Do you struggle to convince your clients to start discussing more effective ways of integrating the tools they use internally, or perhaps even the different tools that you share between you? Integration projects can bring huge amounts of business value to both you and your clients IT ecosystems.
Focusing on your client’s internal integrations allows you to unlock time, efficiencies and data blocks in their work. As modern integrations come with great automation benefits and new ways to centralise the way data is exchanged between multiple teams and technologies in real-time and it opens up a wealth of new possibilities for the organisation itself.
From the point of view of integrating your own tools with your clients (also known as b2b integrations), the first and finest example is being able to quickly connect your service desk tools to theirs, without having to mess around with API’s and custom code. This is something that has frustrated MSP’s and their clients alike for years, but with modern developments in centralised integration hubs (also called as the next generation iPaaS), this is now actually a very easy implementation. However, you still need to convince your clients it’s worth spending money on! Let’s find out how to make that happen…
How to explain Service Integrations to your clients
When customers think b2b integration, they often think you are just trying to dress up a very manual and laborious project of coding up some API’s and pretending it’s either more expensive and specialist than it is… or they know what a challenge tying up those APIs can be, and they want to avoid it. To get clients on board, it’s far better to approach integration from the perspective of people and process, than it is technology.
By first asking questions around how people work, how they pass information and tasks from one team or function to another, then offering simple integration solutions to those examples, you can then scale up your explanation of what great service integration could do for them.
Most people quickly confuse software integration and service integration, so by removing technology from the initial discussions you setup a far better opportunity of winning their enthusiasm for a new integration project.
The easy way to onboard clients into integration projects
You know what? Modern customer integrations project aren’t even projects at all! They are small incremental changes that improve the efficiency and collaboration of an organisation. By approaching this as one application, one process, one set of data and so on… at a time, you can make the overall objective of improving the way people work and work towards over time.
By introducing clients to integration as an agile an incremental change, you can relax the shared pressures of having a glorified end-state and deadline to work to, and instead feature it as more of a retained service, which improves with time.
Overcoming common objections
As mentioned above, many organisations have bad experiences of technical integrations going wrong and having long lasting negative effects. This can be overcome by zooming in on the problems they face and asking pragmatic questions about what sort of integrations they would like to have in place, which actually solve the problem rather than exacerbate it.
From there, you will come across objections such as the project timelines are too long, the outcomes are too unpredictable and the hangovers of ‘bug fixing’ of failed integrations are too painful.
At ONEiO, our next generation iPaaS technology allows us to sidestep all these issues as common service provider and application integrations are pre-built, all integrations are configured through an interface rather than with customised code and we use many-to-many connections, meaning that once integration is setup, any number of further b2b integrations can be added any time.
Using case studies of working examples within platforms such as ONEiO, is an excellent way of demonstrating what is possible today and removing concerns created by old fashioned integration methods.
Starting as you mean to go on
As we say, modern service provider and b2b integrations are on-going and incremental. Gradually adding more platforms, more processes and expanding the amount of data and information, which is shared across the ecosystem of a business. Laying out a roadmap, which looks and feels more like a growing approach to improving the way the client’s business is FAR MORE appealing than yet another project plan for something that may or may not work.
Focus on easy wins early on that quickly enable people in the businesses to work faster and smarter, then presenting back an approach you would like to use to scale up that success is a great way to impress a client.
Our best practises and road to success for managed service providers
1. Start from your internal processes
2. Integrate with your customers' tools
3. Standardize your way of onboarding customers
4. Publish your endpoint type to ONEiO for easy integrations for current and coming customers
More than this, your services and specialist knowledge of their work as an organisation makes you more and more intrinsic and interconnected to their success as a business. This enables you to become a more trusted and critical supplier. It’s a long-term strategy that begins with short terms wins, which might not have been available to you before through more traditional integration approaches.
How we can help?
At ONEiO we have developed a specialised business service integration hub, which allows you centralised all your integrations in an easy to manage, fully automated and predictable way. You only pay for what you use and there are no setup fees, which makes it simple for you to setup clients in a low risk and high reward way.
Talk to our managed service provider business experts? Book a meeting to get started.