Why Business Platforms Are Not Created Equal. But Why They Can Work Together.
Part 1 of 2: Addressing common historical challenges
For any organization, the foundation of all processes and workflows falls squarely on a handful of business platforms. And whether that’s ERPs, sales and marketing engines, finance tracking, document management, or productivity suites—they are all considered essential to success regardless of the flavour.
However, though these types of systems may be considered business platforms, they can be very different. The easiest way to categorize business platforms is by delivery model—usually falling into one of two camps.
The first category of business platform is what many consider a modular approach. The modularity denotes that the platform is broken into multiple, separately purchased feature/function sets. The most famous modular platforms would be Microsoft, SalesForce, Adobe, etc.
The second most common category of business platform is the “all-inclusive,” meaning that the vast majority of the platform’s features are all part of a single instance, without the requirement for secondary modules to unlock additional functionality. Common examples of the non-modular platforms are companies such as Monday, Asana, and our own WorkDynamics solution.
So, how do these platforms differ, and why? The single most pressing scenario is the pricing model when choosing a platform. The modular platforms are precisely that—modular. Depending on how many modules are required to create the perfect ecosystem, the price can vary from inexpensive to overwhelmingly expensive. As an example, we see this when integrating with Microsoft SharePoint.
Many organizations want to use SharePoint due to its interoperability with all other Microsoft systems and software. However, as time goes on, it becomes clear that aside from the astronomical customization costs and associated professional services, the modules that allow for the expansion of functionality also add up fast. Far too often, the rise in hidden costs catches users off guard and can be a deterrent.
Conversely, platforms with all features and functionality included are a far more predictable choice by nature. Though elements and functions may vary due to a chosen plan, the highest level plan is still a fixed price and easy to budget.
But where does that leave those that want the best of both worlds? Luckily, people can choose both while still saving money for other projects. For instance, most business solutions now come with APIs and integrations with other adjacent platforms, allowing people to integrate their ERP, sales and marketing, and any other system with little effort.
Many platforms also offer solutions that simultaneously make other systems better and less expensive. Our platform is just one example of this new ecosystem. For example, users of Microsoft are now rushing to WorkDynamics as the latest option—enabling a far more cost-effective control layer for their SharePoint implementations.
The integration between the two platforms, as previously mentioned, translates to the often-sought-after “best of both worlds.” WorkDynamics enables users to implement all of the essential workflows and management layers that otherwise can cost millions to custom build in SharePoint while simultaneously enabling all the best out-of-the-box Microsoft functionality.
There are more than enough platforms and solutions to meet any business need—the secret is knowing which pairing makes the most sense, delivers the most functionality, and is the least expensive.