Club software has grown by leaps and bounds during the past few years. Originating in payment and member information management, the systems have evolved into a breadth of connected solutions that utilize data from every interaction. From prospecting visits and check-in to members’ fully connected workout experience on and off the machines, club operations on every level have incorporated tech solutions in hopes of reaching maximum efficiency and resulting in member satisfaction.
When discussing technology and software, we often use terms that may be common to the people who develop the solutions but are unfamiliar and therefore perplexing to others outside the field. Here, we’ll discuss the ways in which software integration can be leveraged to create platforms, or ecosystems, geared to your club’s success.
First, let’s loosely define the core terms, just to offer a backdrop for the discussion.
Ecosystem. When we think of ecosystems, we typically define them as biological communities of interacting organisms and their physical environments. Technology ecosystems are product platforms defined by core components made by the platform owner and complemented by applications made by autonomous companies in the periphery. Think of them as proprietary optimized digital environments designed to leverage every interaction for the good of the host (the club).
Software integration. This is the practice of connecting and unifying different types of software parts or subsystems. In this case, it’s about having a number of disparate software solutions brought into an existing platform to create an interactive ecosystem.
API. Application Programming Interface (API) is a software interface that allows two applications to interact with each other without any user intervention. API is a collection of software functions and procedures. In simple terms, it’s software code that can be accessed or executed and that allows two different software packages to communicate and exchange data with each other.