than ever! Getting those tools to communicate can be challenging, if not done correctly.

180 vs 360 Integration

Running a small or mid-sized business, you know you are going to have to wear multiple hats to keep things running efficiently. While wearing these different hats happily and ready to work, doing so many different things at once heightens the possibilities of human error. This is when integrating your systems can be a game changer.

It can be extremely beneficial to your business if you’re able to integrate multiple technology platforms with each other, whether it’s 180 integration or a 360 integration. Yet there is a difference between the two, and whether it’s important to have one or another depends on your needs.  

180 Integration 

What you should know about a 180 integration: data flows automatically from Journey’s payroll system to a 3rd party software (or visa-versa). The data is being sent in one direction only. 

360 Integration 

With this option, data can flow in both directions. Choosing a two-way integration would automate all aspects, and therefore it is the better option of the two. With that being said, it’s not always needed, and sometimes it’s easier to use a 180 integration.  


We’ll use the integration needs for Workers Compensation Insurance as an example. In this example, Journey needs to send the payroll data to the carrier every payroll, which allows the insurance carrier to pull the needed funds. This means that your business does not have to worry about this critical piece of your workers comp insurance. It also removes the stress of the annual audit. In this example, there is no real-life advantage that a 360 integration would offer over a 180 integration.  

Every example is a little different, and luckily Journey offers both 180 and 360 degree integrations.  

SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol) vs API (Application Programming Interfaces)

As the Payroll and HR (Human Resource) industry continues to modernize and ever more processes become automated, ever more important data has to be transferred automatically, accurately, and securely.  In this day and age, we use software solutions more than ever – and getting those tools to communicate can be challenging, if not done correctly.  

Information tends to get confusing when you dive into specific software integrations. And the deeper you go, the more questions have to be asked and decisions have to be made. What is going to work best? Will this affect my team? How big of a change will this be for our current workflow? At the end of the day, making workflows easier and more efficient is a main goal of all businesses – but this can prove to be a much more intimidating than expected when it’s right in front of you. It doesn’t have to be though! Integrations of all types can serve your organization in different ways. Here are two popular and secure integrations for you to see how each one could impact your everyday work. 

STFP Integration

Using SFTP is the most frequently used manual integration method out there. For this method, you need a flat-file that is updated manually, encoded, and then transmitted between two platforms through a secure channel. The concern with STFP integration is that these transmissions are almost always done manually, which introduces the possibility for human error. 

Luckily, Journey Payroll & HR has a secure, tested, and automated way of sending information through SFTP, without depending on humans to set up and execute each time. There is no manual download, and no human edits these files before uploading them into a partner.   

This automatic, secure, and easy partner setup is perfect for partners in the 401(k), Insurance, and Benefit industries.  The opportunities are virtually endless, and one of the biggest perks about this partnership integration with Journey is that we can integrate with a trusted partner in weeks or days. Our integrations happen much more quickly this way, as opposed to integrating new partnerships via an API, which would inevitably take months for any company. 

API Integration

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) act as the glue that allows systems to interact with each other. APIs allow for secure and realtime data transfers between two or more unrelated systems, providing the most up to date results. The main differences bewteen automatic SFTP integration and API integration have to do with realtime data and single-sign-on. If the data does not need to be instantaneous and it will work without needing single-sign-on, then automatic SFTP may be the best ticket, because of how quickly it can be set up and adapted.  

What’s better?  

Journey is excited that we can use integration via our APIs as well as via SFTP. Ultimately, when it really comes down to it, the best option depends on the partner we are integrating with. Knowing the answers to these types of questions can help everyone determine what’s the best route: 

  • Are we integrating employee and employer information?   
  • Do individuals need to log into both systems with one sign-in?  
  • Does the information need to be transferred once a day, or every second?
  • Do we want to set it up with no programming and and in a matter of days? 

The number of possible configurations is limitless, and Journey is excited to be working with like-minded, forward-thinking companies!