SMB ERP Showdown: SAP Business One vs Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP)

This article is part of our blog series comparing SAP Business One vs. Microsoft Dynamics. Check out the main article to see how SAP B1 fares against the full slate of MS Dynamics products.

As far as business decisions go, choosing the right ERP software is a big one. Selecting the wrong ERP vendor can mean long term risk to your business’ financial, operational, and legal health. Conversely, choosing the right ERP vendor will positioning your organization for future success.

This particular article will focus on two popular solutions for small to medium sized businesses: SAP Business One (B1) and Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains (GP) in a head-to-head analysis. We’ll cover their features and functions to give you a clear idea of what to expect from either ERP solution.

Background Overview

SAP Business One is an ERP solution developed by SAP SE and designed to serve small to medium enterprises. SAP acquired the system when it bought out Israeli firm TopManage Financial Systems in 2002. B1 offers deep functionality in the manufacturing area especially around ETO, Demand Planning and MRP.  Further B1 can provide end to end procurement via Leonardo & Ariba making it a solid contender among distributors and manufacturers looking for a cloud ERP solution.

Great Plains was first released in 1993 and was acquired by Microsoft in 2001. The software was originally built as a financial application for growing companies at a price point most businesses could afford.  Over the years GP matured via a robust ecosystem of partners providing specific  micro-vertical/industry functionality.  

SAP SE vs. Microsoft: Company Comparison


 

SAP

Microsoft

Overview
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.
Microsoft is a tech giant known by most for its flagship products such as Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office, and its Xbox gaming devices.

Their Dynamics product line comprises their contribution to the market for ERP software, and is an umbrella for a range of products including Great Plains.
Years in Business
47 Years
44 Years
Customers
~60,000
~47,000
Target Industries
Manufacturing Distribution
Retail Services
Manufacturing Nonprofit
Retail Services

SAP Business One vs. Microsoft Dynamics GP: Features and Functionality


 

SAP B1

MS Dynamics GP

Product Brochure (Download) SAP Brochure Cover Image-1 MS GP Brochure Cover Image

Financial
Management
& Supply Chain

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

Dynamics GP Starter Pack:
Core financials with the option to add distribution functionality. Aimed at companies small companies. 

Includes Financial Management functions such as GL, Bank Rec, Grant Management, etc.

BI Reporting with PowerBI dashboards/reports, HR with payroll (US and Canada) employee profile, and T&M.

Dynamics GP Extended Pack:
Integrated financials and distribution aimed at companies in the mid-market.

Includes all of the above in the started pack plus support/control creation of goods, managing PS billing, construction, and unique project management needs.

Includes additional Financial Management, Supply Chain, Manufacturing, Project management, and CRM capabilities.

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)
Contract Administration
Service Call
Depot Management
Preventative Maintenance
∗ Included with Extended Pack only
     

Business Intelligence

Report Creation & Customization
Predefined & Custom Metric Tracking
Data Visualizations
Workflow-based Alerts
Business Analyzer
PowerBI Dashboards and Reports
Excel Reports
Microsoft SQL Reporting Services Reports
* Indicates SAP Add-On functionality


SAP Business One vs Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains: Customer Support


 

SAP B1

MS Dynamics GP

Tech Support

24/hr toll-free phone support.
24/hr toll-free phone support.

End-User Training

Instructor-led training and virtual training (via openSAP) available.
Online and instructor-led training available.

Online Support

Full suite of diverse online support options available to all subscribers.
Round the clock support comes w/ basic subscription; advanced professional support upsold.

User Groups

Local user groups exist in multiple locations across the US.
Local user groups exist in multiple locations across the US.

SAP Business One vs Microsoft Dynamics Great Plains: Functional Comparisons

The following section contains a roundup of  how B1 and GP compare in terms of key functional areas. While the two are different in about as many ways as you might expect, we’re covering the areas that should matter most to the average small to medium sized business.

Deployment Options

Both Great Plains and SAP Business One can be hosted or deployed on-premise.  This broad range in deployment options is ideal for clients that are slow to transition to the cloud.  The majority of Great Plains customers are installed on-premise whereas SAP Business One has loads of customers running their businesses in a hosted environment.  

System Integration

Depending upon your line of business application and suite of productivity tools both systems can provide tight system interoperability.  That being said, GP will offer tighter integration with the Microsoft suite of productivity apps, which may be an appealing feature for customers that are heavy Microsoft users.  Both platforms offer a robust ecosystem of 3rd party applications specifically developed for each ERP offering extensibility options for particular use cases and industries.  

Road Map & Continuity

The future of GP has been murky at best.  Many of GP’s existing clients are worried about the lack of communication on Microsoft’s part about the future of the product, especially in light of the fact that they’re hard at work pushing their first, born in the cloud, ERP software, Dynamics 365 Business Central (DYN365BC).  Many suspect that existing GP customers will be enticed with incentives to move over to DYN365BC.

SAP B1's product road map shows solid support for continuous innovation and releases as far out as 2023.  With SAP B1 you can rest assured your ERP investments will not be made in vain.

SAP Road Map

Conclusion

Business One and Dynamics Great Plains are arguably the two most popular Accounting / ERP solutions for small businesses that are looking to bring accounting, inventory and operations under one roof (ERP).  While GP had a tremendous run over the years the writing is on the wall.  Microsoft's future is in 365BC not GP.  Furthermore, if your a manufacturer or distributor and desire to run your core business systems in the cloud, SAP can be a no-brainer for many businesses.  

SAP Business One Readiness Quiz