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NetSuite vs. SAP – How Newton would see this contest

Competition is a great thing. It forces even the biggest firms to become humbled.
Written by Brian Sommer, Contributor on

Competition is a great thing. It forces even the biggest firms to become humbled. It makes innovation a necessity. It can lower pricing and expand markets to everyone’s benefit.

Competition in the SaaS (software as a service) world of ERP got a little hotter this week when NetSuite trotted out its blessed German version of its ERP solutions. Their software has now been certified by German regulatory/auditing professionals and that means that NetSuite is open for business in a big way in SAP’s backyard.

Barron’s did a nice write-up on this and I’d encourage you to view that linked article. Others have covered this, too, including several of the Enterprise Irregulars.

Let me add the following thoughts regarding this announcement. First, let’s discuss SAP and SaaS. Dennis Howlett () and I wrote a smashingly detailed review of SAP’s Business ByDesign product over a year ago. It’s a 27-page masterpiece of insight that we can’t give away as that product is still moving in a really controlled rollout. I recently wrote about this mid-June and would really like to see some real market interest in that product. But, until the multi-tenancy and channel issues are sorted out, Business ByDesign is stuck in a real slow-mo existence.

NetSuite, though, can’t seem to quit moving. I get at least three press releases a week from them. Some of them aren’t really that earth-shattering but, overall, they point to a firm in motion. So, today we have a great example of Newton’s Laws of Motion (e.g., A body at rest stays at rest, and a body in motion stays in motion, unless it is acted on by an external force.)

NetSuite is the body in motion that’s staying in motion while SAP is the ERP vendor sort of stuck in idle – particularly where SaaS (software as a service) is concerned. Your move SAP.

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