As far as I’m concerned, there are basically two ways to prepare for a summer BBQ.
The first method is to prepare for the party by breezing through a giant discount warehouse, where you can get everything from outdoor furniture to food and decorations. The store is large, industrial, and devoid of personality, but it allows you to get the job done quickly. The store sells larger portions than your guests will ever consume and your options are limited, so you can take them or leave them. If you need assistance, you’re on your own, since the staff consists of cashiers and shelf stockers with no expertise on any of the myriad products. You’ll buy some low-grade burger patties that aren’t very fresh, along with some frozen items and trays of pre-made food, but you figure the kids won’t notice and the adults will tolerate whatever you serve them. When this is all over, you’ll store the leftover 274 burgers in your freezer and forget about them until you start planning next year’s event.
The second method is to prepare for your party by navigating your way through a half dozen specialty stores that have the freshest ingredients in town. You head first to the local butcher shop – a small storefront with a lot of character, where the expert storeowner waits on you and knows you by name. The store has a large selection of high-quality meats you didn’t even know existed, and the storeowner carefully explains each item and painstakingly prepares your order to your exact specifications. You make the decision to cut back on some non-necessities so you don’t have to scrimp on your primary course. You buy only what you need and won’t have much, if anything, leftover. You make each item from your own recipes, never using pre-packaged items or stale ingredients. The kids don’t pay much attention to your gastronomical feats, but the adults all become loyal patrons of the local butcher, and will never miss another event you host.
These summer barbecues are just like your options in the world of HR software. Would you prefer to stock up for your party at the large, impersonal, generalist store, or the small, personalized, expert shop? I’d take the latter any day of the week!
This is the difference between a best of breed technology and a large ERP or HCM platform. Would it be convenient for me to get easy-to-use, configurable, high-quality technology for each stage of the HR lifecycle from one vendor? Absolutely. Can I realistically do that right now? Unfortunately not. While the vision of a one-stop-shop that produces superior products in every category is a valid and excellent goal, HR technology just isn’t there right now. Technology providers need to focus on adapting to the changes occurring in the industry, and a specialist shop can adapt more quickly and effectively than a behemoth generalist. Moreover, a specialist provider can provide expertise and personalized service that will create a positive experience for you and your team.
If you’re looking to get everything in one place and aren’t too concerned with the quality of the product or the level of service you’ll receive, an HCM platform will do just fine. But if you’re looking for high-quality, cutting-edge technology and a superior customer experience, a best of breed provider is the only choice for your HR technology needs!