NetSuite vs SAP Business One

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution is a major investment for many SMB sized business. Apart from the obvious costs and time commitment it carries,  it bears the responsibility of being the primary "command center" of your operations, tasked with supporting, managing, and integrating data and business processes across departments.

There are dozens of ERP solutions available to small and medium businesses, but, through the years, two have emerged as the clear frontrunners: Netsuite and SAP Business One.

This article will compare and contrast these two leading ERP solutions and hopefully, help you decide which ERP solution is best for you.

Background Overview

SAP Business One

SAP Business One is an ERP solution specially built for small- and medium-sized businesses, i.e. those with less than 100 users. It boasts an expansive client base of over 60,000 companies in 150 countries.

Business One covers nearly every business area, including sales, reporting, financial planning, vendor management, inventory management, project management, and customer relationship management. It also provides 1,500+ integrations for supply chain management, e-commerce, finance, and CRM.

Over the years, SAP and its partners have developed a plethora of industry-specific solutions and use cases that have been tried and tested in manufacturing, retail, energy, public service, and financial service.

The software’s biggest strength is its underlying machinery—a combination of Microsoft’s SQL Server Database and SAP’s very own HANA in-memory database.


Founded in 1998 in San Mateo, California and acquired by Oracle in 2016, NetSuite holds the distinction of being the first cloud-based ERP solution. It has an impressive track record, serving 16,000 clients in more than 100 countries.

Although the software was originally built for accounting, it has since expanded to include other business areas like finance, supply chain management, order management, procurement, marketing automation, human capital management and many others.

NetSuite has a global network of partners spanning several industries, and features hundreds of third-party integrations for a variety of use-cases.

SAP Business One Readiness Quiz


SAP vs. NetSuite: Company Comparison




SAP is the global leader for ERP software, currently at the top of the list in terms of market share.

They offer a staggering number of products and services ranging from cloud ERP software and CRM solutions to IoT and machine learning applications.
NetSuite provides cloud-based CRM, PSA, ERP and e-commerce solutions to small and medium businesses and mid-market companies.

The company was acquired by Oracle in July of 2016 and continues to operate as a separate global business unit.
Years in Business
47 Years
20 Years
Target Industries
Manufacturing Distribution
Retail Services
Nonprofit Ecommerce
Manufacturing Distribution
Retail Services
Nonprofit Ecommerce

SAP Business One vs. NetSuite: Features and Functionality


SAP Business One


Product Brochure (Download) SAP Brochure Cover Image-1 NS Brochure Image


General Ledger
Fixed Asset Management
Cash Flow Management
Invoicing Prepayments
Banking & Reconciliation Processing Currency Management
Financial Reporting & Analysis Intercompany Transactions*
Cost Accounting

General Ledger
Fixed Assets
Multi-Company & Consolidation
Revenue Recognition
Subscription Billing
Forecasting & Budgeting
Financial Planning & Analysis via Oracle's Planning & Budgeting Cloud Service (not native)

Sales and CRM

Sales Cycle Tracking
Drop Shipping & Special Orders
Marketing Campaign Management
Marketing Campaign Analysis
Customer Data Management
Contract Administration
Service Call
Sales Forecasting
Pipeline Tracking
Returns & Cancellations
Service Order Management
Multi-Tier Price List Management (including periodic and volume management)
Sales force automation
Marketing automation
Case Management
Partner Relationship Management
Incentive Compensation Management
Supply Chain Management  
Procurement Process Tracking
Purchase Schedule Management
Inventory Tracking & Reporting
Warehouse & Accounting Data Synchronization
Real-Time Production Reporting
Stock Location & Transfer Tracking
Distribution Management
Production Planning
Bin Management
Warehouse Management*
Automated Data Capture / Scanning*
Order Management
Production Management
Inventory Management
Warehouse & Fulfillment
Demand Planning
WIP & Routing
Work Orders & Assemblies
Shop Floor Control
BOM Maintenance

Business Intelligence

Report Creation & Customization
Predefined & Custom Metric Tracking
Data Visualizations
Workflow-based Alerts
Analytics & KPI Dashboards
* Indicates SAP Add-On functionality

SAP Business One vs NetSuite: Customer Support




Tech Support

24/hr toll-free phone support.
24/hr toll-free phone support available with additional service contract. Standard support is available during business hours.

