Throughout my career, there have been a few examples of good business partnerships — partnerships that are truly beneficial for both sides. I have many more examples of “Barney” type partnerships that take a good chunk of bandwidth for little return. The most successful partnerships, in my experience, have been built around a “build vs buy” product decision. The best example of this has been the integration platform decision — if you are an enterprise software company, why do you want to build and own integrations? It is not your business…AND the infrastructure alone is cost-prohibitive, the resources needed to support integrations are expensive and the ability to keep up with all releases of software changes is daunting! And then throw SaaS into the mix! So one of the best decisions you can make is partnering with a good integration infrastructure provider — and we chose Pervasive.
Any software veteran will understand that integrations are not easy — our jobs as software providers are to make this as easy as possible. One can argue that the hardest part of integrations is to “talk” to the other applications, databases, ESB, etc. Once this connection has been established, the mapping of one field to another is much easier. This is the approach that Pervasive has taken — they provide 200+ connectors out of the box and an easy interface to do the mappings. Since we embed Pervasive’s technology in our software, all we have to worry about is building and maintaining web services around our product.
I attended the Pervasive Metamorphosis 2010 Conference a few weeks ago (I also had the privilege of speaking at the event) and it was amazing how many similar success stories I heard around the “build vs buy integration” decision and the documented achievements that had been realized. The show was very interesting in many aspects, especially hearing the vision of integration technology and how far along “integration in the cloud” has come. My advice to anyone looking at this integration “build vs buy” dilemma: stick to your core competency and let the experts do integrations!