Salmonella and Yersinia are two distantly related genera containing species with wide host-range specificity and pathogenic capacity. The metabolic complexity of these organisms facilitates robust lifestyles both outside of and within animal hosts. Using a pathogen-centric systems biology approach, we are combining a multi-omics (transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) strategy to define properties of these pathogens under a variety of conditions including those that mimic the environments encountered during pathogenesis. These high-dimensional omics datasets are being integrated in selected ways to improve genome annotations, discover novel virulence-related factors, and model growth under infectious states. We will review the evolving technological approaches toward understanding complex microbial life through multi-omic measurements and integration, while highlighting some of our most recent successes in this area.