End-User Training

Instructor-led training and virtual training (via openSAP) available.
Live and/or online training available by NetSuite training department and by authorized partners. Many customers cite NetSuite training as being very expensive.

Online Support

Full suite of diverse online support options available to all subscribers.
NetSuite has extensive knowledge base (SuiteAnswers) available to all users as well as online user group

User Groups

Local user groups exist in multiple locations across the US.
Robust user groups communities across the US and Canada.

 SAP Business One Readiness Quiz


NetSuite vs. SAP Business One: Deployment

One of the most significant differences between NetSuite vs. SAP Business One is that NetSuite is strictly cloud-based ERP solution, whereas Business One offers both cloud and on-premise deployment.

By default, Business One is the better choice for those looking for an on-premise or hybrid solution, as well as for those still transitioning from physical servers to cloud.

Both solutions are comparable in terms of their reliability and stability on cloud. However, it’s important to note that SAP can be hosted from a variety of sources, whereas NetSuite can only be hosted by Oracle NetSuite.  This freedom and flexibility may provide you with greater value and options.  

NetSuite vs. SAP Business One: Licensing

In terms of licensing costs, both NetSuite and SAP Business One offer subscription based pricing models.  SAP Business One licensing cost is generally more affordable than NetSuite.  NetSuite's licensing model is more complex and generally more expensive whereas with SAP Business One licensing is just based upon the number of user licenses and the core platform. 

Another major difference between the two is that SAP Business One is only licensed through authorized resellers whereas NetSuite is sold and licensed through both partners (resellers) and offered directly by NetSuite sales reps.  Within the NetSuite community partners cite frustration by having to "compete" for the same customers and oftentimes being undercut on price and services offered.  

With SAP Business One you get a dedicated partner and the full support of SAP behind your evaluation and purchase.  

NetSuite vs. SAP Business One: Reporting and Analytics

NetSuite and SAP Business One both have dozens of prepackaged reporting templates and dashboards, but the former’s “Suite Analytics” may have a slight edge in user-friendliness.

That said, Business One completely blows NetSuite out of the water when it comes to analytics tools, data modeling, database management, and overall performance. SAP’s HANA in-memory relational database management system is arguably the best you can get.

Furthermore, Business One has improved its dashboard in recent years, transitioning to a more seamless and customizable Fiori interface that allows you to keep important features visible and less important ones hidden.

NetSuite vs. SAP Business One: Industry Use-Cases

One of the most important considerations when selecting an ERP solution is figuring out which matches your business needs. As far as industry-specific use cases go, there's a lot of overlap between NetSuite and Business One.  The major distinction between the two offerings aside from deployment modes, has to do with product maturity and depth within the manufacturing and distribution verticals.  

SAP Business One generally provides more robust capabilities in the manufacturing space, natively or referred to as "out of the box".  Whereas with NetSuite, to get equal functionality you will likely need to license additional 3rd party products which adds another layer of expense and complexity.   

Another area of differentiation for Business One is that SAP partners have developed specific industry solutions on top of SAP Business One to provide that last mile of functionality necessary for specific industries, whereas with NetSuite the product suite is not nearly as deep, requiring customization and 3rd party add-ons to compete with Business One.  

In recent years NetSuite has encouraged its partners to develop additional products / solutions to support niche industries but still has a long ways to go to catch up with SAP.   

NetSuite vs. SAP Business One: Conclusion

For companies that have outgrown QuickBooks or a legacy ERP solution both SAP Business One and NetSuite will provide a modern and proven cloud-based ERP solution that can help your business scale.  SAP Business One will likely be the ideal choice for companies that are looking for flexibility in their deployment options and businesses that are inventory and asset intensive.  

Still haven’t made up your mind? Take our free SAP readiness quiz to know where to start.

SAP Business One Readiness Quiz

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