Friday, July 12, 2013

NetSuite vs. Dynamics GP: A Series

By Steve Endow

The last two weeks I have been working on my first NetSuite project.  A friend of mine owns Prolecto Resources, a leading Southern California NetSuite practice.  A few weeks ago, he offered me an opportunity to work on a small NetSuite customization project, and I jumped at the opportunity.

I've read several sales and marketing articles, blog posts, "competitive analyses", and white papers about NetSuite vs. Dynamics GP, but those all seemed to have an "angle".  It isn't terribly difficult to pick the best capabilities of your product and the limitations of a competing product and declare your product the victor.  And I don't trust such comparisons, as they rarely tell the whole story--a story that is often much too big to distill into simple bullet points.

Since I've spent the last 9 years working with Dynamics GP, I'm pretty familiar with the software, its architecture, how it works, what it does well, and what it doesn't do well.  I definitely don't know everything, and I haven't worked with every module, feature, or add-on related to GP, but I'm comfortable assessing GP and NetSuite relative to my direct experience working with both systems.

There are plenty of discussions and rants about on-premise vs. SaaS, licensed vs. subscription, 'best of breed' vs. all-in-one--what might be referred to as the ERP "religious debates", so I'm not going to focus on those general issues.

In this series, I'm interested in discussing and comparing specific features, designs, or approaches in the two systems.  My goal isn't to identify a winner or say that one system is better than another.  I will likely point out pros and cons, but I expect there to be pros and cons for both systems.

My fundamental goal is to learn.  While being very knowledgeable with Dynamics GP is valuable, I am interested in seeing how NetSuite works and identify some specific similarities and differences between the two systems.  When we work with the same system for many years, I think we start to take certain things for granted.  By working with and learning about NetSuite, I'm also hoping to learn more about Dynamics GP.

The small NetSuite project that I worked on recently was a customization that involved using SuiteScript to automatically modify transactions as they are saved.  If I were working in GP, I could have easily come up with a design and coded a customization to meet such requirements--but instead I had to learn NetSuite and learn the SuiteScript customization language to figure out how to accomplish the project.  And I only had a week and a half to do it.

I have several topics lined up for this series, from how transactions are saved in NetSuite to how the SuiteScript language is used to develop customizations, and I plan on comparing each element to its equivalent in Dynamics GP along the way.  Perhaps over time I may discuss other topics such as licensing, pricing, etc.

While I have made certain observations and will be writing posts about those, I am also interested in getting some suggestions from the GP community about what you might be interested in learning about NetSuite vs. Dynamics GP.  At the moment, I'm primarily looking for very specific topics related to core GP functionality, like how are GL account numbers structured in GP vs. NetSuite.  Or perhaps there is a challenging accounting transaction or process that is cumbersome in GP, and you are interested in learning how NetSuite handles such a process.  If you have any suggestions, please post a comment below.

Update:  The first feature comparison has been published:  NetSuite vs. Dynamics GP: GL Impact vs. Distributions

Update:  The second feature comparison is now up:  NetSuite vs. Dynamics GP: Save Transactions vs. Post Batches

Update:  The third feature comparison is now available:  NetSuite vs. Dynamics GP: Navigation: Browser Tabs vs. Application Windows

Steve Endow is a Dynamics GP Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is also the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

You can also find him on Google+ and Twitter

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