Acumatica vs NetSuite. When comparing the two, Acumatica may seem less expensive in the beginning, but it has hidden costs and tradeoffs that could lead companies to quickly second guess their purchase decision. We will highlight a few of these factors in this blog post, so companies are equipped to accurately weigh the variables between these options.
Here are a few bite-sized facts.
- Acumatica was founded the year NetSuite went IPO.
- During the 2018 Acumatica Summit, one of its leaders described the company as a “rambunctious teen” in the cloud ERP market. Would you trust your company’s future to a “rambunctious teen?”
- Since 2011, more tech companies have IPO’d on NetSuite than any other ERP system.
- Acumatica does not have pre-configured instances, so it has a longer Time to Value than NetSuite.
Acumatica Can Slow Down Business Growth
Acumatica has a lower entry price when compared to NetSuite because its pricing model is transactional, and it touts an “unlimited users” offering. The sticker price can be appealing, but fast-growing companies will quickly see the downside as transactions hit higher thresholds.
For example, an online retailer scaling from hundreds of orders per month to thousands or the 100k+ range will experience significantly higher licensing and performance-related costs. With this pricing model, the cost-to-revenue ratio increases as the company grows, which can be challenging for young companies. Plus, adding users typically results in an increase in transactions anyway, so Acumatica customers are still paying for additional users but in a less conventional way.
Acumatica’s accounting system depends on batch processing, and reports are updated on a point-in-time basis instead of in real-time. These can influence accuracy, efficiency, productivity, and visibility for its customers.
Additionally, Acumatica is not a fully integrated system, so apps, middleware, and third-party solutions will be required to fulfill some standard business requirements. There is no native ecommerce resource, customizations often break due to version incompatibility during release upgrades, and dedicated technical resources are recommended for managing middleware and minor reporting changes.
NetSuite offers flat-fee pricing, which can foster growth as many NetSuite customers experience decreasing cost-to-revenue ratios as their businesses grow. Licensing costs do not rise as transactions rise. Predictable pricing is critical to fast-growing companies, and this is one of the many reasons why 63% of technology IPOs have run on NetSuite since 2011.
In NetSuite, customer reports, dashboards, KPIs, and more are all updated in real-time because it is designed with a unified database. This provides complete visibility into the entire business, and the software also supports real-time subsidiary consolidation.
NetSuite is a fully integrated business management suite with built-in ecommerce, along with robust ERP, CRM, HCM, and other purpose-built modules that can get the job done without middleware. All customizations and integrations seamlessly carry over to the latest versions, and customizations remain for different subsidiaries.
Acumatica’s Licensing Options or NetSuite’s True Cloud Solution?
Acumatica provides customers with several options for software licensing that include SaaS subscription, private cloud subscription (on-premise or hosted), and private perpetual license (on-premise or hosted). While it is good to have options for customers, committing to three different models can have several downsides.
Acumatica must commit to supporting and maintaining three different versions of the same product. Each of these options can have different upgrade cycles, support requirements, risk tolerances, and other factors.
Additionally, Acumatica leans so heavily on VARs that there is even more uncertainty with a VAR’s expertise in implementing and supporting one or more of these license options.
The private (on-premise) or hosted/hybrid cloud solutions should be non-starters for today’s businesses from financial and resource allocation perspectives. These solutions are single-tenant, they typically have costly and longer implementation timelines compared to true cloud alternatives, customers can experience version lock, and dedicated IT resources are required for management and upgrades.
Plus, upgrades are manual activities that involve redeploying the system across individual machines and re-implementing various customizations and integrations installed on the existing system. Also, there are hardware and storage requirements for the servers.
NetSuite is the original true cloud ERP solution. True cloud has a multi-tenant architecture, meaning there is a single instance of the application. Each customer/tenant can make customizations and configuration changes that are specified for their individual view.
With a true cloud ERP, NetSuite customers experience the following benefits.
- Faster and less expensive implementations
- Seamless upgrades that carry customizations and integrations forward
- Hosted IT structure with very few maintenance requirements
- Always-on anywhere access
- Zero hardware or storage costs, and many others
Additionally, NetSuite provides customers with a pre-release version of the upgrades so they can become familiar with any changes before the upgrades take place in their system. This can be a monumental weight off of a customer’s shoulders because they do not have to test or risk breaking something in the live system.
Acumatica vs NetSuite: Are Blank Canvas Implementations Fool’s Gold?
Unfortunately, yes. Each Acumatica implementation is like starting with a blank sheet of paper. That could sound enticing to some companies, but starting from scratch can leave customers more vulnerable to VARs’s poor implementation practices or shortcuts. Acumatica lacks specific industry-leading practices and does not have pre-configured instances or bundles that are catered to industries or use cases.
This blank canvas approach can also lead to a lengthy implementation process and possible ‘scope creep’ that results in unexpected costs. Or an ERP implementation failure.
NetSuite offers a variety of different implementation options in addition to a blank canvas. SuiteSuccess is one of NetSuite’s delivery methodologies that simplifies and streamlines the implementation process for each industry by market segment. It includes Starter, Emerging, Midmarket, and Corporate, and customers can go-live in as little as 100 days.
Among the many implementation options, NetSuite comes prebuilt with more than 100 pre-defined leading business process flows, along with a host of industry-specific bundles, and customized reports that were created using real-world best practices.
Acumatica In-House Resources Absent During Implementation
All Acumatica implementations are handled exclusively through value-added resellers (VARs) because the company does not have a dedicated account management practice. Its customers are almost entirely dependent upon these implementation partners and built-for-Acumatica solutions to resolve any out-of-the-box shortcomings. Acumatica’s in-house customer support is generally only available after VARs are unable to reach a resolution.
By comparison, NetSuite supplements vendor resources when needed. NetSuite also follows implementation timelines to ensure customers are getting quality service from their vendor, and that the project is coming in on time.
Closing Thoughts About Acumatica vs NetSuite
With Acumatica, the ongoing expenses and maintenance required for customizations, middleware, and release upgrades alone can end up nullifying the money saved by going with Acumatica vs NetSuite.
A long-term investment in NetSuite’s proven business management suite will yield cost savings, and it can help accelerate your business.
Let us help accelerate your business with NetSuite.