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The All-in-one Software Fairy Tale

Billy Marshall
March 14, 2019


There is no such thing as an “all in one” software application for anything.  Like a unicorn, it is a neat idea (who wouldn’t want a friendly horse with a horn) that is nothing more than a fairy tale. Yet it is probably the most popular unicorn that commercial service contractors (and others as well) search endlessly to discover.   And yet it just will not die in the minds of those that seek it.

So what do software vendors do?  They play to market bias and adopt the “all-in-one” promise into their marketing messaging.  They pique your attention with claims of the elusive all-in-one software. However, when you take a closer look, you find the unicorn is simply a horse with a horn taped to its head. And the vendor trying to sell it to you is a charlatan.  Their website sucks. Their technology is server-based. (Which nobody should be buying in 2019). And their LinkedIn page shows they have like 9 employees, with the trendline going down, not up.

We have debunked the idea of a magical “all in one” application over, and over, and over, and over again. So you can imagine my shock when I saw a company that I admire marketing their application as an “all-in-one”.

ServiceTitan: “All in One” for Home Service Companies

ServiceTitan is a very successful company that offers a high-quality, modern customer service application for home services companies.  I admire their growth. I admire their management team. I admire their technology architecture. And in their marketing, they use the “all-in-one” label to get your attention.  I get the idea. I suppose it just makes sense if everyone is looking for “all-in-one” you might as well have them look at your application and decide for themselves which “all-in-one” is best for them.

But it’s just not true.  

How do I know?

Straightaway, ServiceTitan tells potential customers they will need to buy an accounting application such as QuickBooks or Sage Intacct.  “Wait a minute!” you say, “I thought ServiceTitan was an all-in-one?” Nope. Not really. That was just marketing.

Second, they promote several other integrated partner applications to their customers so that they can get greater value from the platform.  These include GPS tracking, pricing, and online review applications. “Wait, what about the all-in-one?” you declare again. Nope. Sorry.

Finally, they publish extensive documentation for developers to extend the application and integrate it with other applications via their Application Programming Interfaces (APIs).  “Wait!” you say again, “A true all-in-one doesn’t have to integrate with other applications because it should already do everything.” Sorry. That’s just not the case.

Separating the ServiceTitans from the Charlatans

So how do I square all of my admiration for ServiceTitan with my historical disdain for companies that, like them, make the “all-in-one” promise? More on that in a minute.

First, let’s answer a more important question. How can you, the commercial service contractor, know how to quickly spot a charlatan promising a unicorn but secretly selling you the same, tired horse with a taped on horn?  

Do a little research and answer some basic questions to look for red flags:

  1. What does their website look like?  Is it modern and mobile friendly, or does it take you back to the 1990s?
  2. Is their software cloud or server based?  No one should be buying server-based software in 2019.  
  3. Check out the company LinkedIn page.  How many employees do they have? What are their backgrounds?  Has the employee count grown in the last few years? Growth is good.
  4. Can their software easily connect with other applications? Look for a list of integrations or search for API documentation.  It should be obvious how the software can connect with other interesting applications to further extended its capabilities.

(For a more in-depth resource to help you with vendor selection and software buying, download our free software buying guide here.)

Rethinking “All in One” – What ServiceTitan Taught Me

I’ll admit it.  ServiceTitan forced me to stop and table my typical disdain for “all-in-one” promises from software companies.  They are a sound company with a high-quality product. And while they may not be an “all-in-one” application, they are “all-in” for their customers’ success.  Plus they are very focused on who that customer is – home service companies – and it shows on their website.

My advice to you? Stop chasing that elusive unicorn – stop looking for an “all-in-one” system because –  just like the unicorn – it’s only a fairytale. And it’s not what you really need.

Instead, look for the vendor that is “all in” for your success.  A vendor like ServiceTitan. They know your business, they understand their strengths and limitations and can connect you with trusted partners who can meet your needs that are outside their scope.  They’ve blazed a new trail for companies just like you in your industry who want to be innovative, and they’ve guided hundreds down the path before you. Just like ServiceTitan is “all in” for home service providers, ServiceTrade is “all in” for commercial service contractors.  If you want to learn how ServiceTrade is “all in” for our customers, schedule a demo today.


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