In this blog-post, we provide a basic introduction about SaaS Application integration, why it is needed and how it is being made easy by dot2Globe ‘INCOX’ platform. The audience for this blog is any individual/small to medium businesses who are using Online (Software as a Service – SaaS) applications for their business purposes across different functions like CRM, Accounting, HR, Project Management etc., SaaS applications are Cloud based read-made software, made available for consumption on a monthly/yearly subscription.
The adoption of SaaS applications by businesses is estimated at an average of 16 Apps per business in 2017 and is increasing every year with a market projection of $76bn USD by 2020. With the growing SaaS adoption, the need for connecting these applications also becomes a necessity. While there are many integration players in the market, still SaaS integration is not a straight-forward thing for an SME. This article should provide clarity on the challenges and proposes a viable solution for small & medium business owners.
Why SaaS Application Integration?
It is a common misconception that Cloud applications are interconnected since they all are on cloud. It is also believed that all Cloud Applications from a single vendor are connected inherently. Many small business owners often find themselves misled by these two assumptions, and find it challenging to connect the applications they have subscribed to. Most applications that customers subscribe to are meant to serve a specific business purpose. e.g. a CRM application to automate Selling process or an accounting package to digitize the accounting process.
These independently functioning applications work in silos, and the data residing across these has to be manually manipulated for fulfilling an end-to end business value realization. For e.g. customer data from CRM and
i revenue data from accounting system is necessary to determine the business value of the customer. Manually performing the data manipulation or exchange is highly cumber-some, error prone and effort has to be repeated every time.
On the contrary, ability to exchange data between different applications dynamically, provides businesses great value and real time insights about their business.
‘INCOX’ Platform: The SaaS Integration differentiation
The traditional integration between applications involve, using Application Programming Interfaces (‘API’s) on the two or more Online Applications that need to be connected. This requires someone with a programming skill set to write the required interactions between applications for specific business use cases. This requires inputs from business owners, taking their time away from their core business,in addition to the money & effort they spend on these activities.
Whereas, the INCOX platform from dot2Globe has all the business use-cases pre-configured and made available as part of the platform, which needs connecting multiple applications. A business user who has subscribed to an application that is part of the INCOX portfolio, can directly execute his/her business use-case without any need for technical knowledge nor the intervention of a developer. Please read the below illustration for more clarity.
Consider two online Applications that are to be connected e.g. ZOHO CRM and ZOHO Books. These two applications are part of the supported application portfolio of INCOX platform. Assume a Small business Enterprise using ZOHO CRM for Customer Relationship Management and ZOHO Books for Accounting & they want both applications to work together to accomplish certain business transactions we call as ‘Use-cases’. E.g. “Create an invoice in ZOHO Books for a deal, whose status is ‘Won’ in ZOHO CRM.
Let us see the difference between the steps involved in a traditional integration method vs using INCOX platform.
Steps in traditional application integration method:
1. APIs for the two applications are published by the application vendor. This is a pre-requisite for any application integration.
2. Business needs to engage a suitable developer either in-house\external
3. Developer needs to program using the API of both the applications
4. Developer needs to validate the integration and certify for use
5. Business validates the integration for their scenario
Difference in using ‘INCOX’ integration platform
Step #1 to #4 already in-built as part of the platform. Only the below steps are required to be performed
1. Business needs to subscribe to dot2Globe INCOX platform
2. User can query the BOT for critical data from applications (e.g. Top 10 customers from CRM by deal size & many others) & also instruct the BOT to perform
many other activities that are listed in the available set of actions in the INCOX platform.
3. Interact with ‘incoxbot’ and execute the multi-app business use case. E.g. Create an invoice in Zoho Books for a deal that was won in Zoho CRM
In other words, ‘INCOX’ provides ‘Ready-to Use’, ‘Easy-to Use’ and ‘Easy to Choose’ approach for integration which simplifies the SaaS integration for Online Applications.
We are currently inviting customers who are willing to be part of our early adoption program to experience our product. If you are interested, submit your intent through www.incox.net/contact.