NetSuite VS Dynamics – Head-To-Head Battle!

If you are planning to make a decision on a cloud-based ERP solution for your business, then there is need for a comparison between NetSuite VS Dynamics GP (Great Plains). In this comparison, either one or more of the following factors can determine whether NetSuite or Dynamics GP is either superior or inferior over another.

These include:

  • Functionality
  • Flexibility
  • Affordability
  • Vendor stability

Let’s discuss them in detail:

1. Functionality

Usually, functionality is the key consideration point when choosing the right solution for business management. Microsoft Dynamics GP has been identified as having greater built-in functionality than NetSuite. In fact, when compared to NetSuite, Dynamics GP comprises approximately 62 percent more out of box functionality. As matter of fact, no single business companies every feature available in either of the products.

However, the penalty can sometimes be severe for organizations that choose a solution, which is lacking, crucial, substantial features required among former and current NetSuite customers. NetSuite still claims that they have all the features needed by their customers. Some specific NetSuite weaknesses of functionality include:

a) Distribution/Inventory Management – For any product, which is highly intended to help e-commerce as well as other distribution-based businesses, particularly NetSuite, has been criticized for lacking the sophistication required to manage more complex distribution and inventory processes. Some specific requirements vary among individual businesses and by industry, so it very critical to ensure that your distribution and inventory requirements can be met by the new system you choose in an ease way.

b) Business/Reporting Analytics – While NetSuite provides a system of dashboard reporting that can fulfill a wide range of basic reporting needs, creating customs reports can be quite slow or limited at times compared to Microsoft Dynamics GP. Data integration from NetSuite with other sources can be also difficult at best and with the inability to export data to popular tools like Microsoft Office Excel that gives a limitation to further sharing and analysis of data.

According to those familiar with both NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics GP suggest that the financial reporting tool of Microsoft FRx substantially offers more control and functionality compared to NetSuite. Another important section where Dynamics GP shines is the sharing information with Office Excel. This enables you to create Excel reports, which include data from various sources, and then dynamically updating them with real-time information every moment you open your Excel report. Additionally, for information collaboration and coordination beyond Excel, interoperability of Microsoft Dynamics GP with Office SharePoint Server gives a broad range of responsibilities of information sharing.

c) Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – When comparing NetSuite VS Dynamics, it lacks both depth and breadth in the functionality of CRM such as campaign management, integrated marketing, service and sales capabilities just to mention a few. For customers/users that need comprehensive capabilities of any CRM solution, NetSuite has added and integrated into their system.

However, if you are one of their customers you need to know that there is additional customization, integration, and subscription costs associated with it. On the other hand, Microsoft dynamics CRM has a free Server License that is given when you buy Dynamics GP and every Microsoft CRM is licensed separately. However, good news is the integration between Microsoft CRM and Dynamics GP is available without any extra cost.

2. Flexibility

Often, business management solutions fail or succeed based-upon their ability to assist individual businesses accomplish this kind of situational needs. To accomplish this needs more than just a deep and broad set of well built-in functionality. In addition, it needs flexibility to be able to change to suit the new business requirements. While NetSuite may comprise various desirable and attractive qualities, its flexibility is not quite as expected by many customers, since customization options can be expensive and limited. Here are some specific factors worth considering:

a) One Option, No Exceptions – Hosted architecture is one of prime selling points offered by NetSuite that promises to deployment and minimize IT expenditures. While simplification of process is a worth objective, you should also consider the possibility that your requirements and needs will change over time. This means that once you commit to NetSuite solution, you don’t you have any option to change to a hybrid solution of a hosted/on-premises or an on-premises based system.

Additionally, architecture that NetSuite offers their customers makes it hard to transfer data. On the other hand, Microsoft Dynamics GP provides both onsite and hosted deployment options, allowing customers the freedom of retaining and exercising as much control over their data and applications as displayed. With it, you have better control over all basic scenarios of customization such as creation of custom reports, modification of process flows, or integration with other applications, which specifically match your business requirements or needs.

b) In-House Customization – apart from some superficial capabilities of customization such as removing or adding fields from forms and changing field names, NetSuite does not actually provide much in the process modification. Since it is purely a hosted business management solution, the customer doesn’t either control their data or the program that can make it expensive and difficult to handle specific customizations like creating a report which puts information together from several sources and changing the way the process flow operates.

3. Affordability

Business organizations need to thoroughly consider the costs involved in the implementation of solution of high-functioning business management. NetSuite in this case makes a huge effort to convince potential customers and prospects that its systems are less expensive and affordable compared to Microsoft Dynamics GP together with other available options. However, costs quickly escalate once the discount period expires. Common dissatisfaction areas with NetSuite pricing are Heavy Discounting to “Seal the Deal”, No “Light” User Licenses and Costly Personalization Needed to Add core-Functionality.

4. Vendor Stability

It would be absolutely wrong to believe that because a business has a comparatively low customer count and little revenue stream, this will automatically disqualify it as the serious contender for your business. However, at the same time, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance financial stability of a vendor especially when making a far-reaching decision for your business. Some concerns about overall stability of NetSuite are lack of profitability, lack of customer additions, much focus on small businesses, and underdeveloped partner channel.

In conclusion, the battle between NetSuite VS Dynamics GP is tight and on-going where each of them claiming to be the best ERP solution available in the market.

Brooke Nelson is the Lead Author & Editor of NetSweets. With more than 20,000 customers, NetSuite is a fascinating platform! It is the major player in ERP, CRM, and ecommerce.