Are Pre-Built Communications Solutions Worth the Investment?

Building your own communications solutions is not realistic for every team. Learn why pre-built solutions are worth your investment.

Ah-Née Brown | February 28, 2022

If you’re running a tight ship, chances are, you can’t afford the cost, talent, and time it’ll take to build your own communications features and integrations in-house. Authentication, email tracking, and calendar synchronization, for example, need continuous maintenance, so you don’t run into problems when providers run updates. Even if you have a big budget and a larger team, in-house communications builds are an ongoing investment. They’ll inevitably become a long-term time-suck for your developers.

An efficient, scalable, and cost-effective alternative for any type of team is to implement pre-built communications solutions. But are they worth the money?

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Pre-built solutions outsource infrastructure so your team can focus on building products and satisfying customers. Let’s review why they’re worth the investment.

Contain Costs

In-house communications solutions are great in theory, but the process of maintaining these solutions is unpredictable. With pre-built solutions, you stay in-budget because that maintenance is taken care of by an external team.

You can’t predict provider updates, every single customer’s use case, or bugs that might crop up. That’s a lot of work that you can’t plan for. Your team’s time is money, which makes in-house solutions dangerously expensive. Nylas processes billions of API requests every day, and we handle ongoing maintenance for any provider updates. The responsibility for keeping things running smoothly is on us, not your team.

Take LionDesk, for example — their product team saw an opportunity to improve user experience by centralizing essential communications and activities. They needed a secure, reliable way to sync users’ email, calendar, and contact data into the LionDesk CRM. Two developers on the LionDesk team integrated and launched all three Nylas Universal APIs (Email, Calendar and Contacts) in just two months. If they’d had to build integrations to each provider themselves it would have taken 28,242 hours and cost $1.8M.

LionDesk integrated and launched all three Nylas Universal APIs (Email, Calendar, and Contacts) in just two months with only two developers. Conversely, they would have spent 28,242 hours and $1.8M to build the integration themselves.

“We don’t want to build our own stuff to support all the different versions of Microsoft. Just leave it to the experts, right?” —Lee Ling Yang, Director of Product at LionDesk

When you use in-house solutions, it’s difficult to scale. The complexity of building a single integration is daunting enough. But then consider that you have to maintain infrastructure as you grow and the burden of the accompanying costs.

Each time you need to add a new integration, you have to build it out. You might have succeeded in developing a solution to integrate with the Gmail API, for example, but each time you want to integrate a new service, that’s more hours of work. In contrast, with the Nylas Universal Email API, you have one API to connect to any inbox in the world. “It’s much easier for us to build and test one integration than individual integrations with each email provider,” says Lee.

Conserve Technical Talent

You want your engineers to focus on product work, not unnecessary maintenance tasks. Say you’re a famous chef. You want to redesign your kitchen. You could spend hours learning how to tile and getting the grout perfectly smooth. Or you could hire a specialist and focus your genius on developing your next great menu.

In addition to the monetary cost of diverting your engineers to build and maintain your in-house solutions, you’re taking their attention away from important work. If you use pre-built solutions, engineers can bring their expertise and talent to the product work you hired them to do. Instead of putting out fires, their energy will be focused on delivering more value for your customers. Freeing developers up to experiment with ways to improve products will help with motivation and breed innovation in your organization.

Pipedrive wanted to build a secure and reliable email integration and further their mission of helping salespeople. Using Nylas, Pipedrive built new features that allowed them to introduce new pricing tiers and  generate millions in ARR. Nylas APIs saved them months of engineering resources. In those months, you could improve your products and develop new features that’ll bring in more revenue.

Also, consider Dialpad — they were able to build a full contacts integration in two days with one engineer. “With the Nylas API, I had launchable code for full features in just two days,” said Stefan Roesch, a software engineer at Dialpad. The time saved allowed Dialpad engineers to focus on core differentiators. They introduced Voice Intelligence and AI features into their platform — that allowed Dialpad to bring in new customers and help those customers be productive, efficient, and happy.

Move Faster

A pre-built solutions provider can take on the task of upgrading your software quicker than you. It saves both you and your customers valuable time. Updating products and solving problems fast is essential to avoid customer complaints and the risk of customer churn. Once issues are taken care of, your engineers are available to take advantage of R&D opportunities.

Clio, a legal CRM, used Nylas to allow users to access all client email correspondence in one place. Having that kind of control over a client’s first impression of their attorney helps with onboarding in the early stages of an attorney-client relationship, so this feature was valuable for Clio’s users.

Nyla’s API integration allowed a handful of Clio engineers to build this email support in just two weeks. “Our customers needed email features in their CRM, and Nylas made it easy to build…it would have cost us at least a year to build out just the Exchange and Google integration,” says Aaron George, co-founder of Lexicata. The time saved meant they could move beyond onboarding and build more tools to help their users grow those client-attorney relationships in the long term.

Stay Secure

When you build your own solutions, the responsibility for security is on you. If something goes wrong, you’ve got yourself a massive and very expensive problem. Clio chose Nylas because their clients handle sensitive material every day, which means security is a primary concern for them. Regardless of your industry, security is a concern for a lot of users.

Nylas employs a dedicated full-time security team which means we can respond to security alerts right away. We adhere to SOC 2, GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA | HITECH, and FINRA, so you can build the integrations that you need, without taking on the associated risk.

Save Your Customers’ Time with Nylas’ Communications Solutions

For teams of any size, Nylas takes away the burden of building integrations in-house. Save months of development time and retask your developers toward other mission-critical work. Then, transform that savings into more value for your customers. Launch innovative, robust communications features that automate manual tasks and make your users as productive as possible.

For more information on the benefits of pre-built communications features, download our eBook here.

Ah-Née Brown

Ah-Née supports the Nylas Digital Marketing team by developing content ranging from top-of-funnel marketing pieces to technical assets. She approaches content from a strategic lens and has experience in B2B marketing, SEO, and go-to-market strategy. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, surfing, and yoga.