Just consider this fact: The average enterprise, according to Netskope, uses 2,415 distinct cloud services and apps — a number that keeps rising, year over year. Organizations utilize multiple cloud applications across all departments for various business needs. In some cases, if not integrated, apps turn into data silos and become counterproductive.
Organizations are turning to iPaaS solutions like Blendr.io to help drive this collaboration with automated workflows to implement data flows within their organization. At the same time, SaaS software vendors leverage Blendr.io to build embeddable native integrations to augment their own SaaS platform, using Blendr.io’ specific features for SaaS vendors such as customer self-service activation and centralized management. It’s that value prop that drove Qlik to acquire Blendr.io last year, and, in just the first few months on board, I’ve become increasingly excited about how Blendr.io can help Qlik deliver on the promise of its vision of Active Intelligence on the one hand and our embedded OEM offering on the other, by breaking down silos and helping to fill the gaps in data pipelines through data blends that drive collaboration.
How iPaaS Prevents Data Silo Formation
First, let’s unpack what iPaaS is. Simply put, it’s an automation tool for a company’s apps. For a more complex definition, Gartner is a good source: iPaaS is a suite of cloud services enabling development, execution and governance of integration flows, connecting any combination of on premises and cloud-based processes, services, applications and data within individual or across multiple organizations. Blendr.io’s focus is on cloud-based applications, helping companies create task-chaining and integration workflows to automate processes between apps.
Workflows are built by connecting endpoints of cloud applications and by adding business logic, including conditions, variables, schedules, triggers and a wide range of other features. Triggers can mean, for example, a message or email to a sales representative letting them know that a region is underperforming, which, when combined with Qlik Alerting, helps that sales representative more proactively monitor and manage his or her job responsibilities.
An example of a Blendr.io OEM/SaaS workflow bundle might be one between cloud-based CRM, ERP, accounting and inventory management applications, all created by the same OEM/SaaS company to service their customers. The demands of a customer the company serves might mean that the same information needs to be entered into all four apps. Historically, this was done manually and created data silos when the same data was entered separately and at different times. Blendr.io frees up resources by waterfalling the data inputs throughout the workflow in real time. Though only one example, one can easily imagine a plethora of interrelated tasks and the corresponding benefit of creating both templates as well as unique, custom workflows that fit a SaaS vendors’ and their end-users’ needs.
Moreover, users expect seamless integrations between cloud applications. The ability to easily plug-in a new cloud solution into an existing technology stack is one of the key aspects in the decision-making process when purchasing new software. This contributes to new challenges for SaaS vendors – building and offering native integrations.
Why Building Integrations Using iPaaS Just Makes Sense
Coding integrations around your SaaS platform with your development team tends to be time-consuming, takes focus away from developing core products, requires lots of maintenance, and, in many cases, it is simply not scalable.
Sure enough, a development team could code one or two integrations. The challenge for a SaaS vendor, however, is to scale the number of integrations, as well as the ability to configure and customize each integration for individual customers.
With Blendr.io, it takes days or weeks, not months to create and embed integrations. Blendr.io makes it easy to manage and customize integrations to meet customers’ requirements. Embedded integrations are seamless integrations that are part of the SaaS platform UI and are tailored to specific customers’ use cases. The SaaS vendor’s end-customers can activate these integrations within the UI of the SaaS platform with a few clicks.
A few additional integration benefits that come with Blendr.io:
- Increasing the value of the data that customers process on your SaaS platform by connecting to other applications
- Increasing customer stickiness by connecting their tech stack to your cloud solution
- Gaining a competitive advantage through the offering of integrations with a multitude of business applications
If you’re a SaaS provider (like Qlik is!) and want to see how Blendr.io can help solve your integration challenges, take a look at our overview video, see our main page at Qlik.com or sign up for a demo.
*Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Integration Platform as a Service, Published 21 September 2020, G00397953