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Douglas Blumhardt
Managing Consultant at Business and Technology Consulting, LLC
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Highly customizable, no infrastructure needed, and very scalable
Pros and Cons
  • "I would say that the solution is highly configurable."
  • "In terms of the main improvement to NetSuite is the talent itself. It's grown so fast and there are about 25,000 companies running on it, and it's a relatively newer system compared to other competitors. It's growing so fast that the talent base in the partner organization (there's about 200 of them), is pretty thin."

What is our primary use case?

I have multiple pharmaceutical distributions. I'm currently doing two projects with companies that are what are called stevedoring companies. They're companies that load and unload these massive vessel ships that come into the ports all over the world. Containers and cruisers and things of that nature. I've also done a large 3PL shipping company. I've done a couple of manufacturing companies. I've done a couple of manufacturer distributor companies. It's a very versatile system. It can be used for a variety of businesses.

What is most valuable?

It's less about functionality today. Although the functionality is there, most systems are pretty competitive on things like financials. At that level, what makes a solution competitive is the architecture, and NetSuite has the most advanced system architecture in the market today. It was built for the cloud. It's a true cloud application. It's truly, purely web-based. 

There's no infrastructure required. It's fast licensed, it's multi-tenant for releases. 

I would say that the solution is highly configurable. 

The solution's data structure is very referential. You can easily customize new data in the system. It's a system that's built for enormous flexibility and customization.

The system itself, the reporting dashboards, integration, API, workflows, all that stuff's strong in NetSuite. The functionality is strong.

They've got people working deeply on it. They spend incredible amounts of money on R&D and their releases are very robust and they just keep moving forward with more.

What needs improvement?

There's always room for improvement in every system.  It's going to have some functional verticals that just aren't as competitive in the app, due to the fact that there are older systems that have been built for 20 years that are deep. For example, in manufacturing, there's something called process manufacturing, versus discrete manufacturing. There's a couple of systems that'll beat NetSuite on process manufacturing.

In terms of the main improvement to NetSuite is the talent itself. It's grown so fast and there are about 25,000 companies running on it, and it's a relatively newer system compared to other competitors. It's growing so fast that the talent base in the partner organization (there's about 200 of them), is pretty thin. 

There's a lot of bodies. There's a lot of kids there. I call them the kids because they're people in their twenties, maybe in their thirties. If you're under 40, you are still a kid to me. What it boils down to is that I've been doing assessments for 40 years. I have five grown sons between the age of 30 and 44. Not a single one of them, if they worked around the clock for the rest of their lives, could catch up with me on experience, because in today's market people get pigeonholed and specialized. They don't get a broad experience. People aren't building systems anymore, so you don't have that depth. What it boils down to is most of these people working in these ERP projects, in all the systems, are truly not systems people.

They're actually people that just know how to push buttons and settings and workflows and reports, and spit things out. They know how to configure a system, however, they don't really know much about how it would actually do what it does, or how it's built. Therefore, the weakness in that is that when you get into business models that require some real custom configuration, they don't really know how to do that. 

In today's market, young people aren't learning how to really learn a business. What's happening is a lot of systems focused work without first understanding the business that they're actually serving. That's prevalent in the NetSuite world and these newer systems, due to the fact that they've basically been staffed with and around young people who really don't have a lot of business experience. They may know a lot about that application, that system, but then not really know very much about the business. Business experience is an issue in this market today.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've worked on multiple systems, however, I've probably been engaging with NetSuite to some extent for the last seven years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is highly reliable. I've got a client who's been running for four and a half years flawlessly, with no outages, no errors, no failings. Of course, part of that is the architecture and the system. Part of it is we did a world-class job of implementing it. However, the bottom line is you can really mess up a system if you don't know what you're doing. That said, NetSuite itself is a highly reliable system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is pretty good. It's targeted. Oracle has its Oracle cloud product and some other junk products in between, but the two flagship products are Oracle Cloud (for tier one companies, over a billion dollars in revenue)m and then NetSuite, which is targeted for the half a billion-dollar or maybe up to billion-dollar revenue. We have four companies with over a billion dollars in revenue on NetSuite.

Up to that point, it's really very scalable. Even after that point, it's really not a matter of the system not being scalable. It's more the server and the data centers that they've sort of configured for that. You've got 25,000 companies, and 90 plus percent of them are probably in the hundred to $500 million range of revenue. Revenue is not always a good indicator, because some companies, like the company I'm in right now, is a half a billion-dollar revenue company. However, they function more like a hundred million dollar company because the invoicing they do is very large and very complex invoicing, but large-dollar transactions.

So they'll do a $25-$50,000 invoice as well. That rolls up to half a billion pretty fast. That said, the volumes aren't really there. They don't have any more volume than a retail business, or a distribution business might have with a tenth their size. You can't use revenues and bills as a total indicator every time. 

