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Comparing Oracle NetSuite to Microsoft Dynamics 365 is sort of like narrating the Clash of the (Software) Titans. Each system has its own strengths and challenges that we explore below.
Chris Zicker, a leading Oracle implementations specialists looks at how these products evolved.
What Is the Background of Each Platform?
Both platforms are amalgams of previous products and brands that received facelifts when purchased by software goliaths.
Oracle NetSuite is a cloud-based solution designed with small to mid-sized businesses in mind. It allows clients to see their entire operations within a single platform. Established in 1998, Netsuite Inc. is an independent cloud-computing venture based in Redwood Shores, California. It’s software as a service solutions are meant to integrate customer relationships, business finances and operations. Oracle bought the company in July of 2016 but operates NetSuite as a separate Global Business Unit.
Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 offers many of the same services and is positioned as an enterprise resource and customer relationship solution. Since its release in July 2016 within the Microsoft Dynamics product line, the platform has gained traction in the market. Several brands acquired by Microsoft contributed their best features to create the final version, which is largely based on Great Plains, a previously independent company out of Fargo, North Dakota.
In 1993, Great Plains released the first multi-user accounting software in the U.S. Other companies folded into the Microsoft logo to make Dynamic 365 come to life include Damgaard, Navision, Solomon Software, and iCommunicate.
How Do the Products Compare Under 4 Key Criteria?
While both Microsoft and Oracle curated tools to appeal to small or midsize organizations, their core functionality differs significantly. We compared Dynamics 365 and Netsuite based on four criteria: flexibility, scalability, maturity and ecosystem — the global support system, including third parties that sell and support the applications.
Netsuite is a SaaS cloud-based multitenant offering that requires little customization to use it out of the box. It’s set up to perform similarly no matter where it’s deployed. It’s not ideal for organizations that require heavy customization, but works well for SMBs that want to follow industry best practices and create standardization.
Typically, companies that require heavy customizations have business processes that need to be re-engineered for efficiency. Going through a reorganization prior to launching Netsuite gives your company a chance to automate repetitious processes and improve workflows. Otherwise, those inefficiencies can end up in your solution.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is not a SaaS. Instead, your company gets its own instance of the software. This offers more flexibility and the ability to customize the software as needed. Microsoft’s open architecture makes this a convenient option if you have a large internal team to field user change requests and to troubleshoot any problems that arise.
Flexibility does have a dark side though. As the software is customized more and more, it can be difficult to implement major releases and updates needed to keep the software running optimally.
Netsuite is superior in terms of the number of transactions and large volume it can handle. It gives you standard, repeatable and reliable results. Its position as a SaaS drives commonality and best practices based on thousands of other user experiences. On the other hand, Dynamics 365 is nimble and lets you adjust to customers’ needs quickly.
Originally released in 1990, Netsuite was one of the first software as a service platforms and came out before SaaS was coined. Dynamics 365 was just launched in 2016 and doesn’t have the longevity of Oracle’s offering. There’s still a lot of uncertainty which features made the final cut from the companies Microsoft absorbed to create the product.
Because of its relative newness, Microsoft lacks the caliber of support that Netsuite offers. There’s inconsistency and a lack control over the process. You have to be picky about the third-party company you choose to partner with to implement Dynamics 365.
Netsuite’s ecosystem is not as fragmented and the company did a fair number of its own implementations until very recently. Support is usually provided remotely or via video conferences. However, its partners are now available to do more handholding on more complex builds.
Bottom Line: Which Resource Is Better?
NetSuite is definitely the better product for Oracle partners. Dynamics is still going through growing pains. At the end of the day, structure is a good thing. If you need complete customization, you can look at MSD — but maybe it’s time to look at streamlining your processes instead.
If you need assistance evaluating both of these platforms and other options, contact SoftArt Solutions today? We are an Oracle consulting partner but take a software agnostic stance when it comes to finding the best solution for your company or client.