The verticalization of orchestration tools

The past 18 to 24 months I stumbled upon a growing number of orchestration startups in various software categories.

Orchestration vs automation

It’s increasingly common to see people automate the tasks they need to do for their job by using more and more SaaS products. And very often these products have specific scopes. On the other hand, orchestration tools enable users to orchestrate entire processes and to stitch together their existing stack of SaaS to make them interact together.

By orchestration software I mean products that help users automate entire processes, and not only individual tasks. They basically sit in the middle of your existing saas stack and help you stitch them together to create complex and automated processes. Orchestration products go beyond pure software integration as they add their own features on top of that.

The best is that I illustrate what I mean with real examples.

Examples of orchestration tools

Premier, for instance, is a payment orchestration software that enables ecommerce companies to create their own payment workflow. One of the challenges for eCommerce companies is that depending on the type of users and where they are, the payment options they need can differ a lot. This is why there are so many payment providers available, and Primer enables eCommerce companies to orchestrate this myriad of options to offer a tailored payment experience for each user.

Another good example is Arengu which is an orchestration tool  for your signup flow. It orchestrates the various services you need when you sign a user up. From  identity verification to authentication or integration with your marketing and sales stack.

Dover on its side offers orchestration for HR. They basically create your talent flow by tapping into different sources and then automate tasks around talent sourcing with their own features.

Tines is an orchestration tool for security teams. Their product is a no code security automation platform that enables security teams to automate various security related workflows from fraud to phishing response.

Or finally Magnify which is an orchestration platform for customer success. 

A new generation of orchestration startups?

You might tell me that orchestration products are not new and that some, such as Zappier, exist for years. But I believe that we’re seeing a new generation emerge which differs on several aspects.

Verticalized orchestration. The most obvious aspect is that many of these platforms are verticalized by industry or software category. The most successful orchestration platforms of the previous generation were generalists such as Zapier of IFTTT, but as you could see from my examples, now many specialize in certain software categories or industries. One of the limitations of generalist platforms is that they might offer huge catalogs of integrations, but their pure orchestration features lack depth. And this is precisely what the new vertical players bring.

And I think that this play is possible today because more and more software categories look like the famous Martech Landscape from Scott. Software fragmentation is now impacting all major software categories so there’s a need for verticalized Zapiers. 

The second aspect where I believe they differ is on the User experience. Most of these new products are no-code products which are much easier to use. Again, no-code might be misleading here because many of these products are made for developers, it’s just that they can use them without having to write a lot of code.