Subscription services – the new black for startups and scaleups?
Coding integrations takes time and is extremely expensive.
It therefore represents a common headache that many tech companies grapple with on a daily basis. In an interesting panel discussion, companies from two different industries shared the most common pitfalls when it comes to scaling companies, and why smart integrations can be one of the keys to success.
How wise is it to let someone else handle all the connections to different systems and databases – if the business idea is precisely to connect things that previously couldn’t talk to each other very well? That was the main theme of our recent breakfast event with Breakit. In the panel discussion led by moderator Tuva Palm, attendees were able to listen on-site and digitally to guests from Centersource and Jeeves – two successful companies that both simplify complex business in a changing world.
Kristoffer Lundegren, Country Manager at Frends Sweden, started the panel discussion with a short introduction of Frends and the background to the development of our integration service:
– Our integration service that works in much the same way as companies that have stopped owning their own servers and instead subscribe to one or more cloud services. With an integration platform as a service, companies can free up resources and focus on other things, such as scaling up their core business. Using our integration as a service platform, startups and scaleups can free up resources and focus on delivering customer value and scaling up their core business.
After his presentation, Amir Rashad, CEO and co-founder of Centersource was invited on stage. With a background in the forest industry, he has experienced first-hand the main challenges of the industry. After noticing the need to simplify and improve traditional supply chains, he created the solution he himself lacked in the market – a platform that automates value chains by merging exporters, importers and shippers into a single digital workspace.
As a startup catering to enterprise customers, there are some hurdles along the way, Amir explains:
– These customers have higher standards, which means we need to get as many deals as possible before we can close a deal. This is one of the biggest hurdles for us as a startup, which risks taking focus away from our core business.
So what does being able to focus on your core business mean for a startup like Centersource? According to Amir, it means doing what you are good at and leaving other parts to someone else:
– Your core business is the secret recipe behind the company, what your company does best. Often this is something only you can offer, therefore you should always own your core and focus on it wholeheartedly. For example, if my company didn’t outsource ship tracking, we’d have to become experts in building satellites. But if we find a partner to help us do that, we can focus on what we do best and deliver value to our customers.
Christian Schreil is product manager at Jeeves, a provider of enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions for medium-sized and growing companies, mainly in Sweden. He explains the value of being flexible in today’s market:
– Companies should be able to adapt, adjust and highlight their processes easily. Few companies set up an annual plan nowadays just because they need to be flexible, so one of the problems we are trying to solve is how to simplify our customers’ business processes in a flexible ecosystem so that they can remain adaptable and flexible.
Competition is tough in their industry, especially when it comes to the larger US competitors,” says Christian Schreil.
– Business systems cover a wide range of areas and we simply can’t be experts in everything. Once we have identified our greatest strengths, we want to hyper-focus on the specific value chain where we can optimise the most for our customers. But that takes a lot of work and a lot of people, and we’re already operating in a competitive industry where talent is in short supply.
Asked why companies should rely on a third-party solution, even if their business is about connecting different systems, Schreil replies:
– As a provider of an ERP system, our main task is to support the customer, find ways to make production scalable and ensure that logistics have less friction, so that employees can spend time on the right things. Then we can’t let technology be a barrier. By investing in a low-code, user-focused solution that simplifies and facilitates integrations, we can free up time, creative capital and innovation – and succeed in ways that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
Amir Rashad agrees with Christian, and concludes:
– It’s impossible to do everything on your own, even NASA has its subcontractors. With Frends, who are hyper-focused on integrations, we can bring in a solution that is quick to deploy, helps us translate different kinds of databases and get an overview of our APIs.