One thing I liked about the good old days of desktop software was that applications always created a physical file on my local desktop. That file I could copy, share and open with other application as I wished.
I could export CSV files from my accounting system and open them in Excel. I could save images from Photoshop and open them in other image editing tools. I was in control of the data and was able to mix the applications I used to play with that data as I wanted.
Today that's very different.
We don't use one single piece of desktop software to run our business, instead, we have amazing SaaS vendors that have created products that are so great and powerful that I don't even think about using desktop software anymore, but I have one big problem. I am not in control of the data anymore and making data flow between these applications are expensive.
Luckily solutions like Zapier and Integomat makes it easy to integrate some SaaS products, but sadly most SaaS providers treat these middleware solutions as a small micro part of their product offerings and the capabilities are still limited if an integration even exists.
What I am really missing in today's business software ecosystem is a good way to connect my entire SaaS platform together.
I want a good way to connect my billing platform with my accounting software and my helpdesk, I want an awesome way to connect my analytics platform with my marketing automation tool, I think you get the point.
I also want it to be cheap, API's is a great start, but extremely expensive to integrate and maintain.
Yes, Zapier can do most of it, but it's not treated as a first-class citizen and 99% of the time don't support all actions in a SaaS product.
We as the SaaS industry have now learned to create awesome walled products, now we need to find the right model to connect our ecosystem to create an even more powerful world.
Maybe the answer is to prioritize middleware solutions like Zapier, maybe there is a better solution out there, I don't know, but if you run a SaaS product I urge you to think about how it can be a part of a full ecosystem, not only an individual piece of software. Is the value of your product even greater if you match it up with other vendors?
Stop caring about individual costs of integrations, instead, start to look for a generic way we can integrate the entire ecosystem.