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January 23, 2023

SAP Business One vs. Oracle NetSuite Buyers Guide

Many different ERP solutions are available for the Small-Medium Business (SMB) and Mid-Market Enterprise (MME) space. It may seem overwhelming to pick the one you think will best enable your business's growth.

Your business might consider two well-known ERP solutions, SAP Business One and Oracle NetSuite. Oracle NetSuite and SAP Business One are considered "all-in-one" ERP solutions that support many industries and are typically geared toward fast-growing startups and MME-size companies.

While SAP and NetSuite might be viable solutions, most business leaders do not know the significant distinctions between the two. While there are considerable differences between SAP Business One and NetSuite, this blog plans to identify the three primary differences to locate or eliminate one from your ERP shortlist quickly.

This guide will detail the three primary differences between SAP Business One and Oracle NetSuite. Both offer powerful tools, but you need to know the significant distinctions to make an informed decision for your business.

What is an ERP Solution? A Brief Overview

Before picking the best ERP solution for your business, you need to understand the essential functions of an ERP and the different types of companies that benefit from implementing ERP software.

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning software. In a nutshell, ERP software generally consists of a tightly integrated set of business applications such as:

  • Financial management
  • Planning and budgeting
  • Business Intelligence
  • Operations management
  • Inventory management
  • Warehouse management
  • Human resource management
  • Professional service automation
  • Customer relationship management
  • Marketing automation

These applications support the vital processes in your business, such as order-to-cash and procure-to-pay.

It's important to note that not all ERP systems include all the above functions.

While an ERP system might include one of the functions above, the depth of capabilities may be lacking and require further customization or 3rd party products to provide a robust enough solution for your particular needs.

When evaluating the ideal ERP solution that's right for your business, you should consider the following:

  1. the software deployment model (cloud vs. on-premise or a combination of both referred to as "hybrid")
  2. the software vendor's track record (ideally within your industry and location)
  3. the software ecosystem (how robust is the partner and 3rd party software vendor landscape)
  4. the cost or, more specifically, the total cost of ownership (TCO)

SAP vs. NetSuite Primary Differentiator #1

Deployment Model and Update Frequency

Although SAP and Oracle NetSuite have many similarities, their deployment model and updating methods differ.

Oracle NetSuite is deployed exclusively in the cloud, meaning that the application and your data are managed entirely by Oracle in Oracle data centers.

You, the customer, access the application from a web browser on a PC or mobile device.

NetSuite makes a lot of sense for businesses that have stable internet and want a turnkey ERP solution.

Furthermore, NetSuite releases software updates twice a year regardless if you want to take advantage of the update.

Most updates are relatively seamless; however, if you have lots of 3rd party integrations, these updates could cause some disruption if not adequately prepared.

As a NetSuite customer, you have very little control over the software updates unless you subscribe to NetSuite’s premium tiers; in this case, you would gain control over release dates and frequency.

This is generally reserved for larger organizations with increased complexity within their IT environment. With this additional control comes a substantial price increase.

On the other hand, SAP Business One offers a hybrid deployment option, meaning customers can deploy SAP BusinessOne in the cloud or on-premise.

An on-premise solution is preferable for businesses with international or remote operations with unstable internet connectivity.

A hybrid deployment approach makes more sense for customers looking for a longer-term on-prem to cloud migration path.

Also, with Business One, you can choose to have SAP host your BusinessOne application, or you can choose to have an SAP partner like SEIDOR host the application for you. It’s entirely up to you.

SAP provides more flexibility in its deployment model than NetSuite’s rigid, one-size-fits-all approach.

SAP vs. NetSuite Primary Differentiator #2

Data Performance

Your ERP solution is only as good as the data and decisions you can make. Why spend all the time and money fighting with the system for quick and easy answers to your commonly asked questions trapped within your ERP solution?

While SAP Business One and NetSuite provide natively superior analytics and reporting capabilities, only SAP Business One can offer in-memory database capabilities with SAP HANA.

This is likely not a deciding factor for small businesses with limited complexity and data volumes. However, as businesses scale in size, complexity, and data volumes, this can create problems with crunching massive volumes of data in real time.

SAP HANA can, in essence, future-proof your ERP investment.

