As a developer or manager of a SaaS platform, you will make certain decisions about what non-core functions you will outsource to third-party services.
You probably wouldn't go and write a billing system with choices like Stripe and Braintree available to you. Likewise, why worry about ensuring your platform can deliver emails with SendGrid doing such a good job? The same is likely true of your helpdesk, documentation, analytics, and so forth.
I'd like to propose that SaaS platforms should no longer have to worry about their connectivity either.
APIs are just the first step
Your users are increasingly demanding that your software should be easy to integrate with other apps and services. Your app and its data do not exist in isolation: they are part of workflows and processes that span a business.
But, expectations are now far higher than simply providing an API.
The next generation of API users are not programmers. They're business users with an understanding of their data and the opportunities to make better use of it.
How best to meet their integration needs?
Plugins, plugins, plugins...
One solution is to create plugins for your platform. Plugins can empower business end users, but there are issues:
- Feature sets are necessarily narrow
- Initial cost to build and ongoing maintenance
- Distraction from the product you're building
- Non-core skills required (knowledge of third-party apps and potentially other programming languages)
- Plugins aren't really part of your core service
- If they're not made by you, quality and support issues reflect badly on your app
- You can never create enough plugins; there's always another app to integrate
Make integration someone else's problem
Another option would be to let a third-party take on the burden for you. Whether that's a developer building bespoke integrations for your customers or a third-party integration platform (usually called an IPaaS or Integration Platform as a Service), this isn't ideal either.
On the one hand, you break the continuity of your relationship with your customer (and potentially expose them to reasons to consider competitors' services).
Perhaps worse than that: how is it right that third-parties make 100% of the revenue on your API?
Embedded SaaS connectivity is here
With Cyclr's Connector Engine, SaaS connectivity is now just another service you can drop in and forget about. Your team get to focus on building your product, whilst our embedded connectivity gives your users amazing integration possibilities.
Best of all, we move your API from the cost side of your business to the revenue side -- from backend documentation to a frontend feature.
You can now use Cyclr as an embedded technology inside a SaaS application to unlock powerful integrations.
Cyclr EE summary
- Integration 'out of the box'
- Fast setup and cost-effective
- Easily template pre-made integrations
- Huge and always growing library of SaaS connectors
- SaaS connectors are always up-to-date
- Seamless embedding
- White label
- Elastic infrastructure (we handle the data for you)
- Revenue opportunity
Helping users help themselves
One of the key things that we have learned about building and selling Cyclr directly is that users can be easily frustrated by integration. They may understand what they want to happen, but the route to that goal touches on areas they may not be familiar with. If it's too hard to setup, it gets quickly abandoned.
To address this issue, Cyclr's Connector Engine lets a SaaS company pre-build template integrations and add them to a library. Over time, as you build more templates, this library becomes a key piece of your platform's intellectual property and market differentiation. As we add more connectors (and our library is growing rapidly), your options for integration, and the scope for creativity, increases.
Let's make SaaS integration better
If you work for a SaaS company and you like the sound of what we're doing with Cyclr, then you should head over to our main site to learn more about Connector Engine.
We're passionate about tranforming APIs and empowering users -- we'd love to work with partners who share our vision and want to lead the next step-change SaaS connectivity.