What is an Embedded iPaaS: Definition, Features, Uses, Benefits

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What is an Embedded iPaaS: Definition, Features, Uses, BenefitsWhat is an Embedded iPaaS: Definition, Features, Uses, Benefits

Any business today will have multiple requirements to facilitate a pleasant customer experience. Since not all functionalities can be developed in house, because of limited resources and bandwidth, most businesses are turning to third-party solutions. To ensure smooth communication and exchange of data between, integrations have been the go-to solution for all developers and technology leaders. The rise of integrations led to the rise of iPaaS or Integration Platform as a Service. 

What is iPaaS?

For simple understanding, Integration Platform as a Service or iPaaS refers to a platform which makes it easy for businesses to connect different applications and processes. iPaaS enables developers to connect applications, replicate and exchange data and ensure all other integration initiatives are carried out easily. iPaaS allows users to build and deploy workflows on the cloud, without installing any software or hardware. It helps you to benefit from integrations, but at a significantly lower cost and effort. 

What is an embedded iPaaS? 

As a developer, there are two types of integrations that you will come across during the development cycle. From an end user perspective, you will add certain integrations that your customers will ultimately use, connecting them with your product. The iPaaS that you will use to streamline and connect these integrations is called embedded iPaaS. With embedded iPaaS, you can build and manage integrations that easily connect with your product and offer additional functionalities to your customers.

Embedded iPaaS helps SaaS businesses provide multiple integrations or connected third party applications to their customers. In general, a business at any point uses 100+ applications, most of which are SaaS apps. However, unless these applications interact with one another, exchange data, generate insights and ensure workflow automation based on data exchange, they don’t make business value. Thus, embedded iPaaS seeks to ensure smooth connection and communication between your product and other applications that your customers are using. 

Using embedded iPaaS significantly frees developers of the additional burden of building integrations and other functionalities in house and can be very coding intensive at times. 

Embedded iPaaS comes with:

  • Support to manage authentication for the end user
  • Pre built stable connectors for common SaaS apps with logic components for no code integration building which can manage high volumes of data
  • Customer connectors with which you can build integrations specific to your business or product
  • Ability to management alignment and syncing between different moving parts
  • Infrastructure to run your integrations
  • A pleasant and user friendly UX for your customers to experience integrations 

Embedded vs. traditional iPaaS

As mentioned above, as a developer, you will come across integrations of two types. First, there will be integrations that you will use internally to create the right solution and functionalities for your product. Traditional iPaaS is the platform that helps you integrate the apps that you use internally to facilitate workflow automation, ensure data integration, etc. By logic, even your end customers can deploy traditional iPaaS to connect different applications. 

However, it requires the customers to build certain integrations and subscribe to an iPaaS everytime they buy a new software solution. 

To address this issue, software buyers are shifting the work of building and providing the right integration platform to SaaS business providers, giving rise to embedded iPaaS. Embedded iPaaS, thus, allows developers to build and provide native integrations for their customers, helping customers steer away from the burden of managing traditional iPaaS. Embedded iPaaS empowers SaaS developers to build integrations as a part of their product and offer them to customers as a pre-added functionality. 

Therefore, on a closer look, traditional iPaaS is best for integrations to be used internally and not ideal for end customers. Whereas, embedded iPaaS allows SaaS providers to offer native integrations pre-built into their product to the end customer as a part of their application.  

When and why to use embedded iPaaS 

Whether you are in the startup or the scale up phase of your SaaS business, there are certain indicators that will make it clear to you that you should be using embedded iPaaS. 

Some of the indicators that you need embedded iPaaS as a SaaS startup include:

  • Your customers are demanding several integrations
  • Your market competitors offer significantly more integrations
  • You want to offer native integration experience to your users.
  • Your development cycle is getting delayed 
  • You/ your developers are unable to focus purely on product functionalities
  • Integrations are adding significant cost to your development cycle
  • You have apprehensions about building, managing and security of integrations

Even if you have crossed these basic hurdles and are in the scale up phase, you may need embedded iPaaS if:

  • You are losing out on customers because of lack of integrations
  • You are unable to deliver on new functions because of time taken up by integrations
  • Integration management and support is eating into the developer’s time
  • You are unable to manage customer experience for integrations

If you have a check mark on one or more of these points, it’s time to deploy embedded iPaaS for your SaaS application. 

