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Know Your Lane: Understanding Which iPaaS Products are the Right Scale for You

John Ferguson
September 13, 2019
IT & Development

Know Your Lane: Understanding Which iPaaS Products are the Right Scale for You

There are few things more frustrating than buying something new and finding out you’ve bought the wrong product after you completed the purchase.

Most people who have moved into a new home have felt some buyer’s remorse about some aspect of their first lease or mortgage. What about that community pool you never touch? Or picking a third-floor unit with no elevator? Or (and here’s one I unfortunately relate to) discovering that none of the top sockets in any of the outlets work? This feeling can be just as real, and possibly more impactful, when looking for software. It’s important to understand which is appropriate for your company’s needs so you’re getting the best product for you.

While Integration Platforms as a Service (iPaaS) all address integrations between various SaaS applications and data sources, the scale, capacity, feature list, and price of different market segments vary dramatically. Understanding these iPaaS market segments is crucial to any iPaaS purchasing decisions.

The iPaaS market is best segmented by the client size vendors are targeting. The iPaaS vendor landscape can be divided into Enterprise vendors (EiPaaS), mid-market vendors, and vendors targeting small to mid-sized businesses. 

Enterprise iPaaS does it all

EiPaaS vendors are focused on providing integration services on an enterprise scale. Enterprise-focused EiPaaS products enable core integration functions at high volumes and levels of complexity, as well as providing more backend support. EiPaaS commonly provide disaster recovery, robust data security, batch data integration, and real-time application syncing. 

Vendors in this segment execute thoroughly on the less-flashy facets of integration, including extensive integrations between data formats, standards, and communication protocol connectors, as well as automated data transformation. 

EiPaaS  set the trend for the evolution of iPaaS technology going forward. One example of this is  the current standardization of API management in large and small vendors. EiPaaS have made heavy investments in integrations with Big Data and the Internet of Things, and structuring technology as microservices.

There are a variety of EiPaaS offerings, and the market is constantly evolving due to new product releases and acquisitions. However, some vendors have established niches for themselves. 

  • Informatica is an early adopter of microservices structuring for their platform as a more flexible product for users’ specific needs. 
  • TIBCO, has acquired other iPaaS products to expand their service offerings to enterprise users. 
  • Salesforce’s purchase of Mulesoft fits this pattern. 
  • Oracle offers a battery of integration products on top of its integration platform to meet various use cases, including a data integrator for ETL-specific situations.

Mid-Market iPaaS combines ease of use with integration power

Mid-market iPaaS products provide a mix of EiPaaS and SMB iPaaS capabilities and services. and their most common use cases are with larger mid-sized companies. They commonly start out as smaller-scale products that later add on bigger capabilities more in line with Enterprise offerings. These mid-market iPaaS are often designed to be accessible by non-technical users, but TrustRadius review traffic indicates that some sort of IT support or specialist on-site is common when using these products.

  • Jitterbit has specialized  in its API development and management offerings
  • Workato emphasizes its prebuilt integrations with a wide range of enterprise-level products like SAP ERP and Oracle. 

Small to mid-sized iPaaS focuses on workflow automation

Some iPaaS vendors tailor their products for small to mid-sized businesses. The primary distinguishing feature is a heavy focus on workflow automation, and most frequently are designed for marketing and sales teams. According to TrustRadius’s review data, marketing departments are the most frequent users of SMB-scale iPaaS, particularly for managing social media platforms and email campaigns. No-code interfaces are expected, and dedicated IT specialists are not necessary for these products. Vendors often provide a free “personal” version of the program for individuals.

There are currently three standout vendors in the SMB segment: IFTTT, PieSync, and Zapier. 

  • IFTTT (“If This Then That”) focuses on automated workflow between apps and devices for personal or small team use. 
  • Zapier prioritizes automation using “Zap” triggers between websites and apps for DIY automation. 
  • PieSync also focuses on marketing and sales integration, with an emphasis on integrating sources of customers’ data with users’ CRMs.

Based on this spectrum, the iPaaS market has specialized to address the unique needs of differently sized companies. These segments are not ironclad, and vendors can provide functionality across multiple segments at once. Make sure that in your selection process, you identify your company’s requirements. Which do you need more: customizability, or routine automation? Do you have an IT specialist in house, or are you a Line of Business user? At the end of the day, no matter your company’s or team’s scale, there is an iPaaS product designed to meet your needs.

About the Author

John Ferguson
John is a Research Associate at TrustRadius, focusing on content development and buyer-guided research. His goal is to support and enable better software buying decisions, with an eye towards helping people from all backgrounds navigate the world of business software. He has a BA in Politics from Centre College.

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