I would say NetSuite would struggle to scale beyond a billion dollars if it were a retail business. That's just in terms of how it's built. It's built for the mid-market, and some limitations are there that you wouldn't hit then until you get to a billion. It's still a great system and there is a provision for buying up to more tiered levels of processing capacity. That way, very large companies can run on NetSuite.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is very weak. That's because, once again, they've hired a bunch of kids. They've got kids behind the scenes doing the work and they don't necessarily retain much deep talent on the inside at NetSuite. 

They mostly have a great software development group, however, their support group tends to be very young people who basically don't know much. They know the system, again, however they don't necessarily know how to interact with the business. 

The best way to get systems support is really from the network of qualified partners. That's where the talent goes and that's where the money is. That's where people can make the most money. Whenever any of these people get any talent, they tend to jump ship from NetSuite and go out to work for one of the partner companies.

How was the initial setup?

Everything's complex today. It's all complex. Any system is complex. However, NetSuite's setup, what makes it easier, is there's not a lot of complexity in the actual customization. That's easier. Any system, even Microsoft's Dynamics, is going to take 30% or 40% more labor to do the same things. 

NetSuite's highly configurable and it's also very structured for settings, presetting, roles, permissions, personalization, etc. If the partner that's selected is skilled, if they know the system, then the configuration works actually in a pretty straightforward manner. 

There may be a lot of variabilities or a lot of complexity, mainly because clients are complex. Nobody does things the same way. If they did, they'd run out of business pretty quick due to the fact that you always have to have something that differentiates you from your competitor. All those differentiations have to be thought of and incorporated into the implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Licensing costs are all over the place. It really depends a lot on the business model. How many seats, what modules they're getting, and what kind of discount you can negotiate all will adjust the cost structure in different ways. 

The discounting can range, depending on what's compelling to that model. For example, I bought these two stevedoring companies and they're old companies, they're longshoremen. They've been doing longshoremen work since clipper ships. The systems tend to be old. Nobody had ever really put a stevedoring company on NetSuite before. When I went to NetSuite to negotiate for them, I was able to get okay pricing. There's a pretty broad opportunity if we get one or two of these done. NetSuite was willing to get me a very deep discount in that case. It depends on the deal. The numbers are all over the place.

What other advice do I have?

We're not a reseller, we're a selection company. We represent the client.

The inherent weakness where you might be disappointed is not functional, because functionality can be built out. It's like buying new furniture in a house. The house is a big cost, the furniture you just need more of. More functionality can be built out readily if the architecture is good. NetSuite's architecture is so phenomenal that you can almost not even imagine. I have one subsystem that my client has, but it's an old premise-based proprietary application that no one else has. It's unique to their business, but it's about ready to fall over. I looked at it and we're going to build it into NetSuite, because NetSuite is capable of absorbing more functionality. So, it's really about architecture. And architecture and NetSuite, I couldn't even imagine what it's going to ask for there. It's really very good.

Ironically, NetSuite's kind of killing our business, because if you're doing mid market, it's going to be NetSuite or Microsoft dynamics. Everything else is not really worth the attention. Where we do selection work we don't get shared revenue. We don't get kickbacks or anything from anything we do. Our work is to help companies pick the right solution, pick the right partner, and get the implementation done. Our work has shifted much more to helping oversee the projects. We do a business assessment work, we do system selection work, we do solution, basically formulating the solution for the client. Then we negotiate for the right licensing, the right contracts, service agreements and we oversee it.

We're like a general contractor for a commercial building. What's happening is that the clients no longer have people like us inside. Basically, systems have become commoditized over the last 20 years to the point where if they've got insight IT people they're really server people. Servers, networks, virus, security, phone systems. These people don't know anything about applications. 

In NetSuite's environment, there's no versioning. It's actually a release strategy. It is in the cloud, so it's multi-tenant and the releases come in and go. Obviously, they have some release numbers on each of them, however, the client really doesn't have to worry about that.

I'd rate the solution ten out of ten.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Enterprise Consultant
ArifKundi
Chief Executive Officer at Biz Tech Resources
Real User
It's relatively stable, but it still needs time to mature
Pros and Cons
  • "S4HANA is relatively stable."
  • "We found that the implementing partners themselves are struggling with S4HANA's features. It's not an exact translation of the older ECC, so SAP has taken a new route to do things with S4HANA. Maybe it's a good product, but the implementing partners also like to have an in-depth understanding of the full feature set the product offers."

What is our primary use case?

We are consultants who help supervise our customers' implementation projects. Two of our customers use S4HANA. The older ones are on the ECC platform.

What needs improvement?

