Scale customer onboarding with API-led connectivity

  • Overview
  • Resources
  • Transcript
Ronnie Xie
Lead Solutions Engineer, MuleSoft


As a high-tech company, it’s often difficult to satisfy your customers when you can’t onboard them with the data they need. By creating an effective customer onboarding strategy, you can improve your customer retention and satisfaction.

In this demo, we’ll look at fictional MarTech company, Marketly, to see how they created a scalable approach to customer onboarding through API-led connectivity, and evangelized an ecosystem of partners and customers through their API program.

Ronnie Xie: (00:10)
Hello everyone, and welcome to the high-tech SaaS customer onboarding demo. My name is Ronnie Xie. I'm a Solutions Engineer within the Communications, Media, and Tech industries, where I help companies onboard their customers through integration and connectivity. Today we're gonna talk through a story of how one company was able to onboard their customers to their SaaS product and ultimately be able to increase their customer retention and reduce customer churn and improve their customer satisfaction.

Ronnie Xie: (00:44)
This is a fictional company called Marketly is a SaaS marketing software that analyzes the hottest leads that are likely to close. Monica is a potential buyer. She's a, she's a marketing manager at COB company, and she thinks, "Marketly is exactly what I need to help me with my marketing campaigns."

Monica comes with a set of systems where her lead information lives in our CRM, and she needs to be able to get this data into Marketly for her to see the value in it. But Monica isn't technical, so she doesn't have the ability to do the work of that integration herself. And a few months go by, and she realizes that Marketly is pretty useless without data from her systems. Vish quickly sees this, and he thinks, "I need to solve this and find a scalable way to connect our product to Monica's system, as well as hundreds of our other customers."

Ronnie Xie: (01:42)
So Vish starts on a journey to create an architecture that looks so. It starts with leads, connecting leads data from a file, storing the credentials in a hash core vault, pushing it to their backend database, collecting the data from Monica CRM, and ultimately pushing those notifications back to Slack. This could be a whole other session, but I'll come back to this one later. This is the high-level architecture of the demo. Let's jump into the demo, though.

Ronnie Xie: (02:19)
So getting into the demo — this is Marketly's landing page, and this is the original site that sold Monica the first time on the solution. She can get a product tour, sees that Marketly has all these customers, so they're pretty trusted — incredible! — they're a Gartner leader, and she can get a demo.

Now this tells her that they came out with the new integration capability, and she's excited to try that out. So she goes to the integration tab, and she's prompted with a wizard-driven form that she fills out so that she can integrate her CRM and connect. So she'll put in her username and password for her instance of Salesforce, and these are the credentials and keys that Marketly will use to connect it to their CRM.

So all of this, including this front end and the APIs triggered when I press this next button, is powered by the Salesforce - MuleSoft partnership. So when I click next, this will kick off a MuleSoft API that sends that data into a hashing core vault. Next, I will install the Slack app so she can get notifications. Slack supports O-OP, so all she has to do is select allow, and then the key and secret will be stored for her so that now we can connect and make updates to notifications on Slack.

Ronnie Xie: (03:51)
Finally, the first step is uploading the file, so Monica has this file that she'll upload — let's take a look at this file.

So here's the CSV file of some of Monica's leads that she wants to put into Marketly for Jordan Pool and Draymond Green, our NBA champions, and she wants to market it to them.

So we're gonna upload this into Marketly. So, upload; I'll select a file, save, press next, and done. So again, this is gonna trigger off a MuleSoft API, and when I do this, all this data is going to be moving through the Anypoint Platform. MuleSoft thinks of it as the pipes to get the data from point B to point B reliably, and this is the platform that Vish from Marketly used to integrate Monica's systems. Vish has access to the exchange where he can discover assets, as well as a host of management offerings to make sure he has the monitoring visibility that he needs to make sure the data's formed. In the exchange, Vish can publish all the different customer onboarding assets to be reused across this team.

Ronnie Xie: (05:12)
So he can create a set of integration templates and APIs that power his integration, and if I click on it, you can see the documentation over here for the API. This documentation is auto-generated from his API spec. On the right-hand side, not only does he has the input primers, but he can also call the rest API directly if he doesn't want to use the front end. So you can hit "choose file" and upload the CSV file the same way. Because these are rest APIs, it can be plugged into any sort of experience. These are white, lightweight, and modern rest APIs here.

