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Best-of-Breed vs. Enterprise Suites: The Procuretech Pub with Nico Bac
Episode 1515th December 2021 • The Procuretech Podcast: Digital Procurement, Unwrapped • James Meads
00:00:00 00:54:11

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Enterprise suites vs. Best-of-Breed is a long-standing and hotly debated topic. This week's episode is an edit of a LinkedIn Live session that I did with Nico. If you'd like to see this on video, just head across to The Procuretech Podcast Page on LinkedIn and watch the complete live stream!

The ongoing debate between Best-of-Breed vs. Enterprise Suites: Which solution is best?

We start off with a brief introduction of who we are, and our background. Always good to know how we both got into this space! Then, we dive in to an overview of what, and who, the enterprise suites are. If anyone is listening to the show who isn't an expert in procurement technology, we break it down in easy-to-understand language. So, what DOES an "all-in-one" suite do, and encompass, and where do they typically fall short? And why are best-of-breed solutions such hot property right now, and where could they potentially pose problems due to the fragmentation of needing to make numerous solutions communicate with one another? Nico makes a good case for how a suite can make life easy by covering everything all in one platform. I counter this by arguing that while that may be true, the cost and the complex, tedious implementation requirements make these suites out-of-reach for non-enterprise companies. So, where are the limitations of suites, and what are the pitfalls of best-of-breed solutions?

When does a suite make sense vs. when does best-of-breed have the upper hand?

Like most complex questions, it kind of depends. Suites are not agile. They take time to plan, scope and implement. Whereas best-of-breed may have the upper hand in terms of flexibility and agility, on the flipside it requires integration between multiple solutions. This has been made simpler thanks to APIs and cloud-based infrastructure, but your IT department will need to be open-minded towards change. Suites tend to be more bulky. Risk of obsolescence by the time a suite is fully implemented and integrated is a real concern. While Nico oversaw the transformation at P&G five years ago and was extremely happy with the result, the world has changed since then. Best-of-breed was a much smaller ecosystem back then than it is now, especially since the proliferation and growth of procuretech since the start of the pandemic. We finish off the live cast by looking at where this space is heading, and a lot of the future trends which may, or may not happen! It's always so much fun to speculate though! Specifically, we examine:
  • Will there be a consolidation of the best-of-breed market, as companies who fail to deliver the expected growth don't make the grade for the next round of funding?
  • Who will buy them up? The suites or other BoB providers? Or will other procurement software companies simply poach their best talent and / or purchase their IP?
  • Realistically, the market probably isn't big enough for 5 suite providers. Will we see a consolidation among the suite providers, as both best-of-breed solutions and the market leading suites both attack the less dominant suites and eat into their market share?

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