Software as a service (SaaS) applications are used by almost every firm on the planet; Salesforce is the leading provider of SaaS programs, followed by Microsoft, Adobe, Box, and Amazon. You’re probably not alone in using dozens of them on a daily basis. They’re used by even non-digital enterprises like your local coffee shop. They might utilize Shopify and Magento to accept online purchases, Square to process payments, and Google Docs to discuss calendars with their employees.
Software as a service exploded in popularity in the 2000s, and within ten years, it had entirely transformed the way businesses were conducted. Business applications, unlike software, were purchased via licenses with service contracts and stayed static for a long time.
What Is SaaS Integration?
Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a software distribution model in which customers pay a subscription fee to access software hosted online by a cloud provider from any internet-enabled device.
SaaS providers put their SaaS product on a cloud service like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and allow users to access it via the internet using their login credentials.
This business model has been present since the early 2000s, but it has grown in popularity to the point where practically every company today uses at least one SaaS application. It eliminates the need to download software that is unique to the computer on which it is installed.
With little to no scripting, a SaaS integration allows two or more cloud-based programs to communicate with one another, passing data back and forth.
A custom integration, on the other hand, necessitates the use of a developer to create the code that allows data to be shared. It’s a lot more expensive and time-consuming, and it could need to be updated as programs evolve.
Many organizations rely on these applications for day-to-day operations because of their flexibility and affordability. You almost certainly utilize a customer relationship management (CRM) tool if you work in sales. If you work in human resources, you’re probably using a human resources information system or HRIS. Because there are so many SaaS applications to choose from, the average enterprise firm uses roughly 300 of them in its day-to-day operations, in addition to on-premise systems.
With so many to keep track of, SaaS integration comes in handy. You can assure smooth operations and processes in everything your employees do by integrating the applications with other technology in your business ecosystem, such as your enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
Electronic Data Interchange – EDI is most likely one of the SaaS settings with the most development. Cloud-based EDI applications are meant to integrate with the client’s management system or ERP. This entails putting in place communication channels that allow data to flow from the management system to the SaaS EDI solution. This allows for a continuous and automatic exchange of documents delivered and received.
The process of linking your SaaS applications with other cloud-based apps or any on-premise applications you may use via application programming interfaces or APIs is known as SaaS integration or SaaS application integration. When the apps are connected, they can freely request and share data with one another.
SaaS Integration vs App Integration vs API Integration.
You might confuse the terms SaaS integration, app integration, and API integration when you hear them. The truth is that all of the phrases refer to the same entity and can thus be interchanged.
A technique for connecting apps is referred to as an API. It’s a set of code-based instructions that allow programs to send and receive data. Previously, API integration required the assistance of a developer. You no longer need to hire a developer or possess technical knowledge thanks to the rise of Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS). iPaaS comes in to help you with the integration.
SaaS Integration Benefits
Businesses can profit from SaaS integration in a variety of ways, including:
- Helps you save time
Many firms use SaaS integration to save time, which is perhaps the most evident of all benefits. As needed, your company can transmit data between apps automatically. It only takes a few minutes to set up the first integration, and you’re ready to go. There’s no need to be concerned about data entry by hand. For example, if you combine a customer care ticketing system with a CRM, your customer support employees won’t have to update customer information in two systems. When an agent closes a case in the ticketing system, your CRM is automatically updated. The time saved by the agents can be put towards more value-added activities.
- Less Human Errors
Manual data entry carries the risk of costly mistakes. Even a minor error can cost hundreds of dollars, if not thousands of dollars. You devote efforts to locating and correcting the issue, not to mention the damage the error may have caused to your customer or vendor relationships.
When you communicate the proper information across programs automatically, you don’t have to rely on a third party to enter the data accurately. Human error is considerably reduced by automation, and it may even be eliminated.
- Transparency is improved.
Integration solutions keep the appropriate information in the right place at the right time with so many SaaS apps. You can use your preferred tool to maintain it up to current so that your team always has the most up-to-date information while making real-time choices.
- Customer Service Is Improved
Customers today are more demanding than ever before. They want things to be completed fast and correctly. When a customer makes an online purchase, they expect an order confirmation right away. They also want to know when the order was sent, as well as a tracking number so they can track it until it arrives at their front door. They want the money delivered to them right away if they decide to request a refund, along with another confirmation email.
These operations are automated when your business systems are integrated to keep things operating smoothly and keep customers satisfied.
- Simple to Scale
It’s easy for some of your company’s functions to get out of hand as it grows. When your apps are connected, however, they automatically communicate data back and forth without posing a security concern. It makes scaling all business processes throughout your firm a breeze. Integration is an important aspect of your strategy if you’re attempting to grow your business. It is a vital must for Enterprise firms, as it is normal for corporations to use more than 100 apps across all of their departments.
SaaS Integration Challenges
Sprawl of SaaS
The potential data silo and manual process chaos that SaaS sprawl can cause is perhaps the biggest difficulty that integration solves. When a large number of applications are added to an organization, a holistic approach is required to ensure that these apps integrate smoothly into the larger company’s goals.
When it comes to the cost of integration, there are three options:
- Nothing is being done.
- It can be built with either internal or external technical resources.
- Using a tool for integration
There is a cost to using tools, but there is sometimes an even greater cost to devoting expensive technical resources to establishing integrations when they could be focused on other revenue-generating activities. Folio3’s Integration Platform is also well worth the money, as it is the easiest, fastest, and most flexible integration platform accessible.
Setting up your integrations can take some time, but it’s critical to do so correctly in order to avoid problems in the future.
The following are some of the factors that contribute to a faster time-to-value:
- Taking advantage of pre-built integrations
- Selective usability
- A community of subject matter experts
Folio3 has this to offer. Once you are set up, you will save time every day going forward. They will help you to avoid costly, time-consuming challenges down the road.
SaaS Integration using IPaaS
The “Connected Enterprise” is the ultimate goal for any company: a completely connected network of tools that function together effortlessly.
You’ll need an iPaaS, or integration platform as a service, to accomplish this.
Folio3’s platform provides total connection across all of its business tools, allowing your team to work together seamlessly. It ties everyone to everyone, not just one to one. It has hundreds of pre-built connectors for the most common business programs, allowing you to connect to thousands of different apps. Users can create their own integration flows if they don’t already exist.
The final result is a fully integrated tech stack, with all of your business apps sharing data without the need for time-consuming setups, human error, or missing data, saving you time and money.
Integration with SaaS has both advantages and challenges, but it is worthwhile for the vast majority of enterprises, regardless of size. A company can, however, make the most of SaaS installation if they take the appropriate strategy.
It is critical for the company to create an implementation plan that outlines the company’s aims, goals, requirements, and budget.
The trick is to examine your company’s needs, select a SaaS program that meets those demands, and then track how effectively your company adapts to it. You must also keep a close eye on who requires training and improvement. This will ensure a successful SaaS setup.