As Allan Adler describes in a previous blog integration between SaaS applications via an Ecosystem model is now the #1 strategy priority for vendors.
With these integrations achieved via APIs this makes that technology feature the single most important capability for SaaS vendors to incorporate into their stack.
Apideck is a vendor offering a solution for achieving this quickly and efficiently, providing a solution for quickly building API partner marketplaces.
This is achieved through a Unified API – An abstraction layer that easily handles communication with many different APIs and backend data models, and an Integration Marketplace, to provide your customers with an easy-to-use marketplace and let them discover new solutions, and enable third-party developers to submit and manage their applications through the portal.
API Maturity Model
Described here they offer this very helpful guide for assessing and planning your API development strategy, a maturity model that structures the progression of an API capability across five distinct levels:
LEVEL 1 – Ad Hoc
At this level, you’ve built your first integration(s) and advertised them on your website.
- One or more integrations are available.
- Typically driven by user demand or to close a deal.
- No focus from product & engineering team.
- Limited to no insights available on usage.
LEVEL 2 – Integrated
This is the first step to a purposeful view of your integrations. Integrations are a key part of your product offering and get time from the teams.
- You’re integrated with an IPaaS platform like Zapier.
- Basic reporting information on integration usage is available.
- Product & Engineering have integrations on the roadmap.
- You’re pushing your integrations to 3rd party marketplaces.
LEVEL 3 – Networked
Integrations and APIs are a core part of your product. All teams in the company are aware and need it.
- You offer multiple integrations across multiple categories.
- You have an API available (public or private).
- Customer-facing teams push for new integrations.
- Integrations are table stakes during commercial conversations.
LEVEL 4 – Distributed
Increasing integrations with your product is a company objective. Dedicated teams are working on integrations. You’re starting to build a community.
- You have a public API available and are focused on developer experience.
- Dedicated people are working on partnerships, developer evangelism and/or community building.
- Your integration strategy helps drive business metrics (e.g. LTV and Churn).
- Integrations are being built by yourself as well as third parties who want to integrate with you
LEVEL 5 – Platform
Your product is extensible in multiple ways, it supports workflow automation. You have a clear overview on integration gaps and what the competition is doing.
- Your App can be extended and supports workflow automation for customizability.
- You have a dedicated developer community and offer an integration fund to incentivize.
- Monetization of integrations provides additional revenue.
- The executive team is committed to the platform vision.