Business A simple guide to software integration for startups

A simple guide to software integration for startups


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Your product is your company’s main selling point, but it doesn’t have to be its only feature. In fact, when companies open their products to integration with third-party software, they open up a whole world of possibilities. In the years since the release of our flagship smart video intercom, the ButterflyMX team and I have made a vigorous effort to expand our reach by integrate our software with third party products.

For example, this year we partnered with RemoteLock so that our unified access control solutions now connect to over 80 smart locks to provide seamless access to buildings and apartments through our mobile app. This has significantly expanded the capabilities of our products without the time, energy and financial investment of launching an entirely new product, contributing to the significant growth of our business.

If you’re at the helm of a startup looking to expand the reach of your product, consider integrating with other software.

Related: Challenges Businesses Face in Software Integration

What are the benefits of integrating your product with other software?

Whatever product or service you offer, by integrating with other software, you combine different platforms into one uniform software architecture. And by creating a large, integrated system, you increase functionality and convenience for the consumer.

In addition, integrating your product with other software expands the capabilities of your product without having to develop new products. Software integrations allow you to develop and expand your product faster by exponentially increasing its capabilities. Software integrations also provide an easy way to foster professional relationships with other companies in the industry.

Why are partnerships important?

When you build a business from the ground up, you have to develop partnerships. Across all industries, the leading companies have multiple integrations. In fact, the average SaaS (software-as-a-service) company has. 15 integrations. However, some SaaS companies have more than 500 integrations. By partnering with another company in your industry, you are part of their growth. If their product succeeds, so will yours, and vice versa.

One of the biggest benefits of setting up integration partners is improved business growth by expanding your user base. Not only are you giving your customers a new tool or feature, which leads to higher customer retention, but you are also opening up your business to an entirely new customer base. With a partnership you can expand your customer base and easily 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 see new integrations as a new sales channel. You add your products and services to an entirely new marketplace.

Because your software integrations must be with companies in your industry or a related industry, you sell to new customers with a similar customer profile. This means that your product will inherently meet their needs.

How do you approach partnerships as a startup?

So you’ve decided it’s time to grow your business by enabling third-party software integrations. But how do you go about finding valuable partners? First, you need to look for companies whose customers match your ICP or ideal customer profile. An ideal customer profile is a detailed overview of your company’s ideal customer. The ICP is used to adjust marketing and lead generation tactics.

By partnering with companies whose ICP matches yours, you increase the likelihood that their customers will find value in your product and vice versa. But remember that software integration is not a completely smooth process. The more integrations you enable, the more maintenance you do. Plus, when changes are needed, you need to get approval from both companies’ teams rather than just your own.

So make sure you have an internal team that can spend their time primarily building the integration from the ground up and maintaining it post-launch to address and resolve issues.

Related: Using Strategic Partnerships for More Explosive Growth

How to integrate your product with other services

While software integration offers a unique and valuable opportunity for your business, partnerships are not guaranteed to be successful without hard work. In addition to a relevant and high-quality software integration, you need a robust strategic outline.

Make sure you put your customers’ needs above all else. As you build your software integrations, think about what products your customers already use, what kinds of systems they might want to integrate with, and how a specific integration can improve their experience with your product.

Further, ensure that your integration has a long life by building a strong foundation for your partnership. Integrations are not a quick hack to multiply your customer base. Instead, you should develop integrations with long-term business goals in mind. Then, with each new iteration of your integration, consider customer feedback to improve the integration and your product in general.

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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