Bloated Functionality vs Agile Tech: Why best-of-breed beats Suites solutions.
In the past, people have thought that software Suites were the solution. The truth is that there are over 200 different products within these Suites, and the average company only uses 10% of them. Companies signed up to these Suites, are required to invest in training for their employees to use redundant applications on top of paying for unused software, leading to frustration, deviating to emails, and hefty bills. Fortunately, there's another way: best-of-breed.
If you’re cooking a meal and the recipe calls for a certain ingredient, you can go to a grocery store stocked full of food, but if it doesn’t have that one ingredient - it’s pointless. You can try a substitute, but it’s not going to taste quite right.
How does this relate to Procurement tech? It may seem like a leap - but it’s not. A Net-Suite offering everything under the sun is your grocery store stocked full of unusable goods, and best-of-breed agile tech is the one ingredient you're missing.
So, what do we mean by best-of-breed?
Even in 2019, the reign of the full Suite solution was being challenged and starting to draw to a close. The reason for this is that users began to see it for what it was, a trap filled with false promises of functionality, and over-complicated implementation that drove people back to previous ways of working. The old legacy IT solutions and providers tried to solve too many problems that they assumed existed, rather than addressing what actually needed fixing. The product came before the user - and the user had to change to fit the product's needs rather than the product adapting to the user’s needs.
Not to be a cliche, but anyone worth their 2 cents knows that the dress or suit changes to fit the bride, or groom - not the other way around.
That’s where best-of-breed solutions come in. As Technopedia defines it, best-of- breed is:
“The best system in its referenced niche or category….it performs specialized functions better than an integrated system”
Compare this to Airfocus’s definition of bloated functionality:
Feature bloat is a term used to describe the way in which products become overloaded with features or functions, some of which may not actually be necessary.This can detract from the product’s initial purpose and leave users frustrated.
DeepStream was developed to achieve the former. A pin-point solution that addresses existing users' pain points. The platform does not dictate workflows, and we don’t try to overcomplicate what we offer. We replace emails and spreadsheets, to make the process of purchasing or requesting something from one or multiple supplier companies more efficient and transparent. We do this by consolidating business transactions (or as we call it, RFx - Request For anything) workflows and communication in one place, and make it auditable with our reporting functions. Simple!
We believe in our product’s ability to streamline users workflows, which is why we offer a 3-month break clause across contracts. Unlike Suite solutions (e.g SAP Ariba, JAGGAER, ScoutRFP etc.) that lock you into long-term contracts, keeping you prisoners without escape, we offer the 3 month break clause to enable you to try the product before committing. Suite solutions do not have the same faith in their product (likely because they know that the implementation alone drives users crazy) and as a result require you to commit long term without proof of efficacy.
If 3 months sounds short, it’s because it is. We can have Buyers up and running on the platform in a day (and we have our 5,000+ users on the platform to prove it), sending out their first request (RFx) as fast as the same day as onboarding or later that week. That’s how easy it is to use. We don’t require 3 months to teach you, but we are on hand to help you. This means that 3 months is ample opportunity to test out the product.
When we say we’re on hand to help you, we really mean it as well. Our Customer Success team is available to support you and your team whenever you need it. Instead of some stranger on the end of a support thread, our team is happy to give you a call and help you over the phone, on video, or in person. We call it white glove service, and as a Buyer you’ll quickly develop close working relationships with the team (don’t take our word for it, have a read of what our users at Maersk and Xos Trucks have gone on record saying about us). We provide this service at no additional cost, and do the same for the Suppliers you onboard. There’s no point in writing out the comparison between this level of support and those you receive from a Suite solution, where you are considered a box to be checked. There just isn’t a comparison, and we don’t charge you for it.
As a result of these relationships, we are able to constantly log users feedback as it comes in. In fact, our product roadmap is built off of this feedback from our existing users. We do this because we trust our customers to be the experts in their respective fields, and want to make the platform work for them. Therefore, we log all and any feedback from Buyers and Suppliers alike, and think of ways to incorporate it into the product to make it even more user-friendly than it already is. This means that as a user, you’ll see tangible results from the feedback you share.
This is what we mean by agile tech. Our product is constantly evolving in line with our users' feedback. We release product updates and features every two weeks, which you’ll be able to enjoy at no extra cost. You won’t have to worry about updating anything on your side to access the updates either, because our platform updates live, all the new releases will be ready for you as soon as you log in. This means that we ensure that the product develops to fit your evolving needs as well. Unlike big Suites ,where everything takes forever, we work quickly to adapt to our customers’ expectations.
We don’t pretend to know what you do better than you - we just give you the right tools and support to enable you to do it quicker and more efficiently. We don’t hamper you with over-complex functionality or charge you for help and additional product benefits. We’d just actually like you to succeed. As the saying goes, if you look good, we look good.