Suite vs Best of Breed

    Written by CloudBlue PSA on 2016-06-27 Last updated 2018-06-27 - 3 minute read
Microsoft recently circulated a report by Constellation Research Inc discussing the decision facing organisations when choosing process- and project-centric solutions (PSA and ERP in other words).
The report came down firmly in favour of suite software, something (as a suite provider) we obviously agree with.  However, the reasons they gave are interesting and not ones we’ve heard expressed in this way before and so this has prompted us to share some of these conclusions.
Credit in full to Constellation Research Inc for these insights ( look under research, 15 December 2015).
To paraphrase their 17-page report, historically, full-suite software was landed on-premise and only produced major releases every year or two, even longer for highly configured installations.  This lengthy release cycle provided niche products with an opportunity window to insert cool new features in the market, providing low-cost temptation to customers who wanted those features.  This paradigm has shifted with the advent of agile development and cloud deployment meaning that the suite software can catch up fast, closing that opportunity window and making the niche solution a harder sell.
The other key driver of change has been the inclusion of collaboration functionality within modern suite solutions, meaning the use of stand-alone collaboration tools actually achieves fragmentation of information.  They also provide a confusion of choice over which collaboration channel to use for sharing each data element, information post or document.  Full site indexation and search of collaborative elements make the suite the solution of choice now for effective collaboration.
Suite software was always provided a better data architecture (assuming it is able to model the data of course), integrating the key business data elements in a single place and so removing errors and data latency in queries and reports.  So, now that the best can get the niche features to market fast, the stand-alone players will really struggle.
The other significant benefits quoted are (again paraphrasing):
•   Data security; less shipping around of documents and data makes your organisation inherently safer
•   User confusion; remembering all those passwords and understanding multiple user interfaces, to say nothing of needing to understand which platform owns each data element or attribute.  Placing all this in a single system, saves an immense amount of confusion, training and eliminates errors
•   Lack of Unified Search; data scattered throughout the organisation makes it far harder to find. Placing it all in one platform has huge benefits to search and business information
•   It’s cheaper

And that’s all fine and agreed.  However, we also agree with the closing thoughts that perhaps the best architecture is a large central suite solution supported by low-cost simple integrations to peripheral niche products (using either third party proprietary interface solutions or RESTful posts/calls) to drive business process outliers and business information/reporting.  The development of these components mean there is still a role for niche players, but it is around the edge, not in the core.

If your organisation is struggling with a range of best of breed solutions, and we include service desk in that group, talk to us and we can show you the benefits of a suite PSA with a responsive UI that can be configured without compromise: HarmonyPSA.


About the Author: CloudBlue PSA is the most complete cloud professional services automation (PSA) software on the market. Purpose-built with functionality to simplify every need of MSPs and Professional Services Organisations, CloudBlue PSA introduces a state-of-the-art PSA system built for today’s modern service provider. The platform empowers services organizations to scale recurring channel revenue and diminish operational complexity via its advanced product suite, which includes automated billing and reconciliation, an industry-leading customer support center and network operations center (NOC), real-time profitability analysis, and much more. CloudBlue PSA is available globally. Follow CloudBlue PSA on , LinkedIn or Website

Tags: advantages of suite software, Benefits of PSA, integrated suite, MSP Business, General PSA, Software Business


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