Best-of-Breed vs. Best-of-Suite

What are best-of-breed and best-of-suite software solutions? Which one fits your company best? And how do you get started?
Written by Alina Werner on 23.02.2022, 10:00
Best-of-Breed vs. Best-of-Suite

For years, best-of-breed has been the gold standard in the digital industry. Recently, the concept of best-of-suite has also entered the conversation - but what is that actually? What are the key features and differences? Why choose the one over the other?  And - most importantly - how do you know which concept fits you and your company best?

What is a best-of-breed software solution?

As mentioned before, the best-of-breed approach has been around for years, but nonetheless, let’s state the definition and the benefits.

Best-of-breed is defined as being best in its specific, relatively narrow niche. The included features in those platforms / applications are often very complex and tailored to their specific function. For instance, email marketing platforms, automated pricing software, billing/payment systems, etc. However, the more specialized solution you choose, the less flexibility you get. On the plus side, you get advanced features that work properly without question, but on the minus side, these features are not necessarily aligned with your business and requirements. This often causes the need to install and integrate additional applications to cover all requirements. 

What is a best-of-suite software solution?

Best-of-suite is an alternative to best-of-breed solutions, which have become increasingly popular in recent years. This approach is defined as having one complete, all-in-one solution for many business needs at the same time. These features could include eCommerce, CMS, Marketing and PIM (as in the Dynamicweb eCommerce Suite) or others.

One challenge of the best-of-suite approach is that the included features in those platforms are often not the best of its kind. The strength lies on the seamless integration. Best-of-suite solutions are often highly flexible and easily adaptable to specific business requirements and come with their own set of advantages. Being specifically tailored to the individual company needs with unique sets of features is one of them, as well as less applications and software vendors to deal with. They are also oftentimes more affordable than a stack of best-of-breed solutions.
 

How do I choose the solution that suits my company best?

Choosing the right software solution depends on your requirements, of course. But, there are indications based on your need that can guide you to the right decision.

If you are looking for an award-winning software solution that is very specialized, and recognized in its niche area, then a best-of-breed solution might be the right choice for you. A tip is to ensure a contract that can foster a long-term relationship.

If you're looking for a flexible, affordable software solution that can give your business a competitive edge, you should consider a best-of-suite solution. You can easily get a customized solution built for your specific needs and that you can extend with new features that competitors don't have. 

Another advantage of best-of-suite solutions is the ongoing flexibility. If in a few years you find that your circumstances have changed (or something unforeseen like a pandemic happens) or you have new ideas or impulses, you can always add new features (either yourself or in cooperation with your vendor). This means you don't have to make all the decisions for future scenarios at the moment of purchase, but you can easily add features when the need arises.

In a nutshell, with a best-of-suite approach you get a composable architecture that allows for ongoing extendibility and flexibility, whereas best-of-breed solutions often have a static architecture giving you a highly advanced solution that powers high performance, but with less flexibility.

When deciding, you should of course also consider other factors such as integration capabilities, usability, your current system architecture and security. You can read more about important considerations for your next eCommerce project in our whitepaper Build versus Buy.
 

Conclusion

Both concepts have their advantages. The focus on customization, ongoing flexibility and support of best-of-fit solutions will however be the best option for most companies. The complex, expensive, and traditionally known software vendors are slowly going out of style - for these very reasons.
 

Dynamicweb is a best-of-fit solution that combines eCommerce, Marketing, CMS and PIM in a single platform, while being highly flexible. Our team supports you every step of the way during implementation and beyond. We love the challenge of new ideas and impulses to incorporate into your solution. In addition, the Dynamicweb platform has standard integrations to the major ERP systems, as well as many other add-ons. Take a look at our customer cases and see how we have helped over 5,000 customers succeed with innovative, unique solutions.