If you’ve tried to get any new software spend approved in the past year, you know how challenging it can be to get your company’s leadership team—and more specifically, your CFO—to invest in yet another tool when budgets are already so tight. But if your current product experience tech stack is a mishmash of point solutions, you’re likely already spending more (in dollars, wasted productivity, and operational headaches) than you would if you’d just leveraged a complete platform solution instead.
- When teams work from different data sets (or have no access to data at all), you make decisions based on gut feel vs. objective behavioral insights. This slows down collaboration, stalls product innovation, leads you to build the wrong features, and ultimately results in a disjointed customer experience.
- When you’ve duct-taped point solutions together, you simply can’t democratize access to your product data, in-app guides, or feedback tools for fear of breaking something or sending communications in error. This makes it impossible to actually scale the tools you bought to help you better operate at scale.
- When you’re working with a multitude of vendors, you create a mountain of paperwork for your procurement and engineering teams. Navigating numerous vendor relationships and product specs causes difficulties with approvals, implementation, integrations, and maintenance. And it ultimately requires you to play middleman (and pay a lot more) to get the help you need from all those vendor teams.
Still not convinced it’s time to make the move from your “Frankenstack,” into a consolidated platform? Let’s take a closer look at a few key reasons point solutions are slowing you down, and how a unified product experience platform like Pendo can help.
Your tools aren’t talking to each other
If you’re piecemealing point solutions together to create your own product experience stack, you’re probably already spending more time and resources building integrations and connection points to make those tools work together than you should be. And it’s probably costing you a lot more than you think.
For example, say you’re using one vendor for product analytics and a different one for in-app guides. To deliver truly data-driven guidance, you need your dev team to build custom code to get the two systems talking to each other. You also need to spend copious amounts of time moving and sorting data in and out of various tools—which will more than likely cause you to work from and make decisions based on outdated, stagnant information. This leads to a lack of trust in the data, making it hard to achieve consensus and iterate quickly.
Asking your product team to rely on a number of different tools (which all come with their own unique UIs your users need to learn how to use) is also highly inefficient. Without a single, shared destination—where teams across your business come to evaluate the health of your product, the performance of your in-app guides, and the state of your customer feedback—you end up with inconsistent reporting from disparate data sources that all track information in a different way. This means it takes longer to get answers to pressing product questions, adds uncertainty to the decision-making process, and makes it extremely challenging to take coordinated action.
Working with multiple vendors in this way also means you don’t get the level of partnership you deserve. Because point solution vendors are only invested in the part of your product experience their tool touches, they don’t see the full picture. So you miss out on opportunities to apply learnings from one product area to others throughout your business, and have a much harder time attributing product wins to overall business success. With a platform approach, you instead get the coordinated support and attention of a team that has visibility into your entire product lifecycle, understands your product- and business-level goals, and is committed to your success at every stage of the journey.
You’re risking the customer experience and hindering scale
While your customers will likely never know about all the behind-the-scenes Frankenstacking you’re doing, they will certainly feel it when something goes wrong. Because as operationally frustrating as managing a large number of point solutions for your internal teams can be, it also puts your users’ experience at risk in the (not unlikely) event that one of those connection points or system integrations breaks or fails.
For example, if your in-app guides solution stops syncing with your product analytics solution, you could risk accidentally targeting the wrong group of users with the wrong message—with results ranging from customer confusion at best, to outrage and churn at worst. Even seemingly small hiccups like these erode your customers’ trust in your brand over time, and add up to a poor overall user experience riddled with poorly timed guides, mistargeted messaging, and interrupted workflows.
In addition to being unreliable, homegrown integrations like these can also quickly become unruly to manage. They also come with a hefty dev and engineering price tag—requiring your already busy developers and engineers to build custom code to piece together solutions that simply weren’t made to play well together. All of this ultimately leads you to operate more slowly than you’d like, as your teams spend valuable time jerry-rigging tools together to build a somewhat (at best) operational insights-to-action engine.
Your total cost of ownership is through the roof
On paper, you might think you’re getting a great deal for all those relatively low cost point solutions. A couple grand here, a cool $10K there—it looks like you’re paying less while getting more. But in reality, piecing together these disparate systems costs much more in the long run than what you’d spend by investing in a single platform, with tools designed to work in unison.
Consolidating all your product experience tools in a unified platform eliminates the need to work with multiple vendors (and multiple implementation, support, success, and technical teams)—reducing both operational headaches and the amount of work your dev team needs to commit toward custom integrations. Even if you’re saving on nominal license costs, inefficient tech puts your goals at risk and raises your operational costs. And once you factor in the additional (and often hidden) costs of implementation, maintenance, integration, support, and system integration consulting, your total cost ownership becomes astronomically higher with your Frankenstack.
Managing a large number of vendor agreements also makes your CFO and CSO nervous. More vendors means more contracts, longer approvals, and higher risk in the event of security breaches or outages. The cost of running a piecemeal stack will always exceed what you forecast, and will inevitably pull your team away from focusing on what matters most: Delivering amazing products and customer experiences.
With a platform like Pendo, you can simplify the procurement process, build a strong relationship with a skilled team that’s committed to your success, and benefit from a suite of tools that were designed to work better together—empowering you to make smarter product decisions, operate more efficiently, and scale your impact. Take a self-guided tour of our platform or get in touch with our team to learn more.