Continuing the thoughts on next generation SaaS with posts on Intercom as the Next Mainstream CRM after Salesforce.com, The API Economy, and The Next Generation Competitor to Every Public SaaS Company, one of the biggest challenges for upstarts is the lack of third-party integrations. One of the strongest network effects for SaaS platforms happens when hundreds of other products build integrations to connect data and processes (see Atlanta’s MailChimp). The more integrations a customer uses, the harder it is to switch vendors.
As expected, there are SaaS products that specialize in integrating other SaaS and installed products:
- MuleSoft – Enterprise strength integration platform that’s heavily customizable. $2.8 billion market cap (NYSE:MULE). See notes from the MuleSoft S-1 IPO filing.
- Zapier – Huge breadth of integrations in a do-it-yourself fashion. This should be the starting point for most people looking to connect apps.
- Cloud Elements – Write once, connect to many middleware that’s a huge timesaver for more sophisticated custom integrations.
Look for cloud integration middleware to be a key part of the solution for next generation SaaS apps.
What else? What are some more thoughts on integrations as critical for next generation SaaS?