ERP

The ERP battle: SAP Business ByDesign vs Oracle Netsuite

The proportion of selections where the customer chooses a cloud-based ERP system is continuously increasing. It is no longer a trend but has instead become the regular delivery model. At the same time, onpremise has become an alternative that still exists but where the number of deals is rapidly declining.

Although there is still some ambiguity in the market about what cloud-based means, public cloud solutions attract the most interest (unlike private cloud services that take place via, for example, Amazon or Azure).

Two cloud-based (public cloud) ERP systems that have received a great deal of attention in a short time and are growing rapidly in the Scandinavian market are SAP Business ByDesign and Oracle Netsuite. These two systems have many similarities and often reach the finals when customers are selecting a new ERP system.

Netsuite was launched as early as 1998 as one of the world’s first public cloud ERP systems. With +20 years on the market, the product has undergone several generational shifts and over time has become a very functional system with support for many different industries. Netsuite has been available on the Scandinavian market since 2009 but has shown limited growth until 2017 when the number of partners increased and when the entire market switched to cloud-based systems. Today there are about 20,000 customers globally, of which about 100 in Scandinavia.

SAP Business ByDesign was launched in 2007 after SAP realized that it had to meet the demand for cloud-based systems for the segment of small- and medium-sized organizations. Instead of trying to convert the older SAP Business One, they chose to develop a completely new business system. Despite the fact that the system has been on the international market for +10 years, it was not until 2018 that it became available on the Scandinavian market. Globally, there are today about 5.000 customers, of which about 100 are in Scandinavia.

In a short time, both Oracle Netsuite and SAP Business ByDesign have gone from no partners in Scandinavia to both having +10 partners in the Scandinavian countries. And as a result of increasing number of partners, we also see a rapidly increasing volume of sales.

One similarity is that both SAP Business ByDesign and Oracle Netsuite offer the customer a “platform” that includes much more than just a traditional ERP system. In SAP’s case, it applies to the HANA platform and in the case of Netsuite, it applies to SuiteCloud. Both platforms offer a large library of services and tools that extend significantly beyond what applies to traditional ERP systems.

The toolbox at Netsuite is richer in content compared to HANA and has during its 20 years reached a very broad target group of developers who continuously add the library with additional apps. In principle, these tools can create completely new and unique additional functions and modules for an already functional ERP system.

The same can actually be said about HANA, although SAP still has an attitude that is somewhat more protectionist than compared to Netsuite. But also with HANA, we see an explosive development of available apps and additional services that are emerging at their partners. In the same way as we have seen for many years among Microsoft’s partners.

Functionally, SAP Business Bydesign and Oracle Netsuite are relatively similar to each other and there is logic that these two systems meet quite often in selection cases. Both ERP systems can offer functionality for most business processes but with limitations regarding manufacturing. Netsuite benefits from its close relationship with Oracle with its database and business intelligence. SAP similarly benefits from the HANA platform and the strengths that come with reporting and business intelligence. Netsuite has recently supplemented its application with support for a built-in HCM suite and in the case of SAP, Successfactors is required to be able to compete within HCM.

In its basic version, SAP Business ByDesign is more pre-packaged than Oracle Netsuite, which means that the system can be implemented in a relatively short time. At the same time, everyday life shows that it still always needs a lot of configuration to get both systems up and running.

Today it is a very even battle between SAP Business ByDesign and Oracle Netsuite. And in this situation, it is the choice of partner that becomes decisive as to who wins the battle in a selection process.

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