Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Oracle NetSuite are two of the leading cloud ERP solutions for small to medium-sized enterprises. The solution you go for will depend on your specific business needs and what you want from your ERP. In this blog, we look at the specifics of each product so that you can make an informed decision.
Business Central (BC) has full ERP capabilities for small to medium-sized organisations. BC’s standard licence, Business Central Essentials, includes a large range of different BC modules such as Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management and Warehouse Management. Alternatively, a Business Central Premium licence includes all the modules included in the Essentials licence, plus Manufacturing and Service Management modules.
In contrast, NetSuite has a core platform which includes essential financial and accounting functionality, along with a variety of other capabilities designed to improve key business processes. More capabilities can be added through the addition of modules. There are a wide range of different modules covering Financial Management, Customer Relationship Management, Inventory and Order Management, Commerce, Human Resources, Professional Services Automation and Supply Chain Management. These modules can be licensed separately and have varying licensing fees.
NetSuite is a cloud-only solution, while Business Central can be implemented either in the cloud or On Premise.
Type of solution
Business Central is, by default, installed as a single-tenant deployment. This means that the application and business data are stored in the same database. Each customer solution has its own Business Central Server and database and therefore has a unique environment to work in.
NetSuite, meanwhile, is a multi-tenant software solution. This means that a single instance of the software solution and its supporting infrastructure serves multiple customers. Each customer shares the software solution and a single database. Each tenant’s data is, however, isolated and remains invisible to the other tenants.
Keeping up to date
NetSuite rolls out updates to a small segment of businesses first, and then to the rest of its customers. Business Central, in contrast, allows customers to choose the rollout date for each of the two major updates per year. That way, if the business’s year-end or another major event falls at the same time as a scheduled update release, you can postpone the update until a later, more convenient date. Updates can also be checked in a sandbox environment before going live in the production environment.
Both NetSuite and Business Central can be integrated with the Microsoft stack (including Microsoft 365 products such as Word, Excel, Outlook and Microsoft Teams) as well as third-party solutions.
However, the degree of integration is not the same. Business Central, as part of the Microsoft ecosystem, enjoys seamless integration with Microsoft 365 products. In addition, products such as Power BI have some of their functionality embedded within Business Central. BC is also easy to integrate with third-party solutions. Many of these solutions are available via Microsoft’s AppSource store.
NetSuite does integrate with Microsoft 365 products, but the integration is not seamless like BC’s. You can add third-party solutions via NetSuite’s SuiteApp.com.
Both Business Central and NetSuite come with native reporting and analytics capabilities. Business Central has two global dimensions and six shortcut dimensions that allow you to group and categorise data for analysis purposes. Non-technical users can generate reports without needing any coding skills by using the drag and drop interface. In addition, extra reporting and analysis can be added via Power BI which has native integration with Business Central.
NetSuite also has deep reporting and out of the box analysis capabilities. Data analysis is, however, only allowed in three dimensions. As with BC, users can build reports using drag and drop report builder. Extra reporting and analysis can also be added via Power BI.
Both Business Central and NetSuite use a subscription pricing model. Business Central pricing varies from £6 (team licence user) to £75.40 (Premium licence user) (Click here for recent blog on Business Central Licences). In addition to this, there will be some level of implementation cost. This is an upfront capital investment made to ensure that Business Central is set up in a way that works correctly with your business’s processes and practices. Following implementation, there may be ongoing support costs to ensure that your Business Central environment continues to work correctly.
NetSuite subscription pricing is less transparent. Their per-user/month fees are not listed online and therefore you would need to speak to a NetSuite partner to get a cost estimate based on your business requirements. As with Business Central, there will also be an upfront cost for implementation and ongoing costs for support.
Which is the right ERP for you?
Whichever ERP you select will come down to your specific business needs. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, we would argue that Business Central is a robust and modern business management system that will not only meet, but also exceed, your business needs.
TVision Technology is one of the largest and most experienced providers of Business Central and NAV in the UK. Our team takes real pleasure in working with our clients to develop, implement and support the best possible ERP implementation for their needs, and it’s this enthusiasm for our work that sees us keep our relationships with clients long after the initial implementation is complete.
If you want to know more about Microsoft Business Central and how TVision could help you, please feel free to contact us to arrange a demo to see how a move to Business Central could be the right business move for you.