Daily Archives: July 24, 2023

Suite vs BoB. Which Do You Choose?


But you need something. And there is no other option (yet). So are you doomed?

That depends. But first, let’s talk review the Primary Pros and Cons of each.


  • one vendor relationship to manage
  • modular integration out of the box
  • consistent UX (or it’s not really a suite)
  • pre-implemented with major ERPs
  • the primary module offered by the vendor is truly Best in Class and considerably beyond the average suite capability
  • implementation is typically vendor supported, along with some integration services
  • low (subscription) cost out of the gate, pay as you need
  • today’s BoB comes with full, complete Open APIs to build your own ecosystem

  • likely that only one or two modules are Best-of-Breed (BoB)
  • implementation and integration services are likely third party
  • high cost out of the gate
  • traditionally a closed ecosystem
  • multiple vendor relationships to manage
  • limited integrations out of the box to other modules you will need
  • inconsistent UX across the modules
  • limited to no ERP/MRP support in many modules

In other words, many of the weaknesses of the suites are the strengths of BoB and vice versa. But you want the strengths of both and the weaknesses of neither, even though that doesn’t exist today as no vendor does everything well, nor can they because they would need to be experts in everything. (So unless a vendor hired all the experts, and became a monopoly [and we generally agree monopolies are bad], no vendor could even come close.) Even if a vendor did hire all the experts of today, and build everything out to the best of those experts’ capabilities, they’d soon become an unaffordable mega-suite (and then still not be best in breed in anything because once they built what the experts they hired envisioned, there would be a new generation of experts they still wouldn’t have employed with new, innovative, possibly revolutionary, ideas).

So what do you do? Well, the answer is, as we pointed out in our post that asked where’s the Procurement Management Platform, acquire a platform that is designed to support data-centric end-point integrations for specific processes and organizational needs as this will allow you to select the right module for each task, configure the right procurement workflows, integrate new, even previously unthought of, modules with the Open API, and even support intake and supply chain platform integration.

But, as we noted, there’s no platform. So, unfortunately, you have to assemble your own. But at least today you can. A decade ago there were no options to do this, so either you bought a suite, and lived with it, or you bought best of breed and did extensive work to glue them together in a grit, spit, & a whole lot of duct tape situation (that would take about 69 months).

But today, all of the new best of breed applications are being built from the ground up with complete Open APIs and the newer suites are also offering you APIs to easily get data in and out as well. (Not so much on the workflow configuration / function execution front, but that’s not necessary.) [But please note that an App Store or Marketplace is not an Open API, it’s a closed ecosystem limiting you in what third party add-ons you can select.]

So you can theoretically start with the right instance of a BoB or a Suite as your base and build out the right platform over time, depending on your needs today, and how fast you can digest a new module. If you already have one or more first generation modules, you have the understanding of what these modules do and how to use them and can likely digest new versions of those modules pretty quickly, so you could start with that many modules plus one. If you have no modern S2P modules, then, as we indicated many, many times in our very long Source-to-Pay series, you need to pick a module that represents your most immediate need, start with it, and start to grow your platform from it.