Why Outsourced Software Integrations are Better Than Building In-House

Written byRandle Haggerty

July 2, 2024

Why Outsourcing Software Integrations is Better Than Building In-House

After adopting a new business app, many organizations require software integration. This decision usually comes after discovering some inefficiencies behind manual data entry. But, integrating business software can be a complex and time-consuming undertaking.

Some businesses and nonprofits can definitely build their integrations in-house, but before doing so, it's important to consider if your IT team has the expertise, time, and resources to build (and maintain) the solution.

A common misconception is that integrations are set and forget. Just like buying a car, the rush of having something new can be a distraction from the services you'll need to maintain it. Below, we’ll explain a few reasons why trusting a team of integration experts can keep your business on track while receiving a solution tailored to your unique needs.

What are Software Integrations?

Before we dive into the advantages of outsourced software integrations, let's understand what they entail. Business software integrations involve the process of connecting different applications (such as a CRM, ERP, or eCommerce store). Integration ensures data consistency on platforms—decreasing the need for teams to manually enter information. Plus, when data is synced accurately, generating reports and conducting a performance analysis can be done in minutes, not days.


Why In-House Integration can be challenging

Let's be real. There are a number of middleware and iPaaS tools today that make it possible to build your own software integrations. But, there are still challenges to consider before taking on a solo integration project.

1. They're resource intensive

Integrating software in-house demands substantial resources. It involves dedicated experts and extensive training. While creating an integration strategy can be done in-house, the journey can pull essential resources (people especially) away from core business activities.

2. They're time consuming

The process is time-consuming, taking months or even years, depending on the integration's complexity. There's research, evaluations, building, testing, and ongoing maintenance that needs to be done before you can see a return on your investment.

3. They often lead to unexpected costs

Developing integrations internally comes with hidden costs. These include hiring experts, purchasing tools, ongoing training, and servicing the solution. The actual cost often exceeds initial estimates. Out-of-scope changes during the project can create roadblocks that often require more resources, including contracting an external expert (which isn't a part of the goal of building in-house anyway).

4. They require high level expertise

Integrating multiple software systems requires a specific skill set. Companies may find themselves lacking the necessary expertise, leading to a trial-and-error approach that can be inefficient and frustrating.


The Advantages of Outsourced Software Integrations

On the flip side, if you choose to work with an integration partner, you have experts that can conduct a thorough analysis of your business and discover a solution that suits your team's unique processes.

  • Cost expectancy: Outsourcing can help businesses identify the cost for a software integration faster. During a discovery call, integration consultants can pinpoint the expected costs of a solution. Also, the firm providing this service has the tools and expertise, eliminating the need to budget for resources on your own.

  • Faster implementation: Software integration specialists have the tools and pre-built solutions to streamline the implementation process. This speed ensures businesses can leverage new software capabilities quickly, maintaining a competitive edge.

  • Access to Expertise: Integration services bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. Not only do they understand technical aspects (such as software APIs), they’re informed on common business practices and the different ways teams use technology. These experts keep up with the latest software updates and changes, ensuring that integrations remain in check and continue to add value.

  • Scalability and Flexibility: Businesses change over time. Integrations can be adjusted by an outsourced team at any time, whether it be during phases of high growth or when changes are made in a company's core processes and technology. 

  • More focus on value-added tasks: By outsourcing integrations, your team can focus on what they do best. Without the distraction of managing complex integrations, teams can focus more on driving mission goals and personalizing the customer experience with valuable data at hand.

  • Ongoing support: Every technology has its faults. It's important to have support when errors occur, business needs change, and app publishers make updates to its API. With integration support services, businesses have a direct helpline when they need it.


Real-World Example: In-house technology changes & outsourced providers

As outsourced integration specialists ourselves, we here at Venn Technology have worked with organizations who have taken the route of in-house technology changes. Oftentimes, those quick fixes and lower cost solutions lead to eventual strain on the business—requiring an outside expert to clean things up.

One of our clients, DeVere Insulation, took a DIY approach to implementing Salesforce. They had modeled their new CRM after an earlier system they liked, but when that happens, such over-customization often limits the ability to make modifications in the future. Once it came time to integrate a new cloud accounting software, Sage Intacct, hidden structural problems in their Salesforce environment created a domino effect of issues in the ERP.

After protracted attempts to make the integration work, DeVere decided to change providers and contacted Sage Intacct Top 100 VAR, Cargas, for help. During their initial discovery, Cargas decided to bring in Venn Technology to diagnose the errors in Salesforce and build a new, seamless integration to Sage Intacct.


