Zapier and the Age of Integration

We are huge advocates of integration between SaaS applications. Those integrations are already a fundamental part of NEON, Little Green Light and Salsa. The core services rely on integration with merchant accounts. Integration with Quickbooks has always been possible (though not very elegant). Developers trade data between applications using API, but the process that can be expensive and somewhat difficult to manage over time.

NEON's recent adoption of Zapier functionality opens up a whole new landscape with an administrative (as opposed to programmed) way to not only share data, but also perform functions.

We’re in the midst of our first Zapier integration. We’re stuck. Here’s why.

Old Software
Our integration between NEON and an eCommerce should create a new account every time a remote eCommerce application receives an order. Pretty cool but it won’t work until the original developer updates the software.

A huge percentage of installed applications are not updated. If your commerce application is version 3.4 and the newest release is 5.0 then Zapier probably won’t work. Heck, people don’t even update their computers. A quarter of all PC’s are out of date and completely open to hackers.

Customized Software
It’s needlessly expensive to update the eCommerce application because it is customized. Oh dear. Never do this. Accept the way the application works. Don’t let a senior executive to move things around as if the application were a word document. The process is needlessly expensive and it quadruples the cost of updating and re-testing.

We’ll Get There
Fortunately in this case the benefits are worth the cost. We’ll get there.


Thatcher Drew

Thatcher Drew is founder of 501square. He is a digital strategist and master communicator focused on improving donor databases and web marketing for nonprofits. His clients include the Arthritis Foundation and the Pelham Picture House. He received Friends of Westchester Parks' “Best Volunteer” award for founding Thatcher has been CEO or Executive Vice President of four digital agencies. He helped build (sold to the NY Times). His work on was given the Stevie Award for “Best Corporate Site.” Before the advent of the internet Thatcher was an award winning film-maker and technology pioneer. He produced series for PBS, Discovery and PBS; and received a national Emmy nomination for his reporting on education (Teach for America). He was a pioneer in multimedia courseware for Hachette and Time Warner. He is a member of the Center for the Study of Digital Life.