What are Packaged Business Capabilities?

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Packaged Business Capabilities (PBC) has emerged as a fundamental framework facilitating the implementation of Composable Commerce which embodies a business-focused and modular strategy for building and managing IT solutions.

It encourages companies to customize their technology setups by selecting the most suitable software solutions for their specific business needs. In this approach, each software solution acts as a module or building block within the setup, offering a specific capability referred to as a PBC.

The primary objective of PBCs and Composable Commerce is to precisely align business needs with technology solutions, contrasting traditional approaches favoring monolithic, one-size-fits-all suites from reputable vendors.

But while all-in-one suites are well integrated and comprehensive, companies and business leaders often encounter limitations when managing data effectively across an expanding array of platforms, channels, and systems.

Consequently, many organizations opt for an approach that prioritizes software choices aligned with their unique and changing business needs and strategies.

However, navigating the vast landscape of available solutions presents a significant challenge.

Here, the concept of PBCs comes to help, equipping business leaders and eCommerce managers to define requirements that help them navigate the realm of best-of-breed software solutions.


Defining Packaged Business Capabilities


PBCs can be simply defined as software components assembled to perform a specific business function. Each PBC, as an individual module, can be designed, assembled, and deployed independently. Furthermore, it offers the flexibility to be seamlessly integrated and removed across various applications or platforms.

On the business management side, therefore, PBCs encompass specific requirements and capabilities such as centralized product information management, distribution of data across sales channels, website content management, or order and payment processing.

On the technology side, PBCs integrate various solutions, or microservices, to seamlessly deliver these capabilities.


PBCs vs Microservices

While related, PBCs and microservices are not identical and serve different purposes. PBCs focus on defining business needs, which can later be fulfilled by various software solutions.

Microservices, on the other hand, represent an architectural approach where an application is divided into small, independent services, each performing a specific task and communicating with others via APIs. PBCs then bring together various combinations of specific microservices to represent a complete business process or solution.

PBCs are typically built using microservices, although it is possible to use monolithic software to deliver a specific capability if it can provide adequate integration via APIs.




The strength of this approach lies in its capacity to empower business and operational executives and managers to shape technological solutions and engage various stakeholders without needing an extensive grasp of technological complexities.

This enables ongoing adaptation, expansion, scaling, or modification of Composable solutions to address evolving business needs, improve identified areas, innovate, and swiftly seize new market opportunities and technologies, such as AI

The stakes are high in light of the constantly evolving landscape of customer behavior and the advent of new marketing channels. It is imperative for companies to take proactive measures to establish fresh touchpoints with their customers, especially if they cater to younger audiences.

As Think with Google reports in “The future of retail: Global trends shaping the next 5 years”, younger shoppers are 2x to 3x as likely to have shopped using emerging media.

This presents a significant opportunity, not only for introducing products through new channels but also for building a stronger connection with customers, thereby fostering loyalty.


Benefits of using PBC and Composable Commerce

Employing PBCs and adopting the Composable approach to building your technology stack brings numerous benefits:

  • Solves business problems — they provide tailored software solutions to address specific business needs.

  • Improves customer experience — they enable businesses to deliver superior customer experiences across all touchpoints, facilitating product data syndication and tapping into new sales channels and geographic locations.

  • Streamlines work — well-designed PBCs establish more efficient workflows across departments, eliminating software function overlap and defining clear roles for specific software usage.

  • Automates tasksby selecting software that eliminates repetitive tasks and streamlines the distribution and synchronization of product data, you can automate many processes, saving time and resources.

  • Promotes agility and innovation — the modular setup of Composable allows for quick changes and exploration of new business opportunities by defining or redefining PBCs.

  • Delivers Return on InvestmentComposable Commerce, with well-designed PBCs, optimizes operations, reduces the total cost of ownership of software, and accelerates time to market, offering a substantial return on investment.


An example of how to design PBCs

Let us put that knowledge into practice and use an example to demonstrate how you can design PBCs for your organization.

Imagine ShopperSpot, a hypothetical online retailer looking to move away from their restrictive all-in-one solution and embrace the flexibility of Composable Commerce, using PBCs.

The eCommerce Managers at ShopperSpot have identified key features and functionalities they need, including PBCs for:

  • Managing product information,

  • Handling orders,

  • Managing customers,

  • Processing payments,

  • Analytics and reporting,

  • Managing promotions and discounts.

ShopperSpot has designed the following PBCs, each offering API connectivity for smooth integration with other PBCs. They also understand that as they identify new needs, they have the flexibility to create more PBCs and seamlessly integrate them into the system.

Whether adding new PBCs or modifying existing ones, ShopperSpot always has the option to change their technology, for example by including PBCs for customer support, procurement, and content management.




Importance of business perspective in designing PBCs

The involvement of business leaders is essential for designing effective PBCs.

With their comprehensive understanding of organizational dynamics, executives and managers possess invaluable insights into operational intricacies, customer demands, and overarching business objectives. 

Additionally, business leaders help identify potential challenges and opportunities, ensuring that PBCs are not only technically sound but also practical and effective in real-world situations.

This fosters support and ownership of PBCs across the organization, meaning that everyone is on board and invested in making the new capabilities work.


How to implement your PBCs

As an executive or business manager, you may be considering the implementation of a Composable solution.

While confident in defining your company's required capabilities, identifying suitable software can pose a significant technical challenge, particularly when dealing with intricate aspects such as microservices or API connectivity, which demand specialized knowledge in IT.

