Sage Intacct vs. Oracle Netsuite Part 1 — Customizing and Scaling

We often get asked about the benefits of Sage Intacct or Oracle NetSuite over the other since they’re both strong players in the cloud ERP space. At The Answer Company, we’re positioned particularly well for doing some comparison: we were a NetSuite partner for a long time and used it internally for years and are currently a Sage Intacct partner and implemented Intacct internally in 2019.  So with both the client and the partner’s perspective, we’ve decided to create a series of blogs comparing some main differentiators between the two solutions. 

We won’t go through the comparative customer reviews from trusted sites like G2Crowd, Gartner, and TrustRadius, because those are easy to find (and you’ve probably already read them anyways)! We’ll get into the nitty-gritty. This first blog will look at two key factors: customizability and scalability. Let’s get into it!

 

Scripting vs Clicks

Even similar companies in the same industry will have differences in their workflows and processes. This means that it is unlikely that your business will need only workflows that come as standard, out-of-the-box. The true value of an ERP lies in the fact that it is deployed based on your business set-up and workflows. So, when deploying a solution, it is almost guaranteed that it will need some personalization. 

Many customizations to Intacct can be made with just a few clicks. These clickable elements (like buttons) interact with the front-end of the solution (the user interface) making it an easy, intuitive and visual process that almost any user can do. NetSuite uses a scripting language called SuiteScript (built on JavaScript) to make many changes. Scripting involves using a coding language to add functionality in text form, which requires know-how and experience.

 

Fixing Broken Customizations

Of course, there are NetSuite connectors (available as bolt-on modules with their own associated costs) that aim to cut down the need for scripting. Netsuite refers to these as SuiteSolutions. While SuiteSolutions can help with customizing, if these solutions break, it introduces another issue: when Netsuite makes any updates, the responsibility is placed on the customer to monitor and repair any connectors that stop working or have issues. In fact, their terms of service are quite explicit:

“Customer is responsible for all testing and configuration of all SuiteSolutions, “ and

“SuiteSolutions are not supported, maintained or upgraded by NetSuite.”

On the other hand, Sage Intacct takes responsibility for fixing any broken connections that occur from updates, even if they don’t own the add-on! They refer to this as their Buy with Confidenceguarantee. This means that they will not release any versions that break integrations. They also guarantee backwards compatibility from day one.

 

Scalability and Globalization

Intacct was built for scaling. Its multi-entity, multi-location, multi-currency focus makes all manner of scaling easy, especially across the globe. When it comes to financial consolidation of all of your entities, Intacct handles currency conversion so you don’t have to; it can automate inter-entity transactions and can help your finance team with localized tax reporting. Is your scalability more about increased output than globalization? Intacct has that covered, too. Based in multi-tenant cloud servers, they operate 10,000 CPUs and 100TB of RAM (that’s memory, not storage). Intacct handles 100 million application requests per day. Given that, there are virtually no constraints on the amount of computing power that can be allocated to your system. Intacct also commits to 99.8% uptime.

NetSuite is also considered highly scalable. Multi-country configuration is possible through the cloud-based OneWorld add-on module. If you opt for Netsuite’s SuiteSuccess bundle (Read more on that in Blog #2), OneWorld is included for one country. OneWorld has similar tax reporting capabilities and currency conversion, plus some additional legislative compliance measures in place. However, each additional country requires an additional license – depending on how many countries you work with, this could increase your cost substantially. In terms of the multi-tenant cloud that NetSuite operates, they handle around 500 million application requests daily, but their literature is fairly vague on other details (such as the cores they operate and their RAM limits). They boast a 99.5% rate of uptime.

 

NetSuite has the decided benefit of being backed by Oracle. It is already established globally, and is a well-known name in the ERP space. However, Oracle has had reputational challenges. While NetSuite is both customizable and scalable, these things are not necessarily easy to achieve. Sage Intacct is less of a household name and Sage is significantly smaller than Oracle, but Intacct’s ease-of-use means it is poised to help lots of companies scale both at home and abroad, in a very user-friendly way. 

Read the next piece in this series, where we compare the merits of the Suite approach that NetSuite operates on, and the best-in-breed concept that Intacct champions.

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