Case Study

Vestwell scaled integrations without draining engineering resources

Vestwell partnered with Pandium to create a better customer and partner UX. The end-to-end solution enabled Vestwell to scale integrations without diverting engineering resources
Industry
Fintech, HR tech
Use Cases

Build product integrations

The Challenge

Vestwell was spending a lot of time and money on custom integration solutions for their clients. They wanted to build something more standardized, so they could scale their integration offerings.

Their VP of Engineering knew from prior companies that traditional iPaaS’s were not designed for product integrations and had a steep learning curve. But Vestwell did not want to divert their engineering team from working on their core product. They needed an end-to-end solution without the downsides of a traditional iPaaS.

The Solution

Using Pandium’s integration infrastructure and its professional services team, Vestwell was able to build product integrations without engineering resources, while still retaining ownership of the configurations code.

As a result of these new capabilities, Vestwell became well-positioned to partner with innovative payroll and benefit companies. In addition, Vestwell could offer clients true connectivity without having to provide custom code or concierge integration services to each client.

The Results

The Full Story

Custom solutions

Vestwell is the premier digital platform for administrating retirement plans.

The fintech industry has lagged behind others in interoperability, and Vestwell works with a number of partners who use older technology to move data.

But fintech is rapidly moving toward greater interoperability, and Vestwell wanted to have the infrastructure they needed to partner with the most innovative and tech savvy companies in their space.

In addition, more customers were demanding connectivity, and Vestwell wanted to be able to scale their integration offerings.

At the time, Vestwell was providing custom solutions or concierge services for each integration, which required a great deal of time and resources from their team as well their clients’ teams.

While their concierge services deliver interoperability for clients, it is not scalable. Vestwell knew they needed to find a process they could efficiently scale, without compromising the customer experience.

Traditional iPaaS's ill-suited for this use case

Vestwell’s VP of Engineering Ed Burnett had used a traditional iPaaS at a prior company.

His team there had discovered that the GUI-based iPaaS would not work without specialized training of the product, and lacked fundamental features such as debugging, proper error handling, alerting, and the ability to own and control the business logic.

This meant paying expensive platform-specific consultants, or in-house engineers spending significant time studying a proprietary system to develop hacks and workarounds.

“The traditional iPaaS provided a proprietary environment with a high barrier to entry. It became a sunk cost for only one legacy use case.”

The efforts spent inside the GUI-based iPaas were specific to that platform, and the knowledge gained couldn’t be applied to other endeavors. As a result, engineers were frustrated learning skills outside of the core platform.

In addition, the code for the integration was proprietary to the system, and would not work outside the iPaaS.

Ed and his colleagues decided being locked into a proprietary system in combination with the time required to make the iPaaS work for product integrations wasn’t worth the result.

They wrote off their work on learning the esoteric system as a sunk cost, and they did not extend the role of the iPaaS beyond the one small use case they had tried it out on.

Having gone through this first hand, Vestwell’s VP of Engineering knew that Vestwell would be better served with an open platform that didn’t require learning an esoteric system, and was built specifically for product integrations.

Focus on their core product

Vestwell has a highly skilled engineering team so they started building integrations and their infrastructure in-house.

However, they decided they would rather their engineering team focus on their core product than take the time to learn and maintain integration infrastructure.

“Outsourcing these types of problems is usually the path to take,” Ed explained. “Engineers should focus on their core product, which is a company’s main value add.”

Choosing Pandium

As the Vestwell team knew they did not want to build integrations and their infrastructure in-house, or use a GUI-based iPaaS with proprietary code, Pandium proved to be the perfect solution.

The Pandium platform takes care of all the infrastructure, authentication, hosting, and logging around integrations - without locking clients into proprietary code for the configurations.

In addition, Pandium’s professional services team meant Vestwell did not have to use any of their engineering resources to build the integrations they needed.

“It was a huge benefit that Pandium handles all the authentication and authorizations. That is a big engineering hurdle.”

Pandium professional services would write the code for the integration configurations, while Vestwell would retain full control and ownership.

The results

With Pandium, Vestwell was able to transform their integration setup, save engineering resources, and become more attractive to customers and partners.

More integrations, easier installs

A standardized, robust infrastructure and Pandium’s professional services team meant Vestwell could build integrations more much quickly.

Instead of having to provide custom, hands-on integration solutions for each client, Vestwell could create a standardized process that required less involvement from their team and the client’s.

And their non-technical operations team could use the Pandium Admin Dash to monitor any errors or issues, and provide proactive customer service.

Zero engineering resources

One of the benefits of Pandium for Vestwell was their professional services arm. Pandium as a platform leaves the integration configurations to the client so that the client can retain complete control and flexibility over those configurations.

However, in cases where a client does not wish to spend any engineering resources on their integrations, Pandium’s professional services team will write the configurations.

“Pandium’s professional services arm is strong,” Ed enthused. “We have reoccurring meetings, and Pandium is highly response in working with us if things need tweaking or we request product features.”

Owning the code

With infrastructure platforms, it can seem daunting and risky to migrate data on to it. Vestwell appreciated the fact that if they left Pandium for any reason, they would still own the code for their integration configurations.

As this code is written in a common language, Vestwell could easily use it elsewhere.

“We really like that Pandium is code first, and we can get the code rather than rely on a black box system. If we want to move away from Pandium or build something new, we have the code. This is in contrast to traditional iPaaS’s, where it is all locked in and you don’t own the code.”

The code first approach also gives Vestwell more flexibility and control to update the integration configurations. Whether their or Pandium’s engineers make these updates, they can do so the moment their customers or partners need new configurations.

New Partnerships

The fintech space has many companies who still rely on old technology for exchanging data.

But the industry is moving quickly toward interoperability, and Vestwell wanted to make sure they were in a position to partner with innovative payroll and benefits companies.

“The industry is moving that way, there are more companies using OAuth this year than last year, and there will be more next year,” Ed explained. “We want to partner with those tech savvy companies. Pandium makes that possible.”

Because Pandium’s platform handles and maintains authentication and infrastructure, Vestwell is now in a position to build partnerships with the most innovative players in their space.

Pandium as a partner

Vestwell found that Pandium’s professional services team and their account manager were highly responsive, and invested in their success.

This has allowed Vestwell to confidently set timelines, and deliver a seamless experience to their customers and partners.

“Pandium focuses on integrations so we can focus on our core product.”

As Pandium handles building Vestwell’s integrations and maintaining their infrastructure, the Vestwell team can continue to focus on what they do best: innovating their core product and delivering exceptional customer experiences.

Pandium allows us to partner with technology first companies while we keep focus on our core product.
Ed Burnett
VP of Engineering, Vestwell
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