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Benefits of integrated solutions vs best of breed

Deciding what type of software solution is right for your business can be as difficult as climbing a mountain. A business that gets it right can expect to experience short and long term productivity benefits at the summit, however, get it wrong and the problems created can easily leave you stuck at base camp.

While it is hard for small businesses in particular to locate affordable software that can deal with the tremendous stresses of recruitment and the complexities of payroll, there are now options like FastTrack360 that offer the best of both worlds – an integrated solution and best-of-breed.

 What is best-of-breed?

Gartner describes best-of-breed as a product that has been identified as the leading product of its type, such as payroll or recruitment. Businesses essentially pick and choose across vendors to create a hybrid system that brings together all the parts they require.

However, there are many issues with this type of approach that FastTrack CEO David Page explained in more detail.

“If you are going to innovate in your business, you want to do it in a way that there is consistency of technology through your business so that you don’t have disparate systems that you are trying to cobble together to get the outcome you are looking for,” he said.

“Otherwise your innovation is going to be stalled and you will stop halfway. If you are having to report from multiple systems, one it is more expensive to develop those reports and secondly you can’t be clear that the data matches across the board.”

What is an integrated solution?

An integrated solution is a consistent system that is responsible for all modules in the entire business. With just one vendor to work with, the solutions are usually cost-effective and businesses can access consistent data across the enterprise.

Mr Page said that an integrated solution doesn’t claim to feature all the best software available like a best-of-breed solution, but when this is weighed up as an entire system, the benefits are clear.

“It might mean that you don’t always get the perfect functionality of each part of the process,” he stated.

“I think it can be argued we might not have the perfect recruitment system or payroll in isolation, but put it all together with all the parts and it is a great outcome.”

Why are integrated systems like FastTrack360 so highly regarded?

More businesses are turning to integrated systems to take advantage of a number of benefits. As well as working off one vendor’s interface, it can be easier to train and educate employees as the functionality is consistent across the board.

“Whether you are at the recruitment or the payroll or the billing end of the product, the system training is common so you look at three different types of system, for example,” Mr Page explained.

“Consistent processes, consistent data from end-to-end.”

Mr Page also described how simple product issues can be solved through an integrated system as it is easy for one vendor to locate and deal with the problem.

“If the product has an issue, you are not caught up in the frustration of finger pointing between multiple vendors around where the problem might be. The one supplier can answer your problem.”

Integrated solutions are also upgraded to the same standard ensuring that as the business grows and develops, the quality across the business doesn’t slip.