There’s a big movement towards best of breed in many Procurement, and a bigger promotion on the part of many vendors towards such a movement. It makes sense, given that there are few suite vendors in the space compared to point-based best-of-breed vendors, which constitute the majority of vendors. But does that mean that the end of the enterprise suite is near?
Over on deal architect, the disruptor asks are enterprise suites dying? He notes the big disconnect between vendor and customer talk, including the facts that:
- the last generation of vendor suites disappointed
and that most customers ended up buying a number of “ring fence” applications and customizing the packages to meet their needs
- the concentration of dollars with a handful of suppliers led to “lock-in” and bad vendor behaviour
and the promise of economies from vendor reduction just stayed a promise
- enterprises are finding a wide array of cloud applications
that they themselves are weaving together
And these are true, and yes many burned CIOs are now anti-suite, but does this mean the suite is dead? There are still a number of managers and executives out there with the one-suite solution dream. Plus, as best-of-breed solutions pile up, the number of solution providers an organization has to deal with gets unmanageable for those CIOs who are under-staffed and under-resourced. So even if they don’t like the current suite providers, as too many solution providers creep in, they’ll like that situation even less.
So, while suites haven’t lived up to their promise, as Procurement organizations try to support their operations end to end with platforms, they are going to want less providers, not more. While they may not centralize on one suite, chances are they will want to centralize on a small number of multi-application vendors, and isn’t that just the definition of suite?