As is true with most innovative technologies, enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was initially only available to large organizations. Early ERP software was simply too cost-prohibitive for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Fortunately, as the technology has evolved, it has become more accessible.
Business owners can increase transparency and better manage their resources by adopting ERP software. When they are considering which software to adopt, SMBs will find several different options available.
Two of the most dynamic and reputable solutions on the market are Acumatica and Oracle NetSuite. Each solution can be easily scaled to meet the needs of any sized business.
With each option's robust set of features, it can be quite challenging for SMBs to settle on a single solution. If you have explored the possibility of adopting one of these ERP software solutions, then you have undoubtedly encountered this conundrum firsthand.
On that note, our team has created this five-part Acumatica vs. Oracle NetSuite series. In each installment, we examine a key differentiator between the two so that you can identify which solution best aligns with the needs of your organization. In this initial comparison, we discuss implementation and risk.
Is Acumatica or NetSuite Easier to Implement?
When business leaders are considering which ERP software to implement, price is often a go-to differentiator. This reality is particularly true when all ERP solutions that are being considered boast a similar set of features.
While overall pricing should certainly play a role in the decision-making process, implementation pricing should not be a key differentiator. Implementation pricing can be quite deceptive, as you will see in just a moment.
You should consider the implementation cost a critical investment, not an opportunity to engage in shrewd money-saving efforts. If your organization attempts to cut corners during implementation, you could seriously hinder the rollout of your ERP software.
Furthermore, a rocky implementation could diminish employee buy-in, increase time to value, and potentially cost people their roles within the company. While this may sound dramatic, botched rollouts have cost more than one C-suite executive their jobs.
Why Implementation Pricing Can Be Misleading
As noted above, many business leaders use price as a guiding differentiator when torn between two or more prospective solutions. This approach applies to cloud ERP technology and decision-making in general.
Oracle — like just about every other software solutions provider — understands this fact. Its Oracle NetSuite product attempts to leverage this trend by offering substantial software license fee discounts throughout the year. We will take a deep dive into this pricing practice and its downsides in our next installment.
In addition to discounting licensing fees for new clients, NetSuite also provides a pathway for cheaper implementation. Many clients can access implementation services at a rate of 50% to 100% off regular pricing. As you can imagine, the prospect of accessing free implementation services can be incredibly appealing.
However, there are some serious shortcomings to the NetSuites implementation methodology, which the company has dubbed “SuiteSuccess.” Some of the biggest downfalls to this methodology are as follows:
- The implementation only includes base CRM and financial management tech
- The framework prevents any integrations, modifications, or customizations
- NetSuite may penalize clients for missing deadlines or go-live dates
As a result of the restrictiveness of the SuiteSuccess framework, many clients are left with a limited version of NetSuite that falls well short of expectations.
Conversely, Acumatica ERP software is implemented using the developer’s “FastTrack Deployment” methodology. This accelerated implementation framework also uses a clearly defined scope in order to expedite deployment.
However, the difference is that an Acumatica certified partner will first conduct a “discovery phase” to ensure that the scope of the implementation aligns with the client’s needs.
The Risk/Reward Proposition of Acumatica vs. NetSuite
As a result of NetSuite’s restrictive rollout process, many customers are left with a partially functional solution that does not meet their most basic needs. This problem has become so common that many NetSuite partners now offer implementation rescue services.
On the other hand, the discovery phase used as part of the Acumatica implementation process ensures that customers gain access to the tools they need to succeed. This approach drastically increases the implementation success rate while simultaneously mitigating risk.
How to Ensure a Seamless ERP Implementation
As you can see, Acumatica ERP implementation is far less risky than a NetSuite rollout. However, in order to truly experience the advantages of Acumatica ERP software, you need to connect with a Gold Certified Acumatica Partner like Cloud 9 ERP Solutions. Book a demo today to learn more.
Also, check out our full Acumatica vs. NetSuite Evaluation guide or the additional articles in this series below.
Evaluating Acumatica vs. NetSuite Series