Four things end-users need to know about ISVs

PJ Bishop, Vice President of Partners, Services for Africa and Middle East at Sage explains the four key elements of working with Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)

Many businesses that use payroll, financial or business management software will have heard the term ‘independent software vendor’ or ISV but feel unsure about what it means. ISVs are an invaluable part of nearly any major software company’s business partner network. Let’s take a closer look at their role in the software ecosystem.

In simple terms, an ISV is a company that develops software that is compatible with another major vendor’s systems and platforms. ISVs deliver solutions that extend the functionality of a core piece of software, such as your accounting, payroll or ERP system, or add features that are not available in the standard software suite or application.

Benefits of working with an ISV

In today’s complex and fast-moving business environment, it is difficult for even the most prominent software vendors to develop and support niche and custom features for businesses of every type and in every industry. ISVs with specialist expertise fill this gap by developing solutions that address the needs of specific industries or business functions.

They will have a robust understanding of the core software offering and will be able to create add-ons and modules that integrate seamlessly with your system. The ISV partner and their solutions will generally undergo a rigorous certification process with the vendor, offering businesses the assurance that the software will integrate seamlessly.

What ISV solutions are available?

That depends on the vendor, but Sage has a large and growing ecosystem providing a range of specialised and customised solutions on our trusted platforms. This includes bespoke applications for vertical industries and integrated payments and banking, e-commerce, data capture, budgeting and forecasting, project management and document management solutions.

Can my business partner develop an app or write an integration?

In days gone by, many companies would ask the systems integrator or consulting firm that implemented their financial or ERP system to write any bespoke functionality they needed or to integrate the software with best-of-breed third-party solutions. However, this approach is expensive and time-consuming. Custom-developed software can also become a maintenance and integration headache down the line.

Today, there are ISV solutions that address the most niche and specialist needs. They are developed by companies with the resources to create a more robust and comprehensive solution than most companies can deliver for a single customer. This can help you get to market with the right solution for your needs at a much more affordable price.

How is cloud transforming the ISV landscape?

With the shift towards software-as-a-service and the cloud, many software vendors offer access to ISV solutions through marketplaces. These marketplaces, in turn, offer customers a curated selection of cloud-native and cloud-connected apps to help businesses perform at their best.