Acumatica vs NetSuite Part 1: Pricing
Acumatica and NetSuite are two of the most robust and well known cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions available, so chances are if you’re considering upgrading to a cloud ERP these two solutions are on your list. Researching business management solutions online often feels like reading a resume, a long list of amazing things that the solutions can do without real context to compare it with. At a surface level these two cloud ERP solutions offer many of the same things: they’re both true cloud SaaS ERP solutions that integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM), eCommerce and Business Intelligence (BI).
In order to identify the differences between the two you need to dig deeper, which is exactly what we’re going to do. In this three-part blog series we’re going to discuss different aspects of Acumatica and NetSuite, and how they compare to each other. What gives us the insight in order to do a true comparison? Well, we were a NetSuite partner for 3 years and have been an Acumatica partner for 3 years now as well, so with clients on both solutions and experts of both on staff, we know the ins & outs.
What’s the first thing most businesses think about when they’re considering a new solution? Price. So let’s take a close look at the similarities and differences between Acumatica and NetSuite when it comes to price.
Traditional ERP pricing is based on licensing, number of users, industry, customizations and additional products. NetSuite’s price structure doesn’t stray far from that, based on five distinct factors: base subscription, advanced applications/modules, number of users, resources used and support. One of the biggest hurdles businesses have to overcome when considering NetSuite is pricing though—it has a well-known reputation of being a very expensive solution.
NetSuite’s base subscription is offered at three different levels, however the most affordable subscription is rarely sold due to functionality limitations and is only suitable to small businesses whose budget is a far cry from what’s required to run NetSuite. The price increases dramatically when you enter into mid-market and enterprise pricing, and from there the price continues to rise with businesses being charged $99 USD for each additional user, adding advanced modules (price varies depending on what’s added) and resources.
The cost for resources is based on your service tier, which is split into 7 different levels and determines things like data size limits, maximum number of users, and the amount of concurrent operations an account can perform & transactions that can be completed. Additionally, businesses with heavy transaction volume may be required to purchase more resources through SuiteCloud Plus, with prices having the potential to skyrocket to the hundreds of thousands.
While NetSuite has a reputation for being extremely expensive, the flexibility Acumatica offers with its price structure gives businesses more control over cost with the deployment and licensing options, as well as the benefit of only paying for the resources they actually need. Acumatica’s price structure has been criticized for being confusing but it’s actually quite straight forward. It’s pricing is based on four factors: applications/modules, deployment, licensing and resources consumed.
What continues to set Acumatica apart when compared to other ERP solutions is the ability to have unlimited users. Acumatica does not charge individual user licenses and instead focuses on the amount of resources that are consumed based on monthly commercial transactions (e.g. Sales Orders, Shipments, AR Invoices, Customer Payments, Purchase Orders, Purchase Receipts, AP Bills, and Vendor Payments), ERP transactions (each time the save button is pushed), and the amount of storage you require (for ERP and media data). Businesses are placed in a License Tier that matches their usage and growth plans so they’re only playing for what they need.
How is that different from NetSuite’s tier pricing based on resources used? NetSuite’s Service Tier only includes 7 different levels which means that when businesses move to the next tier they experience a significant price jump, as well as incurring extra costs for each additional user they add ($99 USD/user). Acumatica’s License Tier includes 19 levels which facilitates gradual and manageable upgrade increments and subsequent price increases (and no additional costs for additional users).
Pretty clear so far right? Well here’s where people get confused: even though Acumatica offers unlimited users, the License Tiers include a cap on the number of concurrent users, meaning the number of accounts that can be using the system simultaneously. This means that when you reach the maximum number of concurrent users in your tier you are required to move up to the next tier (which will cost more). While at first glance this may seem like a limitation, it’s really not. The tier structure is designed to take into consideration that as the number of concurrent user’s increases, so does the transactions completed and storage used. When maximum number of concurrent users in a tier is reached your business is also typically reaching the maximum amount of transactions and/or data storage so will benefit overall from moving to the next tier.
When it comes to pricing Acumatica and NetSuite have many similarities in how cost is structured, but the distinct differences in the added costs with NetSuite play a large contributing factor to it being the more expensive cloud ERP solution. Although price is extremely important, it’s not the only factor that you need to take into consideration though. It’s essential to also understand the differences in the features available and compatibility with your needs, which we will review in part 2 & 3 of this blog series.
Don’t miss part 2 to learn about how Acumatica and NetSuite compare when it comes to scalability, licensing (subscription or perpetual), deployment methods (cloud, on-premise, or hybrid), how these things impact cost.