Of course, there's always the hope that SaaS vendors will catch onto the value of integration. A few - including - believe that pre-packaged integration will become the industry norm. As the Supply & Demand Chain Executive article pointed out:
"Another reason that integration rises in importance is competitive pressure. Since SaaS applications offer the same benefits to all customers, any advantages gained by deploying a SaaS application at one company are just as easily realized by its competitors. SaaS applications by themselves therefore provide little differentiation unless they are integrated with highly customized back-end applications that are core to a company's operations."
Ideally, the SaaS provider will offer integration support and a number of partners who can really help you solve the integration problem. As I've pointed out before, . But don't expect every SaaS vendor to be as enlightened about integration as Salesforce.
Rick Kotermanski, the chief technology officer for IT consultancy Summa hit the nail on the head when he told e-Commerce News: "Vendors don't like to talk about the messy, difficult part of technology - they just want to close the sale.'
Kotermanski suggests a list of questions you should ask before you engage a SaaS vendor. In particular, he recommends you talk about integration during the procurement process. Even if your SaaS vendor is not as enlightened about integration as Salesforce, it should at least be able to help you find partners who can address your integration needs.
So, talk about integration early and often with SaaS vendors or face the inevitable consequence: silos in the cloud, mimicking the silos we've already got on the ground.