31 Mar 2022

SaaS, APIs, Developer Relations and our New Developer Community Q&A at Punchh

By: Jeff Spitulnik

Technology

Successful SaaS API Integrations are an Important Factor for Loyalty Program Growth and Profitability

In recent years, the market has seen a proliferation of enterprise SaaS companies with public APIs and platforms used by their customers, partners, and developer communities to customize, integrate and extend their base product offerings. Why? Because the value of a SaaS company and its products is significantly boosted – and in some cases, is only made possible – by the size and quality of the ecosystem within which its products integrate and operate.

APIs, integrations, and extensibility are fundamental to the value of most SaaS offerings today – they allow developers to amplify use cases, enable widespread product adoption, and create “stickiness” within the enterprise. SaaS product teams see the value of their products significantly expand as their core application services and data are connected to and embedded within other applications. New use cases are made possible, reach extends into new domains and verticals, and the total addressable market for the product grows.

Thanks to our rich collection of APIs and SDKs, Punchh’s SaaS platform is integrated with hundreds of cloud and on-prem applications across dozens of categories – point of sales, ecommerce, customer data platforms, messaging platforms, CRMs, surveys, payment gateways, gift cards, table management, gas pumps, product catalogs, and data lakes, just to name a few. Our vibrant partner and customer developer community has taken our products to new heights and into new places we would never be able to achieve on our own. The outcome? The business value realized by our customers is amplified, and Punchh, our partners, and our customers thrive.

About Developer Relations

SaaS platform APIs are no longer a secret sauce for product relevance and growth, and now, neither is the developer support infrastructure and organizational investments that help the users of the APIs – the community of developers. Developer Relations – or DevRel – is alive and well, and is, in fact, a key to adoption and growth for many SaaS companies, including Punchh. A DevRel organization builds and nurtures the community of developers as the primary users – and often influencers of purchases – of a product. Having one has become an industry best practice for companies with public APIs and an ecosystem of partners and customers that use them.

I’ll note the Developer Relations discipline is not new. During Apple’s adolescent years, Guy Kawasaki is largely credited for helping Apple evangelize and grow its ecosystem of developers. And nobody in the software industry over the age of 30 can get images of a sweaty Microsoft Steve Balmer’s “Developers! Developers! Developers!” ranting speech out of their heads. It’s indelibly etched into our minds. A lot of companies offer DevRel programs now. For some, like Stripe or Twilio, the developer is their primary customer, buyer, and user. For others, like Punchh, developers are influencers, users, and amplifiers of our core products.

Punchh’s API collections and SDKs are used by thousands of developers. Integrated applications make a billion API calls to Punchh each week, in addition to hundreds of integrations consuming our data pipelines and webhooks products (not coincidentally named “Punchh Amplify”). Our DevRel group is pivotal to promoting the health and vibrancy of our developer community. The team here is responsible for our developer onboarding and enablement, best practices documentation and tutorials, developer tools, general developer evangelism, and supporting customer and partner integration projects as they consume our APIs to create even greater joint value for our customers. 

Introducing the Punchh Developer Community Q&A

Our DevRel team members are the custodians of the Punchh Developer Portal, and now they are also the heart and soul of our new Developer Community Q&A. The new community – built on Stack Overflow, a community platform familiar to all modern developers – uses a standard question-and-answer format. Developers looking for tips, tricks, or specific assistance can join, ask questions, and get answers from the best and brightest developers. But possibly, more importantly, they themselves contribute by supplying answers to questions posed by other developers, and by upvoting topics and replies. At some point, we might introduce bounties and gamify the community a bit. Our hope is that our partners and customer developers – integral parts of our user base – will contribute to the content here to help their peers and their own businesses grow. Running a vibrant online community is hard, but we know how critical developers and developer relationships are to our market, and so our DevRel team is here to help it thrive well into the future. 

Like the APIs they’re evangelizing, Punchh’s DevRel team is fundamental to the success of our business, our partners’ businesses, and our customers’ vitality.

By the way, want to join our DevRel team? We’re hiring!


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