People don’t often associate Microsoft with financial management or ERP software, but after purchasing Great Plains in 2001 they have been quietly providing many small to medium-sized businesses with financial management tools under the name Microsoft Dynamics GP. NetSuite has supported the migration of hundreds of customers from Microsoft Dynamics GP over to the NetSuite ERP platform and will continue to support organizations looking to migrate in the future. Let’s take a look at 5 of the biggest reasons why businesses make the switch.

Fake Cloud

If you think all clouds are created equal, think again. “Fake cloud” refers to software that was likely built in the pre-cloud era and is really just a hosted version of on-premise software. Today’s rendition of Microsoft Dynamics GP is built on the foundation of a product released in 1993—for reference, that’s nearly two years before Netscape Navigator was released—making it a true fake cloud solution. In comparison to 100% cloud-based solution, fake cloud software tends to mean clunky upgrades, slow performance, costly integrations and customizations, additional hosting fees, and other less-than-desirable issues.

NetSuite, on the other hand, is a “true cloud” solution. That is, a fully cloud-based system developed—from the ground up—for the cloud. The benefits of a true cloud solution are vast: no infrastructure costs, less IT staff required, easy integrations, automatic upgrades, and more. Which kind of cloud should your business rely on to accelerate growth?

High Total Cost of Ownership

Microsoft Dynamics GP can prove to be an expensive and time-consuming solution—both in the long and short term. With Microsoft Dynamics GP, customers pay large fees upfront for the software and implementation. Users are forced to buy individual packages for various business solutions such as accounting, logistics, and services management, each requiring individual maintenance, resulting in ongoing costs long after the initial purchase.

A Microsoft Dynamics GP implementation can cost 1-1-½ times the purchase price of the software itself or even more. But the costs don’t end there. Many of our customers who have switched from Microsoft Dynamics GP tell us that the escalating costs and complexity of running their business software environment was a key reason for their defection. For example, Microsoft Dynamics GP requires that you manage the hardware, servers, and databases, in addition to upgrading, troubleshooting, and maintaining the applications—unless, of course, you want to pay a third party or additional internal resource. And if you’re thinking of paying more to run Microsoft Dynamics GP delivered as a hosted solution, then you need to know how a specific Microsoft VARs proprietary add-on hosting service compares with NetSuite’s data center and web-native SaaS application.

With NetSuite, implementations are both faster and less expensive than with Microsoft Dynamics GP. NetSuite is delivered as a web-native SaaS application at no additional cost to you. The costs of integrating disparate systems are eliminated and there is no on-going cost of maintaining on-premise applications. You pay by the number of users per month. NetSuite manages your application, upgrades the software, and provides Service Level Commitments together with reliable back-ups and restores as standard.

Disparate Solutions

As mentioned earlier, Microsoft Dynamics GP forces companies, in most cases, to manage their business on separate on-premise software packages—one for accounting, one for sales force management, one for e-commerce, one for service management, and often, one for warehousing—an approach that requires costly integrations to get them to work together.

Patching together products can result in multiple islands of data and expensive integration projects that often don’t work the way you want. Many of our customers tell us that with Microsoft Dynamics GP, information often must be manually re-entered or batched into other applications—costing time and money. You can end up managing your business on incomplete information and guesswork.

In contrast, NetSuite integrates ERP, accounting, CRM, and e-commerce capabilities in a single on-demand application, with editions tailored for specific industries. As a result, it allows companies to unite fragmented data and automate processes from end to end. Your employees no longer have to re-enter data in different systems, rectify inconsistent or inaccurate data, or wait for batch updates resulting in smarter and faster decision making.

Lack of Visibility

With the deployment of disparate systems, your business data is often spread across multiple departments, resulting in a lack of real-time visibility across key metrics needed to optimize business operations.

In contrast, NetSuite holds all data in a single database, giving you access to key performance metrics on a customizable, real-time dashboard. Employees can view and share accurate data in real-time, leading to greater collaboration among departments and increased productivity across your business. In addition, full visibility into unified customer records results in more efficient and highly personalized sales, fulfillment, and service processes.

Multi-Subsidiary Management Shortfalls

Microsoft Dynamics GP can consolidate multinational financial information for month-end reporting if you run separate Great Plains accounts and use external reporting tools, but that’s about it.

In contrast, NetSuite OneWorld is the first and only on-demand system to deliver real-time global business management, financial consolidation, and visibility to multinational, multi-subsidiary companies. With NetSuite OneWorld, you can manage companies with multiple subsidiaries, business units, and legal entities all from a single NetSuite account, seamlessly handling different currencies, taxation rules, and reporting requirements. You get instant visibility into overall performance and the performance of all subsidiaries and geographies. Individual users at the local level get an application in their language and can transact in the local currency with local taxes and financial compliance fully enforced.



While Microsoft Dynamics GP is a popular solution, the main drawbacks come down to lack of scalability and insight—both critical components for growing businesses—and cost. While we never advise choosing a business management solution based on price alone, you do want to make sure you are getting the most value for the spend, and in the case of Microsoft Dynamics GP, it just doesn’t add up.

NetSuite is all about flexibility so you can focus on growing your business, not managing complicated software and outdated infrastructure. Real-time, integrated data, a superior platform built for scaling your business, and a more comprehensive suite of business management tools enable businesses to lower costs, streamline key business processes, boost productivity, and be more competitive—a winning formula.


READ MORE: How Microsoft Dynamics might be  creating a "legacy applications hairball."