Insight Digital HR

Benefits of a best-of-breed approach to software

Written by intelliHR on 02 Oct 2019

We’re not the HR platform for every business. But we are the HR platform for those businesses who want to do these key things really well: Configurable HR Automation, Feedback, Goals and Analytics.

Each HR system has an ideal customer fit, and ours includes organizations who want to support and drive performance. By focusing on these aspects that are a priority for them, and developing them into advanced features, we can help them achieve this.

When you’re in the process of selecting your HR software, you might notice there are many options that offer a ‘Jack-of-all-trades’ or ‘Generalist’ approach – offering everything from ATS to Payroll in one system. Then there are specialised vendors who focus on offering a small number of specialised components which work really well together. Thanks to their narrow focus, this typically gives you access to the latest thinking and industry-proven processes.

When we built intelliHR, the problem we were trying to solve was giving leaders proactive tools which would help them manage and develop their team members. To do that we needed lots of people data, and this gave rise to a tightly integrated set of HR automation tools from which we could capture people insights and then make available to leaders in the form of valuable HR analytics. As we grew, we realised the more team member activities we could support, the more useful data we could capture, providing a more comprehensive picture of each team member. This also enabled us to provide a more personalised employee experience. So at its heart that is what we became, it is in our DNA, and along the way our platform has grown, but we’ve always made sure that any additional features we have added continue to support this core capability, which makes us a Best of Breed supplier for a customer wanting to solve these challenges.

Whether you choose to go with a full Business Suite or Best of Breed approach when sourcing your HR software, this decision really comes down to what you are trying to achieve, so today we’ll be exploring some of the benefits of our approach – and why we’ve kept intelliHR focused upon being Best of Breed.

Benefits of Best of Breed

Fulfil your unique requirements

When you have a specific need to fulfil, a Best of Breed vendor who specialises in that area will usually have the best chance of giving you access to the latest and best thinking solutions to those challenges. Maybe you’ve identified a specific problem your organization is facing, like keeping up with a rapidly growing workforce, low performance or high attrition. In this case, you’ll want to look for a solution that has some focused thinking around those specific challenges. One of our customers, Plantminer, found themselves in this exact situation when looking for the ideal performance and feedback tool.

“When we were initially going to market for a piece of technology, I was specifically looking for something that was a performance review and feedback tool. There was a lot out there; there’s technologies that just do surveys, there’s technologies that just manage performance reviews, but with intelliHR, we were able to find something that could do both and that was very important to us.” – Dan, Managing Director, Plantminer

Access to subject-matter experts

Using Best of Breed software also usually gives you access to domain experts who can provide specialist guidance and advice on their particular HR strategy expertise. At intelliHR, for example, our Customer Success team deep-dives into your current processes pre-implementation to deliver a tailored solution that directly solves your current pain points and delivers your team an experience that suits your business and that they will respond to. There’s also ongoing support through design-thinking workshops to constantly refine your processes over time.

Enjoy better and more frequent upgrades

Best of Breed vendors are more focused, attract and develop the best thinking and more relentlessly develop their product within their areas of expertise than a generalist system can. It just makes sense! As a result their technologically is more up-to-date than a full-suite solution normally would be. This is what allows us to not only stay on the cutting-edge of technology, but to also work closely with our customers, take suggestions from them and more nimbly incorporate these recommendations into the system.

Access more advanced functionality

Having a Best of Breed system means less breadth but more depth when it comes to features and functionality. A vendor focused on core areas of HR is able to develop highly advanced levels of functionality within their domain. So while there are less overall features available, the specialist ones it does include have been heavily researched, refined and improved based on customer feedback. By choosing a solution which tries to offer a swiss army knife range, you maybe able to do more within the one solution, but each of these features won’t be as developed as thoroughly, and therefore won’t provide you with a transformational advantage compared to your competitor.

Integrate a Best of Breed ecosystem your way

So do you want the best of breed everywhere, well you can get it. It is now possible to quickly and easily integrate together best of breed solution, this has rapidly emerged as a best practice approach, using API, direct integrations and middleware to achieve this quickly and easily. It allows enterprises to leverage the best fit technology rather than having to compromise with the generic solutions offered within the few full business suites available on market.

Pitfalls in choosing Best of Breed

So all of these benefits sound great, but of course there can also be some downsides to choosing Best of Breed solutions. Let’s address these and look at our tips for getting around these trade-offs.

Increased total cost of ownership

Naturally, if you are heading toward multiple Best of Breed products to work together to create a total solution, then the Total Cost of Ownership maybe slightly higher overall. But the counter point is that you get to access the latest thinking, and most highly developed product. This investment can therefore reward you with greater impact and a stronger ROI.

As for our platform, we offer intelliHR as Software-as-a-Service, meaning everything is hosted on our own secure servers and the pricing is based on a monthly subscription by headcount, to keep costs under control as your company scales. While there is an implementation fee, this includes all necessary staff training and a tailored configuration of your system all-in-one. We think you’ll find it’s worth every cent.

Lack of integration options (do your research)

Using Best of Breed systems can become frustrating if they do not integrate effectively. When making your selections, be sure to investigate what integrations are available from each vendor as well as if there are any additional ones on their roadmap. intelliHR integrates with Xero for Payroll data, as well as Zapier to connect to hundreds of other applications. Anything else can be connected through our public API.


intelliHR is a people management platform helping HR, leaders and managers enhance performance, culture, engagement and retention. With built-in HRIS and powerful real-time analytics, see how the platform works today.

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