In this blog, we will review several concerns with SAP Business One compared to NetSuite. There are already existing concerns with SAP Business One end of support, and these should be added to that list.

SAP for Small Business Limits Growth Potential

SAP for small business revolves primarily around SAP Business One, which serves companies requiring 5 to 100 users. It is not a good investment for fast-growing companies because of the user count limitation. If your company hits 101 users, you will probably need to upgrade to another product, SAP Business ByDesign or S/4 Hanna.

This upgrade process can require considerable work, especially if you went with the on-premise version of SAP BusinessOne. (More on that later.)

Choosing SAP Business One can help your company initially, but you could outgrow it quickly if there is a breakthrough.

NetSuite will scale with your company and has a proven track record. Its customers span from 1 user to thousands, and all use the same product. Approximately 65% of tech IPOs since 2011 have been NetSuite customers.

Do you want to limit your company’s growth potential by going with SAP Business One?

Competing Products: SAP Business One vs SAP Business ByDesign

Interestingly enough, SAP Business ByDesign competes for almost the same customer base. It is intended for companies with 20 to 1,000 users, so any company with 20 to 100 users is fair game for both products. That presents the potential for internal conflict regarding development focus, budget, and other resources for the two products.

Healthy competition is good, but this raises questions that you’d rather not entertain when picking software to run your finances and entire business for the next 5-10+ years.

  • Should we have gone with ByDesign instead of BusinessOne?
  • What if we grow past 100 users faster than expected?
  • Will we need to migrate to SAP ByDesign?
  • How likely is an ERP implementation failure?

NetSuite customers are not faced with the same dilemma. There are three basic NetSuite editions, and all share the same code base, so upgrading is streamlined. Plus, bi-annual upgrades are done automatically, with all customizations carrying forward to the latest version. The main differences between the NetSuite editions are the company size and required users, but all customers use the same product.

Heavy Reliance on Partner Community

Another thing to consider is the heavy reliance on the SAP Partner Community for product innovation. See the following quote from Peter Maier, Industries and Customer Advisory President at SAP.

“Currently, partners develop at least 80% of SAP’s industry cloud solutions for all customer segments. My expectation is that the percentage will be much higher for the midmarket.”

Given this statement, what is the incentive for SAP’s corporate team to invest in innovative cloud solutions? There are approximately 850 value-added resellers globally responsible for driving this innovation for the midmarket. It is great to lean on partners for insight, but there can be inconsistencies with quality and potentially even more dependence on partners for upgrades and maintenance.

SAP for Small Business: On-Premise or Cloud?

SAP Business One is available on-premise via Microsoft SQL and in the cloud through SAP Hana in-memory technology. The limitations of on-premise ERP are outlined in detail on our website, but this brings up another question.

Are both versions of Business One receiving the same attention and resources?

Even if you preferred the on-premise option, SAP launched a RISE with SAP, which is a program that encourages customers to migrate to S/4 HANA, its cloud service. Migrating from on-premise to the cloud is a serious and costly undertaking.

It is conceivable that SAP could be moving away from its on-premise origins to cloud solutions (which is a smart business move editorially speaking). Read this blog to see the differences between cloud and on-premises.

With NetSuite, you have one choice, and it is the cloud. NetSuite is trusted by more than 36,000 companies globally, and all are running on the latest and most secure version.

Download this white paper to see the benefits of switching from SAP to NetSuite.

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