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NetSuite Alternatives and Competitors

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Sweet Spot
Short list NetSuite CRM+ when:

  • Seeking a broader solution beyond just CRM that also includes integrated accounting or enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.
  • Your company falls within one of NetSuite's vertical market solutions, which include software companies, manufacturing, media and publishing, professional services and wholesale distribution. Particularly with services, NetSuite's Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution is extremely strong.
  • You're a large organization with multiple subsidiaries or regional operating units looking for a tier 2 cloud system. NetSuite's OneWorld provides subsidiary organizations with a cloud alternative to the parent company's SAP Business Suite, Oracle or legacy system.
  • NetSuite's sweet spot is small and midsize business (SMB) organizations, or divisions of large organizations, seeking a fully integrated, enterprise-wide hosted business application.

NetSuite Alternative Solutions
Buyers may be best advised to consider alternative CRM products when:

  • Seeking a best of breed CRM product.
  • Seeking social CRM tools to engage prospects and customers and achieve social strategy objectives.
  • Desiring multiple deployment models, including on demand, on premise or a hybrid of both.
  • Requiring an on-premises or in-country (or region) data center. As there are no NetSuite data centers in Europe and on-premises installations are not an option, some European organizations with cultural or regulatory requirements which advocate data residing in an in-country or regional (EU) data center may need to look elsewhere. This is mostly likely to apply to European organizations in the financial services, health care and government sectors.

Customers seeking integrated front and back office SaaS solutions should compare NetSuite to SAP's Business OnDemand as well as with one of its three primary integrated accounting/ERP partners of FinancialForce, Intacct or Workday.

Concluding Remarks
NetSuite is an impressive company with talented management and a strong product. However, it is a fraction of the size of its primary competitors and for NetSuite to achieve the next level of growth the company will need to upgrade its messaging, expand its integrated third party ecosystem and grow its reseller and implementation channel.

To date, NetSuite's messaging has largely been a combination of jest and ridicule toward the establishment—primarily SAP and NetSuite stays clear of including Oracle in its scoff for concern of alienating majority owner Larry Ellison. Despite criticism that such promotion comes across as adolescent, it has been effective in garnering media and getting noticed. However, the messaging now needs to change. The industry heavyweights are not going to respond to such ridicule as they don't need to. Making fun of industry heavyweights and promoting the advantages of enterprise-wide suites delivered from the cloud worked five years ago, but won't continue to resonate much longer, and won't carry NetSuite to the next level. It's time for a new value proposition empowered by innovation yet to be announced.

Moving up market requires expanding both the ecosystem marketplace and the indirect channel. NetSuite is attracting ISV partners for its ecosystem, although the pace must increase or it risks being leapfrogged by SAP's Business ByDesign. Similarly, NetSuite is growing its channel but pace and quality need to be improved. This task is further challenged by the company's need to transition from an inside sales call center operation to managing enterprise sales pros, if it is serious about getting to the enterprise. End

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(SAP) Business ByDesign is the David Hasselhoff of software—it must be big in Germany, but we just don't see it that much in the U.S."

~ Zach Nelson, NetSuite CEO


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