What is an iPaaS?

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The digital world is more intricate and complex than ever. With the rise of software as a service apps (SaaS), more and more technology is moving into the cloud. From warehouse systems and 3PLs to ERPs and ecommerce platforms, businesses are using dozens of separate cloud-based systems, each storing data in different environments.

Companies often invest in integration software to connect these systems, enabling them to share data. Their ecommerce platform needs to be integrated with their warehouse system, their warehouse needs to be integrated with their 3PL, their 3PL needs to be integrated with their ecommerce platform, and so on. But with dozens of separate integrations and channels of communications, it’s easy for wires to get crossed – especially with fast-growing retailers.

That’s where an iPaaS like Patchworks comes in.

An integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is iPaaS Vendors  a cloud-based service that allows the integration and automation of data between all your different business systems. It’s the central hub for your software – a place for your systems to get together and share the information you decide needs to be shared, when you decide they should share it.

Your foundational layer

So, instead of losing data through a grapevine of separate integrations, all your systems share data through one easy-to-use integration platform. It’s the foundational layer that keeps your IT infrastructure standing.

Why is an iPaaS so important?

Before the rise of SaaS, businesses were generally powered by traditional on-premise applications. But this self-hosted software was expensive, often difficult to set up and required a lot of ongoing, costly support to maintain. After the success of SaaS models like Salesforce, businesses started moving towards software as a service, which requires a lot less upkeep and technical support than on-premise apps. This change meant that a lot of essential data moved into the cloud.

Some businesses now host data entirely in SaaS applications, and some have data stored in a hybrid of SaaS and on-premise software. By using a host of different systems that don’t communicate, companies gradually create masses of data that are easily lost in the void. Issues like overselling, poor order fulfilment and costly resources can all be traced back to a lack of – or poorly executed – integration.

When rapidly growing businesses start to run into these issues, they often use individual connectors to integrate their different apps. These one-time solutions work fine for a while, but having dozens of separate integrations is ultimately unsustainable, especially as a business grows. And when technical issues start to crop up, it can be impossible to find the source of the problem. It’s like trying to find a needle in a very complicated haystack.

That’s why an integration platform has become essential for enterprises.