There are many crucial pros and cons to weigh when deciding on the right software approach for your company between point solution software and an all-in-one platform. Point solution software focuses on managing one specific area of your business, while all-in-one software consolidates several business functions onto a single platform.
To choose which approach is right for your firm, consider these four factors:
- Time - If you’re looking to solve a specific problem as quickly as possible, a point solution addressing one precise need might be your best option.
- Budget - Adopting new software often becomes a more significant undertaking than initially expected. Prep your staff for the time and iteration they may temporarily face when getting used to a new platform.
- Resources - Adopting new software often becomes a larger undertaking than originally expected. Prep your staff for the time and iteration they may temporarily face when getting used to a new platform.
- Strategy - Think about where your business will be five years from now. Can the software you’re considering support your evolution, or will you have to re-platform in only a couple of years?
What is Point Solution Software?
Point solution software fulfills one specific purpose, such as document management, bookkeeping, payment processing, or email management. Compare this to an integrated, or all-in-one platform, that solves multiple use cases and can be applied to several different business functions. While it’s not uncommon for companies to use numerous point solution tools, it can certainly add up in cost, time, and maintenance.
An upside to point solution software is it may have more robust features and more detailed reporting than a feature set that’s part of a more extensive suite of products. However, as all-in-one platforms become more popular, they have become more thorough and efficient, so you no longer have to sacrifice efficiency and depth for convenience.
Examples of point solutions include:
- QuickBooks for accounting
- DocuSign for contracts and eSignatures
- Stripe for payment processing
What is All-in-One Platform Software?
An all-in-one platform is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a comprehensive software solution that maintains connections between business processes and addresses several use cases across departments. Where point solutions can be limited in terms of expansion, an all-in-one platform can be incredibly effective for streamlining and scaling your firm.
With an all-in-one platform, you reduce the number of separate tools you use and the integrations you depend on. Instead, you have a more versatile and robust platform that enables you to automate and simplify processes while growing your organization. One example of an all-in-one platform is BQE CORE, which combines project management, accounting, financial reports, time tracking, and other functions, into a single dashboard.
Point Solution Software Challenges
Adopting a point solution approach can increase your risk of creating data and organizational silos that prevent you from having a full view of your company, clients, and end-to-end processes. It’s a headache to manage multiple systems and coordinate all your team members and collaborators using separate tools.
If you run into a problem using a point solution and have a question, you face a different process to get support for each platform you use. When trying to solve these issues internally, you burden your IT staff with handling multiple systems and all the things that can go wrong in how they integrate and interact.
While a high-caliber solution for one business area may make life easier for a single department, it won’t necessarily benefit your entire company. In fact, it could create complications for other teams who struggle to get a 360-degree view of your firm, its project delivery, and client interactions.
Lastly, there’s the maintenance and cost. You never know when one software vendor will raise their prices or change their maintenance model. If your system stops releasing new improvements, gets acquired, removes a crucial integration, or drastically increases its prices, you may have to re-platform anyway. Often, paying for several point solutions costs more than migrating to an all-in-one platform, and the ROI is worse since your efforts are siloed and weaker.
Point Solution Software Benefits
A point solution is great for managing one specific department without a lot of ramp-up time. When you’re only focused on software for one aspect of your business, like invoicing or helpdesk ticketing, you can completely focus on finding the best-in-class software that fits your needs and budget.
With point solution software, you gain deep functionality for one channel without worrying about its impact on the broader ecosystem of your firm. However, this backfires when it doesn't sync up with your efforts in other areas. Two final positives: You only have to train some employees on the tool, and you can more easily replace it if it's not a suitable fit.
All-in-One Platform Software Challenges
Often, a product suite platform requires a larger investment upfront, in terms of both cost and time. Depending on your platform, the time to implement could take weeks or several months and be a source of frustration for your firm until you see a return on your investment and employees get used to it.
You may also feel vulnerable reducing your firm to only having one technology partner, but it naturally resolves many troubleshooting and maintenance issues. In terms of functionality and features, you may find that an all-in-one platform excels in certain business areas but doesn’t meet your expectations in others. That’s why when shopping around for new technology, you should create a criteria and priorities list to ensure you get the most crucial features for your business.
All-in-One Platform Software Benefits
Using an all-in-one platform is one of the most effective ways to ensure your firm has consistent end-to-end processes and clear insights into your projects, financials, personnel, clients, and more.
With a unified platform, you gain access to cross-channel tracking and reporting, for real-time KPI visibility and a more comprehensive view of your company. This helps you understand what works well for your firm and proactively identify and course-correct when potential issues arise.
When troubleshooting, life is easier when you only deal with a single technology partner. This can also lower your technology maintenance and training costs. You only need to train employees on one system and rely less on integrations.
Using an all-in-one platform offers your firm seamless data sharing and omnichannel business processes. You get greater insights into the health of your firm and how to scale it. These improved processes equip you with the information you need to save time and focus on being more innovative, results-driven, and client-focused, so you stand out from others in the market.
Consolidating separate tools into a single platform enables your firm to improve its interdepartmental efforts to gain clients and drive increased revenue.
So, Which Software is Right for Your Firm?
To reiterate, point solutions are good because they’re:
- Generally quick to get up and running
- Often more affordable than product suites
- Built to apply expertise to one specific application
In contrast, all-in-one platforms benefit firms through:
- Streamlined, real-time reporting
- More flexibility
- Better scalability
- Removing data silos
- Reducing redundant work
- Increasing transparency, efficiency, and communication between departments
BQE CORE All-in-One Firm Management Software
Where point solutions are limited by being too specific and not scalable, BQE CORE is the complete opposite. It's an award-winning all-in-one solution that provides project management, time and expense tracking, billing and invoicing, human resources, reporting and analytics, and more from a single powerful dashboard.
Without manually building reports or updating spreadsheets, you’ll gain access to actionable data that enables your firm to make smarter, more strategic decisions. Try a free demo today to learn how BQE CORE can streamline manual processes, maximize your company’s productivity, and help you increase profitability.