What I Wish I Knew a Year Ago About SaaS Integration

Abinaya Gunasekaran

6 min read

SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) applications have a profound impact on the technology stacks of all types of businesses across the globe.

Organizations need to use CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools for customer management and sales, finance management applications and accounting solutions for finance, and HRISs (Human Resources Information Systems) for HR management.

Because of the variety of available SaaS applications and the convenience of this model, an average company uses 110 SaaS solutions, according to recent statistics.

In order to ensure that each team of your company makes the most out of every tool your business uses, you’ll need to take advantage of SaaS integration. It’ll help avoid making business decisions that you may regret in the future.

What is SaaS Integration?

Definition for Google Snippet: In a nutshell, SaaS integration is a practice of connecting a SaaS application with one or more on-premise software tools, cloud-based apps, and/or other SaaS apps. It’s typically achieved using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to ensure automatic and quick transmission of data from one tool/app to another.

How Does SaaS Integration Work?

As mentioned, a business can use APIs to connect different SaaS apps and local and/or cloud-based software tools so that they can communicate with each other seamlessly. It allows the business to create a single integrated system running on the same data.

Most SaaS tool and software solution vendors now offer APIs so that businesses can perform SaaS integrations easily. Without integrations, a business will need to transfer data manually from one tool to another, which is time-consuming and error-prone.

SaaS Integration Example

Let’s suppose you’re running a Shopify online store and you have a FreshBooks subscription for your accounting team. In this scenario, your accounting team will need the information on the order, when one of your customers makes an online purchase.

This information can be manually sent to your accounting team through email, but it’ll cost you time and energy. But if you use software integration and connect your FreshBooks account with Shopify online store, you won’t need to perform any manual work.

The information on all orders will be automatically sent to FreshBooks as soon as a customer makes an online purchase. It’ll help your accounting team to see updated data about orders to perform their job effectively.

How Has SaaS Integration Changed the Way Organizations Work?

Using multiple systems that aren’t integrated will lead to inefficient data management. The data will be stored in multiple places and it won’t be synced, which means that some of your software tools will have outdated data. It’ll increase the risk of making inefficient business decisions, which will lead to wasted worker productivity. 

SaaS integration fills the gaps between multiple tools and allows both small businesses and large enterprises to overcome the inefficiencies of disintegrated systems.

It addresses the challenges and problems related to: 

  • Data replication
  • Data cleansing
  • Application synchronization
  • Data migration
  • Data transformation
  • Orchestration

Additionally, businesses can now utilize the power of customized SaaS integration apps to perform integration across databases and social sources as well. According to a study conducted by MuleSoft, 94% of business owners believe that SaaS integration of existing systems is “extremely important” or “important” to win new customers. It shows that SaaS integration is the key to success for businesses.

What are the Key Considerations for SaaS Integration?

Here’s a list of the key considerations that you need to keep in mind before starting your SaaS integration journey.

  • Businesses must create a strict disciplinary code and a well-planned strategy before starting the integration process, especially if they have a complex application portfolio. It’ll help them overcome the SaaS integration challenges (discussed below).
  • The integration strategy of a business must work for all application data sources, whether outside or behind the firewall, in-house or cloud.
  • To ensure a smoother integration process, businesses should use standard integration practices, such as using APIs, instead of ad hoc practices.
  • SaaS integrations don’t need to be comprehensive at the start if the business is already up and running. You can take it gradually by integrating one tool at a time with your SaaS app.
  • Document each step of the integration to make the integration process of subsequent projects easy.
  • Inspect the integration capabilities of each new application or tool you’re considering buying for your business.

Why is SaaS Integration Important?

The following are some reasons why SaaS integration is extremely important for businesses to achieve success in this modern day and age.

  • It helps businesses to synchronize and update specific business operations, such as customer/vendor master data synchronization.
  • It’ll allow you to integrate data between SaaS platforms and cloud applications with your local on-premise solution files and database.
  • It helps you keep your data synchronized across on-premise and cloud systems. It ensures that up-to-date data is readily available for your teams, whenever/wherever needed, regardless of the original data location.
  • It eliminates the risk of human error that can occur while transferring data manually from one system to another.
  • It allows you to exchange information in real-time with your suppliers and partners.
  • You don’t need to invest in IT infrastructure for SaaS integrations. 