Top 6 benefits of embedded iPaaS 

As a developer, you should know by now when it is the right time to deploy embedded iPaaS for your business. Put simply, it is a much faster way to build integrations for your customers without adding unnecessary pressure on your development team. Integrations can help you gain a competitive advantage and ensure that your customers don’t go looking out for better alternatives. Here are the top 6 benefits of embedded iPaaS that can help your SaaS business prosper. 

1. Reduced engineering effort

As a developer, your time and engineering effort will be best utilized in enhancing the core product features and functionalities. However, if you have to build integrations from scratch, a considerable amount of your time will be wasted. Fortunately, pre-built connectors and low-code integration designs can significantly reduce the effort and time required. 

Embedded iPaaS can help you with abstracting API and end user authentication and ensure that you are able to focus on top product priorities. As a simple use case, if you are unable to refresh your security tokens regularly, authentication of integrations will be broken for your customers, leading to a hitch in their business processes. Furthermore, it can help you create productized integrations which can be customized for different users, saving you the time to build different integrations for each user. Overall, embedded iPaaS reduces the engineering time and effort for developers spent on building integrations and workflow automation. 

2. Ability to scale/ reduced infra load

As you add more integrations to your product roadmap, the customers using them will increase and so will the volume of requests coming your way. Especially, if you are in the initial stages of your product development lifecycle, building a scalable integration infrastructure that can manage such voluminous requests will be difficult.

With embedded iPaaS, you can offload this load to the platform’s infrastructure. The right embedded iPaaS will easily be able to handle millions of requests at once, enabling you to scale your integrations while not adding the infrastructure load to your application. 

3. Accelerate time to market for integrations

With cut throat competition, the time you take to reach the market is critical when it comes to success. The more time you spend in building integrations in house, the more delay you will cause in taking your SaaS application to the market. 

With embedded iPaaS, you have the building blocks which just need to be moved around to provide the right integrations as per the customer’s expectations, in a very less time. Even when you have to introduce a new integration, you can simply activate it in the platform’s environment, without the need to spend weeks building it and then supporting ongoing maintenance. This will allow you to take your product to the market faster, leading to greater customer acquisition. 

4. Enhanced experience with native integrations

As a developer, you would understand that a pleasant UX for integrations is a must. From a technical standpoint, it is important to have native integrations. This suggests that your integrations must be accessible from within your product and shouldn’t require the customer to exit your product to check out the integration. However, building native integrations can be difficult and time consuming, considering other priorities in your development lifecycle. 

Fortunately, with embedded iPaaS, you are able to create native integrations for your product and offer them as additional functionalities than third party solutions. Furthermore, since the customer stays within your product, chances of finding alternatives become narrow. 

5. Customer integration configuration

When it comes to integrations, a developer’s role doesn’t end by defining the integration logic and building the integration. It is equally important to help the customer deploy and configure the integration and get them ready to use. It involves steps of trigger third party authorization portal as well as customer request to customize the integration. 

An embedded iPaaS can help you provide a configurable experience for your customers and allow them to customize the way they want to use the integration or how they wish the integration to interact with your product. Ensuring end-user configuration in house can be a development nightmare in the early startup/ scaleup stages, and embedded iPaaS can help address the same. 

6. Seamless maintenance and other support

Finally, to provide great experience, you need to constantly maintain and upgrade your integrations. This comes with additional costs and developer hours. Like any other product feature, integrations need constant iterations and developer interventions to debug any challenges. 

Maintenance includes updating API references, updating integrations when you or the third party release a new version, debugging, etc. However, using embedded iPaaS comes with pre-built connectors that take care of maintenance of API references. It will even take care of updating events, triggering workflows. Thus, as a part of the engineering team, the bandwidth needed to reflect on integration updates will be significantly reduced. 

Be it iterating on third party integrations or accommodating updates to your product to sync with integrations, embedded iPaaS becomes responsible for a great portion of integration maintenance. Furthermore, when you face bugs in an integration, it is often more difficult to solve or debug the problem as you may not be well versed with the technicalities and codebase. However, embedded iPaaS often have a history of integration and can make it very easy for you to identify error root cause with log streaming capabilities. 

TL DR: iPaaS for SaaS today

In conclusion, it is evident the embedded iPaaS can help you accelerate and scale your integration journey and place you ahead in the development roadmap. As a quick recap, here’s why you should go for embedded iPaaS:

  • Build native integrations
  • Reduce maintenance effort
  • Accelerate time to market
  • Free up developer time
  • Leverage pre-built integrations
  • Reduce time to scale infrastructure
  • Reduce integration authentication and configuration workload

Don’t let integrations slow down your power packed SaaS product, increase your functionalities with native integrations, powered by embedded iPaaS.