Best in Breed or Best Integrated?

Best in breed or best-integrated? The debate has raged for as long as software has been at the core of business processes with both sides claiming there is only one way forward.

The author of this page: Karl Flannery
Karl Flannery, CEO Mar 09, 2021

Choosing the best-of-breed tech out there to fulfil your company and customer needs has its supporters, those who argue that only cutting-edge IT is good enough for your business.

The integrators, who prefer to future-proof their company by investing in a one-vendor platform such as Microsoft, believe the real value comes from applications seamlessly working together without complex back-end interfacing work – with regular upgrades to keep moving forward.

But there is a new hybrid option emerging that is forging a third path as the big platform vendors invest in marketplaces that bring the best independent software applications into their stack and make them available for all.

ISVs and channel partners are building niche industry solutions that are onboarded onto these marketplaces with the advantage that they integrate smoothly and expand the platform offerings from the vendor’s first-party applications to the thousands of 3rd party apps.

Microsoft, Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and others are building out new marketplaces of software solutions that can provide the specific capabilities that businesses are looking for, potentially ending the best-of-breed v best-integrated perennial debate of “either/or” – it is now “and”.

Microsoft’s Appsource marketplace is an Amazon-style shop for both verticalized and niche solutions with thousands of partners’ solutions a year being onboarded.

By facilitating 3rd party apps to integrate smoothly with their platform, potentially into the Microsoft Dataverse, a common data model, this hybrid world is accelerating and definitely worth investigating.

From a Storm perspective, this all enables us to support our clients to accelerate time-to-value, de-risk projects and provide agility and flexibility, particularly important for small and medium businesses.

The solutions may be lightweight and simple to install. For example, an HR automation process solution for a small company can be switched over to another app from the marketplace as they grow in size. With the common data platform underneath, this can be almost seamless.

And we find our customers are so much better informed on what they want and what applications they need. They have done their research, understand their own industry and can identify the solutions that they need.

For us, the big thing is the platform itself and Microsoft’s Appsource and Azure marketplace is opening up a wealth of possibilities on how to get the best out of our clients’ platform investments.

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