Why Software Vendors Should Partner With a Cloud Integration Provider

July 9, 2020
REBECCA WHITLATCH
Why Software Vendors Should Partner With a Cloud Integration Provider

You didn’t build your own car, sew all your own clothes, or grow all your own food. So if you’re an independent software vendor, why would you build your own integrations?

Software makers often waste time, money, and development resources trying to custom-build integrations that let customers connect a vendor application to another system. That’s like trying to assemble an SUV from scratch, or stitching fabric into a Hawaiian shirt for casual Friday.

It’s a lot of work — with a high risk of subpar results that can undermine the business.

The better approach for software vendors is to partner with a proven integration platform as a service (iPaaS) provider like Boomi, according to a new report by Doug Henschen, principal analyst at IT research and advisory firm Constellation Research.

With an iPaaS partner, software vendors “can significantly boost their revenue, increase their customer retention, and/or break into new markets by adding data integration and other data management capabilities to their software and services,” as Henschen says in the “Boomi Platform Accelerates ISV and SaaS Vendor Success” report.

Henschen also says that software vendors can lower barriers to customer adoption by incorporating best-in-class integration technology into their applications and services. Modern integration technology accelerates integration development, liberating valuable resources to focus on building new features into the vendor’s core applications and services.

‘The Wheel Has Already Been Invented’

As Constellation’s report notes, Boomi, founded in 2000, has since its earliest days helped software vendors solve integration challenges for customers. Today, more than 100 ISVs and SaaS companies embed Boomi technology into their software.

As a result, Boomi’s software vendor partners sidestep multiple obstacles that can derail the business. Vendor-developed tools often involve custom coding, don’t scale, and don’t offer reusable processes. They’re difficult to maintain and require specialized skills. That can add up to customer dissatisfaction and a hit to revenue.

Those pitfalls are avoidable because in terms of integration, as Henschen says, “the wheel has already been invented.”

“You don’t want to waste precious engineering hours on building and maintaining connectors to myriad source systems, mastering integration protocols, and learning the nuances of security and access controls,” Henschen says. “Let an iPaaS vendor help you speed the delivery of integration and related capabilities.”

Get an expert perspective on how software vendors can eliminate integration headaches by partnering with Boomi in the Constellation Research report, “Boomi Platform Accelerates ISV and SaaS Vendor Success.

Boomi in Action at Leading Cloud Software Vendors

Constellation’s in-depth examination finds that Boomi has differentiated itself by investing in software companies as a vital part of its go-to-market plan. That’s helped drive success for software vendors such as SAP SuccessFactors, Handshake, Coupa, and QAD, among many others.

For example, Virtustream, a cloud hosting company that offers white-glove IT services to enterprise customers, uses Boomi to streamline IT service ticketing processes with its customers.

Boomi provides fast, flexible connectivity between Virtustream’s ServiceNow IT service management (ITSM) system and ITSM applications used by customers. The innovative “ticketing as a service” system automatically routes customer incidents and service requests to Virtustream for speedy resolution.

That saves customers the hassle of emails and phone calls back and forth with its cloud hosting provider. And Virtustream no longer has to deal with time-intensive API-to-API customizations for each customer, along with difficult ongoing troubleshooting and maintenance.

“We just operate ServiceNow the way we normally do and Boomi does all the translations between systems,” says John Apone, Virtustream’s ITSM integration manager. “Boomi connects our ticketing system to our customers, so they don’t have to worry about reaching out to us directly.”

Integration Expertise and Partner-Specific Features

The Constellation report notes that Boomi offers unique partner features that simplify how software vendors to build, develop, and support integrations. These include partner dashboards, parent-child accounts, and group access rights that make it easier to manage customers, ensure data security, and sustain service-level agreements.

In addition, Boomi has been “pushing the boundaries of iPaaS” beyond core integration, the report states. Boomi goes “beyond the scope of most iPaaS offerings” by building out its unified platform with capabilities for:

“While all these capabilities may not be among a partner’s initial requirements, they often emerge as value-add opportunities as offerings and deployments grow and mature,” Henschen says. That can translate into enhanced customer “stickiness” for software vendors.

Henschen points to other ways that Boomi’s integration expertise and industry leadership can help software vendors succeed:

  • Flexible pricing: Boomi offers partners flexible licensing terms based on multiple factors. These include platform usage fees, per-customer fees, per-connector fees, and joint go-to-market and revenue sharing.
  • Low-code visual development and deployment: Boomi’s approach puts iPaaS into the hands of business analysts, often without the need for technical assistance. That can lower expenses by eliminating the need for costly development help.
  • Flexible runtime operations: Boomi integrations run in lightweight, autonomous engines known as Atoms. These can operate on-premises, in a private cloud, or in Boomi’s cloud service. No matter where the Atoms run, there’s never a need to configure firewalls, and updates are automatic.
  • Multiple partnership types: Boomi offers software vendors flexibility to tailor Boomi to their unique needs with four types of partnerships (Technology, OEM, Embedding, and Marketplace).

Build a Business Case Before Selecting an Integration Partner

What’s the best way to get started if your company wants to explore partnering with an integration vendor? Henschen recommends putting together a business case that examines capabilities you want and the problems you’re trying to solve. It should weigh cost and capabilities “rather than just a generic sense that you need X or Y technology,” he adds.

Constellation Research also borrows business case recommendations from Graden Gerig, a long-time Boomi customer who has implemented Boomi at four software vendor organizations.

Here's just a snippet of what Henschen and Gerig have to say about Boomi:

“Putting together a sound business case will help you make the right decisions up front and greatly improve your chance of success,” Gerig says. He recommends that software vendors ask tough questions focused on three key areas:

  • Development: Which features are you looking to enable? Which data integration methods will you use? And what are your data access requirements, both inbound and outbound?
  • Infrastructure and support costs: What are your infrastructure costs likely to be? What support processes will you need? And who will configure the iPaaS — the software vendor or the customer?
  • Customer enablement: Do you need a training program? And will your iPaaS be 100 percent embedded or open to custom development?

If you work for a software vendor in need of integration, take Constellation Research’s advice. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel of data integration. Size up the market for integration partners, and take a close look at Boomi and its low-code, cloud-native iPaaS.

You can save time and money, free your developers to focus on innovation in your core products, and accelerate your company’s success.

For more insights into the benefits of integration vendor partnerships, download the full Constellation Research report, “Boomi Platform Accelerates ISV and SaaS Vendor Success.

About the Author

Rebecca Whitlatch is a senior partner marketing manager for Boomi.