Webinar Recap: How to Build Platforms, Not Products

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Webinar Recap: How to Build Platforms, Not Products

Learn the advantages of creating a platform rather than just a product, and the four network economy focusses that form a platform strategy.

· Integration Zone ·
Free Resource

On September 13th, we hosted a webinar all about building platforms, not just products featuring Eric Prugh, co-founder and COO of PactSafe - the leading contract execution platform - and Ross Garrett, Head of Marketing here at Cloud Elements. The speakers discuss why simply having an open API is not enough - SaaS and technology providers need to make integration easier by shifting the burden of integration off of their customers. Today's most successful software companies have made this leap from selling products, to selling a platform.

So WHY are software companies taking this leap? Platforms deliver far more value and utility to your business than a standalone product. You want to be able to enable users, by providing the integration fabric & patterns they need. You also need to think beyond developers, and democratization takes hold across integration.

PactSafe's Platform Strategy

Eric shares why integration is so fundamental to their platform strategy, "Businesses need faster ways to get signatures on contracts. With PactSafe, we empower your business to publish or send PactSafe's Platform Strategy: contracts for acceptance in any way imaginable, including text messages, click-through, e-signature, embedded contracts in apps, and more. We strive to make doing business with you more like ordering an Uber and less like buying a house."

Here's a look at PactSafe's platform offerings:

To learn more about how PactSafe is using Cloud Elements 2.0 to manage complex data sets from their customers' instances of Salesforce and to minimize the heartburn of managing individual APIs, read our latest press release.

These innovative companies, such as PactSafe, Slack, and Intercom, are making this shift to play within the "Network Economy" which is fueled by "Network Effects" - the phenomenon whereby goods and services become more valuable when more people use them, so there is a relentless focus on building as large a network as possible.

There are four superheroes of the Network Economy:

  1. Magnetic

  2. Infinite

  3. Real-Time

  4. Intimate

Let's take a closer look into each of the four superheroes.


Networked companies are able to detect, organize, and expose very small units of value. Their competitive advantage is to deal efficiently with billions of small transactions and to capture value created outside their walls. This is about understanding the even the smallest units of value in your organization. This might be data, business logic, or some other business capability.

The competitive advantage of magnetic companies is leveraging these value units to capture and deliver value internally and externally - the smallest value from your business combined with complementary external services can be extremely powerful.



Networked companies use highly scalable software and services to achieve near zero cost delivery. They can grow indefinitely in revenue with minimal impact on costs. Their competitive advantage is speed of scale and profitability. This is about removing the limits of a single-sided business model. It's also about knowing where your limits as a domain expert end and value from others begins. The Fintech company Stripe is a great example:


Networked companies use real-time data feedback to instantly optimize market fit and improve products' value. Their competitive advantage is first mover time-to-market. Real-time network effects are about reacting to change, and always delivering value as the ecosystem around you, or customer demands fluctuate.

The competitive advantage is truly about being the first mover - as Wayne Gretsky said, "skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."


Networked companies use customer knowledge to fine-tune and personalize the experiences they deliver to each customer. Their competitive advantage is customer engagement and loyalty. Perhaps the most important of our super powers, intimate organizations are about adapting and personalizing their service of different personas, or even individuals. Netflix provides a great example:

So HOW can companies actually create this network effect? It ultimately boils down to three things: flexibility, longevity, and integration.

To learn more about how your organization can transform into a platform, check out the on-demand webinar below. Additionally, if you'd like to get in touch with an API Specialist from Cloud Elements, feel free to contact us anytime.

integration ,data ,software delivery

Published at DZone with permission of Ross Garrett , DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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