Consider Business One combined with SAP HANA as a supercharger for application performance and productivity. Currently, the NetSuite platform does not offer such capabilities, nor is there anything on the roadmap suggesting one is coming soon.

SAP vs. NetSuite Primary Differentiator #3

Industry-Specific Support

From the beginning, SAP and its partners have developed solutions with industry-specific IP, allowing different types of businesses to take advantage of SAP Business One’s feature/function-rich capabilities. This approach enables niche businesses to deploy Business One faster and cheaper than the alternatives such as NetSuite.

NetSuite and its partners, on the other hand, historically have taken more of a generalist approach to deploying ERP and allowing customers and partners to customize the application to meet the unique needs of various industries. NetSuite has recently noticed this deficiency and has recruited partners to help build niche-specific solutions playing catch up to vendors like SAP.

One way to think of this is that NetSuite was built for the masses. In contrast, SAP Business One and its partner community-built custom-tailored ERP solutions with industry-specific functionality, providing better, faster ROI.

SAP vs. NetSuite Price Comparison

Oracle NetSuite Pricing

The Oracle NetSuite base application starts at the low price of $999, with user licenses beginning at $99 per user per month.

The Oracle NetSuite base application does not include much outside of financial features. Additional add-on modules are sold separately and generally range from $300-500 per month per module. It's difficult to determine how much Oracle NetSuite will cost your business because of the different add-ons that you may need.

SAP Business One Pricing

SAP Business One offers different user license tiers that can be purchased for a one-time cost or with the cloud-host subscription model. Unlike Oracle NetSuite, SAP Business One provides excellent transparency regarding what you'll receive for each product tier and your business's exact price.

The different tiers within the one-time purchase category include:

Professional: $3,213

The professional user license gives your business full access to SAP Business One's features. These features include sales and customer management, purchasing and inventory control, business intelligence, industry-specific capabilities, etc.

Limited: $1,666

Limited users gain access to particular features of SAP Business One that are pertinent to their professional area. For example, if you purchase a limited user license for a salesperson, that employee would have access to SAP Business One's features that are relevant to that department, including sales and customer management tools.

Starter: $1,357

The starter package is designed for startup companies and small businesses. You can only purchase five starter packages for your business, including accounting, sales orders, purchasing, and item management.

Suppose you initially purchased a starter package or limited package. In that case, you can upgrade your license at any time for an additional cost to start using the best tools for managing your business with the Professional package.

In addition to the one-time purchase licenses, you can host your instance of SAP Business One in SEIDOR's Cloud using either a multi-tenant or single-tenant environment. The different monthly licenses include the following:

  • SAP Cloud Multi-Tenant Professional: $188 per user per month
  • SAP Cloud Multi-Tenant Limited: $112 per user per month
  • SAP Cloud Multi-Tenant Starter: $110 per user per month
  • SAP Cloud Single-Tenant Professional: $219 per user per month
  • SAP Cloud Single-Tenant Hosted Limited: $158 per user per month
  • SAP Cloud Single-Tenant Starter: $149 per user per month

Finally, when you purchase SAP Business One through SEIDOR, you can buy pre-configured Project-as-a-service (PaaS) express editions of SAP Business One. The packages include:

Financial Only

  • $645 base fee
  • $185 Pro, $135 Limited per user/month

SAP Manufacturing

  • $840 base fee
  • $220 Pro, $170 Limited per user/month

Advanced Distribution

  • $1300 base fee
  • $305 Pro, $255 Limited per user/month

Basic Distribution/Retail/Service

  • 1200 base fee
  • $295 Pro, $245 Limited per user/month

Field Services

  • $780 base fee
  • $210 Pro, $160 Limited per user/month

Unlike Oracle NetSuite, SAP Business One offers a wide variety of packages with transparent prices. Your business can easily find the right SAP Business package that meets all your needs at an affordable price.

Learn more about SAP Business One

SAP Business One ERP

SAP Business One

Comprehensive and integrated ERP solution that covers the needs of all business areas. On-premise and hosted on the cloud.


What SAP Business One includes

The finance, sales, purchasing, inventory, production, service, and project management modules work together to provide real-time visibility to your business data.

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