We found that the implementing partners themselves are struggling with S4HANA's features. It's not an exact translation of the older ECC, so SAP has taken a new route to do things with S4HANA. Maybe it's a good product, but the implementing partners also like to have an in-depth understanding of the full feature set the product offers. There are areas where even the implementer has to go back to set, which takes time, so that's one of our major concerns.

The older implementations were cloud-based, but one is happening now in one of the larger utilities, which sells services to around 4 million consumers. That's an ongoing project that hasn't gone live yet. This will be the real test. In a year, we'll know, and we can give more feedback.

Another complaint I have is that the screen source is disjointed. When I say this, I'm speaking from a user experience perspective. I don't know the S4HANA database, so I can't say if it's good or bad. I am sure that S4HANA would have certain limitations compared to Oracle, which is the gold standard for databases. Maybe there are some challenges in the backend, but I don't dwell on those because I'm not a technician. But the graphical interface requires improvement, and its flow should be very smooth. 

Also, the Fiori app is very basic. They need to become richer because people tend to use Fiori to access the S4HANA application to save on license costs. Fiori gives you access because it's a web client, and they market it as an app. It's not really a full-fledged app, but the roadmap has to be cleared from SAP. And when its capabilities improve, it gives a native app experience when people use Fiori.

For how long have I used the solution?

I haven't been using S4HANA for long. It's been two years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

S4HANA is relatively stable, but it's not as stable as ECC was. ECC had a long time to mature, so S4HANA still has a few years to go before it can achieve the level of stability that we've come to expect from SAP.

How are customer service and support?

We've primarily relied on the local implementers for support, and there are challenges whenever they need to refer back to SAP's own technical support. It usually takes longer than expected in many cases. Sometimes they're pretty fast, but they're usually not, which is a serious concern.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We've worked with three of the biggest products in the ERP segment: S4HANA, Oracle EBS, and Microsoft Dynamics AXMicrosoft Dynamics is pretty straightforward. It's not as complex and offers a good user experience, whereas SAP through Fiori gives a certain level of user experience, but that's not as good as what Microsoft offers. But the rich line where you go through the desktop license — that user interface is still cumbersome. It's not as user-friendly I must say. On the other hand, Oracle is the middle of the two. I won't say that it's as good as Microsoft's user experience. However, while it is a bit more complex than Microsoft, it's not as complex as SAP. 

What other advice do I have?

I would currently rate S4HANA seven out of 10. We tell our clients that SAP's roadmap shows us that S4HANA will mature in time. It won't happen tomorrow. They have to make an informed decision whether they want to live with certain delays in getting certain fixes or go with another solution. SAP is such a big name, so half the time, people are willing to live with those delays with the expectation that things will get better in a year or two. SAP is a trusted name, and I'm sure they must be doing something now to get S4HANA up to speed. I hope they understand that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Head Of Information Technology at Kasapreko
Real User
Good stability and technical support but needs careful implementation in order to be effective
Pros and Cons
  • "Technical support is quite good. They are helpful and responsive. We are quite satisfied with their level of support."
  • "Our business has grown beyond the capabilities of Business One. We need a bigger ERP solution, and therefore we are moving away."

What is most valuable?

The solution is pretty straightforward to set up and gets easier over time.

Technical support has been quite good.

We've found the stability to be very good.

What needs improvement?

We aren't overly satisfied with the solution. We are moving away from it.

The solution needs to be implemented properly, otherwise, a company will not be able to get the full benefit of the product.

They need to do more with, budget planning within the solution, in terms of financial budgeting. Right now, we can only input values at our sales target, however, we can't input numbers. The solution also needs to look at the monthly balance. There will need to have some type of maintenance in there. Yet, there is no model for maintenance. If you buy it you need to go and find another solution for your maintenance however, if they can do a maintenance solution within this solution that that would be a wonderful thing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for seven years or so. It's been a while. I've spent a lot of time on it.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash and freeze. It's very reliable in terms of performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Our business has grown beyond the capabilities of Business One. We need a bigger ERP solution, and therefore we are moving away. We're looking at SAP S/4 HANA since we already use other SAP products.

We currently have 101 users. In the future, we'll be looking at 130 to 150 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is quite good. They are helpful and responsive. We are quite satisfied with their level of support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are actually going to move over to S/4HANA. We looked at Oracle, however, we decided on SAP as we already had SAP products. I've worked with a lot of ERP and other products, including other SAP products.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not overly complex. It's pretty straightforward. However, at the outset, when we were fresh users, it seemed to be a bit complex. Over time, you get more and more comfortable with the process.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The price of the solution itself is not the issue, however, the cost of the licensing is strange. No other ERP that concurrent licensing. As I have what will be a hundred users at the time to use it, doesn't matter whether Samuel or George come on, SAP requires an individual attached to a license. That means even if a person is no longer a user, we have to untie the license so nobody can use that license. I need to fill it with a different person.

