How many times have you heard that unified solutions can’t integrate?
This underlying belief feeds into a variety of conclusions. See if you recognize these claims—lifted or paraphrased from actual ERP vendors and analysts:
- “Unified means that it tries to do everything.”
- “Unified vendors don’t invest in integrations.”
- “In the era of postmodern ERP, unified solutions just don’t cut it.”
- “Unified vendors don’t have experience with integrations.”
This notion—that unified nixes integration—has motivated millions of customer decisions.
Sadly, it’s a myth: one founded on a series of misconceptions.
Misconception 1: “Unified means that it tries to do everything.”
For many, unified suggests complete. If a solution is unified, the reasoning goes, then it must also be watertight, all-purpose, lacking nothing.
Like many errors in thought, this flows from an assumption. Most assume that unified means all-sufficient. By contrast, what makes a solution like Xledger unified is the fact that we developed our solution as a whole: each part tightly connected to every other. Unified refers to the product’s development and internal structure. Unified has nothing to do with either the product’s scope or its ability to interact with external systems.
Misconception 2: “Unified vendors don’t invest in integrations.”
There is some truth in this. The majority of unified vendors don’t prioritize integrations. But exceptions do exist. Cloud ERP provider Xledger outstrips competitors—unified and otherwise—in developing integration tools. Several years ago Xledger recently unveiled GraphQL, a cutting-edge query language that allows users to target and fetch multiple resources with a single query, resulting in faster and more reliable data transfer. Despite being used by some of the world’s largest tech brands, GraphQL remains unknown even to established ERP vendors.
Misconception 3: “In the era of postmodern ERP, unified solutions just don’t cut it.”
Consider Gartner’s original definition of postmodern ERP:
…a technology strategy that automates and links administrative and operational business capabilities…with appropriate levels of integration that balance the benefits of vendor-delivered integration against business flexibility and agility.
Note the word strategy. Postmodern ERP is a strategy, not a model. Each organization will have unique needs and a unique point of balance. That’s the essence of postmodern ERP: that ERP should fit each organization’s needs rather than vice versa. It doesn’t necessarily require integration. Some organizations might find balance at a high level of integration, while others might need none.
However, for customers who do need to integrate, a unified solution like Xledger provides more robust integration tools than any other vendor.
Misconception 4: “Unified vendors don’t have experience with integrations.”
While the majority of our customers do use Xledger’s native functionalities, some areas of the solution have not matured to the same extent as others. We have incredibly powerful functionalities in core accounting, workflow, data entry, and bank reconciliation, to name just a few. Yet a customer might prefer to integrate when it comes to their CRM or donor management. In other cases, Xledger doesn’t have the boutique functionality a customer needs.
But what does it actually look like for a unified solution to integrate?
Xledger recently went live with one of our largest nonprofit customers, a multi-national enterprise with more than 120 entities around the world. While almost every entity in the enterprise embraced Xledger, several small entities insisted on keeping their old applications. Rather than declaring the rollout a failure, we helped such entities forge import/export integrations between Xledger and their preferred applications. As a result, executives at the enterprise level now have global insight into every entity, including those using different systems.