Study shows integration is key for the success of SaaS businesses
Integration has become a major concern for SaaS businesses providing cloud services. Customers expect Software as a Service (SaaS) to include their integration requirements, pressuring SaaS vendors into taking on the responsibility of providing seamless integration as a part of their service. Cloud integration has shifted from being a consumer worry, to a SaaS provider concern. A lot has been said about the problems of integration, yet what has been neglected is the perspective of the SaaS providers. By taking a look at concerns from the SaaS provider's perspective, a SaaS Integration Survey conducted by MuleSoft in conjunction with THINKstrategies has provided information on just how important integration has become for SaaS vendors in order to succeed in a competitive marketplace.
SaaS integration quantified
The survey, focusing primarily on the key challenges faced by SaaS vendors, was conducted with 210 respondents. The respondents represented SaaS businesses ranging in size from as few as ten employees to as many as a thousand or more. Respondents of the survey represented a multitude of application (analytics, marketing, collaboration, financials, CRM, etc.) and job functions (sales, products, support, services, etc.). Results also showed that a large number of executives are concerned with overcoming the hurdle of integration. Moreover, the survey emphasizes the fact that SaaS integration is critical in driving business forward as well as retaining existing business.
- Nearly 90% of survey respondents claimed integration with existing systems to be a “common” or “very common” occurring sales hurdle; expressing that they have experienced the inability to integrate with customers’ existing systems.
- 94% of respondents find integration with other system to be “important” or “extremely important” in winning new customers.
- More than 20% of survey respondents believe integration or data importing to be “highly time consuming” and more than 60% find it to be “somewhat time consuming”.
- Integration of cloud applications has become a common problem, one which is increasingly important in acquiring and retaining customers. Furthermore, integration is a lengthy process, becoming one of the most time consuming aspect of customer implementation.
SaaS integration is now an executive level concern
The survey also discovered that in comparison to last year, satisfaction with existing integration systems declined by nearly 20%. This seems to be a result of gaps and challenges emerging in existing integration tools. Moreover, this year’s higher level of participation by executive level management exhibits an increasing concern with integration challenges among higher level officials. As a result, executive level officials from SaaS companies are more involved than ever with searching for a solution to solve the problem of integration.
The survey also showed that 44% of respondents have been in a situation where they have not been able to integrate with customers’ existing systems. Integration has been cited as the number one sales hurdle to overcome, as the inability to provide seamless connectivity to numerous cloud applications and services results in a loss of business.
A key point to take away from the results of the survey is that cloud integration for SaaS and enterprise applications plays a critical role in keeping your SaaS business running. Customer acquisition can be hindered by a lack of an efficient integration offering. Furthermore, without a robust integration offering, retaining existing customers can also be a challenge. As the need for cloud integration increases, customers will search for alternate solutions if your business cannot provide it.
MuleSoft offers a true SaaS integration platform
MuleSoft offers SaaS and cloud vendors an integration platform as a service (iPaaS) to take on the challenge of integration. The CloudHub iPaaS provides seamless connectivity across cloud and on-premises applications and services by utilizing MuleSoft’s Anypoint™ technology. With Anypoint connectors and customizable integration applications, SaaS providers can create instant API connectivity. By employing the proper tools and technology, CloudHub provides SaaS vendors a repeatable and scalable path to market.
To get started with SaaS integration as a part of your service, MuleSoft advises SaaS vendors to define their customer integration requirements, outline market opportunity, and then engage with an integration expert. In addition to developing SaaS integrations, MuleSoft offers recommendations for SaaS providers to help them better evaluate their integration strategy. As a MuleSoft SaaS Partner MuleSoft will work with SaaS vendors to provide a number of resources to develop and launch a successful integration app.
The MuleSoft SaaS Partner Program helps SaaS providers drive new business with deeper connectivity, working with businesses to make integration possible:
- Develop an integration app: With three ways to develop an app - build it yourself, work with MuleSoft to build it, or hire a MuleSoft-certified system integrator (SI) - you have options to ensure your integration is completed on time and according to customer standards.
- Prepare your sales team: Integration is no longer a complicated conversation topic. Energize your sales team to talk about integration to help drive sales.
- Develop a marketing plan: Work with MuleSoft to define a launch plan and create key messaging. With MuleSoft’s marketing and sales expertise, your business can perform sales enablement as well as press and analyst outreach.
- Launch the integration app: Drive awareness around your new offering and build pipeline through successful inbound and outbound marketing activities.
- Acquire and support new customers: Because your integration app will be deployed and managed by CloudHub, it is backed by MuleSoft support 24/7, allowing you to focus on your core business.
MuleSoft provides a robust integration platform to solve the problem of integration for SaaS providers. Learn more about what CloudHub can do for your SaaS company or speak to an expert to get started. Moreover, discover what MuleSoft has to offer through its SaaS Partner Program.