Oracle NetSuite ERP: The Pros and Cons

Long regarded as the #1 cloud ERP solution, Oracle NetSuite ERP offers a robust portfolio of procedural management software that streamlines business processes for 24,000+ cross-industry customers. The company has experienced great success as both an upgrade from less powerful ERP systems and as a solution that pulls multiple disconnected systems together. Their holistic approach to enterprise management is best illustrated by their seven key feature categories:

  1. Financial Management
  2. Financial Planning
  3. Order Management
  4. Procurement
  5. Production Management
  6. Supply Chain Management
  7. Warehouse and Fulfillment

The NetSuite ERP portfolio can eliminate a lot of administrative headaches at businesses of any size, but is their ERP the right solution for your business? Take a look at some of the pros and cons that their current customers have highlighted to help you make an informed purchasing decision.

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A Deep Dive Into Oracle NetSuite ERP

The Pros of Oracle NetSuite ERP

Customizable and Scalable Features

NetSuite offers the same flexibility as most other platforms in the way of add-on modules, user seats, and length of contract. However, Oracle NetSuite’s platform sets itself apart by extending several options to customize their boilerplate solutions to fit your business needs. Users have praised the customizable templates that NetSuite offers in all of its ERP modules, and although doing so may require more extensive technical knowledge, users can code their own solutions into any of the modules. 

A favorite customizable feature in Oracle NetSuite ERP can be found in the HR SuitePeople module, where administrators have the freedom to customize and adjust pay options beyond typical pay categories.

Larger companies like Smartsheet have chosen NetSuite because of scalability built into its ready-made ERP features. Mark Mader, the CEO of Smartsheet, specifically highlighted how the SuiteBilling billing and revenue software has enabled his company to grow: 

“We needed a solution that could support significant growth in our primary segments—enterprise customers as well as SMBs where we leverage a self-service model—each of which has its own unique set of complexities…NetSuite was the only solution that offered us the ability to automate both the back office and customer-facing aspects across both these important segments of our business.” 

Strong Business Intelligence Backbone

NetSuite ERP consistently receives high marks for its business intelligence and financial management tools. Through the platform’s automation of processes like billing, accounting, and reporting, finance teams can focus on financial planning, predictive analysis, and other strategic product and systems-facing actions that require their expertise.

One of their strongest business intelligence and finance features is SuiteBilling, advertised as the industry’s first unified order-to-billing-to-revenue recognition solution on the cloud. Other notable features in this segment of the NetSuite ERP include revenue recognition, customizable analytics and dashboards, and multi-currency transaction capabilities. 

NetSuite ERP What If Analysis for Business Intelligence.
This is an example of the NetSuite ERP “What If” Analysis feature, which allows you to plan and assess potential changes in your business model through what-if scenarios.

Workflow and People Management

At the core of any business, you’ll find people relations and management. Many companies rely on separate HR software that does not wholly integrate with their other company software. But NetSuite ERP’s HR module, SuitePeople, seamlessly connects HR data with financial, procurement, project, payroll, planning, and budgeting data across other modules in the platform. These connections help companies set and analyze performance against company-wide, department, and individual KPIs based on product and market success. NetSuite’s analytics framework is particularly useful for visualizing these types of metrics, as the dashboard shows people and financial analytics side by side and in real-time.

Beyond the people analytics found in NetSuite ERP, you’ll also find a system that simultaneously encourages administrative freedom with widespread employee data protection. Features like the employee directory and other searchable databases within the system make it easy for anyone to connect with the right person in the organization. However, features like effective dating and access control ensure that only administrators with the right access privileges can view employees’ most private data.

NetSuite ERP SuitePeople HR and Finance Metrics.
This is one chart found on the SuitePeople HR dashboard, which compares people analytics with revenue and other financial analytics.

The Cons of Oracle NetSuite ERP

Pricing and Add-On Costs

Although some custom packages and pricing options are available, NetSuite’s baseline package costs $999 a month plus $99 per user, which will likely strain the budgets of smaller companies. These costs also don’t account for the fact that companies pay for nearly every customization they choose to add, with things like 24/7 support and upgrading to the latest versions of different modules incurring extra fees.  

You’re paying for a high-value product that streamlines all of your business software into one tool. So if the price works for your business, it makes sense to pay a higher price than you might pay for a solution like QuickBooks Enterprise, which includes many financial and BI modules, but completely misses on CRM and HRMS features. The ROI is there for the right business model, budget, and tenacity to keep up with changing costs on the platform. 

Customer Support

NetSuite’s technical support is included with all NetSuite subscriptions, but multiple user reviews have indicated the limitations to the service. The included support package offers only 10 hours of customer online support, during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Premium and Advanced Customer Support packages extend that service to 24/7 support for additional fees. Users have also expressed that the support team offers highly technical solutions without always guiding customers, which makes it difficult for teams with less technical staff to resolve NetSuite ERP problems.

NetSuite ERP Support Plans, Basic and Premium Support Comparison.
Basic Support, which is included with all NetSuite purchases, only provides guided support to users when they are experiencing a Severity 1 (Critical) problem in the system.

Although their actual support team may be limited in the scope of what they offer to customers, NetSuite ERP extends several self-help resources to their customers for free:

  • SuiteAnswers support ticketing system
  • NetSuite support user group
  • Online case submission
  • Full training class curriculum

Accessibility for SMEs

Oracle NetSuite has often claimed that they want to be an ERP solution for small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs), but many SMEs have expressed that the solution better fits larger companies. These smaller organizations have shared that the customizations that they want or need to implement in their ERP require two things that they don’t always have: specialized employees who know how to make those coded adjustments, and large budgets to pay for customizations and new add-ons. Managing customizations and version history across the portfolio may require more training, specialized knowledge, FTE, and budget than SMEs can reasonably afford, which is why the solution continues to be selected by mostly larger enterprises.

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Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter is a writer with more than five years of experience in writing and editing, focusing on healthcare, technology, data, enterprise IT, and technology marketing. She currently writes for four different digital publications in the technology industry: Datamation, Enterprise Networking Planet, CIO Insight, and Webopedia. When she’s not writing, Shelby loves finding group trivia events with friends, cross stitching decorations for her home, reading too many novels, and turning her puppy into a social media influencer.

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