„A chain is only as strong as its weakest link” is a proverb well-known. In B2B, this concept is translated by an ERP solution is only as strong as its weakest integration. Commonly overlooked and underestimated, integration is one of the most important factors to consider as part of a best of office application vs. integrated ERP solution. The benefit of richer functionality is limited by partial integration.
Therefore, to take an informed decision regarding best of office application vs. integrated ERP, you must know this:
- Integrating a best of office application with ERP software will result in additional cost and maintenance (ex. dual upgrade and maintenance cycle).
- Developing integration between a best of breed application and ERP software will not be as robust as the delivered ERP integrations between its applications. Part of result has to do with the total integration cost over the life of ERP and the other area is the simple fact that the underlying data models are different.
Knowing the facts expressed above, the question I challenge you with is: will having a best of breed application versus integrated ERP worth the cost? Will the additional investment generate a significant impact to competitive advantage?