Best of breed?

by Ian Campbell October 13, 2021

We recently published a research note calculating the value of Blackline ECS (electronic close software) on top of Oracle ERP (do I need to explain ERP?). Isaac Gould found great value in the combination, concluding that organizations who chose Blackline on top of their Oracle ERP solution realized a $2.58 return for every $1 spent.  Blackline was obviously pleased with the results, but Oracle was a little perturbed.

You see, Oracle has a few great options for close management, not the least of which is their very capable Hyperion.  Oracle’s contention was that it’s easier for customers to stay within the Oracle world. That makes sense, but there are organizations achieving strong ROI from Blackline that would be hesitant to switch.  Opportunistically, there are organizations using Blackline with other ERP solutions that can now consider Oracle ERP without the need to swap out their Blackline close management solution.  Smells like an Oracle opportunity to me.

And that gets to the debate between suites and best of breed.  Suites arguably reduce the need for integration with its implied promise of connectivity while also reducing training costs by building on a common interface paradigm.  Okay.

Best of breed delivers the optimal components while using magic pixie dust to integrate the data. Yes, that’s true, but in some cases, you may want to purchase magic pixie dust by the trainload (or I’m sure Accenture can deliver it for you).

What I do know from years in the industry is that making the case for an integrated solution is a good idea but as a consumer, be ready to explore best of breed options that may deliver greater ROI (even with the need for magic pixie dust).  The bottom line for vendors is that you lose a deal on the worst application you’re including in your proposal; you don’t win a deal on the best. Suites may be good, but winning deals is better.