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ERP Buyers Guide: NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central

As the demand for cloud-based ERP solutions soar to record heights, Microsoft recently announced its first cloud ERP solution, Dynamics 365 Business Central. 

With the news of Dynamics 365 Business Central, existing legacy SL, GP and NAV customers are being forced to migrate or consider popular alternatives, such as NetSuite.

This guide will help you understand the main differences between NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central.  

 

Be sure to bookmark this page as a resource during your ERP evaluation and if you want to talk to a NetSuite expert, lets chat.

 

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NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Overview:

Both Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and NetSuite offer subscription based, cloud ERP solutions designed to help small and mid-sized companies scale and grow their businesses.    

How are they different...

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central introduced in the spring of 2018, was previously referred to as "Project Madeira" or "Tenerife" is Microsoft's newest ERP product. Being marketed heavily as Microsoft's first ever "cloud" ERP product, surprisingly Dynamics 365 is built on the NAV code base. While touting a multi-tenant architecture, Dynamics 365 Business Central is really just rearchitected single tenant on-premise software on top of multi-tenant Azure and requiring the use of a middleware layer referred to as Common Data Service to integrate with other Microsoft applications (e.g. Dynamics CRM) and Microsoft's ecosystem of solutions (e.g. Power BI, Microsoft Flow, Cortana and more). Business Central can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. 


NetSuite on the other hand has been the leading multi-tenant "true cloud" ERP provider for several years with the backing of over 40,000 customers and industry analyst like Gartner to prove it.

Another big difference has to do with NetSuite's SuiteCloud platform maturity. The SuiteCloud platform provides the tools and framework necessary to enable customers, partners and software developers to customize NetSuite to meet specific business needs. These customizations and extensions are available and supported through each biannual update. This is simply not the case with Business Central. For example, Microsoft partners and customers alike are frustrated that previous investments in NAV add-on products do not work with Business Central and will require complete redevelopment for customers that want to take advantage of Business Central in the cloud.  
12 Step

Additionally, legacy SL, NAV and GP customers considering the migration to Dynamics 365 Business Central will have to endure a "12 Step Process" take advantage of the new system. While the sound of an "upgrade or migration" sounds simple, in realty its more similar to a new ERP implementation.   

Keep reading to uncover whether NetSuite or Dynamics 365 Business Central may suit your business best, we've produced this a side-by-side comparison guide below:

 

NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central: Company Profiles

Overview:
Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central is an all-in-one business management solution that helps companies connect their financials, sales, service, and operations to streamline business processes, improve customer interactions and make better decisions

NetSuite Logo 2

NetSuite ERP is a complete Cloud ERP solution, which automates front and back-office processes like financial management, revenue management, fixed assets, order management, billing, and inventory management and more. With NetSuite ERP, companies can scale their businesses as they grow and streamline mission-critical processes.


Maturity of Application:

1 year

20 years


Customers:

Unknown

~40,000


Target Industries:

  • Services
  • Wholesale Distribution
  • Manufacturing
  • Nonprofits
  • Retail
  • Ecommerce
  • Financials Services
  • Advertising,
  • Media & Publishing
  • Healthcare
  • Life Sciences
  • Energy
  • Education
  • Transportation & Logistics
  • Nonprofits
  • Services
  • Software and SaaS
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Distribution

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NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central: Feature Comparison

Financial Management Features:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • General Ledger
  • Multi-Currency
  • Fixed Assets
  • Forecasting & Budgeting

NetSuite Logo 2
  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • General Ledger
  • Multi-Currency
  • Fixed Assets
  • Multi-Company & Consolidation
  • Revenue Recognition
  • Subscription Billing
  • Forecasting & Budgeting
  • Financial Planning (PBCS)

Supply Chain Features:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Order Management
  • Procurement
  • Inventory Management
  • Shop Floor Management
  • Quality Management
  • Demand Forecasting
  • Agile Manufacturing
  • Product Configuration
NetSuite Logo 2
  • Order Management
  • Production Management
  • Inventory Management
  • Procurement
  • Warehouse & Fulfillment
  • Demand Planning
  • WIP & Routing
  • Work Orders & Assemblies
  • Shop Floor Control & BOM Maintenance

Human Capital Features:
Microsoft Dynamics 365

No Capabilities

NetSuite Logo 2
  • Human Resources Management
  • Payroll

Commerce Features:
Microsoft Dynamics 365

No Capabilities
 
NetSuite Logo 2
  • Point of Sale
  • Ecommerce
  • Order & Inventory Mgt
  • Product Content Mgt
  • Commerce Marketing Automation

Professional Service Automation (PSA) Features:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Project Management
NetSuite Logo 2
  • Project Management
  • Resource Management
  • Timesheet Management
  • Expense Management


NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central Demo:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
NetSuite Logo 2


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NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central: Pricing

Pricing Info:
Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • $70 per month per user for Essentials
  • $100 per month per user for Premium

Contract Term:

Microsoft requires a year-long contract; renewed annually.

NetSuite requires a year-long contract; renewed annually.


Upfront Cost:

Additional fees apply for professional services such as implementation, integration, customizations, data migration and support.

Additional fees apply for professional services such as implementation, integration, customizations, data migration and support.


Recurring Cost:

Annual recurring fees for the software subscription

Annual recurring fees for the software subscription.


How to License:

Direct or through Partner

Direct or through Partner

 

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NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central: Reviews

Microsoft Dynamics 365

  • No customer reviews
NetSuite Logo 2
  • 3.5 of 5 Stars with 106 reviews
  • Recommended by 78% of users
  • No customer reviews
  • 7.4 out of 10 with 277 reviews


  • No customer reviews


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NetSuite vs Dynamics 365 Business Central: Support

Tech Support:
Microsoft Dynamics 365

Available during regular business hours

NetSuite Logo 2

24/7 toll-free worldwide phone support available


End User Training:

Live and/or online training available by Microsoft partners.

Live and/or online training available by NetSuite training department and by partners.


Online Support:

Microsoft offers a limited online knowledge base as well as an online user group.

NetSuite has an extensive knowledge base known as  SuiteAnswers available to all users as well as online user group.



Final Thoughts...

While their are some notable features such the native connection between LinkedIn and CRM Sales and other business applications like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Flow, Power BI, Cortana and more, its still an unproven ERP product with live and referenceable customers. Another concerning aspect is that while legacy SL, NAV and GP customers will continue to receive basic support well into the future, future feature/benefit enhancements on these applications is over, in essence forcing customers to look else where for modern business systems. Further, Business Central is designed for small business with around ~100 employees and limited complexity. If your business continues to grow in size and complexity you might be forced to migrate again to Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations (formerly known as AX). So the big question you must ask yourself is, "will 365 Business Central be the last and final ERP investment my company will need to make?".  NetSuite is the only, proven cloud-based ERP that can work for both a small business and scale to meet the needs of enterprise size customers all on a single platform.  

Still not sure about what solution makes most sense. Let's talk!

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