I wish there was a magic coordinator; one that could link up all parts of my life. From my social profiles to my Amazon Prime account to my TV. I know there are pieces that will help me with this but it is so much easier if you started it all from scratch and created new social profiles today. When I set up some of my (personal) profiles, some networks didn’t even exist. When I chose user names, I was targeting a very different persona. I’ve tied some of them together and left others dangling out there like lone islands. I desperately need to do some social clean-up/link-up but it all seems so complicated. Piecemeal is never efficient.
Consider this when you’re auditioning membership management software. There are best-of-breed models that will perfect your events, email, database, shopping cart and more; each one specializing in their own features, none of them fit to talk with one another. Yes, some vendors offer integration but when it comes down to it there are always gray areas. Which support department do you call if your confirmation emails are not being sent? Is that your email provider’s fault or your e-commerce platform’s issue? How willing is any one vendor going to be to trouble-shoot those overlaps? How familiar will the vendor be on how the software integrates with others? What about new roll-outs? How will changes in one software package affect the other? There are some vendors that operate as preferred partners of others, and they may run enhancements by the other but most function independently and a bug-fix or enhancement could alter the way the integration works.
Best-in-breed is a great marketing spin and no doubt those products are best in the limited scope of what they offer but they may not be best for your organization. Take some time to think about your business processes. How exacting are your needs? Ask yourself what efficiency you might be able to introduce if you have software that was designed to work together. Do you really need all those pieces or could you accomplish your tasks through one system? Only you can answer this question and it can only be answered if you ask.