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Which ERP solution?

over 1 year ago by Nick Butler
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Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is used by organisations going through their digital transformation to manage day-to-day core activities and processes; align departments and improve workflow. It simplifies key business functions, enabling a company to manage all the moving parts of their organisation in one place, and bringing a number of benefits to the digital change journey. 

There are a number of ERP options on the market, with two of the market leaders when it comes to full feature, all-in-one solutions being SAP Business One and NetSuite. SAP is a name synonymous with ERP as it was one of the pioneers in the space, but the advent of cloud technology allowed competitors including NetSuite to catch up by originally offering a low-cost subscription model, forcing SAP to also offer a cloud option to maintain its status.

So how does a business choose between these two and how different are they?

Purpose:

SAP: for SME’s to help streamline and manage their businesses, with analytical tools and all major business functions in one place. 

NetSuite: for larger organisations, but used by everyone, it automates front and back-office processes and provides full reporting.

Hosted

SAP: can be onsite or hosted in the cloud, or a hybrid of the two, with offline work syncing later an option.

NetSuite: in a remote shared data centre, it is wholly hosted in the cloud, with no associated hardware.

Both solutions are mobile device friendly and offer an app, and are therefore accessible to users from anywhere.

Customisation & Scalability:

SAP: Easy to customise from the dashboard widgets, enabling users to only see what they need to see, from a core foundation of full financials, operations, CRM, warehousing, inventory, payroll, purchasing and more.

NetSuite: Full editing ability from forms to appearance, meaning you can integrate whatever features you need, though scalability comes in the form of third party written add-ons.

External Integration:

SAP: Transparent access to the database, for companies who want to examine the data with their own reporting tools. All industry-level requirements are met with SAP-certified solutions.

NetSuite: Good integration and compatibility with third party systems, using add-ons to accommodate this, though these come with the associated cost of manual coding to integrate them.

Analytics:

SAP: Real-time access to data and reporting functions, though some may require separate licences.

NetSuite: the SuiteAnalytics solution is very user-friendly, providing everything from KPI information to reporting.

System updates:

SAP: You can choose when to have your upgrades installed, avoiding any critical business times.

NetSuite: Automatically updates twice a year to all customers simultaneously, which isn’t always convenient to users.

 

The majority of feedback and reviews online have SAP shading NetSuite in terms of the user experience, though any decision on adoption should be centred around the specific needs of the business and which software can be adapted best to suit.