Additionally, Vish has visualizer. So the visualizer will give Vish a macro overview of his architecture from the experience process system APIs. He can go through different filters, see throughput and volumes in a color-coded fashion, and he can drill into specific APIs that have errors. So he can drill into the leads API and see monitoring visibility in that. When he drills into the monitoring piece, you can see all the different Mule messages that have come in. So we just upload a file — we can see there's an uptick in the volume and an uptick in the response time because that file just came in, and we just processed it.

So there are over 60 plus metrics that Vish has access to, as well as in the management center where he can see the logs, and we can actually check that Jordan Pool and Draymond Green, both of those records have come in through the logs. So this is a really easy way to check for error logs and any issues that come in or just to check the data that's coming. It's coming through Mulesoft, so that's great.

Ronnie Xie: (06:59)
So let's check that it's being sent to all the systems that we wanted. So when I go to my Slack, I can see I have Jordan Pool and Draymond Green as a notification of a hot lead. So that now Marketly can push to Monica to let him know, oh, this hot lead has been scored. Additionally, we can see the data is being sent to the database. So this is the database that backs all the leads. If I refresh it, I can see I have Jordan pool and Draymond Green over here and the database, as well. So it's being sent to all the systems that we were expecting.

This is awesome. This is the power of MuleSoft, taking all this data and being able to push the data through the platform.

Now finally, with all this time and all these APIs, Vish can now start to create an API program. He can create an API program for Marketly that allows Marketly's end customers to self-serve access to these APIs. So here in the API section, Marketly customers can now see all the existing APIs, they can make live test calls to the APIs themselves and, and get a key and secret to call it. That way if Monica and future hire engineers that want to connect Marketly to Marketo, they can just consume APIs directly and build that integration themselves.

Ronnie Xie: (08:23)
This is all powered by the MuleSoft platform over here. They can create an API program and publish news, events, and hackathons to really evangelize an API ecosystem and take part in what we call the API economy.

The API economy is a one trillion dollar ecosystem where really you have that organic growth through APIs. Salesforce has really been a leader in evangelizing ecosystems. Through their trailblazer and their app ecosystem, Salesforce is really a pioneer in that space, and we were the first to make Salesforce a platform. MuleSoft is really strong on the API side of the house with enabling API developers. So with the, with the marriage and partnership of the two, these are the sort of experiences that really can enable and help high-tech companies build new go-to-markets as well as improve their customer's experience.

Ronnie Xie: (09:26)
So that was it for the high-level demo. This was all designed through what we call API-led connectivity. It involves a three-tiered architecture of a system, process, and experience APIs. If you chat with us, we're happy to bring a consultant to help you design such an architecture. But just to summarize, the key benefit of that API-led architecture that we walked through was the reuse that we're able to get through.

Because Vish and Project 1 were able to just build a set of three APIs that power file-based integration, he has a phased approach to delivery now. In the second project, he's able to do a Salesforce integration, but he doesn't have to start from scratch. He just builds on top of the three APIs that he built in the previous project and extends on it, so he's able to accelerate his delivery by reusing those APIs. Finally, Project 3, with the Slack integrations and the API program where they're now able to externalize their APIs, they're able to surface all those APIs they've built onto that program and reuse it all at scale and just extend on to improve their delivery speed. Through benchmarks we've done with customers, there's a 2.5x faster delivery project speed, and one of my own customers has reduced their customer onboarding time from four months to two weeks.

Ronnie Xie: (10:44)
But don't take my word for it. We've talked about some of these benefits — the reduction maintenance and speed that we're able to get.

Blend is a great example that uses MuleSoft for this very use case. Blend is a FinTech company, and they need to connect their loan origination software to their customer's complex core banking platforms, like FIS and Fiserv, and they're using MuleSoft to tap into those complex systems.

Motive — they are a fleet management trucking platform to help truckers on the road, and they're connecting their software to their customers' truck management systems, as well as to their fuel card APIs. They had a very successful fuel card integration that rolled out recently with over 200 customers on it. So, a great example.

Ronnie Xie: (11:30)
MasterControl — they launched a new product feature for their manufacturing quality software, but this new feature required integrations across the board for all of their customers. So they really needed a partner that could help them reduce that delivery time, and they were able to get that with MuleSoft — reducing it from four months to two weeks.

Early Warning — they're using MuleSoft as their API program for their bank transfer product. So now people can self-serve their APIs through the MuleSoft Salesforce partnership here.

Then finally, JDA — they are a supply chain company that use MuleSoft to onboard their manufacturing supply chain customers.

So that's it for the demo. Thank you so much for taking the time here, and we'll talk to you next time.

Start free trial