Acumatica vs. NetSuite Head-to-Head – Which Should You Choose?

Acumatica NetSuite Comparison

Look Closely at Acumatica vs. NetSuite Offerings to Make the Smart Choice on Cloud ERP

Right now, many business leaders are trying to decide between Acumatica vs. NetSuite. Smart choice. In recent years, cloud ERP has proved itself as table stakes for any serious organization focused on growth, which is why IDG reported their expectations that 90% of organizations would have at least one application, or a portion of their computing infrastructure, in the cloud by August 2019.

Your business is probably also on a similar timeline, which is why you’re here right now, gathering important information about how Acumatica Cloud ERP compares to Oracle NetSuite. You’ve come to the right place.

This guide, brought to you by the cloud ERP experts at SWK Technologies, will help you clearly understand the subtle shadings between these two leading cloud ERPs on everything from price to strategy to philosophy. We’re here to help you make the right decision for your business’s long-term needs.

Since we’re talking subtle shadings here, this guide sometimes gets into the nitty-gritty and may be slightly difficult to understand for some readers. If you find yourself wanting additional explanations, all you have to do is contact the SWK Technologies team for a crystal-clear, easy-to-understand comparison between the two cloud ERP solutions.

Now, let’s get to it.

ERP Roi TCO Calculator

Uncovering the Costs of Cloud ERP

One of the biggest differences business leaders notice first when comparing Acumatica vs. NetSuite is the cost of the two solutions. Specifically, they notice the high cost of Oracle NetSuite.

  • NetSuite charges for both resource consumption and user licensing, and they have a lot of hidden costs as well. While both companies charge for resource consumption, only NetSuite increases this cost by adding per-user pricing.

NetSuite’s customers also face hidden charges when they want to exercise their right to delay an upgrade, access adequate support, train new staff members, or customize their ERP. These limitations can restrict scalability options – which defeats the purpose of choosing a cloud solution to begin with.

  • Acumatica sets itself apart because they never charge per user, and they don’t hide their pricing structure. In addition, Acumatica offers their customers the included freedoms that true business leaders deserve and expect, such as the abilities to:
    • Choose your own upgrade timelines – decide when and if you want to upgrade within the support lifecycle
    • Instantly tap into comprehensive training and support – leverage the phenomenal Acumatica Help Portal, regional user and support groups including the Rocky Mountain Users Group and the Southeast Users Group, access the Acumatica Open University, and install Acumatica for free, just so you can play with it and learn more
    • Deploy wherever you prefer – on premises, in the cloud, or hybrid, it’s all available, and you can move back and forth between deployment models as your business evolves
    • Choose where you want to host your solution and data – NetSuite requires you to host in their data centers, whereas Acumatica offers security-star AWS and other popular options for hosting (plus, as we said, on-premises hosting is available)
    • Select your own licensing structure – take advantage of subscription licensing or get a perpetual license, whichever works best for you
    • Make Acumatica a tailored fit for your company – use as many third-party add-ons as you’d like or take advantage of 100% flexible customization for your ERP and platform, all while still keeping costs low

Smart business leaders will carefully compare the total cost of ownership (TCO) for both Acumatica and NetSuite, taking a range of variables into account, such as scalability for resources and users, support, training, hosting costs, and multi-year pricing. The multi-year pricing is especially important because Oracle NetSuite is known to offer steep discounts in year one and then recoup their costs with a price increase in years two and beyond.

G2 Crowd Acumatica NetSuite

Reading Between the Lines for Cloud ERP Strategy

Long-time industry pros know that one of the key aspects of selecting an ERP is to focus on the vendor’s long-term strategy and vision, making sure that the ERP’s goals align with your own goals. Acumatica and NetSuite have very different strategies, so this can be a critical differentiator.

  • NetSuite is subject to Oracle’s often confusing cloud ERP strategy and vision, which traditionally focuses on global expansion and enterprise operations. According to Oracle chairman and CTO Larry Ellison, Oracle is already #1 in market share for cloud ERP (with about two-thirds of those customers coming from their NetSuite acquisition in 2016), but NetSuite isn’t Oracle’s only cloud ERP. In fact, Oracle offers a dizzying range of solutions and, from a buyer perspective, this extreme range of options can make for a labyrinthine sales process as Oracle partners try to find balance between conflicting add-ons with conflicting margins.

Further obfuscating the Oracle NetSuite strategy is Oracle’s own interests. For the past few years, they’ve been investing heavily in cloud infrastructure (IaaS) and their autonomous “self-driving” database offering. This is great news for enterprises with the budget to afford such technologies… but it means midmarket customers and midmarket products like NetSuite may be receiving less attention from the Oracle R&D team.

However, it’s worth noting that Oracle NetSuite has announced their focus on blockchain for ERP, which might serve as a significant differentiator for your company if you already have a clear strategy on how to use blockchain’s still largely conceptual technology.

