B2B Software Companies: 6 Signs You Need an Integration Platform
For many B2B software companies, providing integrations to your customers is an essential part of your business. Actually delivering those integrations, however, can be quite the challenge. They're incredibly time-consuming and cause pain points that can bubble up seemingly everywhere throughout a software business.
If you're looking to improve your integration capabilities, you've likely heard of integration platforms. They provide a set of tools to help teams more quickly and easily deliver integrations to their customers.
Wondering whether an integration platform is right for your team? Based on our experience working with companies in many different software verticals, here are some common signs that you'd benefit from implementing an integration platform like Prismatic.
1. Your developers spend too much time building integrations.
The most obvious sign that you could benefit from an integration platform? Your developers spend far too much time building integrations, often at the cost of working on your core product. This isn't surprising. If you're building integrations from scratch, there's simply a lot to do: connecting to third-party applications (which don't always have nice modern APIs!), mapping and transforming data, handling auth, standing up infrastructure to run your integrations, and more.
How an integration platform can help: An integration platform like Prismatic takes much of the integration burden off of engineering teams. Instead of developers building integrations from scratch, non-devs can assemble integrations in an intuitive integration designer, using pre-built components to handle logic, connectors, auth, and more.
Additionally, an integration platform includes a purpose-built environment for running your integrations, so your engineering team can stop spending time setting up and maintaining special infrastructure.
2. Integrations are slowing down your customer onboarding.
If integrations are a blocking factor in how quickly you can onboard new customers – usually because you're waiting for engineering capacity – you should definitely consider an integration platform.
How an integration platform can help: Rather than waiting for engineering capacity, non-devs can use an integration platform's low-code designer to build integrations as a natural part of the new customer onboarding process. With Prismatic, they can drop in custom components created by your dev team to handle especially complex or vertical-specific functionality.
Furthermore, when you're using an integration platform, integrations are reusable. If a new customer needs an integration you've already built, customer-facing teams can easily configure and deploy a customer-specific instance of that integration, without any developer involvement.
3. You do a lot of integration "rework."
How often do you deploy an integration to a customer only to find out it doesn't work like they expected, or just plain doesn't work? That's when you find your team doing costly "rework" to fix or overhaul an integration.
How an integration platform can help: Communicating with customers and third-party vendors about integrations will always be hard, but an integration platform can prevent many of those situations. Prismatic's built-in testing framework makes it easy to test integrations as you build and configure them. You can demo test runs for customers and third-party vendors, inspect and share logs, and iterate quickly if something's not right.
4. Your sales team can't easily answer integration questions.
Your sales team can't easily answer questions about your integration capabilities, like "Which integrations do we offer?" or "How does that particular integration work?" (And if that's the case, it's often true for your services and support teams as well.) The answers might be spread throughout your code base, your CRM, and a couple of spreadsheets. There's a lot of back-and-forth between groups that slows down everything from sales deals to support call resolution time.
How an integration platform can help: An integration platform provides a single, easily accessible location for all of this data. Everyone in your company can see which integrations you offer and which customers have them. The integration designer is self-documenting, displaying integrations in a way that makes it easy to understand what an integration does. You can also attach documents to integrations, such as sales sheets, specifications, and troubleshooting steps, to help every group in the company to answer more of their own questions.
5. Problems with production integrations catch you off guard.
When there's a problem with one of your customers' integrations, does the customer notice before you do? When they inform you of the problem, are your support and engineering teams left scrambling to figure out what went wrong and fix it?
How an integration platform can help: With an integration platform, your integrations run on purpose-built infrastructure designed to ensure reliability and scalability. That prevents many of the issues that cause integration problems in the first place.
When problems aren't preventable, an integration platform can help you handle them proactively and quickly. Configurable monitoring and alerting lets you notify the appropriate teams when an integration encounters an error or hasn't run in a specified interval, so you can notify the customer (rather than the other way around!) and investigate proactively. Built-in logging helps you troubleshoot and resolve issues faster.
6. Your customers don't have integration tools.
Are your customers completely in the dark when it comes to their integrations, stuck contacting support when they have questions like "Is my integration running? When did it last run? Were any records transmitted?" Perhaps worse, are you and your customers missing integration opportunities because they're unaware of the integrations you offer?
How an integration platform can help: Integration platforms include a customer integration portal that can be white-labeled and embedded in your product. It provides customers with self-service tools like integration logs and documentation so that they can answer many of their own questions, improving the customer integration experience and reducing your support volume. A customer integration portal also features an integration marketplace that helps customers take advantage of more of your integration offerings.
Taking the next step
If any of those scenarios hit close to home, you should consider implementing an integration platform. The ideal system will address your specific pain points and boost your integration capabilities across the board, from the way you sell and build integrations to the way you deploy and support them.
Prismatic helps B2B software companies facing challenges like these to more easily provide customer integrations. Contact us to learn more or get a tailored demo showing how Prismatic would work in your specific integration scenario.
Prismatic is the integration platform for B2B software companies. It's the quickest way to build integrations to the other apps your customers use and to add a native integration marketplace to your product. A complete embedded iPaaS solution that empowers your whole organization, Prismatic encompasses an intuitive integration designer, embedded integration marketplace, integration deployment and support, and a purpose-built cloud infrastructure. Prismatic was built in a way developers love and provides the tools to make it perfectly fit the way you build software.
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