In today's challenging business landscape, digital ecosystems have become a crucial factor in achieving success. At our recent breakfast event with industry leaders, we explored the potential of embracing digital ecosystems, what challenges it can include, and how it can foster organizational collaboration.
Running a business has never been more challenging. As the pace of change is accelerating, and the economic situation requires that companies both accelerate and break at the same time, digital ecosystems play a crucial role in enabling that flexibility.
At our latest breakfast event in collaboration with Breakit, we explored how digital ecosystems offer a path for better collaboration. In a panel discussion moderated by Tuva Palm, participants had the opportunity to listen to guests from Efecte, Jeeves and Nordic Apiary – three successful companies that simplify complex business processes in an ever-changing world.
Insights from industry leaders
The event started with short presentations from each guest, talking about how digital ecosystems have helped them take the next step in their growth journeys and what part integrations have played in making it effective.
Santeri Jussila, CPO at Efecte, a cloud-based service management company, started the discussion by talking about how TCO-friendly integrations help Efecte to digitalize and automate their work:
"Integrations enable automation, innovation, and ecosystem growth. With 30+ partners, platform flexibility is vital, making integrations crucial for cost-effective solutions, especially for mid-sized companies. In our digital ecosystem, scalability is paramount, and having a dependable partner like Frends allows us to simultaneously engage multiple consultants in several integrations, enabling efficient multitasking."
Anders Gidlund, Product Manager at Jeeves, a cloud-based ERP software solution for midsize businesses, agreed that integrations are important, especially since modern applications aren’t as simple as they once were.
"Traditional handbuilt integrations between applications A and B are costly, require updates across multiple systems, and lack future compatibility. In contrast, a digital ecosystem service expands your ERP, connects your digital network, and automates business processes through a subscription-based service. An approach that enables multi-application updates, process automation, cost-effectiveness, and increased security."
Michael Warren, Senior Advisor at Nordic Apiary and expert on the Asian digital ecosystems, joined the discussion via link from Asia. There, integrations play a crucial role in legacy digital solutions that have been implemented over the past 30 years:
"The fast-growing Asian market presents new opportunities for Nordic countries in the digital space as seamlessly connecting systems and applications is highly valued in Asia. While Asian companies may consider replacing systems in the future, today, integrating existing infrastructure is preferred over throwing away decades of hard work, and in this context, integrations play a vital role."
Panel discussion: the challenges of building ecosystems
The event ended with a panel discussion between Santeri Jussila, Anders Gidlund, and host Kristoffer Lundegren, VP of Sales Frends Sweden, emphasizing the importance of considering both technical and business aspects when successfully building ecosystems.
Anders identified the first challenge as identifying relevant integration partners aligned with customer needs:
"We’re driven by the needs of our customers, so the first challenge is to know what partners to integrate with, and ensure a good collaboration from the start. The second thing is to build security into it, both physical security and long-term deliverability, to stay relevant and ensure stability during market changes."
Santeri agreed that collaboration is a cornerstone. He emphasized that building ecosystems includes investing not only in tools, APIs, and integrations, but also in people and processes:
"In order to build an ecosystem, you need to onboard, train, support and cherish people who actually are building the ecosystems. Online platforms, communities, and support services play a vital role here, where the ecosystem results can be shared."
When discussing the business versus tech perspective, Kristoffer highlighted the strategic aspect of choosing the right ecosystem.
"From a technical standpoint, ecosystems are pretty straightforward; Frends can seamlessly integrate everything with everyone. However, choosing the right ecosystem becomes a strategic decision for Nordic SaaS companies, as it determines which opportunities to pursue while potentially closing doors to other ecosystems. So it definitely involves different trade-offs that have to be considered before beginning the process.
Anders agreed, concluding the discussion by emphasizing that bridging the gap between business and technical knowledge is essential for achieving success in any organization.
– Integrations increase our customers' profitability, it’s as simple as that. But they also serve as a valuable bridge between business and technical expertise. The ability to simplify complex processes by visually describing them is very helpful, and enables collaboration throughout the organization.
Frends offers a powerful tool for navigating the complex world of digital ecosystems. With the leading iPaaS solution, businesses can achieve cost-effective, scalable solutions, automate processes, and connect with multiple partners seamlessly. By bridging the gap between business and technical expertise, Frends empowers organizations to thrive in the ever-changing digital landscape. To learn more about the Breakit x Frends event and gain valuable insights, watch the recording here.