  • Acumatica is solidly focused on bringing cutting-edge technologies to the midmarket, and they place most of their resources into R&D. Compared to the multifarious strategy of Oracle’s wide-ranging product base, Acumatica’s strategy and vision is refreshingly clear:

Acumatica leaves all sales to their channel partners, so the company itself can focus solely on making the product better. To Acumatica leadership, this means bringing the latest, cutting-edge technology to the midmarket, including AI, machine learning, natural language processing, and IoT integration.

By allocating nearly 75% of their employees to R&D, Acumatica is making good on their promise to bring today’s latest emerging technologies to SMBs… but the company doesn’t just deliver great tech, they also deliver a 100% customizable platform (Acumatica Cloud xRPthat customers can use to test, optimize, and deploy that technology.

Business leaders focused on cloud ERP often don’t realize the power that the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform provides in terms of long-term flexibility and agility. Cloud xRP truly is unique and one of the biggest differentiators when comparing Acumatica vs. NetSuite because it can offer your company the ability to literally make your ERP do anything you want it to do.

Here are just a couple of examples of how various industries are using the Cloud xRP Platform to maintain their business flexibility:

  • A banking equipment resellerBenchmark Technology Group, used the Acumatica framework to build a custom workflow for tracking warranties and repairs, creating a whole repair depot component to overcome the difficulty of managing service programs and measuring customer satisfaction with disparate systems that had no integration to ERP.
  • A machine-made rug distributorTayse Rugs, who supplies both big-box merchants and e-commerce companies, used the Acumatica Mobile Development Framework to develop their own warehouse management system (WMS). Taylan Sevimli, Tayse Rug’s Business Development Manager, stated, “One of the best things about Acumatica is how customizable it is, especially the user interface. I can change screens, processes and workflows. I can also create custom reports by connecting tables, combining tables and then generate a single table that has all the information I need.”

Unpacking Cloud ERP Philosophies

To truly understand the foundational philosophical differences between Acumatica vs. NetSuite, it helps to understand a bit about the beginnings of each company.

  • NetSuite was founded in 1998 and was one of the first companies to develop multitenant SaaS business applications exclusively on the cloud. Undeniably, the NetSuite product has been in the ERP business longer than the Acumatica product and has therefore had time to build up an impressive customer base.

However, that means NetSuite comes from an older time period with arguably outdated business models. When NetSuite got its start, software publishers were often suspicious of open source technologies, developers were known to build their careers on becoming experts in specific programming languages, and software companies profited by limiting the portability of users’ data.

Don’t misunderstand. We’re not saying that NetSuite still views the tech world through the narrow lens of the past. If they did, they would have folded long ago, like many stagnant developers have in the past few decades.

However, it is clear, especially from NetSuite’s philosophical approach to pricing and customization flexibility, that they are still somewhat rooted in their past. As a potential user of their ERP software for the next decade, you have to decide if their model of charging customers for both per-user and resource-based pricing, while also limiting development options with a secret, proprietary code that requires specially trained developers is a good choice for your business.

By the time Acumatica hit the ERP market, the tech world had already undergone a sea change.Open source technology had proved its mettle by supercharging internet innovation. In response to explosive internet growth, software developers had shifted to a “full stack” development focus, in which they built skills across only the most flexible programming frameworks (such as the industry-standard, .NET), and the integrated landscape of the postmodern ERP world nearly necessitated data portability for users.

Plus, since the iPhone was invented in 2007, kicking off the mobile revolution, Acumatica’s founders were able to fully understand the potential for and leverage the open learning technologies that business leaders have come to expect by now. These include anytime/ anywhere access to on-demand training opportunities, as well as full mobile responsiveness for any device.

When you consider the environment Acumatica was founded in, it’s easy to understand the company’s philosophy of transparent learning opportunities, fully portable data with the ability to export to a relational database (NetSuite can’t do that), the 100% customizable Cloud xRP platform, and software written in industry-standard code (.NET).

By the time Acumatica was created, the changes in the technology world had already created changes in the business world – changes that we now all tend to take for granted. As a potential user of Acumatica, you may find great benefit with Acumatica’s philosophy of openness, user freedom, and competing on merit alone.

It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

How to Get Additional, Specific Details about Acumatica vs. NetSuite

Today’s forward-looking business leaders are making their choice between Acumatica vs. NetSuite because they understand that cloud ERP is the future, especially for growing wholesale distributors, manufacturers, and professional services organizations. However, each of these industries have very different needs, and no “one size fits all” explanation provides all the facts leaders in these industries require.

When you’re ready for highly specific information about how cloud ERP would impact your business operations and meet your objectives, ask for advice from the experts.

We’re happy to answer your questions and help guide you on your decision between Acumatica vs. NetSuite. With SWK Technologies, help is just a click away – contact us for facts, advice, and recommendations on cloud ERP for your business.


Still have questions? Then take your time and learn more about cloud ERP, research ERP solutions, or evaluate the ERP systems you’re considering.

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