Best Practices

Apideck: Platform Maturity Model

Apideck describes an escalating maturity ladder for SaaS API integration capability, the central foundation of Platform Ecosystems.

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.

Apideck maintains API connectors to a multitude of different applications to minimize the time and effort required for developers to build connections to them, such as CRM and Accounting apps.

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.

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