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Why Integrate Your SaaS Also In The Cloud

The following is a bit technical. But if you're thinking of automating your marketing process through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) provider like Eloqua to plug it right into your CRM system, which might also be hosted by a SaaS provider like Saleforce.com, then you need to study the following a bit. The bottom line is that as businesses choose the SaaS model to run more of their operations in the cloud, these SaaS point solutions proliferate across the enterprise. In a large company one division might be running its marketing operation on Eloqua, another on Engage B2B and another on Market2Lead. They might be plugging right into various instances of Salesforce.com. Suddenly, if the corporation's CEO wanted to see a view of the whole enchilada integrated, the corporate marketing and sales ops team might find itself knocking on IT's door. But avoiding IT was one of the main reasons why these marketers and reps decided to go with a SaaS model. What then? Here is where the following explanation proves useful. First remember the importance of service oriented architecture (SOA) and the role business services play in it. (See video) Then consider what Phil Wainewright has to say below about how SaaS providers need to exchange these services between each other.
Phil Wainewright, a consultant who works with SaaS system integrators, explains in this interview how integration can be done independently in the cloud much better by a single service provider focused on making SaaS work between each other than by SaaS providers creating point-to-point connections between the systems you've subscribed into. This is crucial information because the multi-tenancy nature of autonomous SaaS solutions limits how flexible a point-to-point connection can be between SaaS systems that get configured differently by each tenant, yet is shared as the SaaS connector-in-common with other tenants but with different configuration needs than yours. In other words, there is only so much you can expect from a point-to-point connection between 2 different SaaS providers. Tweak it too far and it will stop working for you. Phil is interviewing Richard Nucci, CTO at Boomi, a SaaS systems integration firm. He puts the matter well. "The [integration] solution provider brings with him an arsenal of pre-thought-out, best-of-breed SaaS apps that are pre-integrated yet customizable to meet that customer's unique workflow. And I think that's a huge opportunity for sure and something that's really just in its early days." Not early enough! Just perfect timing, Richard.

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Arturo F Munoz is an expert business process designer specializing in demand generation, marketing database and CRM operations workflows that consolidate disparate data sources into meaningful and actionable knowledge for the complex marketing and sales organization.

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