3 integration platforms that B2B SaaS companies should consider
As your company looks to build SaaS integrations with a 3rd-party solution, you’ll have an overwhelming selection of vendors to choose from.
The categories alone are wide-ranging: there’s integration platform as a service solutions (iPaaS) vendors, embedded iPaaS solutions, unified API platforms, integration marketplace as a service (iMaaS) tools, robotic process automation (RPA) software, among others.
We’ll help point you in the right direction by breaking down popular solutions. But before we do, let’s align on the definition of SaaS integration and the benefits it provides.
What is SaaS integration?
It’s the process of connecting your SaaS applications via their APIs. Once connected, data can flow freely between the connected systems, allowing employees and/or clients to access the data they need, when they need it.
SaaS integration encompassess two scenarios: connecting the SaaS applications your organization uses internally and connecting your SaaS product with the applications your clients use (i.e. product integrations). For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on the latter.
Why is SaaS integration important?
SaaS integration, within the context of building and maintaining customer-facing integrations, helps you acquire new business, retain clients, and move upmarket.
Let’s break down these benefits in more detail:
Win deals at a higher rate
When prospects evaluate your product alongside others, they’ll have a host of criteria to help guide their evaluation process—from reviews on 3rd-party sites to recommendations from their network to the integrations provided by each vendor.
While there are clearly several factors that can influence prospects, offering integrations in higher volumes and that are more robust than your competitors can help you stand out and close deals that you wouldn't be able to otherwise.
Improve your retention rate
As clients use your integrations to access the data they need more easily and to perform key tasks within your product faster, they’re more likely to realize additional value from your product. In addition, the integrations can help fuel your product’s AI and machine learning capabilities, which can improve them to your clients’ benefit.
All of these benefits to your customer experience can not only make customers happier but also more likely to renew.
Move upmarket with ease
As you look to move upmarket, whether that’s selling to mid-size companies or enterprise organizations, you’ll likely find that these organizations use different applications within a given category of software. For instance, in the case of an HRIS, a startup might use Gusto, a mid-size company might use Namely, and an enterprise organization might use Workday.
Offering integrations with the applications that organizations in your target market use is one less obstacle to breaking into the market; it can even be a key factor in winning over these organizations.
SaaS integration platforms worth evaluating
As you look to build integrations with your product, you might find yourself considering 3 categories of SaaS integration solutions:
We’ll review the vendors you should consider within each category.
The embedded iPaaS lets you and/or your clients build integrations and workflow automations within your product.
The platform offers pre-built application connectors and automation templates to fast-track developing the integrations and automations, and, depending on your deployment, either you and/or your clients can build them. The platform also offers enterprise-grade governance through features like role-based access control and enterprise key management.
However, like any other embedded iPaaS solution, the platform requires a certain amount of technical expertise to use. This forces your developers to get involved and to even play a leading role in building and maintaining the integrations. In addition, you need to build each and every integration individually, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to scale your integrations quickly.
Related: A guide to API integration tools
The iMaaS lets you design and embed an integration marketplace into your application. Once built, visitors can easily see all of the integrations you provide, filter by the ones they care about, and begin the process of building a connection through the iMaaS’ pre-built connector.
That said, Pandium shares similar drawbacks with Workato Embedded.
The majority of your employees won’t be able to participate in the process of building and maintaining integrations, and the integrations have to be built individually—leading them to consume your engineers’ time and cause delays in delivery that hurt the client experience.
The leading universal API solution (or unified API solution) lets you integrate your product with hundreds of applications across key software categories, including CRM, HRIS, ATS, ticketing, and file storage, by simply connecting to a single API (Merge’s Unified API).
Since you only need to build to a single API to unlock all the integrations you need, Merge addresses the scalability issues presented in the other options.
The platform also goes further by providing the following (and much more): robust integration management features that help your customer success or support team stay abreast of and address any integration issues quickly and easily; comprehensive common models that enable clients to access and sync the data they need; and advanced features to help clients access any data that lies beyond Merge's common models.
Learn more about Merge by scheduling a demo with one of our integration experts.