Choosing between Oracle NetSuite and SAP

Building and maintaining a successful company in today’s business environment requires modern tools and technology. No longer can organisations meet the growing demands of consumers and competition by relying on legacy on-premise systems or “fake cloud” solutions that are expensive, inefficient and not scalable.


Providers like SAP feature complex and fragmented offerings, delivering disruption rather than efficiency. Companies running SAP products are hindered by a variety of challenges, depending on the product line:

SAP Business One


SAP Business One is a classic example of traditional legacy software that has been reverse engineered for the cloud. Customisations made to the solution may not carry forward upon upgrading to the latest versions and companies must often deploy other systems to automate support, sales, warehousing, ecommerce, professional services and other functions. With different processes running on many different systems and versions, it is difficult or impossible to:

  • Obtain a clear picture of bookings, billings and backlogs.
  • Decrease spreadsheet-based accounting.
  • Scale up to support growth.
  • Provide visibility to everyone in the organisation.
  • Reconcile different versions of data.
  • Integrate front- and back-office processes.
  • Have a clear audit trail.
  • Understand the business in real-time.


SAP Business ByDesign

While ByDesign is a multi-tenant offering, there is a limited ecosystem of fully integrated third-party products and extensions. In addition to suffering from many of the challenges above, TCO may quickly rise if additional SAP or third-party licenses are needed for add-on solutions. Moreover, ByDesign has limited data centre locations, meaning that scalability is a significant issue. Customer adoption is the strongest case against SAP ByDesign. The product has been available for over ten years yet has only seen minimal adoption. Current 2020 plans for the product include a code change which will have unknown impacts on future upgrades.



SAP’s latest ERP solution, S4/HANA represents another area for confusion in the SAP portfolio. SAP is currently offering two versions of S4/HANA, one for on-premise and one for cloud. Despite the similar naming convention, the two offerings are running on separate code versions which can lead to gaps in functionality. Like ByDesign, S4/HANA has also struggled with customer adoption. SAP has not updated a live customer count since 2018, implying the solution is classic “shelf-ware”. SAP is having such difficulty selling S4/HANA that it has switched its market approach from replacing legacy SAP solutions to one targeting subsidiaries, hoping those legacy SAP ERP systems at the headquarters level will migrate over time. However, only certain modules of SAP software, such as financials and supply chain, are designed to leverage HANA architecture. Thus, modules that are not optimised must utilise older infrastructure, which requires intense customisation and inefficiency.


Although different product lines are created and enhanced with the best intentions, lack of integration and clear migration paths in the SAP ecosystem often create chaos and hinder growth. Multiple point solutions create a “legacy applications hairball” that is burdened with manual tasks and bottlenecks. Over time, this infrastructure translates into more money, more resources and more integrations. Indeed, SAP users considering making a switch within the existing SAP product environment practically face an entirely new implementation. After investing in technology, organisations should be able to run the business more efficiently and gain the insights needed to make decisions. With SAP, the result is just the opposite.


True Cloud Platforms like NetSuite Simplify Business Processes and IT

There are many compelling reasons why companies move from on-premise and fake cloud applications like those offered by SAP to modern cloud-based solutions, such as NetSuite. These include:

  • Reduced IT infrastructure investment and lower total cost of ownership through economies of scale.


Few internal IT teams can afford to maintain excess computing capacity to accommodate variability in demand. Characteristics of true cloud solutions such as resource pooling and elasticity allow applications to scale instantly to meet both short-term and long-term fluctuation in transaction volume, storage requirements or network bandwidth. True cloud solutions like NetSuite maintain the IT infrastructure, ensure that the system is always up and running, maintain system security, and roll out product enhancements seamlessly without breaking customer customisations. When your business grows and you need to add a new production facility, enter a new market or open a new product line, you don’t have to worry about building out IT infrastructure or headcount to make it happen. New sites are easily brought up and your business can expand seamlessly and cost effectively. Moreover, true cloud ERP systems offer a predictable pay-as-you-go subscription model that makes cash flow planning much easier.


  • Increased business agility and automatic compliance.

Because true cloud solutions like NetSuite take version upgrade concerns off the table, companies can focus their core competencies on running the business. Those automatic, regularly scheduled enhancements are particularly important as regulations and standards change and evolve. For example, when changes were made to the Value Added Tax (VAT) by the UK and EU in 2008, 2009 and 2015, NetSuite customers didn’t have to worry about downloading and testing new software. Since they were all on the same version of the software, NetSuite updated the code and all customers woke up with a compliant system. For on-premise customers, that meant downloading a patch, testing it to make sure it works and then testing any integration that might be impacted by the change. For on-premise or hosted cloud customers locked into even older versions, it’s an even bigger headache. NetSuite customers know they have a solution that addresses the latest standards and builds them into the system.


  • Reduced spreadsheet-based accounting and better real-time financial and operational visibility.

Because using SAP often requires the use of multiple unintegrated systems, separate islands of data result. To bridge the gaps, employees often use “spreadsheet-based accounting.” An integrated, true cloud suite eliminates the need for this type of workaround and allows data to be easily reconciled across the organisation. Moreover, consolidating multi-subsidiary and multinational financials with SAP is time-consuming and expensive, often requiring additional software. Organisations must either conduct the exercise across a multitude of spreadsheets or invest in separate SAP accounts for every subsidiary and international division, and in additional external reporting tools. True cloud solutions like NetSuite provide unprecedented “close to disclose” capabilities that accelerate close time, maximise transparency and ensure compliance, all in one system.


NetSuite was built for the internet, meaning it never existed in an on-premise environment. Money spent on the application goes directly to innovation, rather than maintaining the status quo or catching up to the cloud game. NetSuite’s commitment to the cloud enables unification of customers’ business processes, departments and divisions to accelerate growth and efficiency.


Additional NetSuite benefits include:

  • Self-service and mobility. The workforce today is much different from 10 years ago. NetSuite provides real-time access to information anywhere and anytime, including self-service access to data and dashboards from mobile devices.
  • Global deployment. NetSuite enables global organisations to manage multiple subsidiaries, business units and legal entities. It seamlessly handles different currencies, taxation rules and reporting requirements from a single platform.
  • NetSuite’s true cloud roots enable us to take a consultative approach to sales, implementation and support to ensure continuity across your lifecycle as a customer. NetSuite have taken a deep look into their tens of thousands of cloud customers and pulled out the leading practices of those successful companies. Next, they packaged those up into pre-built user roles that deploy quickly to your team (often in 100 days or less). The result is that you have KPIs and dashboards with actual data in them at go live, not blank screens.
  • NetSuite’s cloud roots reduce the need to migrate to other solutions as you grow. NetSuite supports customers of all sizes, in all industries, and in every part of the world.


Don’t hesitate to contact us at Eureka Solutions to discuss your particular challenges and pain points, and we will help assess whether NetSuite is a good and ‘future-proof’ fit as an ERP for your organisation.