Benefits of SaaS Integration

Nowadays, more and more SaaS vendors are providing solutions with integration capabilities because of the benefits that SaaS integration brings to the table.

Save Time

One of the biggest and most obvious advantages of SaaS integration is that it helps organizations save time. As all your software tools will be connected to one another, the data transmission will take place automatically whenever needed.

Although you’ll need to spare some time to complete the integration process, it’ll actually save you time in the long run. You won’t need to worry about transferring data from one system to another manually.

Reduce Human Error

Transferring data or sharing information between multiple software tools manually increases the risk of human error, which is the biggest cyber vulnerability across the globe.

Not only can it lead your business to fall victim to cyberattacks but it can also cost your business tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, you’ll also need to spend hours to eradicate mistakes caused by human errors.

SaaS integration ensures automated data transmission between the tools your business needs. It can eliminate the risk of human errors and you won’t need to deal with incorrect information and potential cyberattacks caused by this problem.

Ensure Transparency

SaaS platforms with integration capabilities allow you to keep the correct information in the right place. It allows your teams to access up-to-date data using the tools they’re familiar with, to perform their jobs effectively.

Your employees won’t need to ask their colleagues or use multiple systems for an update. This way, all your teams will have correct information right in front of them whenever needed to make the most informed decisions quickly.

Provide Access to the Latest Technology

SaaS integrations allow you to adopt modern tools with the latest technology conveniently to improve the productivity of your resources. Most modern SaaS tools come with APIs that you can use to seamlessly integrate them with your existing system.

It helps you adopt the latest technologies with innovative features as soon as they’re released to stand out from the competition.

Improve Customer Service

According to recent statistics, poor customer service can lead to dropped purchases or even long-time customers switching brands. Luckily, you can improve your customer service and retain customers with the help of SaaS integration.

Keep in mind that nowadays, customers are more demanding than ever and they want companies to serve them correctly and quickly. If you run an online store and someone makes a purchase, they’ll want their order confirmation email instantly.

SaaS integration allows you to integrate your online store with your CRM and email marketing solution and automate the order confirmation process. It ensures that the customer receives an order confirmation email with the tracking number as soon as they place the order.

Provide Valuable Insights

Data is no less than an asset for a company because it helps you detect mistakes and analyze critical business decisions. Using SaaS integrations, you can keep your business data in a single place, which provides you with valuable insights.

It eliminates the risk of incorrect analysis and allows you to make the most informed decisions to help your business grow.

Challenges of SaaS Integration

Along with the benefits, SaaS integration also comes with some challenges that you need to keep in mind.

Requires Technical Expertise

The biggest challenge of SaaS integration is that it requires technical expertise. If your business is using a complex application portfolio, you’ll need a holistic approach and a comprehensive strategy to ensure that the integration process goes smoothly. Otherwise, the risk of falling through the cracks will increase.

Cost Can be High

As mentioned above, SaaS integration requires technical expertise. If you don’t have technically sound resources in your team, you’ll need to hire them or partner up with a company offering such services, and it can be very expensive.

Can be Time-Consuming

Creating a comprehensive SaaS integration strategy, hiring resources, and carrying out the integration process can take a whole lot of time. However, it’s critical for your business to avoid problems in the future.

Lack of Control and Security

You’ll need to give up your sensitive data control to one or more third-party vendors for SaaS integrations. It means that the security of your data, shared with third-party apps, will depend on the security systems that the vendors are using.

If the security of one of the vendors becomes compromised, it’ll make your business data, available to that vendor, vulnerable. While you can use encryption and VPN services to secure your data transmission, it might not be enough.

You’ll need to have a proper integration solution that can protect sensitive information and govern data flows. Otherwise, data privacy and access management will be a consistent concern for your business.

Final Words

SaaS integration has become the need of the hour and it’s critical for every business to utilize the advantages it offers. Although it also comes with some challenges, the benefits it offers, for both small and large companies, outweigh them.

Whether you’re an entrepreneur and planning to start a new business or already have a running company, you should utilize the power of SaaS integration. And what better way to do that than with the help of Saasly – with over 200 integrations and custom-built solutions, you’ll get your business on the path to success and avoid future challenges.

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