Cloud Elements, a Denver-based API management and integration platform, today announced a strategic partnership with Sage (LON:SGE), the accounting, payment and payroll provider used by millions of small businesses, as a part of the Sage Partner Program at Sage Summit taking place this week in Chicago.
The partnership makes Cloud Elements’ extensive catalog of more than 100 pre-built API connections available to Sage customers and independent software vendors (ISVs), enabling the seamless integration of Sage products with third-party platforms such as Freshbooks, Docusign, Expensify and many others.
Listen to Director of Global Product Management for Sage Sailesh Modi explain the partnership further:
Cloud Elements collates these API connections into categories, which it calls “Hubs,” that range from cloud storage to customer service and from finance to human resources. That way, Sage customers can take advantage of several software platforms within a single category rather than just individually, one-to-one.
For vendors, the fact that the API connections are pre-built virtually eliminates the need for custom-coded integrations between Sage products and third-party software.
Partnership Represents Growing Trend Toward Cloud-based Software Integration
According to Mark Geene, Cloud Elements CEO and co-founder, who spoke with Small Business Trends by phone, the partnership represents part of the growing trend away from information isolation toward cloud-based connections that make data sharing easy and seamless.
“More and more, the software industry is moving into the cloud,” Geene said. “That provides significant benefit to end users because it gives them the ability to connect other applications seamlessly with Sage’s platform and products, to share data. It lets Sage customers have one unified experience between two sets of software.”
Both Sage and New Sage Partner Cloud Elements Introduce New Products
Both Sage and Cloud Elements are announcing new products during Sage Summit: Sage Integration Cloud and Cloud Elements for Sage.
Sage Integration Cloud will provide a marketplace for “Sage to Sage” integrations, as well as integrations to a number of relevant partner solutions. Cloud Elements for Sage will provide a way for independent software vendors to develop new third-party product add-ons.
“The open, API-driven platform will target ISVs or other authorized Sage partners who want to integrate their product with Sage and other market participants, along with business partners and system integrators who provide custom solutions for individual customers,” the announcement said.
Cloud Elements Building Sage Accounting Hub
Cloud Elements is also providing Sage with its own hub — the Sage Accounting Hub — to house the company’s accounting products, and will make it available to Sage customers at no additional cost.
The hub will initially offer integrations to Sage One, Sage Live and Sage X3, with plans to extend integrations to the Sage 50, Sage 100, Sage 200, Sage 300 and My Sage products. A payment hub is also on the development roadmap and will launch shortly.
Benefit of Partnership to Sage Small Business Customers
Geene said the main advantage to Sage’s small business customers is ease of use.
“Through the Sage Integration Cloud marketplace, Sage customers now have a self-service option to integrate the third-party apps they may be using and discover others,” he said. “This makes it very easy. No longer do they have to hire an integrator or consultant to do a custom integration.”
Geene cited as an example, the integration between Sage and Expensify, the expense reporting software platform that’s part of Cloud Elements API catalog.
“Once the two are connected, the user logs into Expensify, then pushes a button to send the data automatically into Sage,” he said. “That’s all there is to it.”
Benefit of Partnership to Independent Software Vendors and Developers
Independent software vendors and developers now have access to Cloud Elements’ catalog of pre-built integrations. The platform also gives them a set of tools they can use to create custom integrations that may not already be in the Sage directory.
“The partnership will be game-changing for independent software vendors and third-party integrators who previously had to custom code integrations between Sage Live, SageOne and X3 products,” Geene said. “Developers can create reusable integrations, which they can keep just for themselves or publish to the catalog and make it available to others as well.”
Geene said Sage’s motivation in partnering with his company had to do with the extensiveness of the library and the tools to create new integrations for Sage partners.
“In conversations with Sage, it became clear that our vision of aggregated API Hubs is the perfect fit to support Sage’s strategy to provide a normalized API experience to developers,” he said. “Cloud Elements is excited to join the Sage Partner Program and provide an integration portal to Sage’s ISV base.”
Visit the Sage website for more information on pricing, documentation and details on how to get started with Sage Integration Cloud.