Why You Don't Have to Choose Between Best-of-Breed Apps or an Integrated Suite

Why You Don't Have to Choose Between Best-of-Breed Apps or an Integrated Suite

Steven Dunston
Steven Dunston

To a certain extent, every company is now a digital data company. And if as a business professional you have built, bought, or otherwise acquired more than one digital system or tool, then congratulations! You are now a business architect! You have moved from owning a system, to owning a system of systems. You now have to design a business architecture, weighing individual app capabilities against overall cohesion or integration.

I’ve often heard people describe this decision as choosing between two options:

  1. Integrated Suite: Trust the promise of a cohesive experience from a single vendor, hoping that each individual app will have the capabilities you need.
  2. Best-of-Breed: Build your own suite by choosing apps for each capability, hoping that you will be able to integrate them into a cohesive experience.

This is an incomplete list of possibilities, and both are compromises. There are really four options when it comes to weighing individual capability and system integration.

The logic grid looks something like this:

Individual Capabilities vs. Degree of Integration

Of course, any reasonable person will immediately reject “D.” No one sets out to build a system that has poor integration and poor individual app capabilities. But most people also reject “A.” Why? Probably because it seems impossible to achieve. But Usermind believes that you shouldn’t have to choose.

That’s why we set out to provide suite-like cohesion of data, workflow and analytics for best-of-breed apps. Now you can raise your expectations both on capability, and on integration. Interact, for example, with Salesforce, Mixpanel, Zuora, and Marketo as if they were a single suite. Take a look at this journey diagram for customer onboarding:

Onboarding Customer Journey Map

This is an onboarding process for a SaaS app. The product usage events from Mixpanel to drive emails from Marketo, lead creation, conversion and opportunity creation in Salesforce, and the coordination of billing and invoice from Zuora, so that Salesforce and Marketo know that the user has become a paying customer.

Usermind helps you visually map data and create actions across these different systems in a single view, which can provide a seamless experience for your customer. Imagine having all of your data, workflows, and analytics in a customer-centric view, in one place.

Even suites from a single vendor usually can’t provide that kind of unified view. Most vendors have grown at least in part through acquisition, or they have built their applications with different development teams. So the promise of a single view of the customer isn’t always realized.

Usermind can help improve integration for apps from a single vendor. For example, Usermind can integrate Salesforce and Desk.com in ways that aren’t possible with the vendor’s out-of-the-box integrations.

Here are some examples:

  1. Connect Desk.com to Salesforce objects without SFDC admin credentials
  2. Integrate Desk.com to a Salesforce sandbox, or to a production Salesforce instance that is part of a different Salesforce org
  3. Fetch and snapshot data and metadata to Usermind from both systems at different frequencies
  4. See rules for Desk.com and workflow for Salesforce in a single view

Some of our customers are even building Usermind journeys to orchestrate actions within a single app like Salesforce. Usermind can orchestrate journeys that are more powerful than what you can build with Workflow or Process Builder, and don’t require writing Apex code.

Usermind doesn’t replace the systems you already love, it just makes them better. Whether you’re building a Customer Engagement Hub, a Digital Experience Platform, or just trying to get a couple of marketing apps to work better together, pick “Plan A.” You no longer have to compromise on capability or integration. You can have both, with Usermind.

Steven Dunston
Steven Dunston
Sr. Director of Marketing at Usermind

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