If you are a company looking to upgrade to a more capable enterprise resource planning (ERP) application, Sage 200 is likely to be one of your considerations. But have you looked into all of the options? NetSuite could provide the functionality, flexibility and scalability you require.
With ERP solutions forming a critical part of any business’ activities, making the right choice is vital. So what should you be looking at when considering which option is the right one for you?
Meet the choices
Sage 200 is aimed at growing mid-market firms looking to make the leap to the next level. The on-premise version is positioned at businesses with 10 – 200 employees, whereas the “hosted cloud” version is aimed at companies with 10 – 50 employees. It promises to manage finances, customers and business insight in a single solution.
NetSuite ERP requires a minimum of two users but is best suited for growing companies or those that already have 20 plus employees. There is no limit to the number of users you can add. While coming with a full suite of ERP and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, it additionally provides tools such as eCommerce applications and a range of options tailored for specific verticals, including software and professional services.
Users of Sage 200 have a choice between on-premise and a new cloud-based solution, and can choose from monthly or upfront pricing deals. The cloud-based option of Sage 200 is an aggregation of legacy Sage products and was not originally built for the cloud. NetSuite, meanwhile, was designed and built specifically for the cloud, and has 15 years of market maturity whilst its subscription-based pricing provides a simple, predictable cost structure.
As mentioned above, Sage 200 on-premise is only designed to support up to 200 employees and the online version is typically for up to 50 employees, which could pose problems for growing businesses once they hit these limits as migrating to the next level on the Sage family can be tricky.
Sage has limited integration capabilities, so moving up to Sage 200 from Sage 50 – or upgrading further to Sage 300 – can be as costly and complex as implementing a completely different system altogether.
This is not an issue with NetSuite, which is designed with scalability in mind and provides businesses with the same single interface as they grow. There is only one version of the software and with upgrades twice a year, it will always remain right up-to-date, giving companies a peace of mind they might not get with another option.
Integration and automation
The ability to integrate other business processes should be a key factor when choosing an ERP system, and in this regard Sage 200 offers CRM functionality (on-premise only), and tools to keep track of stock and manage project costs.
However, many of these features are essentially bolt-ons that have limited integration. With regards to automation, even simple approvals can be difficult to implement in Sage 200 due to system complexities.
On the other hand, NetSuite offers a truly integrated solution with a single dashboard from which to manage and automate a range of processes – such as order and billing management, shipping or marketing. The ability to utilise integrated and automated workflows will greatly improve efficiency by eliminating time consuming manual entry and reducing errors.
Reporting and analytics
NetSuite also provides a full range of reporting and analytics tools to help ensure all users have strong insight into their business. For instance, as well as detailed reports into projects to inform decision-making, NetSuite provides a transaction audit trail to capture all user actions and system changes. This enables regulatory compliance and lowers risk.
Sage 200 on-premise has a business intelligence module for trend analysis and intuitive reporting, but the packaged reports mean that customers are unable to get an accurate view of the business.
The business intelligence feature is not currently available with Sage 200 Online, and does not compare favourably with the detailed, functional and “out of the box” reports that come with NetSuite – which also offers a much more intuitive searching and reporting capability so you can build your own if you wish.
If you would like to know more about why NetSuite could be the right choice for your business, please get in touch with our team of experts.
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