This is a debate that every business owner must face as they consider a technology solution.
Do you go with one product that can do just about everything. Accounting, email marketing, customer analysis, order fulfillment and etc, as many “ERP” packages can do. Or do you get 3 – 4 different products, hopefully link them together but they are the best at what they do. One product for email marketing, one for your customer relations and etc?
You really have to analyze what works best for you and your specific situation. Overall I think you want integration. If you can get 3 – 4 different products and they all talk to each other well, try it. But let’s say you each of your departments must do double entry, things from one database are missing from your other database – this might be more of a headache and lost customers.
News Factor writes about this issue: “Jack of all Trades, Master of None” is a moniker often used by best-of-breed vendors to describe the likes of Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL – news), PeopleSoft (Nasdaq: PSFT – news) and SAP (NYSE: SAP – news). How, the best-of-breeds ask, can an ERP vendor — with its long reach into financials, CRM, human resources, e-commerce, supply-chain management and other enterprise operations — possibly do any application justice?
Sure, Wayne Gretsky may be the best hockey player ever to hit the ice, but could he get a decent batting average on a major-league baseball diamond? Probably not — even “the great one” has to specialize.
Other industry observers are joining the argument with a different set of questions: Is it logical to conclude that just because the ERP vendors do so much, they are unable to do anything well? Have the mega-suites deepened their product offerings to hold their own, function-to-function, against the SCM best-of-breeds? Do the integration benefits from deploying a single ERP solution across the enterprise outweigh any supply-chain feature anemia inherent in an enterprise software suite? (full story)