When searching for a solution to an operational problem, the question of “enterprise platform or point solution” might not feel so urgent. All you want is a product that will deliver on its promises and solve the issue holding your department back. However, it’s essential to know that there are significant differences between the two. Choosing the right option can deliver enormous benefits and avoid stress down the road.
To help you determine the option that’s best for your unique situation, we’re breaking down the differences between enterprise platforms and point solutions:
What’s the Difference Between an Enterprise Platform and a Point Solution?
Enterprise platforms offer a foundation of flexible tools that can solve multiple use cases across your organization. You can use them to build customized workflows to replace the repetitive, manual processes weighing down your AP department and beyond. In addition to automation, these platforms’ flexible tools can help you improve your connectivity, productivity, data collection, process control, and more.
Enterprise Platform Pros
- Scalable. Platforms scale with your organization. As your needs change, they can adapt to solve new problems and expand to support growth.
- Configurable. You can customize your platform to fulfill your industry’s unique regulations, requirements, integrations, and equipment.
- Connect Departments. When your organization uses the same platform, you can enjoy better efficiency, visibility, communication, and transparency across departments.
- Simple to Manage and Learn. Since platforms are a single foundation with many uses, your employees will only need training for one solution and IT will only have one solution to manage.
- Implementation Flexibility. Implementation is flexible, which allows you to pursue further optimization as time goes on and you begin to see results.
Enterprise Platform Cons
- It’s an Investment. Enterprise platforms are all-encompassing solutions with many uses. As a result, they can come at a higher upfront cost than single-use point solutions.
- Greater Strategy is Needed to “Go Enterprise.” To expand your platform across your entire enterprise, you need to get buy-in from all departments. It also requires careful planning and strategy to ensure you’re maximizing your platform’s value.
Point solutions are programs that solve a single challenge or use case. For AP departments, this could be tools that strictly focus on AP automation, payment processing, document management, or other specific functions. While they may be experts in their niche, point solutions can’t do much else, which often leaves organizations juggling a collection of single-use solutions.
Point Solution Pros
- Fast Deployment. Due to their limited scope, point solutions are typically up and running in little time.
- Less Expensive. Since they have limited functions, they may be less expensive than enterprise platforms (but not always).
Point Solution Cons
- Limiting. When a new problem arises, you will need to start from scratch to find a solution that can address it.
- Poor Scalability. Most point solutions cannot scale due to their inability to adapt to new situations.
- Management is Complex. The more point solutions you implement, the harder it is for IT to keep up with managing the sprawl of it all.
- Communication Suffers. When all your departments are using different solutions, communication lapses are unavoidable.
- Integration Isn’t a Given. Point solutions don’t inherently integrate with your core line of business applications. And when you find a solution that does integrate, it often requires ongoing management to continue working.
Enterprise Platform VS Point Solution: Which One is Better?
There’s no denying that there are plenty of point solutions on the market that are excellent at tackling the specific problems they specialize in. But even if a point solution solves one existing problem, treating every issue you face as an isolated incident has its downsides long-term.
A growing collection of single-purpose solutions means rising administrative costs. Every time you add to the pile, you risk triggering new problems if your existing point solutions fail to collaborate or integrate. Plus, as your organization grows and evolves, you’ll need to individually adjust your point solutions to meet your needs.
Ask yourself: Am I setting myself up for a management nightmare down the road?
Enterprise platforms deliver the flexibility and scalability to solve today’s problems and whatever tomorrow brings. These platforms offer choices, providing many roads to potential IT project success versus the single avenue to success that point solutions provide. And when one project ends and you’re ready to add another functionality, it’s easy to execute.
It’s time to address the elephant in the room: By now, it’s probably clear to see that we’re massive believers in enterprise platforms. After helping countless customers solve their business problems using enterprise platforms over the years, we’ve seen these solutions transform operations and improve work lives.
These experiences inspired us to create the Naviant AP Accelerator, a ready-to-use AP automation solution. This platform combines ABBYY FlexiCapture and OnBase document processing to cost-effectively deliver outstanding results. For example, Clay Lacy Aviation implemented these solutions to:
- Boost efficiency by automating 95% of its invoices
- Decrease a 10% error rate to 0.2% for their invoice processing
- Go 100% paperless and eliminate 25,000 paper expense reports annually
Clay Lacy Aviation’s OnBase & ABBYY FlexiCapture Success Story
Want to know more about how Clay Lacy Aviation boosted its efficiency in its AP department and beyond using these two solutions? Get the full story in our new case study.
Unlock Unparalleled Value
Enterprise platforms give you the tools to find smart solutions to the issues your department is facing now and in the future. The Naviant AP Accelerator gives you just that with its ability to handle many use cases across the accounting department. Soon, other departments will start noticing your wins, and because you went to an enterprise, you can spread the wealth by expanding your solution.
If you’re ready to start on the path to enterprise success, we’d love to hear from you. Drop a question in the chat to start the conversation.