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In our initial
post on this topic we discussed how NetSuite positions itself against
Microsoft Dynamics GP in the sales process. Our initial discussion focused on
business process integration. The next topic I would like to discuss is how
NetSuite claims to have the upper hand in:
Financial and Operational Visibility
According to their website, NetSuite claims that
Microsoft Dynamics GP "business data is often spread across multiple
departments, resulting in a lack of real-time visibility across key metrics
needed to optimize business operations".
Now if I am deciding on a new ERP solution for my company
that issue would be a major concern for me. However, as a knowledgeable GP
consultant my reaction would be, "Huh?!"
This is not even an area where one can debate nuances or
claim that interpretation of functionality is subjective. Not when one can
point to the following technology, reporting and software design elements as a
starting point to completely discredit that statement:
Let's review these in order.
Microsoft SQL Server
Dynamics GP uses Microsoft
SQL Server to store your ERP data. According to the Microsoft SQL
Server 2012 website: get built-in mission critical capabilities and enable
breakthrough insights across the organization with familiar analytics tools and
enterprise-ready Big Data solutions. Reporting on all of your data
What that means is that all of your data is sitting safe
and sound in "one big bucket" and all you have to do is use familiar tools such
as Excel or SQL
Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to get real time data across all
of your business regardless of "departments".
Management Reporter and Business Analyzer
I mentioned Excel and SSRS which are ubiquitous reporting
tools that can be used with Microsoft Dynamics GP data. Management Reporter is
a specialized reporting tool that can be used to look at financial data in a
very sophisticated fashion. It specializes in looking at multiple companies,
departments and rolling up or consolidating information if needed. In addition,
the user can drill down into financial numbers all the way back to the original
source document in GP.
In addition, check out this video highlighting a
fantastic tool called the Business
Analyzer that allows Dynamics GP users to get real time
visibility and control over key business data and metrics. The tool can be
personalized to the functional role a user has in the company. This allows for
user specific delivery of key data.
Design: Role Based User Interface
A key design element that allows Dynamics GP users to
view real time data across the enterprise is the concept of a Role
Based User Interface that allows reports and metrics to be
delivered to groups of users or individuals in a customized fashion. In this
way, for example, financial users are presented different reports and metrics
than inventory or production users would be.
Again, the key element to take away is that Dynamics GP
has a wonderful set of tools designed to present data in a real time fashion
across the enterprise restricted only by security completely invalidating the
claims NetSuite makes in its sales pitch.
Next we will look at how NetSuite positions itself
against Dynamics GP in:
Total Cost of Ownership
Peter Joeckel is the President and Founder of TurnOnDynamics a
Microsoft Dynamics GP (formerly Great Plains) and AX (formerly Axapta) partner primarily
servicing the Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas (TOLA) area. While it
serves a diverse customer base TurnOnDynamics does have specialized expertise
in selecting and implementing advanced ERP solutions for manufacturing and
dditionally, TurnOnDynamics is an investment and
advisory firm that focuses on the strategic concerns of executives and owners
with unique Dynamic CFO Services.