What other advice do I have?

I am a customer and end-user of the product.

I'd recommend the product to others. Anyone who wants to use SAP Business One should do so. It's a good solution. They need to get a good implementer, however, as if it's not implemented well, you will have issues. 

I'd rate the solution at a six out of ten. At first, we really liked it, however, as of now, we need to change as it no longer meets our needs.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Head of IT and General manager at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Helpful technical support with fair pricing and good stability
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution serves its purpose and does what we need it to do."
  • "Just implementing an ERP system takes a lot of time."

What is our primary use case?

We are using the solution as a general agent financial module in the supply chain. 

What is most valuable?

It's easy to find information on the solution. You can simply Google it and do a lot of research that way.

The solution has been very stable.

The scalability is very good.

The pricing of the product is fair. It's not overly expensive.

The solution serves its purpose and does what we need it to do.

We have found the security to be very good.

Technical support has been very good.

The solution is quite secure.

What needs improvement?

I can't speak to finding any missing features. It works well for us.

We've had a few small security issues. 

Just implementing an ERP system takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of time to analyze everything.

We cannot get all of the KPIs and reports as we were not always on the system. While we could generate them, we'd be charged extra. That's not really the fault of the ERP. That's more on our side. If we need information, we can run it through Tableau which we just connected to our database.

Changing QAD would involve a significant investment. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for five to seven years. 

We have been five years in the cloud and two years on-prem for our on-premise data center. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable and the performance is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale effectively. If a company wants to expand, it can.

We have 50 users on the solution right now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer service is very friendly and helpful. We're happy with the level of service we receive from them.

If we have any issues, we raise a ticket. As soon as we raise a ticket for any issue, they basically take care of any issue irrespective of geographic boundaries. They are very good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We also use a few other built-in solutions on top of this product. If we need something specific, we just build our own thing.

How was the initial setup?

We did not handle the initial setup. Therefore, I cannot speak to how easy or difficult it was. I was not a part of the process.

All the maintenance and everything is being done by QAD itself.

What about the implementation team?

We had a third party install the solution for us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is reasonable. We do not find it too high. In comparison with other ERP solutions, it's very good.

My understanding is that we pay a yearly licensing fee and they take care of everything for us.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We've looked into many other ERP solutions. For example, we are familiar with SAP and the Oracle E-Business Suite.

What other advice do I have?

As a cloud-based solution, we are always on the latest version.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We're pretty happy with its capabilities overall.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Managing Director at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
A stable, scalable, and inexpensive solution with workflows, notifications, and fast support
Pros and Cons
  • "The accounting part and the procurement part are most valuable. It is a very good system with workflows and notifications."
  • "Its implementation process is kind of complicated. If the person implementing it doesn't know what he is doing, the system can have many issues. Sage X3 is just an accounting system. As compared to Oracle E-Business Suite, it does not cover a lot of functionality. It doesn't have the payroll, lease management, and HR modules. Oracle E-Business Suite is better than Sage X3."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for accounting and procurement. The accounting part covers the full accounting solution such as accounts receivable, general ledger, and so forth. We are using Sage X3 version 11.

What is most valuable?

The accounting part and the procurement part are most valuable. It is a very good system with workflows and notifications.

What needs improvement?

Its implementation process is kind of complicated. If the person implementing it doesn't know what he is doing, the system can have many issues.

Sage X3 is just an accounting system. As compared to Oracle E-Business Suite, it does not cover a lot of functionality. It doesn't have the payroll, lease management, and HR modules. Oracle E-Business Suite is better than Sage X3.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for a couple of years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

At first, it was not stable, but for the past year, it seems to be stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. We have around 50 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

It doesn't have too many problems. When it is up, it is fine and seems to be stable. The technical support that we need is related to new users and creating profiles for new users. Their support is fast.

How was the initial setup?

Its implementation process is kind of complicated. If the person implementing it doesn't know what he is doing, the system can have many issues. The company that implemented the system was new to the product. It is now causing problems because of the way it is configured. Its implementation took six months.

What about the implementation team?

We used a third party for the implementation of the product. They were new to the product. They did not implement it properly, and there are a lot of issues with the system because of which we always have to be there to maintain it.

We also have a budgeting solution. The payroll and HR systems are external, and they all integrate with the accounting system.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It is very cheap. There are no additional charges, but the problem is that you have to acquire an additional supporting system such as a budgeting system. You will have to implement the integration and maintain two systems. So, you need to pay for the license of that budgeting system and this one. You also need to pay the license for the payroll and integration. There are all these integrations that you have to pay for.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution. I'm the administrator of the system, and I've been on the training for the system. It is a good system, and it seems to cover a lot of functionalities. However, to have a complete ERP system, you have to buy additional systems.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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