Are you Selling a Product or Platform? | Cloud Elements

By Jackie Rebrovic in SaaS Integration, API Industry Trends Posted Jul 30, 2019

In the 2018 State of API Integration Report, one of the key themes we uncovered was an increasing preference to pursue a platform strategy. We learned that APIs are the fuel which create a so-called “network effect” — the phenomenon whereby products and services become more valuable when more people use them, so there is a relentless focus on building as large a network as possible. This means organizations must now look towards platforms that not only offer highly functional APIs, but also integrate seamlessly to the ecosystem of products and services used by their customers and partners.

Becoming a Platform Provider

We have learned that, API integration must be a strategic endeavor, and investment must be made to ensure your business is architected for continued success.

Ultimately API providers are looking for ways to drive adoption of their APIs to reach a greater addressable market for their product and services. In the 2019 report we learn that switching to becoming a platform provider requires integration with third parties. In fact, close to half of survey respondents said their most pressing factor to becoming a platform provider is the need to integrate with partners to maintain stickiness with customers: 

Platform vs Product | State of API Integration

Increasing User Retention with APIs

Curious about what companies like yours are building? We have found that a majority of organizations are building APIs that are specific to B2B products. There is a need to increase user retention and increase stickiness by providing third party integration to partners. 

What are you building with APIs?


Charging for API Access

Another interesting point is to look at is the business models that help support turning your product into a platform. One simple way to look at this is with the question of if organizations monetize integrations by charging for API access. This year, 56.1% of organizations are now charging for API access compared to 43.1% in 2018. 

Charge for API Access | State of API Integration Report

Integration is one of the best ways that companies can go from selling stand alone products to selling a platform. API integration leads to reduced customer churn and product stickiness by integrating to the third party services your customers are demanding.

A Trusted Platform to Build Integrations

However, it’s understood that most software companies have limited developer resources and a backlogged roadmap that includes product requests, bug fixes, and new features. That’s where the Cloud Elements API Integration Platform comes in. Hands down, the best way to accelerate your time to market is by giving your devs a scalable, easy-to-use, and trusted platform to quickly build out integrations. The goal is to prevent distractions and get integration tasks off of your dev’s backlog, which frees up their time to focus on building core product features. Our customers’ have seen savings of up to 66% in development costs within the first year of partnering with Cloud Elements.

To dive deeper into the current state of API integration and learn about what's coming up next, download the 2019 State of API Integration below. 

Download the Report