Software systems are increasingly expanding the solutions they offer, such as an ERP or HCM, offering an integrated component. It can be a great idea to utilize various solutions that you need from a single provider. On the other hand, a standalone payroll solution can offer more advanced features and capabilities. It can be useful to capitalize on one solution that does it best.
We’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of both standalone and integrated solutions to help you determine which solution better suits your needs.
What is a Standalone Solution?
A standalone solution largely focuses on specific features and functionality. This type of solution can offer greater capabilities compared to an integrated solution. After developing your business requirements, you select the one standalone solution that best satisfies those requirements.
What is an Integrated Solution?
An integrated solution is a module or component of a larger, more extensive system, such as an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, that offer various solutions. Organizations that select this type of solution are usually businesses that use as many solutions as possible from a single provider rather than using multiple providers.
Which one is best for your needs?
The Benefits of a Standalone Solution
Meets Your Business Requirements
If you have several or complex requirements for one solution, a standalone solution will be the best fit. It focuses only on this area and offers comprehensive functionality. For example, for a payroll solution, a standalone application will have an extensive list of features, as well as robust reporting tools for all your needs.
Better Support from Solution Specialists
As a standalone solution specializes only in this space, you can be assured you will be receiving expert support from payroll specialists. The support team will know the industry best and be able to offer better help compared to other solutions that focus on various areas so you can get the most out of your payroll platform.
Greater Investment in Product
Standalone solution vendors will be more committed to investing in the product to offer new features and to stay on top of industry trends. Integrated providers tend to make smaller investments into features and enhancements to meet basic requirements of customers.
Drawbacks of a Standalone Solution
Managing Multiple Solutions
Managing multiple standalone solutions could prove to be quite difficult. You have to be knowledgeable and familiar with using each solution, as well as managing your company data in each solution separately. When you are in need of assistance, you have to contact the particular solution’s support team, instead of having one support team that can answer all your different questions in one go.
May Be More Costly
As each standalone solution is fully developed and loaded with features, the individual price tag can be more expensive. Your total cost may end up being substantially greater than simply purchasing a full suite of solutions from a single provider, and this could be entirely out of your budget.
Lack of Reliable and Seamless Integration
Standalone solutions are often designed to be used independently, and they may not play well with solutions from other providers. Even when they do integrate, it’s typically not seamless. Manually transferring your data from one software to another can take up a huge chunk of your precious time. There is also the possibility of errors and mistakes when manually transferring data, which will cost you even more time.
Benefits of an Integrated Solution
When you go with an integrated solution, you reduce time spent conducting research on multiple providers for each solution that you require and you don’t need to go through the trouble of signing and managing multiple contracts. Working on your reports and you come across an issue? Not a problem, you can conveniently contact the same support team regardless of which module you are using.
Each module or component in an integrated solution is less powerful and robust in comparison to its standalone counterpart. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it typically means that the integrated solutions package will be more affordable than purchasing multiple standalone solutions to meet your business requirements. You don’t need to pay extra for the complex features that you don’t use. This is a clear advantage if your company is working with a tighter budget.
When configuring or setting up an integrated solution, you don’t need to worry about different user interfaces or quirks of separate standalone solutions. Configuration in an integrated solution will apply to each part of the package, which can reduce stress and save you time. Your company’s data is also stored in the same place, making management of your data simpler. Adding new data or modifications to existing data will seamlessly apply to all parts of the integrated solution, eliminating the need to manually transfer or re-enter data in multiple places.
Drawbacks of an Integrated Solution
If you have basic needs, an integrated solution may be enough. However, if there are many things you want to accomplish and be able to scale if you plan on growing your business, it may not be sufficient. Limited functionality will only provide you with some of the features you need, and for the features that are available, it may be basic and lacking.
Lack of Comprehensive Support
The support team of an integrated solution may not be fully knowledgeable in a particular field as they typically support customers in various areas. As a result, you may not get that expert and comprehensive support compared to customer support teams who are fully dedicated and solely focused on payroll.
By using a payroll module as part of a suite of solutions, you are almost locked into that tool even if you are having issues with it or if it’s not meeting your needs. It will be difficult to replace it as your organization is already invested with the provider.
Whether you’re interested in a standalone solution or an integrated one, be sure to closely evaluate your needs and ensure the software you are considering is a good fit. Looking for something more specific to fit complex needs? A standalone solution might be best. Looking for an all-encompassing solution that fits most or all of your basic needs? An integrated solution might be the way to go.
Paymate offers both – Clarity and Harmony. Both of these solutions are modular in nature. This means that you can pick and choose the modules you need and forget the ones that you don’t use. You shouldn’t have to pay for the modules you don’t need. Learn more about Paymate and how it provides all of the features and functionality you need to reach your goals.