Organizations often make the assumption that selecting Best of Breed solutions is the right approach to providing the best possible experience for their customers, but in our experience this misses the mark.
Consider this example – a 6’6″, 265 lb. man needs to buy a new suit. Everyone he talks with says that ABC Company makes the best suit on the market, and there is no way that he can go wrong buying a suit there (they are the Best of Breed, afterall). He visits one of their stores, and finds out that while ABC Company’s suits are of outstanding quality, they do not make his size.
In the example above, the suit-buyer’s specific requirements (a suit that fits him) makes the Best of Breed option a bad choice for him. The right approach is Best of Need.
What is Best of Need?
Unlike “Best of Breed”, the goal is to choose the best tools for your specific need, not just whatever happens to appear in the top-right section of the latest industry analyst report. With Best of Need, customers identify capabilities that they wish to add to their existing environment, select the best options for their specific requirements, and expose those capabilities when ready without destabilizing other services or causing negative customer impact.
This approach has several key advantages:
- Simplification of Change. Nobody likes change, particularly large, wholesale change that can cause havoc to internal and external customers. Reducing the scope of change means limiting the potential for discomfort and negative business impact.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Add what you need but keep what’s working. Rather than change out entire platforms to get one or two missing features, just add the features required.
- Financial & Operational optimization. Best-in-Need transformation enables organizations to pick the technologies that fit into their financial requirements and operations capabilities. Go all-in on subscription offers, bring everything back on premises with perpetual licensing, or mix and match – it’s your choice, and based solely upon what is best for you.
- Own your roadmap. Rather than be subject to fluid product roadmaps and compatibility matrices, Best of Need means you can add features and capabilities on your schedule, when your internal and external customers require them.
Finally, keep two important considerations in mind when pursuing this approach:
- The success of this approach relies on truly understanding your specific requirements, including clear input from your internal (and often external) customers, and a clear definition of your technical, operations, and financial requirements.
- Operating a diverse portfolio of communications technology requires dedication to Knowledge & Configuration Management as an ongoing task. Maintaining proper documentation as your portfolio evolves is critical to continued optimization and proper operation.