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Velmurugan Balasubramanian
Velmurugan Balasubramanian

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Developers in the SaaS ecosystem

The developers that work on any platform come from different levels of experience, in addition to that, they also come from varied backgrounds in a SaaS ecosystem, which are

Independent Software Vendors or ISVs

ISVs are usually a company or product 'A' that wants to create integration with Company or Product 'B,'

The ISVs usually create an integration with Company B to tap into their customer base. For example, a telephony company will create an integration with a CRM company, hoping that the customers of the CRM company will try out company A's telephony services when they need one, and the chances are higher if the telephony service is already integrated with the CRM.

The developers that build the integrations for an ISV are usually engineers from either of the companies.

System Integrators or SIs

SIs are software contractors that build apps and integrations for custom and niche use cases, for example,

A car dealership buys a CRM. Unfortunately, no software is perfect, and the CRM doesn't fulfill all the dealership's requirements. Still, thanks to the public APIs of the CRM system, they can bridge the gap in requirements and integrate their in-house customer data to the CRM by building a custom integration or an App, businesses like car dealerships might not have their own developer team, so they hire a system integrator experienced in building apps for the CRM system to help them.

System integrators usually work with many companies simultaneously. They usually build apps for more than one SaaS product, and they will have developers that are experts in different platforms. At times the developers will also learn completely new technology just for the project.

Independent developers

Independent developers are someone like you and me who identify a gap in the product and build a solution to bridge that gap. The developer will then list the app in the marketplace either for free or for a price, usually based on installs.

Now that we have an understanding of the backgrounds of the types of developers that work on a SaaS integration let's see the challenges in serving all these developers at once

The primary aim of every developer relations team should be to enable the developers, as the quote says,

Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.


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Either way, there is also a selfish reason behind it. attending to individual developers through a support channel is not a scalable solution in the longer run, so creating resources like documentation, tutorials, sample apps, and videos is always recommended.

It's only wishful thinking that the developers utilize all the resources and enable themselves whenever possible, but does it happen? not always!

Well, let us talk about the challenges, pros, and cons of catering to a diverse developer audience in the upcoming parts of the series.

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