Blog postManaged serviceSeamless

Do you really need to use an integration service to sync your SaaS data?

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Many popular SaaS applications include a handful of vendor built integration options. Vendors want to make it easy for new users to become embedded in their applications. They also want to embed their apps into your enterprise, making it less likely that you will consider moving onto other options.

 

If you can get an integration as part of your monthly fee, why would you look to Recursyv Seamless?

 

Why should you consider vendor integrations?

  • Vendor integrations are often built into the existing monthly charge. They’re a value-add option for the vendor to make signing up more attractive.
  • They’re often ready to use “out of the box”. Capture a few details and you could be ready to go.
  • They will be supported by the vendor over time. If the vendor changes their platform, they’re likely to evolve the integration in-line with platform changes.
 

Why should you consider an integration specialist?

Vendor integrations are likely to be limited in their functional scope

They are likely to support standard fields and sync with pre-determined fields in the other system. This may be great for getting started, but it doesn’t allow much flexibility. Most of our integrations have required some additional configuration before they meet the overall business requirement. These changes run along an entire spectrum of complexity. They could be straightforward as adding a single extra field. They could be as complex as syncing custom tables, syncing subsets of data based on custom filtering, etc.

Vendor integrations are likely to limit flexibility over time

As your business evolves, you’ll want to ensure that the systems supporting your business evolve with it. This might mean additional data fields, additional data sources (or endpoints) or even simply new options for option sets. Vendor integrations will not be setup to support your constantly evolving business requirement.

Vendor integrations will often be limited to point-to-point integrations with other popular applications

Vendors will provide tools to sync their system with another system, drawn from a small selection of popular systems. It is unlikely that you will be able to connect more than one other system. You may be limited to only the most popular SaaS apps. Single point-to-point integrations may help get over the initial hurdle of keeping two systems broadly in sync, but there is no room for growth as you need to sync with more systems (billing, support, back-end platforms, etc.)

Vendors may not be quick to support changing endpoints

Imagine you’re using Vendor A’s app and their integration offering to Vendor B’s app. When Vendor B makes changes to their API, it is unlikely to be Vendor A’s immediate priority will be to update their integration. You may find yourself waiting an unpredictable amount of time before Vendor A gets a chance to update their integration. If not enough customers are using the integration, Vendor A may decide it is not worth the investment to update the integration. An integration vendor will be focused on keeping their endpoint libraries up-to-date and are likely to have the changes prepared in advance of the API change.

Vendor integrations typically include limited monitoring and recovery features

Unless you notice missing data, you may never know that your integration is not working properly. By the time you do, it’s often too late. A specialist solution will typically include various monitoring options. These should be able to confirm that the integration is running and to report on integration errors. Additionally, an integration provider will have options for recovering and redeploying integrations quickly.

 

Specialists live and breathe their area of focus. As an integration specialist, we’re regularly encountering unusual integration requirements and using those to constantly evolve our Seamless feature set. Like typical SaaS apps, as the Seamless service improves, those improvements are offered to all users.

Within Recursyv, our primary focus is about getting systems syncing quickly, easily and flexibly. Once integrations move from our engineering and project teams to our operations team, we’re solely focused on ensuring that those integrations continue to run, day-in and day-out.

We proactively monitor integrations for technical and data issues and address them as soon as they’re raised. Often our alerting will flag up SaaS app availability problems before they’re noticed by users.

 

How to choose?

In short, it is all about what you need an integration to do for you. There is, of course, a place for using vendor provided integration tools. They will often meet basic requirements where there is limited need for flexibility and control. Specialist integration providers will introduce flexibility, additional data endpoints and control features that vendor solutions are unlikely to offer.

When considering your own approach, there are some questions you should consider

  • What are the different apps you need to sync with? Does the vendor you’re considering offer integration endpoints for those apps?
  • What level of flexibility / customisation do you need when matching data items across different systems? Do you have custom fields, tables, option set values, etc.? Are these likely to change over time?
  • How often do you need data to refresh?
  • Are you likely to want to introduce additional data endpoints over time?

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