5 key benefits of Unified APIs
As you and your team look to build integrations with your product, you’ll have a few options at your disposal.
One option that might come to mind is point-to-point integrations, or integrations that your developers build and maintain via custom code. This approach, however, is time intensive for your developers and can compromise their ability to perform other business-critical tasks, such as executing against your core product roadmap.
Another option is using an embedded integration platform as a service (iPaaS).
Like its name implies, you can embed its platform into your product and build integrations with 3rd-party applications through connectors. This solution, unfortunately, also comes with notable drawbacks. For instance, it requires you to build integrations one at a time, and in many cases, these integrations aren’t available as pre-built connectors—forcing your engineers to develop them.
Fortunately, there’s a third option in building product integrations: a Unified Application Programming Interface (API) platform. You can read on to learn the definition of a Unified API platform and uncover the benefits it provides.
Unified API platform definition
A Unified API platform offers an aggregated API that lets your product connect to multiple 3rd-party providers in the same software category, such as a human resource information system (HRIS).
Unified API benefits
A Unified API platform allows you to offer integrations at scale, save developers time, delight end users, expand into new markets, and empower your go-to-market team.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these benefits.
Offers integrations at scale
Your customers likely need to integrate your application with multiple categories of software, such as payroll systems, HRIS solutions, and ticketing tools. Couple this with the fact that, for each category, your customers need to provide a diversity of integrations to accommodate their end users’ unique tech stacks and it becomes clear that your organization needs to offer tens, if not hundreds, of product integrations.
A Unified API solution can help you meet this customer need by offering multiple categories of integrations that each consist of dozens of integrations. All that’s needed to unlock the integrations for a given category is to build to the associated Unified API.
Saves developers time
Your developers' time is precious.
A Unified API platform ensures their attention is allocated to the areas that matter most to your business, whether that’s building out or refining core features that’ll differentiate your product or addressing bugs that are plaguing the customer experience.
A Unified API solution like Merge also allows your developers to save time when it comes to maintaining integrations. For instance, from a single location, the Unified API solution can help your team uncover the vast majority of your end users’ issues. The platform can also provide specific instructions for resolving each issue, which can be passed on to the end user for quick resolution. This not only helps your developers avoid identifying and keeping tabs on any issues but it also allows other teams, like customer support, to get involved in the process.
Provides a best-in-class experience for end users
By using a Unified API platform to quickly and easily diagnose integration issues, your organization will be empowered to help end users troubleshoot any integration issues and resolve them with minimal downtime.
In addition, by using a feature like Merge Link, the process of setting up integrations can be quick and easy for your end users. They’d simply select the application they want to connect to and type in their credentials—all without leaving your platform.
Enables your organization to expand into new markets
As you look to move upmarket or sell into new regions, you’ll likely find organizations using different sets of applications. For instance, you might find that small to medium-sized businesses use an HRIS like Gusto or Namely, while enterprise organizations use an HRIS like Workday or UKG Pro.
A Unified API solution like Merge can help you accommodate different audiences’ needs by offering up integrations that account for companies of different sizes, regions, industries, etc.
Related: How embedded iPaaS and unified API solutions differ
Supports your go-to-market team
Product integrations are critical, both for customer acquisition and retention.
In a recent study by Gartner, more than 4 in every 5 buyers cited “seamless integrations” to be a “very important” part of their purchasing process. And, in a separate study, products with just one integration can yield a 10-15% boost in customer retention and increase customer spend by anywhere from 10 to 30%.
When your product adds the hundreds of integrations provided by a Unified API platform, these benefits only get magnified—thereby positioning your team to reach its revenue targets.
Introducing Merge: the leading Unified API solution
While Unified API solutions are, clearly, powerful, they aren’t created equal.
When evaluating vendors, you’ll need to consider factors like the breadth and depth of integrations provided, quality of support, security controls, the end-user experience, and whether the unified APIs are automated or manual (a manual unified API is when a vendor responds to an API call manually; it can take them days, if not weeks, to provide a response).
Here at Merge, we believe we provide a solution that’s best-in-class across these key considerations.
We offer more than 180 integrations across CRM, ticketing, accounting, HR and payroll, ATS, marketing automation, and file storage solutions; we provide comprehensive common models for each category of integrations, while also allowing clients to access custom objects and fields via features like Remote Data; we comply with GDPR and maintain SOC 2 Type II, ISO 27001, HIPAA certifications—and much, much more.
You can experience Merge for yourself by creating a free account. And if you’d like to see the platform in action, you can schedule a demo with one of our integration experts.