Subscription services – the new black for startups and scaleups? Solving a common headache that tech companies have been struggling with on a daily basis for years – Frends offers companies relief from time-consuming and expensive coding integrations. In an interesting panel discussion, companies from two different industries shared the common pitfalls of scaling a company and how integrations are one of the keys to success.
How wise is it to let someone else handle connections to different systems and databases – if making these connections are part of your business idea? This was one of the main topics during our recent breakfast event with Breakit. In the panel discussion led by moderator Tuva Palm, physical and digital attendees were able to listen to guests from Centersource and Jeeves – two successful companies that both have made it their mission to simplify complex industries in our ever-changing world.
(From left to right: Amir Rashad, Tuva Palm, Kristoffer Lundegren, Christian Schreil)
Kristoffer Lundegren, Country Manager at Frends, initially provided a brief introduction to Frends and the history of integrations:
"Our service for integrations works in much the same way as companies that have stopped having data centers where servers are put inside a huge refrigerated room and instead subscribed to one or more cloud services. With an integration platform as a service, startups and scaleups can free up resources, focus on delivering value for their clients and scale up their core business," he says.
Following his presentation, Amir Rashad, the CEO and co-founder of Centersource was invited to the stage. With a background in the forest industry, he has first-hand experience with the most common challenges that the industry is facing. After noticing the need to simplify and improve traditional supply chains, he created Centersource – a platform that automates value chains by merging exporters, importers, and freight forwarders into a common digital workspace.
As a startup company working towards enterprise, integrations have been an obstacle in the past, Amir explains:
"Enterprise clients have higher demands, meaning that before we can close a deal, we need to get as many agreements as possible. This is one of the biggest challenges for us as a startup company, but if we can remove it, we can focus on our core business."
So, what does being able to focus on your core business mean for a startup like Centersource?
According to Amir, it means doing what you're good at and leaving the rest to someone else:
"Your core business is the secret recipe behind the company and what your company does best. Often, this is something that only you can offer, which is why you should always own your core and focus on it wholeheartedly. For example, if my company didn't outsource ship tracking, we would have to become experts in building satellites. But if we find a partner to help us with it, we can focus on what we do best and deliver value for our customers."
Christian Schreil, Product Manager at Jeeves, a provider of business system solutions (ERP) for medium-sized and growing companies, primarily in Sweden. He explains the value of being flexible in today's market:
"Companies must be able to adapt, adjust and highlight their processes easily. Few companies set an annual plan these days simply because they need to stay flexible. Therefore, one of the problems we're trying to solve is how we can simplify our client's business processes in a flexible ecosystem to allow them to stay adaptable and flexible."
Competition is challenging within their industry, especially when it comes to the larger American competitors, Christian Schreil says.
"Business systems cover a range of different areas, and we simply cannot be experts at everything. Once we figure out our greatest strengths, we want to hyperfocus on the specific value chain where we can optimize for our customers. But this requires a lot of work and many people, and we already operate in a competitive industry where there is a shortage of talent."
When asked why companies should rely on a third-party solution, even if their business concept is to connect different systems, Christian Schreil answers:
"As a supplier of a business system, our mission is to support our customers and find ways to scale production and ensure frictionless logistics so that employees can spend time on the right things. We can't let technology become an obstacle. By investing in a low-code solution with a high user focus that simplifies and facilitates integrations, we can save time, release creative capital and innovation – and succeed in ways that otherwise would not have been possible."
Amir Rashad agrees with Christian, adding:
"It's impossible to do everything on your own. Even NASA has its subcontractors. With Frends, which is hyper-focused on integrations, we can take in a solution that can be deployed quickly, help us translate different types of databases, and get an overview of our APIs, he concludes.
Did you miss the breakfast event? Don't worry! Watch it through the link below.