Best of Breed vs Single Vendor Provider – The argument for Best of Breed | Part 1 of 2

August 29, 2019

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HRchitect has been in the business of HCM Technology for over 22 years and we have seen and heard HR practitioners asking for an HCM and/or payroll system that can “do it all”.  In our experience, “do it all” can be defined as supporting Core HR/Payroll, Time and Attendance, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Document Management along with robust analytics. While the goal is , “one-stop shopping” for  employees, the reality is this isn’t always a realistic expectation.


The HCM software vendors initially build a product to perform and excel at a HR function, whether that be payroll, or recruiting, or time & attendance. These vendors later try to develop modules that do it all, in order to appeal to the one-stop shoppers. These ancillary modules often end up being ”good enough”, as they have been created to fill the gaps of the HCM spectrum so the vendor can market a full suite of products. However, there’s a big difference between doing something, and doing something well.


If we approached purchasing HCM applications like we do those in our personal lives, we would not accept “good enough”. For example,  my phone is an extension of my office, but it also provides personal apps for easy access in a single place.  On my phone I have apps for fitness, a few for banking, my payroll, some games, tv, music and more. All of the apps on my phone do something different, are easy to use, and are accessible all in one place.


This experience is what employees want from their work applications. They don’t mind having to use multiple applications for payroll, time & attendance and benefits as long as everything is accessible and easy to use. This will drive a better utilization of the applications purchased and with that a better return on investment. With that in mind, it is understandable that a single vendor would not be able to produce the optimal user experience for those apps that are just “good enough”.


To make this work,  the technology needs to be functional for administrators and also have the technical ability to easily integrate with ancillary modules. API’s and integrations are key to making this work and too often are underutilized making the ideal user experience unachievable. Instead of looking for one system to do it all the focus should be on applications that are functionally rich and can be integrated, leveraging those APIs and integration tools. This is the path to a better employee and manager experience, higher utilization and greater return on investment.


With over a thousand successful HCM implementation projects over the past two decades, HRchitect is widely considered one of the best strategic technology consulting firms and can help you determine if a full-suite solution or combination of best of breed systems is right for your organization. Our services span from helping organizations create HCM technology strategic plans (including decisions around on-premise vs. SaaS), evaluation and selection services for new or replacement systems, change managementimplementation servicesproject management and ongoing support.