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:

Real-Time 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:

  • SQL
  • Management Reporter
  • Business Analyzer
  • Role based user interface/ KPI's

Let's review these in order.

Technology: 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".

Reporting: 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.

Software 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:

Lower 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 software companies.

dditionally, TurnOnDynamics is an investment and advisory firm that focuses on the strategic concerns of executives and owners with unique Dynamic CFO Services.