Best-of-Breed vs. All-in-One

Election day is just a few days away, and we thought we would do a little election of our own. We are putting best-of-breed and all-in-one software solutions head-to-head. Think of this blog as a debate between the two types of solutions. For the sake of this piece, we will name best-of-breed Bob and all-in-one Olly.

Moderator: This question is for both of you. How do you plan on integrating with systems that are already in use? Olly, you may go first.

Olly: Well, I am all about integrating with other systems, as I am a piece of a whole puzzle of integrated systems.

Bob: Yeah, a bunch of deplorable systems.

Olly: What I represent is a combination of solutions that have been bundled together through mergers or acquisitions, and taught to play together. Sometimes we play nice. Other times not so much, but we end up working together.

Bob: Integration is something that people worry about with me, but let me be clear, I can integrate. I have the best integrations. There is a little more work that needs to be done to be certain I play nicely with others, but after that, I integrate perfectly with others. In fact, I enable improved processes once the integrations are made.

M: This question is also for both. Bob, you may answer first. Would you please talk a little bit about your costs?

Olly: I’m cheap.

Bob: Wrong. Not if you look at the overarching cost of supporting multiple systems under one giant platform. Many people save money by not paying for things they don’t need.

M: Bob, it is Olly’s turn, please let him finish.

Olly: Thank you. As I was saying, I cost less upfront. But you know what they say, “you get what you pay for.”

Bob: To be honest, I am a bit more initially expensive, and implementation of my solution can be time-consuming and costly. I can assure you, though, that the benefits outweigh the initial cost. You get exactly what you need, and you don’t have to pay to support extra components that are unnecessary to your business process.

M: An issue close to the voters’ hearts is making sure everyone is on board. Can you both outline your requirements and plans for training and user adoption? Olly, please answer the question first.

Olly: I will require more training because users have to poke around and try to navigate through everything I can do. If users don’t like anything I am already connected with, it is a possibility they won’t like me much either.

Bob: I require less training because I am much easier to navigate and my systems are built intuitively with users in mind. User adoption is not an issue. As a matter of fact, users are typically the ones that make requests to IT departments to implement me into their business processes.

M: Let’s take a moment and talk about your functionality. Bob, you are first.

Bob: I have great functionality. I am the best at what I do and users identify with that and request that I be an implemented system. They usually have a specific problem, and I am the best choice to fix that problem.

Olly: Well, my functionality is so broad that most of what I do isn’t being used. I can do a lot, but I am usually implemented to solve a specific problem, and, because I am less expensive than Bob over there, I get chosen aside from the fact that I don’t solve the problem as well as Bob. I mean, I can solve the problem a little, and I have all these other features that don’t get used.

M: In relation to functionality, how are your support and expertise? Olly, you may go first.

Olly: For my solution, you have one point of contact for everything that I do. Whether or not they can sufficiently help you is another story. Since I do so many things, sometimes the “experts” get confused.

Bob: Since I typically do one main thing and do it the best, there are experts behind the support line that you call, and they are more efficient in solving problems because they know the ins and outs of what I do. They don’t have to page through several different manuals or “how to” booklets to identify which part of me isn’t working sufficiently.

M: That wraps up our debate between best-of-breed and all-in-one solutions. Now it is time for you to decide. Who would you want to be a part of your business?

Keep your eye out for our whitepaper that further examines the arguments between best-of-breed and all-in-one solutions.

Posted on: November 3, 2016