Swiftpage and Cloud Elements Partner to Release Revolutionary Ground2Cloud App Marketplace in Under 3 Months
Industry: Small Business Contact & Customer Management
Challenge: Needed to Connect On Premise Platform to Cloud-Based Endpoints
Solution: Cloud Elements E-Commerce API Hub & Ground2Cloud Connector
"The value prop for Cloud Elements was extremely clear to us: integrating one-to-many is much, much easier than point-to-point.”
Xavier Musy, Chief Architect at Swiftpage
What does Swiftpage do?
Swiftpage, a Denver-based SaaS Company, provides digital marketing and CRM solutions that help small business owners convert prospects, retain customers and grow. In March 2016, Xavier Musy, Chief Architect at Swiftpage, began the search for an integration solution that can move customer purchase data from their user's e-commerce platforms to Act! (a Swiftpage product). The trick is, Swiftpage has 80% of their customers using the on-premises version of Act!, and in order to integrate to cloud-based e-commerce applications, the product team needed a secure and reliable bridge to the cloud. Swiftpage chose to partner with Cloud Elements for the breadth in e-commerce API integrations, as well as a Ground2Cloud deployment feature that allows a direct, on-premises connection to non-public services.
The three-pronged approach for Swiftpage’s addressable small-to-midsize market covers: CRM for selling and customer management, reporting for keeping track of business with lead potential and customer acquisition, and e-commerce for orders and product sales. The typical persona for Swiftpage products are low-code, low-IT system administrators with minimal skills when it comes to API development. Users vary in roles from sales in small / micro businesses to owners.
Prior to partnering with Cloud Elements, Musy explains that Swiftpage started by looking for an integrator that could handle connections to social and cloud document storage apps. Musy shares, “We were well aware of the pain to integrate to a myriad of endpoints within a given category. The value prop for Cloud Elements was extremely clear to us: integrating one-to-many is much, much easier than point-to-point.”
Musy continues, “Integrations were always a priority for the Swiftpage product team, at both the system and feature level, but before Cloud Elements, the categoric integrations were less of a priority for us. The biggest challenge our customers were facing by the prior state of Swiftpage was having to the solve the integration externally, on their own. Some of our customers did not have access to sophisticated integration resources, so trying to build custom solutions for them was extremely difficult to keep up with.”
In addition, the on-premises infrastructure was an on-going challenge, given that 80,000 Swiftpage users are using the desktop product. Musy says, “Our users are used to simple deployment with low IT involvement. Set it up once and you're done. Now we’re helping customers figure out how to play within the cloud integration world, you need to have a web server & addressable web server that’s secure.”
Partnering with the Integration Experts: Cloud Elements
Being that both Swiftpage and Cloud Elements are both local Denver companies, the cultural synergy was quick to ignite the partnership. Musy explains further the strengths that Cloud Elements offered that he could not find elsewhere, “One-to-many categorical integration stuck out the most to us when we were evaluating Cloud Elements. Some of the other vendors out there specialize in integration within a small niche -- no one was came close to supporting the integrations Cloud Elements has.”
With Cloud Elements' API-first product development strategy and ability to deliver solutions fast, Swiftpage chose the E-Commerce API Hub and Ground2Cloud deployment connector to kick the project off.
Swiftpage needed to address where their customer base is, which is primarily on-premises. Ground2Cloud, from an infrastructure perspective, beats out the other competitors in the iPaaS space who are still trying to figure out what it means to bridge on-prem to cloud, themselves. Swiftpage’s approach to lower-market, high-volume subscriptions demands the scalable model that only Cloud Elements’ Ground2Cloud deployment model can support.
Specifically, Ground2Cloud creates a secure two-way tunnel that exposes the endpoint at scale. The internal tech has an SSH proxy, the external endpoints run off regular HTTPs endpoints, the certificate-based integration on the outside. From a security standpoint, Ground2Cloud links and enables a connection to these services, where they then can discover the URL when the product is installed from Act! Connect. HTTPs URLs are industry-wide accepted as secure, and that little lock icon is about as much information from a ‘secure connection’ as Swiftpage users need to know.
From an operational side, Swiftpage created the Act! Connect user interface as a consumer-facing product page for customers to see all the connections available to them. In July 2016, the Act! Connect marketplace went live with Ground2Cloud features (just a short 3 months from when the project from Cloud Elements was kicked off). “Over time Swiftpage customers will use the marketplace to upgrade, allowing for adoption to grow organically.”
“Looking back on the work we’ve done with Cloud Elements, I am by far most proud of the turn-key delivery of Ground2Cloud as a phenomenal bridge for customers.”
Xavier Musy, Chief Architect at Swiftpage
Swiftpage’s net new customers are extremely happy and sticking with the new product: Act! Connect, driving annual and monthly subscription revenue.
From April to June, three months in total, the planning to release of the Ground2Cloud integration solution was released as an integral part of Act! Connect Marketplace. “If we did it ourselves, Act! Connect would still not be out today, from my best guess it would have taken us several more months to focus and assemble the technologies needs to make it happen.” Proving that Cloud Elements saved Swiftpage months of development time.
About the Author
Hannah is the Director of Marketing at Cloud Elements. With a background in agile development + creative mind in the realm of marketing, Hannah exemplies the ability to lead in all things marketing.More Content by Hannah Shain