The good news is that microservice-based and composable applications are widely recognized and embraced by IT specialists. However, the primary hurdle lies in acquiring the necessary skills to select and seamlessly integrate the best fitting solutions for delivering the desired capabilities.

If your organization lacks some of these skills, it should not deter you from reaping the benefits of using PBCs and Composable Commerce, as you can always leverage external support.

When implementing your PBCs to create a Composable Commerce solution, you have two main options:

  1. Pre-packaged (Accelerator): This type of Composable Commerce solution offers a predefined set of PBCs that cover various common use cases. Typically provided by IT consultancies, systems integrators (SI), and independent software vendors (ISV) specializing in the Composable approach. While adjustments, replacements, or ongoing additions of components are possible, businesses with highly unique needs may find a custom option more suitable.

  2. Custom-designed: In this scenario, the solution is tailored entirely to your enterprise requirements. This can be accomplished internally if your organization has the necessary expertise, or externally by hiring companies specializing in Composable solutions. The decision between internal and external approaches depends on the availability of skilled specialists and the complexity of your customization needs.


Accelerators vs Best-of-suite Solutions

Composable accelerators stand out for their flexibility and quick implementation, rivaling traditional best-of-suite solutions offered by single, large vendors.

Accelerators empower organizations to swap out any component without fear of vendor lock-in, allowing for process optimization, enhanced efficiency, and adaptation to evolving business needs while retaining control over the technology stack. This simplifies the daunting task of evaluating, selecting, and purchasing multiple software solutions.

Specialized companies offering accelerators not only provide powerful tools but also offer immediate guidance, best practices, and training materials.

This ensures that your enterprise is equipped with cutting-edge technology and can quickly adopt and effectively utilize it.


Start with a PBC for Product Information Management

In the realm of Composable Commerce, Product Information Management (PIM) systems have emerged as the keystone for building robust and efficient solutions.

This may surprise some, as in the past, PIM systems were often overlooked or seen as less important compared to Master Data Management (MDM) or Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

However, with the increase in data complexity and distribution channels, relying on limited integrations, spreadsheets, or manual data entry became problematic. PIM systems have become the best solution to these challenges, offering a centralized source for all product data.

A Composable PIM allows you to establish a PBC that serves as the central hub for your product data, ensuring completeness and quality. It enables teams and partners to access relevant data for collaborative management. This enriched product data can then be syndicated across all systems and customer channels.

Therefore, whether you are aiming to develop a basic or highly complex solution, the initial step is to establish a PBC for centralizing your product data. This ensures a secure and efficient handling of your data, allowing for extensive modifications to various PBCs while maintaining the integrity of your product content.

Choosing a different approach carries risks, as spreading your data across different systems or locations can lead to inconsistencies and difficulties in its management. So, starting with a centralized source for product information reduces the likelihood of discrepancies.

Moreover, PIM can significantly impact the performance of the whole Composable solution. Transferring large amounts of data for millions of SKUs, digital assets, and real-time data requires a very capable and mature system.

Inferior and non-enterprise-level PIM systems or a lack of PIM may result in very slow data transfer and prolonged synchronization lasting days instead of hours. This will lead to a slower time-to-market due to the delayed flow of accurate and up-to-date data.


Frequently Asked Questions about PBC and Composable Commerce

1. Will implementing PBC and Composable Commerce disrupt the work of various departments and pose a risk of failure?

This is an important question that may concern many business leaders who are considering transitioning from monolithic and best-of-suite solutions to Composable solutions.

The strength of the Composable approach lies in its inherent flexibility, enabling you to implement it at your own pace through iterative adjustments. If you still want to keep some of your monolithic software solutions, you can adopt a hybrid approach by defining PBCs that would be better served with a Composable solution, and start there, for example, with a PBC for centralizing product information using a Composable PIM.

Involving stakeholders from different departments to identify their required functions encourages collaboration and minimizes potential risks. Using PBCs to demonstrate how these requirements can be met facilitates step-by-step design and development of your solution.

If you have clearly outlined the business capabilities required, you essentially have a roadmap for success.

Whether opting for significant strides or beginning with small steps to gauge the waters, gaining firsthand experience with PBCs and the Composable approach boosts confidence in introducing or expanding upon existing PBCs.


2. How can we effectively implement PBCs and Composable Commerce when we lack the necessary expertise?

Organizations lacking expertise can entrust it to external companies specializing in Composable Commerce, such as consultancies, independent software vendors, and system integration firms, while still maintaining significant control over the design of their solutions thanks to PBCs.

This means that executives, managers, or strategists can closely collaborate with in-house IT specialists to determine the necessary services to fulfill their needs.

While external experts handle the more demanding technical aspects, organizations can actively contribute to the design and direction of their Composable solution, ensuring it aligns closely with their vision and objectives.



Packaged Business Capabilities are a powerful framework for unlocking business potential and succeeding in today's rapidly evolving business landscape.

By understanding the benefits, principles and best practices of PBCs, organizations can harness their transformative potential to create superior customer experiences, accelerate innovation and stay ahead of the competition.

Whether you are just getting started with PBCs or want to take your existing capabilities to the next level, now is the time to embrace the future of business and embark on a journey toward efficiency, sustained growth, and innovation.

Do you have questions about Composable Commerce and PIM? Get in touch with our PIM advisors today to schedule a free consultation or schedule a personalized demo meeting and discover the possibilities of Bluestone PIM, the leading Composable PIM solution.