TechRadar | Great Platform Myth



The platform is extremely popular among users. Services that "function perfectly" and are easily accessible to users, from iOS smooth setup to Microsoft Office 365, are extremely popular, and for good reason. Ease of use is vital today, whether you're a customer buying from a website or a customer experience manager trying to operate a CRM system.

About the author 
Scott Brinker, VP Platform Ecosystem, HubSpot. With thousands of cloud-based apps on the market and vigorous M&A activity by well-funded current and private equity organisations, the acquisition gathers together and names a variety of services. It's not uncommon to see these for sale. As a platform, whether or not these services are properly integrated to deliver a great user experience.In the realm of marketing technology, this method is widely used. Users, on the other hand, are aware of the distinction.The number of marketers looking for an integrated solution in 2020 more than doubled from the previous year, owing in part to the pandemic's issues. As a result, legacy players known for their suite of acquired goods are increasingly attempting to portray their products as "platforms" to meet these markets' demands. However, we acquire items that are built on completely distinct technology stacks and then stitch them together in a sales presentation to call them a platform. It's not a platform if the user merely has a strong but rather cumbersome Frankenstein Mishmash. It's a jumbled mess.This is something that marketing executives should not allow. How can you expect to create a seamless customer experience if you have to devote time and money just to make your own tools work properly? Here are some recommendations for selecting an enterprise technology platform, as well as what providers should look for when evaluating a "integrated" product suite.

Look at the building blocks
First and foremost, it's critical to understand how the platform is constructed within. It's preferable to use a native platform (built from scratch to achieve a particular purpose). That way, you'll know you're working on the same tech stack. Even though a group of products that appear to be a platform have a common user interface, the way the suite is put together might teach you a lot. If you use the Get Stack Platform, you risk having to spend time and money on process overhead and custom customizations to compensate for the vendor's lack of coherence.Examining the onboarding processes and permissions connected with your product might help you evaluate if you're working on a single tech stack. Complex processes involving several permissions and logins in various portions of the platform could suggest that the platform is not as interconnected as it should be.It's also critical to have a platform that operates with a single set of technologies. This makes it easier to integrate with existing IT infrastructure, saves time and money, and lowers the overall cost of ownership. The actual platform, too, must be modular. This means you won't have to set up or configure parts that aren't required for other sections to function.

Follow the data
You now have a good understanding of the platform's technology stack. It's crucial to understand the platform's data and how it's processed.The term "lifeblood" often overused when discussing the necessity of data in modern business, but it's accurate. To deliver a wonderful client experience, all services must sing from the same chant sheet. To put it another way, you must meticulously capture any facts that could be the only source of truth. Otherwise, it isn't a platform. It's a collection of silos bundled together.This isn't going to be easy. Some services may dump all heterogeneous data into a massive cloud data lake, but it's difficult to use that data efficiently across other services. Making data operate seamlessly across different apps and services may be a pain if it is dispersed over separate data models rather than being integrated from the start.Consider a customer relationship management (CRM) system. To satisfy your marketing, sales, and customer support needs, you'll need a lot of data to make sure everything is in sync. Not only do you have consumer data, but you also have internal data. As needed, each function can handle, use, and tag this data differently. Each business unit handles data differently and can soon become fragmented if they don't have the means to consolidate it and keep it clean and functional. Adjusting for these inconsistencies can be a time-consuming and expensive procedure that the actual platform should not force users to go through.

Look at the wider ecosystem
The most crucial characteristic of a real platform, though, is that it has an open, unified basis that allows you to correctly plug in third-party apps (or your own custom extensions). These integrations operate flawlessly across the entire product. There isn't a single API for marketing, another for sales, and yet another for the CMS online experience. The coherent platform allows for a more cohesive ecosystem, which benefits you, your customers, and third-party developers who build apps and integrations on top of it.The platform's large ecosystem of supporting tools and services is a good measure of its power. Many business technology companies have a range of partner contracts and cross-selling opportunities, but the true ecosystem allows end users to go through a restricted number of sophisticated procurement procedures without having to go through a complex procurement process. Find the new services you require on the open market and integrate them swiftly. Prioritized partnersA robust partner ecosystem is frequently indicative of a true platform. The booming partner market not only demonstrates that the platform is stable and that offering third-party services that are simple to set up and manage for end customers is almost acceptable. A universe of possibilities opens up with a truly efficient client experience.Instead of buying monolithic and difficult-to-use goods, company owners can focus on these three criteria to separate the true platform from the disguiser and locate a fully integrated product suite that supports their organisation. You ought to be able to do so.

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