Today, software vendors are under intense pressure from customers to roll out new products and services faster and more cost-effectively than ever before. To address the challenge, a growing number of them are opening their technology to third-party developers to build integrated apps as part of an ecosystem.
The first step to rolling out an ecosystem of partners is to map out all the tools and service providers that customers use to do their job. It requires you to identify where your product adds distinct value, then which user problems can be solved more efficiently by integrating with a partner software.
With this map, you can start to identify companies with which you might be able to generate mutual value, and build an ecosystem roadmap. Ultimately, there are two major considerations when prioritizing integrations as part of the roadmap: an enhanced product experience for customers and go-to-market benefits.
There is a series of challenges to overcome in order to build a thriving ecosystem:
you will need to convince key stakeholders to adopt an ecosystem mindset and platform some of your key product features (see LINK FIRST EMAIL)
you will need to allocate precious developer time to help build integrations and deploy your ecosystem approach.
you will need to developers to engage into custom integrations and build interoperability with your partners.
With the vast majority of successful SaaS companies being ecosystem oriented, convincing executives is likely to become less of a problem.
However, there is a lack of both talent and tools for you to overcome the latter two challenges, and provide customers with true interoperability.
Relying on internal workforce to build your integrated ecosystem (if you can), you’ll probably end up spending between $500,000 to $1,000,000 upfront no matter revenues generated later. Developers will most likely waste around 60% of their time managing partner integrations instead of focusing on what makes your product unique.
No wonder why nearly a third of software companies report that they lack skilled resources to build and manage integrations within an ecosystem.
However, new tools like Heedjy can help you build integrated ecosystems to put directly in front of your customers, and facilitate direct relationships between product and partner teams at different SaaS companies.
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