Most people who embark on the journey of purchasing business software are already aware that vendorization is not going anywhere. Everything from HR, IT Services, Business Strategy, Logistics — and (in our case) API Testing Software, is being used by major corporations, but are developed, maintained and supported by 3rd party companies.
This makes sense. If API Fortress develops and maintains API Testing and Monitoring software as a business, we are able to specialize and put more resources and features into the platform than a company building it in the periphery to their core business would.
As an API Testing and Monitoring vendor, API Fortress is in the position of working with many people who buy software, or help buy software or evaluate software at many different companies. Some are starting to test and monitor APIs for the first time while others are migrating away from another software because it is no longer a fit. This second group of folks are often very stressed. ‘No longer a fit’ is usually a sudden realization – and it either comes while that company is making an organizational shift or because they got a far-larger-than-expected quote to renew the software they’ve been using. So here are two simple questions you should always ask of API Fortress and any other software vendor you work with to hopefully avoid having to put out of a fire later.
1.What is the most my company could have to pay?
Vendors have to keep the lights on. They also have to satisfy investors/shareholders’ need for growth. That means that in addition to solving your needs, there is usually a company strategy specifically designed to extract more and more money from your company. This means that your ‘renewal’ might include a bunch of new line-items. It might mean that the license type that you bought isn’t the right one – or that you’re using them improperly and need to buy a more expensive type – or more of the same type – or more execution licenses.
The annoyance here is that the driving factor behind all this red tape is the vendor’s need to drive more revenue from your company – and the reason for paying more comes as a way to justify the fact they want you to pay more. It’s an ugly cycle – and it’s why at API Fortress we created all-in Enterprise Pricing that has no limits for a company. We start pricing conversations with “the most you can ever pay us is ‘x’”. But not all vendors do – and that’s a good number to get when you’re looking for a quote. If the price can double or triple next year (or in an updated quote they send you in a few weeks) – that’s a good thing to know before making a commitment.
2. How does your software scale?
The way that you’re using a piece of software today and next year will probably be different. You might change part of your architecture, development methodology/framework, company structure, etc. Any of these changes take up a lot of bandwidth for an organization and an unknown hurdle like a vendor not supporting your change makes the change even more stressful.
An API-based platform that allows easy integrations with any type of software is a must. We too-often run into companies who switched a platform and now have a tool that half-works that they are still paying full price for. Availability and ease of integration mean everything in our hyper-vendorized world.
And asking this question is largely a test of that vendors philosophy. Do you have to fit into their stack or do they have to fit into yours? If it’s the former, that inflexibility can make for some major headache in the months and years to come.
API Fortress was specifically built for today’s agile architectures. A collaborative platform that bridges the gap between development, QA and DevOps. By collaborating using the simple GUI, teams can work together to create a series of powerful API test in one place. Then those tests can be executed at every stage of the lifecycle, in particular as part of the CI/CD process. Using our webhooks or Jenkins plugin, you can automatically execute tests and get notified of issues before the code is published live. The platform works in the cloud or on-premises, giving you the flexibility to run test from any environment while still satisfying security protocols. Catch errors before your customers find them and release code with confidence.
If you’re interested in API Fortress for automating API testing and monitoring APIs for your organization. Please feel free to create a trial instance at https://apifortress.com/ or contact Vas Edelen at Vas@apifortress.com
For other related articles, please check out API Fortress’s blog, here.