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06 December 2018

Point Solution or Integrated Solution, what makes the difference?

Many organisations find it difficult to choose the right software solution for Facility and Real Estate Management. How do these software solutions differ? And what features are relevant for your specific requirements?

White Paper - Point Solution or Integrated Solution, what makes the difference?

A point solution can be software just for helpdesk functions while an integrated solution can handle helpdesk and much more. Learn why that's important.

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With the increasing focus on measurable business value and the need for operational excellence, the use of supportive software solutions for Facility Management and Real Estate Management has become widely accepted and common practice. The business case for these software solutions is usually based on themes like portfolio transparency, control, processing efficiency, cost reduction, organisational agility, customer value and compliance.

However, many organisations have had problems choosing the right software solution, evidenced by the fact that some software implementations do not deliver the planned results. Reasons for failure can be very diverse but typically include: gaps between expectations and reality, underestimating the effort needed during implementation and change management, and unexpected complexity in IT technology and operations.

What makes the difference?

Unfortunately, the vendor landscape does not help either. Many local vendors offer a large number and wide range of software solutions labelled as IWMS, CAFM, CMMS, FMIS, Service Management software, Asset Management software or any other label that helps them to market their products successfully. However, what makes these software solutions really different? Moreover, what differentiators are relevant for your specific requirements? One important and significant differentiator between these software products is the solution’s typology: Point Solution or Integrated Solution.

Point Solution: strengths and weaknesses

Both Point Solutions and Integrated Solutions have their strengths and weaknesses. Point Solutions are typically designed to solve one specific business problem. Due to this specialisation and focus, Point Solutions are champions in their particular area of functionality. Examples of Point Solutions are room-booking software, helpdesk software, space management software or maintenance planning software. The strength of a Point Solution is also its weakness: the software only solves one business problem. To solve multiple problems, multiple Point Solutions must be selected and implemented. Common data needs to be shared between these Point Solutions, implying complexity, potential inconsistency and risk. 

Point Solution or Integrated Solution, what makes the difference?

Integrated Solution: strengths and weaknesses

Integrated Solutions are designed to solve multiple FM and RE business problems from within one software solution that is based on a single database. An Integrated Solution allows you to purchase and implement just one software solution, ensures that data is stored consistently and only once, supports automatic connections between processes and facilitates reporting across these processes. An Integrated Solution typically supports multiple processes in real estate management, space and workplace management, maintenance and facility management and sustainability. The implementation of an Integrated Solution is definitely wider when compared to a Point Solution and the complexity of data exchange between processes is avoided.

How to make the right decision

Knowing the differences between a Point Solution and an Integrated Solution is not sufficient. In my next blog I will elaborate on four different perspectives, which will help you to choose the typology that suits your long term goals and reduces the risks of failure during implementation and operation.

Jos Knops
Director Global Product Marketing