The SaaS market is expanding quickly. Hundreds of SaaS companies are started every year. And the number of software verticals keeps increasing, with many B2B SaaS apps addressing narrow verticals. Embedded integration can ensure that the data from these apps is shared with other apps in each customer's tech stack.
How can you guarantee that your SaaS app stays ahead of the competition? One way is to be intentional about what you build versus what you buy. Building takes time – time your competitor might use to gain an advantage. With that said, it makes sense to build your core app in-house. It's your differentiator in the market.
But is your dev team used most effectively to build additional functionality for analytics, reporting, dashboards, and integrations in-house? Or are these areas where embedding third-party tools would allow your SaaS app to gain excellent functionality quickly and at a fraction of the cost of building in-house? Would embedded software integration give you an edge without disrupting the work on your core app?
Embedded integration is the practice of building integrations using a third-party tool and embedding them into one of the apps they are connecting. As with embedded dashboards, embedded integrations are incorporated with the app so that end users see them as another app feature.
Since embedded integrations are app features, they can be discovered, filtered, configured, activated, and deactivated from within the app. As needed, customers can perform these tasks themselves without the help of vendor support or DevOps.
Embedded integrations are coded, tested, deployed, and supported via an embedded iPaaS (or embedded integration platform as a service).
An embedded iPaaS, or embedded integation platform, is a set of tools that enables a SaaS company to quickly build reusable, configurable integrations to any app in any software category and deliver them to its customers as a seamless part of its product.
Implementing an embedded integration solution can provide many advantages over building integrations in-house. But is it right for you? Here are some scenarios where it makes sense to implement embedded integration:
- You need many integrations.
- Your integrations are complex.
- You need to improve the integration experience for your customers.
You probably don't need embedded integration if:
- You have a handful of integrations.
- Your integrations are simple.
- An integration is the core of what you provide.
Let's say you need several complex integrations, placing you with those who would benefit most from the embedded integration approach. You can find a complete list of those benefits in our Embedded Integrations Platform guide, but here are a few:
- Get to market faster. Speed is everything when it's a race to beat competitors to launch your product or the next game-changing feature. You'll need upfront dev work to incorporate an embedded iPaaS, but far less than is required to build an integration platform, tooling, and integrations in-house.
- Reduce your costs. No one likes to get an invoice every month. But when you factor in the time savings for your dev, onboarding, and support teams, you'll spend far less on integrations with an embedded iPaaS.
- Provide a first-class customer experience. An embedded iPaaS provides an integration marketplace to white-label and embed in your product. Customers can explore your integration offerings, self-activate and configure the ones they need, and use self-service tools like logging, monitoring, and alerting – without leaving your product.
Choosing the right embedded iPaaS is critical. As you consider which tool would best support your integration needs, you'll want to answer the following questions for the embedded iPaaS:
- Does it include the functionality your devs and non-devs need?
- Does it have the flexibility to address future integration scenarios as well as current ones?
- Is the vendor fully committed to the embedded iPaaS market?
To look at these and other criteria in more detail, check out our post on how to choose an embedded iPaaS.
Embedded integration means that your customers access your product's integrations from within the product. Prismatic includes functionality for placing your integrations into a white-label integration marketplace embedded in your product.
Here's an example of what that looks like for the Acme SaaS product:
Here's how you use Prismatic to set up embedded integration for your product:
- Include the code for the white-label integration marketplace in your product.
- Modify the marketplace look and feel to make it a seamless extension of your product.
- Use the integration designer to build the integration.
- Publish the integration to the marketplace.
- Your customer views and selects the integration from the marketplace.
- Your customer configures and enables the integration.
Once the integration is running, your support team and your customer can monitor it and view alerts and logs to troubleshoot embedded integration issues without leaving your product.
Knowing when to use third-party tools in your SaaS app can be challenging. But when it comes to integrations, the time and cost savings provided by an embedded iPaaS should simplify that decision.
An embedded iPaaS allows you to expand your team's capabilities without expanding your team. It also ensures consistent user experience from your product to the embedded integrations, increases app stickiness, and reduces customer churn.
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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