The overhead of the multi-vendor approach

If the “best of breed” solutions are all very “different” there may be a great deal of training and overhead that may not be there if they are all from a smaller set of vendors with a similar “technology”.”
Richard Bragg
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During a recent LinkedIn Group discussion about the comparisons of Best-of-breed versus single-vendor OSS approaches, Richard Bragg made the insightful comment above.

In addition to all the other pros and cons of each, the multi-vendor approach does indeed come with an additional up-skilling overhead.

As you all know, OSS activities tend to aggregate in the form of end-to-end workflows that traverse different OSS systems or modules. In a single-vendor approach, workflows are normally designed to flow from one module to the next, giving a relatively seamless user experience (UX). In a multi-vendor approach, the UX don’t necessarily match. This leads to a slightly more challenging training and process design.

But more importantly, the challenge lies with the OSS administrators. Different OSS tend to have different underlying technologies (eg database, operating system, high availability mechanisms, etc). Each of these have to be learnt and maintained in addition to the OSS tools themselves.

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2 thoughts on “The overhead of the multi-vendor approach

  1. I will not elaborate on the real level of integration of “best of suite” OSS offers and their real TCO, but on an industrial consideration. Is the industry willing to give the market to a handful of large suppliers (cf. the market for large commercial airplanes) or not? Bodies like TMF and others live because of a diverse market and would not be needed otherwise.

  2. Hi Roland,
    Absolutely. There are pros and cons of each approach and every customer has different requirements to weigh the two approaches up against (http://passionateaboutoss.com/best-of-breed-or-single-vendor-implementation provides further elaboration).
    I should also note that there are no vendors that can claim 100% coverage of TMF’s TAM, so integration of multiple products is required (unless the customer only needs the sub-set of TAM that a single vendor can provide).

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