“I can't express how stark the difference was between the original folks we began the process with and our experience with Venn. We went from the company we fired berating and looking down their noses at us, to Venn coming in and saying: 'Relax. Stop beating yourselves up. We’ve seen this before and we can fix it,'” says Thea Dudley, DeVere VP Operations.

The example above highlights the trials of finding the right technology partners. Originally, DeVere experienced pain with its original provider before they found people they could trust. Don't let this create fear of working with outsourced providers. In the next section, we’ll share the positive characteristics of an integration provider you should look out for.

Venn Technology Client Case Studies


Choosing the Right Integration Partner

When opting for outsourced software integrations, choosing the right partner is crucial. Here are some qualities and aspects of an integration provider you should consider:

1. Expertise and Experience

First, reach out to your partners and ask them if they recommend anyone. In your search, you should look for partners with a proven track record in software integrations—especially ones that are relevant to your industry. If they can explain technical terms, educate your team through the process, and understand business pain points in detail, that’s a good sign. When researching providers online, ensure that they have a good presence online (ie. G2, LinkedIn, App Marketplaces).

2. Technology Stack

Ask the provider what software or tools they’re using to build integrations on. Many integration partners use a middleware or iPaaS, which speeds up the process of building a solution with low-code/no-code modules. Don’t be afraid to ask the provider: “Do you have integrations built between your own tech stack?” If they aren’t confident in building their own automated workflows in-house, how can you trust them to customize the right solution for you?

3. Support and Maintenance

Remember that integrations are not set and forget. Effective support and maintenance are vital after go-live. Make sure your provider has a customer support team and error-handling mechanisms in place to notify users when there’s a problem. Like many other B2B services, it’s likely you’ll be provided with support for a week or more after go-live. Based on your monthly requirements or if you need more one-on-one support, taking advantage of service plans is highly recommended.

4. Cost Transparency

A good service provider gives clear and transparent pricing. If your organization is in need of a custom integration, it’s unlikely you’ll find accurate costs online, but those discussions should be laid out during the initial interactions with a provider. Additionally, it’s smart to ask if there’s potential for unexpected costs to occur and why.

5. Client References and Reviews

Check client testimonials and reviews to understand the experiences of other businesses—they may be in a similar situation you’re in. This can provide valuable insight into the partner’s reliability and quality of service. As mentioned above, G2 is a popular platform for business technology reviews. That is a great place to start, followed by looking at your application’s marketplace for reviews of integration providers.


Common Concerns of Outsourcing Software Integrations

Even with numerous benefits, organizations may still have concerns about outsourcing software integrations. Here’s how you can address them:

  • Data Security: One concern is data security. Reputable service providers implement stringent security measures and comply with data protection regulations, such as SOC 2 Compliance or other legal documents stating exactly how providers will use your data.

  • Control Over Process: Teams often fear losing control over their operations and processes during the integration build. However, highly collaborative approaches and regular check-ins with your outsourcing partner can alleviate this. Clear contracts detailing deliverables and project timelines also help.

  • Quality Assurance: Some may worry about the quality and return on an integration investment. Using tips from the above section will help you identify great partnerships. Most integrations are flexible, so in a worse case scenario, other providers can take over the solution.

  • Adapting New Technologies: Outsourcing doesn’t just resolve the challenges of building integrations between your current tech stack, it also saves on efforts when bringing in new applications in the future. A great integration provider should have insight to best strategies to connect new tools your business needs to implement. Especially as organizations grow, your technology is bound for some updates at some point.


How will you choose to build your software integration strategy?

Choosing between in-house and outsourced software integrations is a tough decision. While handling integrations internally might provide a sense of control, the complexities, costs, and time involved often outweigh the benefits. Outsourced software integrations offer a cost-effective, efficient, and expert solution to seamlessly connect various business systems.

Not only does outsourcing ensure quicker and more efficient integrations, it helps teams avoid a trial-and-error approach and allows businesses to continue thriving at what they’re best at.

About Venn Technology

Venn Technology is an award-winning professional services firm specializing in integrating accounting, ERP, and CRM solutions for midsize organizations. Our pre-built connectors and custom workflows are designed to put an end to siloed processes—saving clients time and money by eliminating error-prone, time-robbing manual operations that cause continual frustration and put organizations at risk. Our mission: Integrate. Automate. Be free!

Schedule an integration consult with Venn

Randle Haggerty

About the Author

Randle Haggerty

Digital Marketing Specialist