What is SaaS Integration & Why It’s Important

6 minute read | 03 May 2023
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By Boomi

The software as a service (SaaS) model for business applications is increasingly the norm for companies of every size. Because these applications run in the cloud, they can be accessed anywhere there is an internet connection. The low barrier to entry, niche specialties, and opportunity to drive value through continuous support and upgrades from the companies developing these applications has placed them at the center of modern business technology.

However, the benefits of SaaS applications are only valuable if the risks they present also are mitigated. Data collected by these applications multiplies every day, and with it, the threat of bad data hygiene. Companies should look to SaaS integration to prevent this and to gain deeper benefits that will provide a competitive edge.

Let’s explore what SaaS integration is and how it can benefit your company.

What Is SaaS Integration?

SaaS integration is the process of connecting SaaS applications to each other and other sources of data, such as ERPs, custom business applications, and physical sensors. These connections allow the sharing of data and commands between applications in real-time.

Integrating SaaS applications is done through API integration. APIs provide external communication endpoints that allow applications to send and receive data with other applications and systems in a way usable by each application or system. This can be done in three ways:

  1. Custom code. This requires developers to write, test, implement, and maintain the code for each connection.
  2. Pre-built connectors. Many SaaS applications will offer no-code connectors that link their application to other popular applications, but the functionality is often limited.
  3. iPaaS. Integration platform as a service (iPaaS) systems like the Boomi iPaaS Platform provide hundreds of pre-built connectors that go beyond making direct connections between two applications. Instead, they create a whole ecosystem of applications, systems, and other data sources, such as IoT devices.

Benefits of SaaS Integration With iPaaS

When SaaS applications are not connected, the data they contain is only accessible to those who have access to the application. This often makes the data inaccessible to most people in a company, which creates a risk of data duplication, inconsistent data, and lost opportunities.

Whether your company is an enterprise organization with hundreds of data sources or a small business using only a handful, SaaS data integration will have a direct and positive impact on every function of your business.

Here are a few examples of the benefits of SaaS integration with iPaaS:

1. Save time with process automation

A core component of SaaS integration is the automation of data collection and updating. This eliminates the need to spend time tracking down, organizing, exporting, validating, and manually entering data. With those tasks given over to an iPaaS system, you can spend more time on higher-value and more engaging tasks.

2. Reduce the risk of human error

SaaS applications integrated with an iPaaS system ensure that data collected by one application gets automatically updated in all the other applications. This allows companies to remove the step of manual data entry, which is a major source of human error. Clean data updated automatically across the ecosystem of integrated SaaS applications provides peace of mind that your data is always accurate.

3. Data-driven customer service

Your customers will likely have multiple interactions with your brand before they decide to buy. Every touchpoint, from social media impressions to contract negotiations, generates a wealth of data about each customer. SaaS integration allows each interaction to be recorded automatically within your CRM, which means everyone in the organization always has the latest customer profiles. This empowers marketing, sales, and any other customer-facing employees to speak confidently to any given customer and give them the 360-degree customer service experience they want at that moment.

Cons of Saas Integration

The biggest hurdle to switching to a new SaaS application is the daunting task of data migration. Moving data from the old application to the new one is time- and resource-intensive. If the new application is not an improvement, all that extra cost can be difficult to justify. And if it turns out to be a downgrade, you may not have the option of returning to the original application.

On the other hand, when SaaS applications are integrated with an iPaaS, data is not manually migrated. SaaS integration means the data already exists within the ecosystem. Simply add in your new SaaS application, create the desired connections, and the iPaaS system will populate the necessary data automatically.

Is SaaS Integration Good for SMBs?

SaaS integration is vital for modern enterprise organizations. But it is also highly valuable – and achievable – for small and midsized businesses (SMBs.) SaaS applications allow SMBs access to powerful enterprise-level software on a shoestring budget. In the same way, iPaaS systems are an approachable and affordable way for SMBs to gain all of the benefits of SaaS integration.

For instance, a company called Secrid needed the ability to scale its IT infrastructure. Secrid needed to ensure its approximately 100 employees had the most up-to-date data about each customer, without worrying about whether every system had been updated.

Boomi helped Secrid scale sustainably with SaaS integration. The company integrated its SaaS and on-premises applications with the Boomi platform, which allowed it to implement a store tracker that updates in real time, develop a custom app to manage packaging and shipping, and reduce critical business process times by close to 50 percent.

Ready to dive in? Get our whitepaper, “Simplifying API-led Connectivity with a Modern Integration Platform” to understand why iPaaS outperforms custom-built APIs for SMBs.