expressed opinion entrepreneur Contributors are themselves.
Your product is your company’s main selling point, but not necessarily its only feature. In fact, when companies open up their products to integrate with third-party software, they open up a whole world of possibilities.In the years since releasing our flagship product, the Smart Video Intercom, the ButterflyMX team and I have worked to expand our reach by: to integrate Our Software and Third Party Products.
For example, just this year, we partnered with RemoteLock so that our unified access control solution now connects to over 80 smart locks, seamlessly providing access to buildings and apartment units through our mobile app. This significantly expanded the capabilities of our products without having to invest the time, effort, and finances of launching an entirely new product, which helped our business grow significantly.
If you’re at the helm of a startup looking to expand your product range, consider integrating with other software.
Related: The Challenges Companies Face With Software Integration
What are the benefits of integrating your product with other software?
No matter what product or service you offer, by integrating with other software you can combine various platforms into a unified software architecture. By creating one large integrated system, you can add functionality and convenience to consumers.
Additionally, integrating your product with other software extends your product functionality without developing new products. Software integration enables you to advance and scale your product faster because you can multiply its functionality. Software integration also provides an easy way to foster professional relationships with other companies in the industry.
Why are partnerships important?
When you build a company from the ground up, you have to develop partnerships. Across all industries, leading companies have multiple integrations.In fact, the average SaaS (Software as a Service) company has 15 integrations. However, some SaaS companies have over 500 integrations. By partnering with another company in your industry, you become a part of their growth. Then, when their product is successful, yours will be successful, and vice versa.
One of the biggest advantages of having an integration partner is to grow your company by expanding your user base. Not only are you offering your customers a new tool or feature – thereby increasing customer retention – but you’re also opening up your business to a whole new class of customers. Once you form a partnership, you can easily expand your customer base and add new users.
Overall, developing deep business partnerships and software integrations will grow your business in the short and long term. In fact, you can think of the new integration as a new sales channel. You are adding your products and services to a whole new market.
Because your software integration should be with companies in your industry or related companies, you will be selling to new customers with similar customer profiles. This means your product will essentially meet their needs.
How startups handle partnerships
So, you’ve decided it’s time to grow your company by enabling third-party software integrations. But how do you go about finding valuable partners? First, you need to find companies whose customers match your ICP or ideal customer profile. An ideal customer profile is a detailed outline of your company’s ideal customer. ICP is used to fine-tune marketing and lead generation strategies.
By working with companies whose ICPs match you, you increase the likelihood that their customers will find value in your product, and vice versa. But keep in mind that software integration is not an entirely smooth process. The more integrations you enable, the more maintenance you perform. Also, when changes need to be made, you must get approval from both company teams, not just your own.
So make sure you have an in-house team that can spend their time building the integration primarily from scratch and maintaining it after release to fix issues.
Related: How to Leverage Strategic Partnerships for More Explosive Growth
How to integrate your product with other services
While software integration presents unique and valuable opportunities for your business, partnerships do not guarantee success without hard work. In addition to relevant and high-quality software integration, you need a robust strategic outline.
Make sure to put the customer’s needs first. When building software integrations, consider which products your customers already use, what kind of systems they might want to integrate with, and how a particular integration could improve their experience with your product.
Plus, ensure your integration will last by laying a solid foundation for your partnership. Integrations are not a quick way to grow your customer base. Instead, you should develop your integration with long-term business goals in mind. Then, with each new integration iteration, customer feedback is considered to improve the integration and the overall product.