ERP (enterprise resource planning) software helps organizations streamline and optimize their processes and workflows by maximizing efficiencies and enabling better reporting, intelligence, and analytics. From human resources and logistics to finance and sales, nearly every department can benefit from the judicious use of the right ERP software.

When it comes to buying ERP software, there are a few products you’ll hear over and over again: Oracle ERP Cloud, Microsoft Dynamics ERP, Sage X3, and Workday, just to name a few. Another name that you’ve likely encountered before is NetSuite, which calls itself “the first ERP system to be built for the cloud from the ground up.” For three years and counting, IT research firm Gartner has also named NetSuite a Leader in the field of “Cloud Core Financial Management Systems for Midsize, Large and Global Enterprises.”

But what is NetSuite, exactly, and is NetSuite the best ERP platform for your business? Keep reading for everything you need to know, including NetSuite features, benefits, pricing, and reviews.

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Table of Contents

What is NetSuite?

NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) business management platform that is designed for small and medium-sized businesses with up to 2,500 users. It provides a single point of entry for all business information—sales, marketing, finance, and human resources—so that organizations can have a real-time view of their finances, inventory, and customers.

Originally founded in 1998, NetSuite was acquired by Oracle in 2016. The NetSuite platform is now part of the Oracle enterprise software ecosystem, calling itself the “#1 cloud ERP.”

NetSuite Features and Functionality

The features and functionality of Oracle NetSuite include:

  • Accounting and financial management: NetSuite offers core accounting functions such as general ledger and accounts payable/receivable. It also includes more advanced features such as audit and compliance management, expense management, and multi-currency transactions.
  • Financial planning: NetSuite’s financial planning functionality provides businesses with real-time, up-to-the-minute information to facilitate strategic planning and predictions. The platform comes with functionality for budgeting, forecasting, modeling, and generating reports and dashboards.
  • Supply chain and inventory management: NetSuite includes capabilities for manufacturing, distribution, and supply chain management, offering businesses real-time insights on their critical logistics operations.
  • Billing and invoicing: The NetSuite platform allows businesses to define a diverse array of payment options, including transactions, subscriptions, and usage-based models. Organizations can stay on top of their cash flow with reporting and analytics, as well as visibility into outstanding invoices.
  • CRM (customer relationship management): Customer relationship management software tracks businesses’ interactions with customers and potential customers, from their first website visit to their most recent purchase. Although technically a separate application, NetSuite CRM can help inform your ERP workflow by offering a customer 360 view of your business.

For a complete picture of all that NetSuite has to offer, check out the NetSuite ERP website.

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NetSuite Pricing: How Much Does NetSuite Cost?

Like many enterprise software products, the cost of NetSuite will depend on various factors, including the number of user licenses and the functionality that you use. Also like many enterprise applications, Oracle prefers to remain tight-lipped about how much NetSuite costs, asking potential customers to approach them for a custom price quote.

NetSuite is divided into three tiers or pricing models, depending on the size and needs of the business:

  • NetSuite Limited Edition: This tier is intended for small businesses—more specifically, those with fewer than 50 employees, or who need 10 or fewer user licenses.
  • NetSuite Mid-Market Edition: This tier is for companies that are spread across multiple legal entities, or who require between 11 and 1,000 user licenses.
  • NetSuite Enterprise Edition: This most extensive (and expensive) tier is for large companies that require more than 1,000 user licenses.

What exactly is a user license in NetSuite, though, and who in your organization needs to have one?

  • Employees with roles that will require them to use NetSuite heavily—e.g. sales managers, comptrollers, or directors of operations—certainly require their own full user licenses.
  • In addition, some employees need to access NetSuite occasionally for limited functions such as time-clocking or submitting expense reports. These individuals are known as “self-service users” and require a self-service user license, which is a fraction of the cost of a full user license.
  • Finally, employees who need read-only access to NetSuite data typically don’t require their own user license, since this data can be easily exported into Microsoft Excel or other third-party applications.

NetSuite User Reviews

As of writing, NetSuite has received an average of 3.9 out of 5 stars on the business software review site G2, corresponding to fairly positive reviews. Senior business systems administrator Nadia L. gives NetSuite a 5-star review, calling it “the most promising ERP solution on the market”:

“I've worked with NetSuite ERP for over 6 years and it's amazing to see this application grow and improve with every single release… NetSuite is easy to use, learn and administer… It is highly customizable and the searching/reporting capabilities are close to unlimited… I oversee a few business applications in the accounting/finance area, and none of them conceptually are close to NetSuite in providing visibility, ease of use, and decision support.”

Another NetSuite user, an administrator in the retail industry, offers a more critical 3-star review of the platform, but still calls it “a good choice for mid-market retailers”:

“The UI is intuitive for our end users. The self-serve ability of reporting/saved searches has benefited our users and freed up our analysts for less mundane tasks. It's a flexible product, allowing us to customize quite heavily to accommodate our unique business rules and regulatory challenges… Our cloud instance is rather slow, and the price to upgrade to a higher tier is somewhat prohibitive. Our migration has taken much longer than it was originally scoped, which has impacted our front-end e-commerce (non-NetSuite) platform. The warehouse management system was lacking, and we ultimately chose to integrate a separate system to meet our needs.”

Thinking about NetSuite for your own organization? Make sure to clearly define your business needs, goals, and KPIs for the project, as well as the functionality you require and the number of user licenses you’ll need. It can also be helpful to reach out to contacts at other companies who have recently gone through a NetSuite implementation themselves.

How Xplenty Can Help with NetSuite

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Choosing NetSuite as your ERP solution can help you manage, streamline, and optimize your core business processes within a unified, integrated platform. There’s just one question left: how will you get your NetSuite data out of the platform and into a centralized repository (such as a data warehouse or data lake) for easier business intelligence and analytics? The answer lies in a powerful, feature-rich ETL (extract, transform, load) tool like Xplenty.

Xplenty is an ETL and data integration platform for building pipelines from your data sources to your data warehouse or data lake in the cloud. The Xplenty platform offers low-code and no-code functionality with a simple drag-and-drop interface and includes a pre-built connector with NetSuite, as well as more than 100 out-of-the-box integrations.

Related Reading: NetSuite ETL to your warehouse

Want to learn more about how Xplenty can help integrate your NetSuite data? Schedule a call today with our team of data experts so that we can advise you on your situation, or to start your 14-day pilot of the Xplenty platform.