Many software as a service (SaaS) companies are looking at embedding integration capabilities into their SaaS offerings as a way of making their solutions both more appealing to customers and more profitable for them as providers. Embedded integration can make SaaS solutions easier to adopt, cheaper to integrate, and more difficult to replace when a new bright shiny offering comes around from a competitor. This is the second of a three-article series on how the topic of embedded integration and how SaaS companies are leveraging integration platform as a service (iPaaS) into their commercial SaaS offerings.
The first article in this series provided an overview of why embedding an integration platform into your SaaS offering is important and how it can help you establish a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Here we will look at the factors to consider when selecting an Integration Platform as a Service iPaaS vendor to partner with to acquire the capabilities you need and integrate them with your product.
1: Ease of use for Your Customers
When it comes to SaaS solutions, ease of use is the customer’s top priority. It’s the top reason they will choose your offerings, and it is the top way your competitors will lure them away. The iPaaS solution you choose to embed in your offering needs to be easy to use and integrate seamlessly into the overall user experience you are creating. If it looks and feels like a bolt-on or afterthought, your customers will take notice, and the capabilities that would be strategic assets could quickly become a liability.
2: Connectivity to any Endpoint: Apps, Data, Things
The reason you are embedding an iPaaS platform into your offering is because your customers see value in integrating your solution with other applications in their IT environment. With the rapidly evolving technology marketplace, the types of data sources and formats are continuously changing. The iPaaS solution you choose should be able to connect to apps, a variety of data sources, APIs, data warehouses and the other components your customers use today. It also needs to be able to connect to things like IoT devices, streaming services, 3rd party data sets and other sources that are likely to become core parts of the business environment over the next few years.
3: Deploy Anywhere-Support for Connections to Cloud, On-premise and Mobile Resources
Nearly all modern companies are dealing with hybrid data that spans cloud services, on-premises data centers, installed endpoints, and mobile devices. The embedded iPaaS solution you select needs to be able to support hybrid deployment options.
4: Availability and Performance
Taking a dependency on an iPaaS component for your SaaS offering means the performance and availability SLAs that you can offer to your customers is directly dependent on those you receive from your iPaaS vendor. Architecture and design decisions can help, but selecting an iPaaS platform designed for high availability and real-time performance is key. If your SaaS solution is successful in the marketplace, you are going to be managing large volumes of data ingestion and distribution – your integration solution needs to be ready to scale and support this.
5: Ease of Integration into Your SaaS Offerings
An embedded solution only works if you can successfully and seamlessly integrate it into the rest of your solution. Ease of integration is critical to both getting your offering to market quickly as well as ensuring high-quality and consistent experiences for both end-users and administrators. Look for an iPaaS vendor that knows how to support embedded deployments as your requirements evolve, and you scale.
6: A Partner Who Will Support you if you Encounter Issues
Embedding a 3rd party component into your product means that you are taking more than a technical dependency on their solution. The iPaaS vendor you select will become your trusted business partner. Your success and profitability will be directly tied to the decisions the vendor makes. Ensure that the company you are partnering with understands the business that you are in, the expectations of your customers and the limitations of your co-delivered solution. If issues are encountered, then you need a partner who will be there to support you and work through them together. You also need a partner that has proven success with embedding their integration offerings with significant customer traction and success.
Are you intrigued and want to learn more? The DataConnect Inside platform can be embedded into your offerings to give you the capabilities that your customers need.
To learn more, visit www.actian.com/dataconnect