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Best-of-suite? Best-of-breed? What about need?

Steven Karachinsky, CEO
March 23, 2022
Best-of-Breed or Best-of-Suite?

There is too much debate on the topic of best-of-suite vs. best-of-breed.


Customers should not be boxed into making decisions about this product vs. that product or this feature vs. that feature. We need to stop talking about product features and focus on the customer’s business.

What is the customer’s issue? What are they trying to accomplish and why? What’s their current reality?

Before we can talk speeds and feeds, we must understand the business drivers. If that sounds cliché and overused, go and ask what the customer’s need is? You will hear things like the need to move to the cloud, or they have to move off their hardware, or they must use Microsoft Teams.

Those are all good things to do, but those aren’t needs or issues. Underneath it all is their why and that always gets missed.

The debate between best-of-breed or best-of-suite doesn’t matter. Either works. So does a mix of both depending on the organization’s needs. In fact, this is a hot topic being discussed right now at this year’s Enterprise Connect, and while understanding the tech comes into play, it only matters later on in the buyer’s journey.

One issue that keeps derailing focus is that the technology landscape is rife with salespeople rather than advisors. There’s nothing wrong with either, but both have very different agendas. Salespeople tend to talk about products and features. Advisors listen and seek to understand what’s getting in the way.

In his famous book, Built To Last, Jim Collins explains the Tyranny of the OR, the thought process that pushes us to believe that things must be either A OR B, but not both. But instead of choosing between A OR B, finding a way to have both A AND B is what he refers to as the Genius of the AND. So genius!

Trusted advisors (sometimes misunderstood as consultants) are not biased by quotas or by a single manufacturer. In fact, good advisors often become partners for BOTH the manufacturer AND the customer. See what I did there?

Let’s take “going to the gym” as an example. What’s the best way to get in shape? There are many! Just because a Peloton works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. But if your personal trainer doesn’t understand your goals, your constraints, your lifestyle, your budget, how can they help you? And if you’re not clear on those things, how do you make the right decision?

A good advisor dives deep into the customer’s business, strategy, and issues before they offer options that solve problems. Otherwise, things get super confusing, and you end up buying things that never get used… (please don’t look in my closet…)

Before choosing best-of-suite OR best-of-breed, we must first understand who it’s for, what it’s for, and why it should matter today AND tomorrow.

Today’s technology is amazing and the manufacturers we work with offer excellent products. Some of our customers only need one solution because that ends up being the best fit for their business. Others need a mix of services. Some are best-of-breed. Some are best-of-suite.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution anymore, those days are over. The cool thing about the time we live in is that there are great options available for everyone. Our hope and mission at ZIRO are that everyone can take advantage of them.


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