Why specialized domain software always wins. The advantages of vertical market software over ERP in maintaining healthcare facilities

In this era of digital transformation, where operational efficiency is key, healthcare facilities are constantly faced with choosing the most effective IT solutions for their operations, including in the area of maintenance and asset management. The dilemma often boils down to expanding existing ERP systems with new modules or investing in specialized vertical market software designed specifically for these purposes. While expanding an existing ERP system may initially seem more economically attractive, the advantages of specialized software, designed specifically to handle processes within a specific business area, far outweigh the initial convenience and apparent savings of expanding an ERP system.

The temptation to implement a simple add-on to existing ERP software to meet specific needs, related to areas for which the software was not created, is strong. While the idea of a quick implementation (additionally, natively – at least in theory – integrated with the core application) with minimal disruptions seems attractive, especially on a limited budget, such an approach often fails in the long term, especially in areas with specific legal requirements and liabilities.

This blog post presents detailed arguments why healthcare facilities should consider professional, specialized vertical market software for their maintenance and asset management needs and related processes.

Deep specialization and customized functionality

Imagine an ocean full of business needs. An ERP system resembles a sturdy boat, offering a general navigation platform to traverse this sea. However, when you encounter specialized challenges typical for your industry, a basic boat is not enough. This is where vertical software shines, like an advanced submarine, specially designed to navigate the specific depths and complexities of your domain.

Highly specialized vertical market software has been created with particular requirements in mind related to the maintenance of healthcare facilities, covering medical devices, buildings, and infrastructure, along with accompanying processes. Unlike general ERP extensions, vertical software deeply analyzes the complex needs of the sector, offering a wide range of functions and capabilities precisely tailored to address the nuances of hospital operations. This deep specialization ensures that the software not only meets the current requirements of healthcare facilities but is also prepared to adapt to emerging trends and technologies in medical equipment and infrastructure maintenance. This translates into a wealth of features designed specifically to deal with daily challenges. From complex workflows to advanced reports, a professional asset management solution provides a level of functionality and precision simply unattainable with a general ERP add-on.

Multi-modularity: not just medical equipment – expansion to other areas, integration with other systems and devices (e.g., IoT)

ERP manufacturers, supplying software in hospitals, respond to maintenance needs by offering modules for managing medical equipment. However, it should be remembered that hospital asset maintenance is not just about equipment. Buildings, technical and telecommunications infrastructure, as well as equipment – all require efficient management to ensure the smooth operation of the facility.

Here lies the strength of systems designed from the start for asset management. In addition to a module for managing medical equipment, such systems offer a range of other modules that allow for comprehensive management of hospital assets. For example, the Appmedica system includes:

  1. Building management: space inventory, planning renovations, media consumption control
  2. Technical infrastructure management: inventory of devices and installations, planning inspections and maintenance
  3. Telecommunications infrastructure, IT equipment, and software management: inventory of networks and telecommunications devices, security monitoring
  4. Equipment management: inventory of equipment and furnishings, control of consumables usage
  5. Vehicle management
  6. Inventory management and conducting physical inventory checks
  7. Service contract management
  8. Internal service management
  9. Integration with IoT sensors
  10. Integration with geolocation systems

Expert knowledge and dedicated support: partnership with industry veterans

ERP system providers have universal knowledge in many areas, but none are known perfectly. Their goal is to create a platform that serves various industries. This broad scope comes at the expense of in-depth domain knowledge. When you partner with a provider of vertical market software, you gain access to a team that knows the intricacies of your specific industry well – in the case of medical equipment, this could be, for example, knowledge of service processes, oversight over thousands of items and operations associated with them, billing work, team management, and many others. Manufacturers of specialized vertical market software for healthcare facility maintenance have extensive knowledge in their field, gained through years of experience and collaboration with healthcare workers.

Returning to ERP software manufacturers, whose main goal is to develop a universal solution for many industries and operational functions, where such modules and/or tools are just minor pieces of a larger whole. As the business role of these modules in such software for ERP manufacturers is rather insignificant, they primarily focus on other modules – in the case of ERP systems, these will mainly be human resources and payroll, finance, and accounting. As a result, ERP providers may not have sufficient understanding and engagement in addressing unique challenges and constantly changing needs related to asset maintenance and the extensive processes that accompany it.

On the other hand, providers of vertical market software, thanks to their specialized knowledge, are not only developers but also competent partners who provide valuable guidance, dedicated support, and tailor-made solutions, which the modest in their functionalities, ERP system modules cannot match.

Implementing specialized, professional vertical market software allows seamless integration with existing industry practices and to leverage best practices specific to a given area. You’re not just buying software; you gain a strategic partner whose goal is your success.

Smooth Integration Capabilities

A common misconception is that choosing specialized vertical market software may lead to integration issues with existing systems, especially ERP. However, modern CMMS/EAM solutions – such as Appmedica – are designed with interoperability in mind, offering seamless integration capabilities with existing systems – whether ERP or others, such as HIS. This allows healthcare facilities to benefit from both worlds: comprehensive operational oversight provided by their ERP and the specialized, in-depth functionality of vertical market software. Integration facilitates efficient data exchange and workflow streamlining, enhancing overall operational efficiency.

While vertical software offers unmatched functionality, fear of data silos often holds firms back. However, this is a misconception. Modern vertical market solutions are designed with integration in mind. They can seamlessly connect with your existing ERP system, ensuring a smooth flow of data between the two platforms. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and provides a unified view of your operations.

Reducing Dependence on a Single Vendor: Avoiding the Monolithic Trap

Imagine being entirely dependent on one vendor for all your software needs. That’s the reality when you rely heavily on add-ons from one large system, originally designed for different purposes. In the case of a single point of failure, any delays or complications from the ERP vendor can paralyze your entire operation.

In contrast, vertical market software solutions provide greater control. Smaller, more agile system providers often adapt and respond to customer needs more quickly. They are more open to feature requests and can rapidly develop solutions to meet specific challenges. This flexibility ensures you won’t be left behind, waiting for a large corporation to prioritize your needs.

Relying solely on one vendor, such as an ERP system, for all operational needs places healthcare facilities in significant dependence on such a supplier, potentially jeopardizing operational resilience. In the dynamic field of healthcare, where maintaining medical devices and facilities requires quick adaptation to changes and technological advancements, such dependence can be limiting. Choosing specialized vertical market software diversifies the technology portfolio, reducing the risk associated with vendor dependence and ensuring that your facility is not in any way limited.

Agility and Tailored Innovations

The pace of change in today’s business landscape is relentless. ERP providers, often large corporations, may be slow to respond to these changing needs. This might leave you stuck with outdated features or waiting years for key innovations.

Providers of specialized vertical market software, often smaller and more agile firms than their ERP counterparts, can quickly respond to the unique needs and feedback of healthcare facilities. This agility allows for rapid development and implementation of new features and customizations that meet the specific challenges faced by healthcare professionals.


For healthcare facilities looking to streamline their maintenance and management operations, the choice between expanding an existing ERP system or investing in specialized vertical market software is crucial. While ERP extensions may offer a superficial and economical solution in the short term, the long-term benefits of specialized vertical market software – tailored functionality, deep expert knowledge, smooth integration, reduced dependence on a single vendor, and agile innovation – make a compelling case for their selection. By choosing specialized vertical market software, you can be confident that you will have the tools and support necessary to navigate the complexities of contemporary healthcare, ultimately leading to improved quality of care services and operational efficiency.

March 9th, 20247 min
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