B2B Marketplaces – what are the right integrations for your customers?

B2B Marketplaces – what are the right integrations for your customers?

Marketplaces for complimentary B2B solutions are increasingly common – curated by both independent solution providers as well as operators. As an operator, you should review your market, so you can give your customers seamless integration with apps that are popular locally, as well as ensuring you can participate in global marketplaces with integrations to globally adopted solutions.

Integrating B2B tools isn’t just about APIs

Integration with different systems such as CRM and other collaboration tools isn’t simply about providing an API and letting businesses get on with it. It can be, of course, and several of our operator customers do this, so that their B2B customers can get the capabilities they need. However, there is another level to this – the creation of a curated marketplace in which approved integrations can be discovered and adopted by different users.

As anyone who has used Teams knows, there’s a growing ecosystem of approved applications that offer some form of integration. Operators are part of this community through their efforts to provide Direct Routing (and other capabilities). The marketplace concept allows users to discover applications that are relevant to them – so, if you have enabled Teams integration, your offer could end up here. The same is true for other popular business tools, such a Salesforce or Asana.

Alternatively, some operators push a selected range of applications from their own portals, enabling users to find solutions that complement other offers, or which add valuable functionalities.

Interestingly, these are not mutually exclusive approaches. Once upon a time – in the early days of the internet era, it may have been true that a specific operator tried to encourage users into walled gardens, but those days are long gone. Instead, operators want to encourage users to gain the most benefit from their services – which means helping subscribers to discover tools that complement key services.

Understand what complementary tools your customer use

We expect this to accelerate. While general integrations can be enabled via our API, our partners are increasingly ensuring that specific integrations are provided, to service communities that leverage several related tools. For example, Whereby is very popular as a video collaboration tool in some countries and, for this reason, our integration to that platform has been championed by one of our customers.

Similarly, because Teams is generally popular the world over, many of our customers are also ensuring that their B2B users can also access a proven Teams integration solution for Gintel, via different discovery mechanisms. We expect to see considerably more of this kind of approach in the next few years – as operators pull together a palette of complementary solutions and then point users to places where the integration can be discovered – through their own portals or else the marketplace portals of the enterprise software providers.

Promote them through your and other marketplaces

This is important because such integrations and marketplaces are both an important defensive tactic and a means of enhancing competition. So, it’s important to discover which tools are popular among with segments in your marketplace. You can kind of take for granted that Teams will be popular, but what’s your local equivalent of Whereby? Which CRM is most widely used – and by which kind of customer?

By determining the popularity of different applications, you can choose a selection of integrations, made available from your portals or external marketplaces that is tuned to your audience.

You can easily strengthen your offer through this approach, even while enabling general integration capabilities through access to APIs – but this way, you make sure that you can satisfy a much greater proportion of your customer base, while building a stronger position in your local market.

Whatever you discover, you’ll have a much better understanding of your customer base and be better able to position stronger offers in the future – boosting retention while increasing the attractiveness of your solutions. And, we’ll help you with the right set of pre-written and standardised integrations to support your voice services – you need the right mix of local and specific applications, and more general, global solutions.

CRM, API, B2B solutions, Microsoft Teams, B2Bc customers

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