Andrew Zeikowitz
20 Jul 2018

Partnering for Integration: Leveling the SaaS Playing Field

Over the past few years, we’ve seen a growing trend in the software industry: Enterprise SaaS companies focusing on integration.

Adobe recently announced the next generation of Adobe Cloud Platform. Salesforce acquired MuleSoft. SAP, Oracle, and the other leading customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) providers all have chosen to build their own integration tools.

Why have all of these companies invested in integration? What value does it bring? How do you compete?

The good news is that you don’t have to buy or build an integration platform to be competitive. Dell Boomi is the #1 choice for embedded integrations. Roughly 100 software vendors have chosen to partner with Boomi to deliver integrations natively to all of their customers. Boomi’s OEM and Embedded Use Program can help you quickly address all of your customers’ integration needs.

Integration: A Growth Engine for Software Companies

Here’s a little secret that the big guys don’t want you to know: Integrations are the fastest way to grow your business. Integrations drive purchasing decisions, provide additional customer value, increase customer loyalty and are the quickest way to break into new markets.

Providing a great software application is no longer the sole motivator for customer decisions. Large software vendors know that integration is just as important as the underlying product features, and time-to-implement is now one of the driving factors in the decision process.

[Pull Quote]Want to find out more about how Dell Boomi can help your business compete with the leading players in the software industry? Read our new ebook, “A Guide for Application Providers: Choosing the Right Integration Partner.”

While in the past an application programming interface (API) or a handful of discrete integrations would work, this is no longer the case. Customers are demanding integration into the multiple, hybrid application systems that they typically use. To truly deliver on business value you must demonstrate integration across the spectrum of your customer’s IT environment, which may include a mix of cloud, on-premise and custom applications.

There is a direct correlation between the integration a product delivers and the value it brings to the organization. A product with a single integration point is good, but a product with two or three integration points starts to deliver more value. A product with three or more integration points becomes an integral part of your customer’s business.

Integration drives customer loyalty. A fully integrated solution creates a tight coupling between a software vendor and their customer. The tighter the coupling to the customer, the more value the customer recognizes. The ability to integrate into every facet of a customer’s business drives satisfaction and hence customer loyalty.

Integration can also help you break into new markets. Out-of-the-box integrations deliver instant value and credibility for a customer base that was either under-served or not served at all. This allows you steer the direction of your product and expand upon your market opportunities.

The leading SaaS providers all recognize this and have built or acquired integration platforms to address these needs.

An API Is Not an Integration Strategy

APIs provide a valuable service but are not an integration strategy. APIs require time and resources to implement, and, as a result, slows down your business.

Customers today demand speed when onboarding new applications and a rapid return on their IT investments. Having to engage internal engineering resources or specialized systems integrators (SIs) costs time and money. Not only does slow the business and create budget burdens for the customer, it can also be a sales inhibitor to your software business.

Many organizations simply don’t have the bandwidth or the budget needed for resource-intensive integration projects. Even if in-house resources exist, they are often seated in other departments. This means building a formal project, pulling in IT, and managing additional organizational red tape.

Also, API are often built in a vacuum. An API flow often does not match that desired by the customer and typically requires multiple API calls to complete a simple transaction. It can take months to build an API integration, weeks to test, and then requires someone to maintain. Your customers know this, and therefore, prefer out-of-the-box or easy to configure options.

Looking at the recent behavior of enterprise software giants like Salesforce, SAP and Oracle, it becomes clear that an API alone, even for the largest players, is not enough to drive customer adoption. Integration is what is needed.

Leveling the Playing Field

With all the big players having either acquired or built a full-fledged integration platform, how do you compete?

Boomi is the number one integration platform as a service (iPaaS). It is a single platform capable of delivering integrations to your entire customer base. With Boomi, you can quickly build out-of-the-box, semi-custom or customized integrations to connect your application to other cloud-based applications, on-premise applications or a mix of both. And the Boomi integration platform can address all of your customers’ security concerns.

Through Boomi’s cloud-native (single-instance, multi-tenant) platform, your software organization can manage and support all of its customers — with both out-of-the-box integrations and custom integrations from a single console.

You can use Boomi in multiple modes: as a tool for your customers, as a tool for your professional services organization, or 100% embedded in your application.

Boomi’s cloud-native, low-code approach to integration allows you to design, deploy and manage integrations across your entire customer base. Boomi’s partner-specific features make it possible for you to deliver and manage these integrations at scale.

Advanced customer engagement and integration challenges can be solved by combining Boomi’s integration product with Boomi Hub for ensuring data quality, Boomi Mediate for API management, and Boomi Flow to provide complete end-to-end workflow management.

The right integration strategy can help you compete against the largest vendors in your space. Delivering value-added integrations to your customers will help you gain a better understanding of their needs, increase customer loyalty and allow you to position yourself against your largest competitors.

[Pull Quote]Want to find out more about how Dell Boomi can help your business compete with the leading players in the software industry? Read our new ebook, “A Guide for Application Providers: Choosing the Right Integration Partner.”

About the author: Andrew Zeikowitz is Dell Boomi’s sales director for OEM and embedded use.