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Enhancing the customer experience with a best-of-breed portfolio

Laura Gavrilă
Try Storyblok

Storyblok is the first headless CMS that works for developers & marketers alike.

Here is the age-old, actually age-new, question: best-of-breed or best-of-suite?
There are some clear advantages that come with best-of-suite. You have a straight-forward integration, more stability and security, and most of the time, a single point of contact. While all these are solid reasons to choose a best-of-suite portfolio, we strongly believe that a best-of-breed portfolio will enhance the customer experience you offer. Here is why.

The greatest advantage with a best-of-breed portfolio is that you can choose the solutions that perfectly address the needs of your customers. More than that, you can explore different solutions before deciding what works best for you. This type of approach gives you the freedom to build a composable toolbox from which you can easily add, remove and replace your tools.
Unfortunately, despite all the benefits ”on paper”, best-of-suite, in reality, doesn't always translate to the best of all categories. What you end up with is some good choices and a lot of compromise. Just because a vendor’s ERP or CRM is one of the best solutions in the MarTech environment, it doesn’t necessarily assure you that all their other solutions will work for you and your clients.

Section titled Building a portfolio with Storyblok

At Storyblok we strive to build partnerships that go beyond collaboration, creating effective and functional technology threads. In order to achieve this, we partnered with many other best of breed technologies.
It comes to no surprise that partnerships are more and more a reality of the tech industry. In simple terms, there is no need to reinvent the wheel when someone else already has the blueprints to it.

Currently we are partnered with a number of best of breed technologies. Take a look at some of the most prominent ones:

BigCommerce is on a mission to help merchants sell more at every stage of business growth. They are built for growth so merchants can realize their visions without compromise; designed for powerful performance to enable businesses to scale seamlessly with the technology they can trust.

Cloudinary is looking to empower companies to deliver visual experiences that inspire and connect by unleashing the full potential of their media. They are the industry standard for developers, creators and marketers looking to manage, transform, and deliver images and videos online.

Commercetools has a headless, API-first, multi-tenant SaaS commerce platform that is cloud-native and uses flexible microservices. Using modern development building blocks in a true cloud platform provided by commercetools, customers can deliver the best commerce experiences across every touchpoint on a large scale.

Lokalise is a translation management system built for agile teams who want to automate their localization process. Knowing how hard it is to get started with a new system they built a clear interface, automated project upload, text recognition.

Netlify is the platform your developers love for building highly-performant and dynamic web sites, e-commerce stores and applications. By uniting an extensive ecosystem of technologies, services and APIs into one workflow, Netlify unlocks new levels of team productivity, while saving time and money.

Spryker enables companies to create winning commerce experiences in B2B, B2C, and marketplaces. It can extend sales reach and grow revenue with a system that allows you to increase your operational efficiency and lower your total cost of ownership. You can expand to new markets and business models without technical limitations.

Vue Storefront is a lightning-fast Frontend Platform for Headless Commerce. Boost your site performance, shape the customer journey and free your developer's creativity with Vue Storefront, the last frontend you will ever need.

Some of our other technology partners are:

  • Centra
  • Commerce Layer
  • Sylius

Together with our technology partners we help your organization to accelerate and unlock its full potential for implementing successful digital projects. More than that, we help you select the right options from our tech partners, to integrate them into your project, and offer numerous interfaces to the most relevant provider on the market.

Section titled Costs, scalability, agility and integration

It’s clear from the get-go that, most of the time, the financially convenient option is the best-of-suit. While this can be an important decision factor, it is best to look at your return on investment when determining a course of action. Another important factor to consider is that a best-of-suite might not cover all your needs and you would still need to add other vendors, leading us full circle to best-of-breed.
When you start your portfolio with Storyblok you can be sure that our pricing is transparent, predictable and not based on usage.

Scalability is a crucial factor since your system needs to be adaptable to change. With best-of-breed you get the benefit of flexibility from the start. While most best-of-suite are optimal for enterprise customers, best-of-breed software is designed to adapt to your and your clients’ needs, growing with the business.
More than that, coming back to the issue of costs, best-of-breed have much lower implementations and start-up costs and you avoid getting locked in an all-encompassing system.

Judging by its nature, we can easily conclude that agility is not a strength for best-of-suite approaches. If the software you are looking for is not already provided by the vendor then you have options but none that you might like: you can wait until they launch/acquire the solution, custom build it, or look for external solutions. With the best-of-breed, you can always do your due diligence, and depending on the market trends, business growth or any other unexpected factor you can always add additional features to your technology stack.

At a first glance, integration seems to be an easy topic for best-of-suite, especially if you are looking to combine features from the same vendor. However, when you try to “broaden your horizon” and move beyond that relationship you quickly realize that you are locked in an architecture that is quite inflexible.
At the opposite side of the spectrum, when you build your best-of-breed portfolio you have the complete freedom to integrate with any type of technology via APIs. In fact, this is the defining feature of the headless CMS. Additionally, as already mentioned, Storyblok already offers a series of integrations for a lot of popular and useful SaaS.

Section titled Conclusion

Looking at this short analysis above, one thing is clear: best-of-suite solutions are simply not future-proof. Seamless collaboration, which fosters growth and longevity, between tools is more and more the reality of the tech industry.
Start your best-of–breed portfolio with Storyblok and with our technology partners you will gain a set of tools and technologies aimed at helping you pivot to a modular architecture, enhancing your customers' experience and keeping your tech footprint minimal.