Choosing between NetSuite and SAP Business One – the key differentiators

When it comes to looking for a full-featured, all-in-one enterprise software suite that can help a company manage all aspects of its operations, one of the first solutions likely to come to mind is SAP Business One. As a mature company with a long history of providing business-grade enterprise resource planning (ERP) products, firms may well feel becoming a SAP customer will guarantee them a high-quality service.
However, there are other options that organisations need to think about before taking the plunge. SAP’s Business One offering may be aimed at small and growing firms, but does this necessarily mean it’s the best fit for your unique needs? NetSuite is one alternative that deserves serious consideration, so we’ve highlighted a few of the key differentiators of each that you need to bear in mind when evaluating the different solutions.

On-premise, hosted or cloud?

SAP Business One is available on-premise or as a hosted cloud solution. The hosted version is called SAP Business One OnDemand and was announced in 2012, so it is still a relatively new offering. Conversely, NetSuite has always been fully cloud-based, and has 15 years of market maturity.
For further information on the differences between on-premise, hosted cloud and true cloud please see our related blog here.

Finding the right licensing solution

The question of cost and licensing is one that will be of utmost importance to most small and medium-sized businesses, and this is something that could pose issues if they opt for SAP Business One. The solution will require a significant capital investment if you choose the on-premise version while even with the cloud-based solution the licensing is highly complex – with a full solution including ERP, analytics, customer relationship management (CRM) and eCommerce requiring multiple agreements.
NetSuite, on the other hand, offers a predictable subscription-based service, and because it is cloud-based it requires no upfront capital hardware investment. All the solutions a business needs to operate effectively are included under one simple to understand license, giving businesses peace of mind and enabling them to plan their finances much more effectively.

Reporting and analytics

SAP Business One offers a range of analytics tools to help give users an insight into their business – with access to technology such as SAP’s HANA in-memory database promising real-time access to data to answer key questions. However, businesses will need to decide whether this high-level capability is worth the high fees, as many of SAP’s analytics offerings require separate licenses – adding time and cost to a deployment.
NetSuite users benefit here from the fact that key data is available at their fingertips as standard through the software’s easy-to-use dashboards, which are able to bring up tailored real-time reports allowing businesses to get an instant insight into all aspects of their operations.

A complete package

Users of SAP Business One can take advantage of core business processes for a wide range of use cases, including financials, supply chain management, project management and customer relationship management tools, as well as 24 industry-specific options. However, the system can be complex and intimidating to new users, while capabilities such as direct integration with eCommerce solutions are lacking.
NetSuite also offers a full range of business IT solutions – including accounts, CRM, supply chain management, inventory management, and more – but also has eCommerce functionality that can be tailored to either B2B or B2C requirements.

Mobile access

As a fully web-based offering, NetSuite is easy to use on multiple platforms, including all major mobile operating systems – something that is likely to become even more important to companies as employees increasingly seek the ability to work from anywhere, at any time. An important point to note here is that there is only one version of NetSuite, so you can be confident that you will be able to access your software from any device.
On the other hand, although SAP Business One OnDemand does have the ability to work on mobile, it has its limitations as there is complexity with regards to which version of the software you are using.
If you would like to know more about cloud ERP solutions and what the right option for your business is, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts. 
Please leave your comments below and share with your colleagues.


More Information

Stephen Adamson


[email protected]

(+44) 115 758 8888
Stay Connected

We make a selection of our blog’s most relevant news, a section dedicated to what we know best: Cloud Business Management Solutions. Sign up to our newsletter.