When it comes to purchasing payroll software, a vendor may offer you two options: you can either work with a single vendor that offers an ‘all-in-one’ solution or a few companies that provide ‘best-of-breed’ products. Whether your needs are simple or complex will inform your decision. 

If your payroll needs are relatively straightforward, then opting for a single vendor system makes a lot of sense, both financially and in terms of management over time.  

These systems can be very simple to run, produce generic reports and will often have a simple dashboard approach to information that will deliver all the information you need.  

However, if your situation is more complicated, then you will quickly outgrow the capability of an all-in-one solution.  

Three people at work having a business meeting to make a decision
Whether a best-of-breed or all-in-one payroll solution is better for your business depends on the complexity of your organisational needs.

The following considerations may indicate that a single vendor payroll solution will not suffice: 

  • Your staff turnover is high enough to require a full-time equivalent staff member to onboard new staff 
  • You have a mix of permanent, part-time or casual staff, or otherwise require different employment agreements for various employee types  
  • You would like to automate a significant level of your staff induction  
  • You have an active talent development programme and seek to promote within  
  • You seek to have your staff develop new skills continuously  
  • Your business depends on hard-to-source or expensive to replace experts  
  • You need to develop experts across a wide range of fields 

With a depth of functionality not typically available from a single vendor, best-of-breed solutions allow you to choose systems from specialty vendors to meet your organisation’s unique needs without compromises.  

Best-of-breed vendors ensure that their systems can be interconnected via APIs (Application Programming Interface), for seamless sharing of data, which makes life a lot easier. 

Best-of-breed vendors are specialists in this area and are likely to have functionality that exceeds your original brief. They will be able to provide complimentary specialist support and be more aware of changes in the market which will impact their application, therefore allowing them to respond more quickly to new requirements and innovative opportunities.  

While there is the potential for an added layer of complexity associated with getting best-of-breed vendors to work together and connect their applications, the risk associated with the implementation of their individual applications is reduced as the applications themselves are smaller. 

 Implementing a best-of-breed approach within your organisation also provides flexibility for change – the ability to change provider within one field of functionality without the need for a full suite replacement, allowing your organisation to continually stay abreast of technology and functionality enhancements. 

Ultimately, there is no universal answer. All-in-one solutions may be easier to set up, cheaper to run and provide a consistent user interface, but are best deployed by organisations that have straightforward requirements. For those with more complex needs or a desire to enjoy the best the market has to offer, a best-of-breed solution is the ideal option. Datacom has recently partnered with workforce management provider, Humanforce. This partnership allows us to offer customers an integrated solution that brings together Datapay with Humanforce’s workforce management solution. Learn more here.

Related industries
Financial services Professional services
Related solutions
Payroll systems & human resources Advisory & consulting