Netsuite VS Salesforce – and the winner is?

Well, this was inevitable, wasn’t it? With the popularity of SaaS these days, and the ever growing presence of CRM as a core of business operations, there are a lot of lists and comparison sheets out there weighing one solution against another. As with any industry, big names establish themselves over time, which gives you a comparison like Netsuite vs Salesforce.

Now, this is not a fair competition, because honestly, these two don’t target the same business scales or demographics for the most part. First of all, Netsuite is a multi purpose suite with several different core sets of functionality including CRM, but also a plethora of other things. Salesforce, itself, is specifically a CRM solution. It’s a product of, a larger group that produces a number of other solutions as well.

But, when it comes to Netsuite vs Salesforce, it’s all about how you want to accomplish your ultimate goals. There are two logical methods to planning out your set of SaaS, and your infrastructure around this. Netsuite and each target a different mindset for this.

With’s solutions, you take a basic infrastructure – in this case Salesforce, and you use things like the app exchange and exposed API programming to build on its features and capabilities as you see fit.

This is called an atomic model, one where everyone starts with the same base, and different needs build different castles atop this foundation. However, it can get expensive if you need to build a lot onto this, and if you want interoperabiltiy with some things you can’t make it really do.

So, this is something for more of a do it yourself kind of thinking. Netsuite, however, is the opposite concept.

With a ton of different niches within its circle, CRM, BI, ERP and others, each being a stand alone service suite itself, you have basically a build your own kit of framework items that are already as built as they need to be.

So, assuming you are going in from the ground up, choosing your SaaS, and you don’t want to spend forever building interop around Salesforce, then Netsuite is the easier and faster solution to adopt.

As far as its competence as CRM software, it’s on par with Salesforce, Siebel and Dynamics, through and through. It offers flexibility, customization of reports, records and searches, and still integrates with what third party solutions it must with elegance and grace.

Salesforce is a good solution, but as I said, it takes a special kind of mindset to want to do all the work and tweaking it takes to get a solid centralized framework out of it, where Netsuite does all this for you. Adopting Netsuite is a bit more of a commitment, but it also covers far more bases right out of the box, and its solid standardization means it’s much easier to train for.

When it comes to Netsuite vs Salesforce, unless you need something from Salesforce that is unique to it, I have to say that when you do the math, Netsuite is the winner. But, that’s only if you look at this a certain way.

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.