To Suite or Not To Suite, That Is the Question

If I may paraphrase Shakespeare’s Hamlet for a moment, there comes a time when every enterprise software customer must face a strategic decision: should we purchase multiple point products from one or more vendors and stitch them together to meet our needs? Or should we purchase a product suite from a single vendor to try and meet our needs? There are pros and cons to each approach. Let’s take a cursory look.

Purchasing and stitching together multiple point products


  • May be able to select “best-of-breed” products for specific pieces of functionality
  • Not locked into one vendor


  • Point product sprawl
  • Internal cost of stitching the products together and maintaining this stitching as the products change over time
  • Fragmented support from multiple vendors or product groups along with  potential finger-pointing

Purchasing a product suite


  • Avoid point product sprawl
  • The vendor bears the cost of stitching the functionality together and maintaining this stitching over time
  • A single support “throat to choke / hand to shake”


  • Functionality may not be as deep as points products for every piece of functionality
  • May be locked into one vendor

As you can see, there are multiple factors to consider before making such a strategic choice. Each organization must decide for themselves which approach is best for them. For example, organizations that are very decentralized may opt for a multi-product approach where each group uses their own preferred tools. Whereas, a more centralized organization may prefer a suite approach where the organization leverages the same product suite in a unified fashion.

To suite or not to suite, that is the question.

vendor selection
To suite or not to suite


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