Single Vendor or “Best of Breed”

I have talked to a number of companies who have been analyzing their current enterprise software systems structure. Their struggle – Utilize a single vendor to provide all of the enterprise’s needs or choose a “best of breed” approach. Complicating this analysis is that there is a further debate between using a single CRM vendor for all of a company’s CRM needs vs utilizing a “best of breed” approach to the various CRM requirements. I might add, this isn’t a new debate; it is one that goes back probably a decade or more.

I have found the proponents pretty well split down the middle although there have been shifts in momentum tilting more towards one approach vs the other. Early on, many companies jumped on the bandwagon focused on one vendor utilizing one central system. While this concept is great in theory, the practical reality is that either there are too many silos within a company with different focuses or the task of implementing a common system is far more time consuming and complex than many companies expected.

We at Dovetail have also observed another phenomenon. Many of our customers are deploying Dovetail as an “interim” solution, seeing the huge benefits Dovetail offers over Clarify, even though their company direction is towards a common platform, generally Siebel/Oracle or SAP. These CRM business users realize they have serious problems with their Clarify environment and can’t “afford” to wait until the new platform is a reality. They either see the larger Siebel or SAP rollout taking considerably longer than forecasted (often years later), or are so alarmed from what they perceive will be a far less satisfactory Customer Support & Service CRM system in the name of a corporate mandate for a common platform. So they have turned to Dovetail, with its far more robust, less costly, easy to integrate and technically advanced CRM system, hoping to convince their senior management to turn the Dovetail “interim” solution into a “long-term” solution.

Momentum seems to be gathering for this approach, believing in integrating “best of breed” solutions where needed. Companies have begun to seriously consider the benefits and deficiencies of a common system and realize that they may not gain the benefits the marketplace was preaching. Ron Shevlin shares this view in his blog post, Debunking Marketing Myths: Single View of the Customer.

So Dovetail will continue its strategy to improve its “best of breed” Customer Service & Support CRM solution and integrate it with other enterprise application systems. We believe this is the right approach towards solving the needs of service and support organizations and providing a superior customer experience.

Until Next Time,


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