As technology becomes key to the adoption of digitalization and business processes, arenas like iPaaS are quickly gaining momentum. The iPaaS or integration platform as a service is a complex and delicate equation.
Software integration is essential to handle the complexities of modern business systems and to manage niche requirements like hybrid cloud adoption, and such integration requires a personal touch to understand the various complexities associated with the client’s specific business.
Furthermore, it also requires tremendous expertise in software development. If done right, software integration can offer a substantial reduction in technological resources to deliver agile software development.
The iPaas arena is often overlooked due to the complexity of its nature among the non-tech-savvy audience. However, this remains one of the most technically challenging spaces in the software development arena.
To provide for this requirement, Cyclr, now a prominent name among the embedded integration platforms for SaaS, came into existence.
In the following interview, Fraser Davidson, CEO, Cyclr, shares with us in detail about the company’s journey in the Embedded iPaaS arena and his outlook on the promising future prospects.
Please brief our audience about Cyclr, its USPs, and how it is currently positioned as a leading player in the data integration solutions niche.
Our focus is on enabling software vendors to meet their users’ integration needs more easily and directly. This is called Embedded iPaaS, and there are very few companies with the purity of focus Cyclr has in this area.
Integrations are commercially critical to software vendors; however, the creation of extensive connectivity options can be a time-consuming task that can distract from a software vendor’s core product development. Cyclr has been designed to enable SaaS and software companies to rapidly scale and adapt their native, in-app integrations with a suite of low-code tools.
As a leader in the Embedded iPaaS space, we have developed our solution to substantially reduce the technical resources required by software companies to create, publish, and maintain their integrations.
We have been serving this market for over five years and have garnered substantial experience in the requirements of software vendors in this regard. Through leveraging low-code technologies, the integration creation process no longer has to be solely a developer’s responsibility, and the organization as a whole can become more agile.
What other products/solutions does your company offer, and how are these making an impact on the industry and your clients?
As well as the ability to build integrations with low-code drag and drop tools, Cyclr has gone a step further to enable the publishing of in-app integrations using our white-labelled marketplace tools. The Embedded Integration Marketplace simplifies deployment, as well as enables teams to directly push new integrations live without touching their codebase. This added agility allows software vendors to react to customer requests faster than ever before, without needing to schedule time into their development sprints.
Being an experienced leader, share with us your opinion on what impact has the adoption of modern technologies such as AI and machine learning had on the data integration solutions niche and what more could be expected in the future?
Whilst AI and machine learning are fantastic tools for managing and distilling significance from large data sets; integration is still fundamentally focused on creating reliable and scalable connections between disparate systems. Integrations tend to be relatively bespoke/custom to software vendors and their client requirements and are developed based upon a defined customer need. AI does not yet play a role in integration/automation creation as it still relies heavily on human interpretation of individual clients’ needs.
That being said, there is a clear opportunity for AI/ML in the future to ease the process of creating integrations – although the jury is out whether the process could ever be completely automated. We watch the AI landscape with interest.
It is fair to say that a different angle is that integration is key to feeding these AIs and computer models with data, as well as sending their results to the appropriate system.
Taking into consideration the current pandemic, what initial challenges did you face, and how did you drive your company to sustain operations while ensuring the safety of your employees at the same time?
We were in the privileged position of being a predominantly remote business prior to the pandemic. As a result, the transition/adjustment was not as great as it could otherwise have been.
The shift of having all (rather than most) meetings on Zoom was relatively smooth. We increased the cadence of our team meetings, and we made sure to have regular team virtual meetups to make sure we could retain some of the cultures we had developed, especially as our team began to grow with new starters joining regularly.
Keeping the team engaged and informed was critical, and we doubled down on our efforts in this area. Team members were encouraged to put their personal needs ahead of those of the business, and we endeavored to be as responsive and supportive as any employer could be, given the circumstances.
As things have begun to open up more, we are now focused on getting the 50% of our team that joined during the pandemic to gradually meetup (as and when they are comfortable) to deepen their bonds with their peers. Coming out of the pandemic, we have maintained our policy of flexible working and have allowed employees to self-determine the extent to which they intermingle and venture into our office spaces.
We have adapted our offices to completely ‘hot desk’ environments and have located them closer to stations to enable ease of travel as and when required.
What would be your advice to budding entrepreneurs who aspire to venture into the data integration solutions market?
Don’t underestimate the complexity of the solution you will need to deliver. It is not the day-to-day A <> B integrations that will determine the success of your business, rather, it will be how you handle the edge cases and inevitable complexities that arise when dealing with disparate uses of data and customer requirements. That being said, you still need to be able to make this complexity simple.
All in all, the data integration market is an exciting market going through some substantial transformation. There is ample opportunity for many clever iPaaS companies to co-exist. Go for it!
How do you envision scaling your company’s operations and offerings in the future?
Today we are a predominantly UK-based business with 95%+ of the team directly employed here in England. However, our client base is a large majority international. We are inevitably going to begin opening international offices to have local talent on the ground in key markets – both technical and commercial resources.
We will continue to incorporate our client feedback into the innovation and adaptation of our Embedded iPaaS platform functionality. Our product direction is heavily determined by the needs of our customers.
- “One of the things we liked about Cyclr was the fact that it has been built as a native [embedded] iPaaS solution.” – Chargify
- “Working with Cyclr has been great. From the initial onboarding process, I could pitch it to Josh, the owner, and explain what Cyclr is going to do for us. I love working with you guys, always super helpful, and the support is great.” – Drive Social Media