What is Best of Breed??

I don't have an answer here, but this question has bounced around in my head for years, so  I thought I would share the question.  When someone says that they are going to only purchase "best of breed" products in each area, how do you decide what is, or is not, "best of breed?"  Do you read the trade rags? listen to the vendors?  Is it the product with the most features?  How do we define "best of breed"?

I've struggled with this time and time again!  How do you make this decision?  The reason I ask this is that I've had too many customers myopically focused on "best of breed" and sometimes we miss the bigger conversation; "What's the best business decision", or "Which solution provides the best value for your specific configuration / need?"  Best of breed was originally defined as the best Dog in a specific breed.  I grew up around show dogs and totally "get" the idea of "best of breed".  But how did we get to the point of comparing a software solution to a Dog?  This is getting pretty "Ruff" isn't it <smirk>.


Best of breed discussions helped create some of the TCO discussions we've been having for a long time now.  I really liked these discussions because they were focused on the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for your environment, not just the best product in a specific category.  As I mentioned, I've had customers myopically focused on best of breed, but that does not mean that their final solution is the "best for their company".  A simple example would be running DB2 on Mac's OS X.  Of course, I'm not advocating that either of these platforms are best of breed, but anymore, people can spin and product into the best or worst product in a category.  Yes DB2 and OS X are both solid answers, but everyone knows that you can't run DB2 on OS X.  I know this sounds pretty ridiculous, but stranger things have happened... Next time you feel the urge to choose "best of breed", let's talk about "The best solution for your business" instead. 

I'd really like your thoughts on this...

Until next time!


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