IT Integrations or All-in-One Solutions—Which Is Best for Your Business
The competition in the software development market is tough. Entrepreneurs use different approaches to put their products ahead of the competition. Some of them try to capture the imagination of prospective customers adding more and more features to their products. Others just keep up the awesome job making their highly specialized software absolutely perfect. They are not trying to be a jack of all trades but master of none.
In this blog post, we are going to clarify the matter of choosing a coworking software for your business and review all the pros and cons of "all-in-one" vs. software solutions that embrace integrations.
If you are not into technical stuff, it's rather difficult to find a perfect coworking space software. There are too many cool options to choose from. You are comparing all bells and whistles but still feel lost.
The temptation to pick out an "all-in-one" solution and not to drill into all those integrations is strong. Stop for a moment, take a deep breath and read this blog post. The knowledge you are going to get won't let you make a costly mistake.
It may be surprising but in the long run, finding a quality coworking software that fits your business and seamlessly pairs with your favorite integrations requires less time and money than purchasing a piece of do-it-all software.
Pros and Cons of Both Approaches
We can't peremptorily declare that one of the ways developers choose is totally wrong. Each has its pleasures and weak points.
However, we can say for sure that for each component, there is an individual specialized product that does a better job.
Besides, choosing a perfect software for your coworking space you should think if you really need all those features. Are you going to use them on daily basis? Not every user needs every component. Moreover, as the practice shows, sometimes we have no idea what to do with this or that feature.
Pros: Rich variety of features. Looks impressive at first.
Cons: Expensive, bugs, poor quality, very slow updates and development, the features can’t compete to separate tools on the market intended for the purpose.
Coworking Software with Rich Integrations
Pros: Affordable, way better UX, trustworthy as you continue to use your favorite apps.
Cons: Not all your favorite apps might be available as an integration.
Find a Unicorn or Perfect All-in-One (What's Easier?)
If you are only going to look for the best coworking software, it seems much easier to make one transaction. The logic behind it is powerful—you don’t need to search for all those integrations and then figure out how to install them. But the truth is that it's easier to see a unicorn in the city than find a solution able to cover all your needs and do it well.
Opting for the quickest solution is a fake time-saver. You will waste much more time when you find out that all those smart built-in tools replacing integrations don’t work flawlessly. It is also frustrating to discover that your team is cheating you and doesn't use the solution at all.
Won't you reach much more success taking some time to test an integration-friendly solution which offers you the freedom to plug in the must-have apps you got used to?
What if you decide to switch to another coworking software in a while? You can easily go ahead with a software that offers integrations. You don't even need to stop using your favorite apps.
In the case with the all-in-one approach, you have to learn how to use your new set of integration replacements and how to import all your essential data, which is always painful.
Real Cost of All-in-One Solutions
Are you one of those entrepreneurs who believe that an all-in-one solution can save your budget while a handful of integrations are going to drain it every month? Your concerns are justified but let's look at the matter from another perspective.
Supposing you are planning a vacation. What would you choose — an all-inclusive or a la carte purchase scenario? If you got used to all-inclusive offers hiding the cost of items then being asked to pay a few bucks for your Margarita will seem abusive. You will feel bad until you remember the low price of the offer.
So, why would you want to go for a la carte offer:
- You only pay for the features you want to buy, no junk stuff you are going to use next to never.
- No hidden fees, you see exactly how much you’re paying.
Did you get the trick? When you buy all-in-one coworking space software, its price is usually higher. You think it's ok as you are getting much more than you expect. But what is the sense in subscribing to a package that includes services you don’t use?
Less is More Philosophy — Chase Quality, not Quantity
Web developers need to be innovative to survive as the number of competitors increases day-by-day. The pressure is even more powerful for all-in-one solutions. Their integration replacements must be of the high quality, so they have to pour resources into competing with the integrations themselves. For instance, if you offer built-in storage, be ready to stand up against rivals like Dropbox and Google Drive. For me, it's similar to tilting at windmills. You spend heaps of money to polish the integration replacement sacrificing the quality of core product.
There is a good reason for job specialization. Just agree that when you focus on mastering one thing, you achieve much better results than in the case of an overly holistic approach. For instance, there are plenty of movie-making programs but Adobe After Effects stays number one professionals' choice.
Your ROI Speaks for Itself
If all-in-one solution still appears tempting to you, think about your ROI. There is no guarantee that you are going to get the expected returns due to low adoption rates. If your team doesn't use your brand new coworking software, you’ve wasted time and money. The things are getting even worse when team members keep in secret the fact that they are not using the software.
As to integrations-rich products they are usually intuitive and don't require too much time to implement. The price is modest as well. But what's more important, software platforms with integrations don't try to excel at everything. The developers are concentrated at coming up with a top-notch product that can be paired up with other top-quality products following the same philosophy. This allows coworkings to choose the products that match their businesses and their teams best and acquire them at a transparent price.
Integrations— Enter andcards
Here is a life example of coworking software integrations for you. We, at andcards are evangelists of "quality above quantity" approach.
We don't waste our energy taking vain attempts to surpass recognized industry leaders but partner with them to offer coworking businesses an ultimate set of tools for thriving and growth.
We already support many integrations and keep adding new items regularly. Read on to discover some of our most popular integrations.
andcards Kiosk Meeting Room Display System
- Allows to find available meeting room without opening booking system;
- Look around the space to see room availability at a distance;
- Make impression on prospective coworking space customers with a real-time schedule at a meeting room door.
Coworking Billing and Payments
- Lets coworking space residents pay for room booking and invoices with credit or debit cards;
- Dramatically cuts down on lengthy payment process;
- Connects seamlessly with Stripe and KakaoPay.
- Allows to use full power of Intercom's customer messaging platform within your coworking community.
- Chat to members, set up auto-messages, organize a support inbox, and community guideline help articles.
- Adds a chat bubble to your marketing website, so you can capture leads and sell like a pro.
- Sync your community directory as an audience on Mailchimp.
- Use it for monthly newsletters to the community to keep them updated on news and events.
- Set up automations to send welcome emails whenever new members join.
Sync Room Bookings to Calendar
Enables to view all bookings made on andcards in Google Calendar, Apple Calendar, Outlook, and other calendars.
Coworking Access Control System
- Allows to manage access to space to prevent unauthorized use and ensure equal space access;
- Connects andcards customer directory directly to access control system to enable or disable access to doors;
- Saves time by avoiding maintaining two customer directories.
- Track how many pages each member printed this and last month.
- View all printing figures right on member profile in andcards.
- At the moment, Sindoh smart printers are supported.
Since integrations are such an important part of andcards product, the team is always happy to add even more apps that customers request.
In terms of choosing a coworking software, the answer is not always lying on the surface. And the most obvious solution is not necessarily the best one for your particular use case.
I hope this article will help you make a wise decision instead of quick and easy.
Still have questions on integrations vs all-in-one software? You are welcome to ask them in the comments. Have your own opinion on the topic? Integrations or all-in-ones? What is your personal choice? Can you offer an argument? Let's talk!