How to choose your inbound or outbound SaaS integration strategy?

December 27, 2017

SaaS companies

how to choose your integration strategy

From a high level, there are just two types of integrations to consider, I like to refer to them as “Inbound” and “Outbound”. Each of these two strategies has a very different impact on your company resources, in terms of who does the heavy lifting – your company or your partner – and who is in the driver’s seat.


Allow others to integrate with you.


You integrate with partners.

Most likely you need both an Inbound and an Outbound SaaS integration strategy. On the one hand, you’ll have to enable others to integrate with your platform and hopefully turn these partners into a vibrant eco-system. On the other hand, you will need to integrate with other parties in order to satisfy the needs of your customers.

saas integration strategy

Set up an integration team or outsource ?

Your strategy will probably be a combination of both Inbound and Outbound integrations, and you’ll need dedicated resources to get it right. Sooner or later, companies need to consider hiring a “Head of integrations”, and they will have to assign dedicated resources in various departments, to handle the overall integration effort.

Here’s an overview of how data integrations affect various departments:

Product management

Define data integration features


Implement API’s, SDK’s, webhooks, partner portal

Operations & DevOps

Monitoring of API’s, enforce SLA’s

Professional services


    • Respond to data integration requests in RFP’s
    • Provide consultancy
  • After-sales:

    • Implementation of custom integrations
    • Training, documentation, maintenance

    Help desk

    Provide support on Inbound and Outbound integrations


    Define pricing for e.g. API usage


    Promote integration features, shape an eco-system, close partnerships with strategic integration partners

    data integration inside company

    Alternatively, software companies realize they need to focus on their core competencies to prosper, and all other aspects of their business are outsourced to specialized niche players: think of hosting, analytics, security, and yes… also integration services. This is where a company such as comes in. takes all the heavy lifting of integrations out of your hands, and handles the overall integration lifecycle from pre-sales to analysis, implementation, maintenance and support.

    Are you considering to publish an API or you want to replace your ad-hoc integration efforts with a comprehensive ecosystem? Download the full “The SaaS integration strategies Bluebook”.

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