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SAP Business One vs Acumatica [ERP Comparison for SMEs]

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Jalene Ippolito December 10th, 2020

Buying a new ERP solution can be a tough process. Given the investment you’re making (in both money and time), you want to get it right. So, do you go with a mature product like SAP Business One, with over 20 years under its belt and the backing of ERP software leader, SAP? Or is Acumatica – a relative newcomer that’s quickly become a contender in the mid-market ERP space – a better fit for your business?

It’s not an easy question to answer, as your objectives and business needs play a big role in the decision. But there are some important things consider. So, keep reading to find out about the big differences between SAP Business One and Acumatica to help you make an informed decision.

ERP access via web browser and mobile apps

Acumatica’s public cloud platform offers the distinct advantage of native browser access. The entire solution is fully accessible through a web browser and a unified mobile app. This offers easy access for your team, in the office, at home or on the road.

SAP Business One is moving to the web with the release of version 10, but there is a transition period before full functionality will be available. Currently, the web client supports sales and purchasing, with future development plans to include CRM, service and finance. Even with older versions of SAP Business One, customers have access to mobile apps for customer management, sales, service and real-time inventory tracking.

Flexible deployment options

Acumatica allows customers to choose either private cloud or on-premise based on their needs. But their solution is designed as public cloud first, so they push customers to go that route. Customers that choose on-premise have even experienced lower system performance, so if public cloud doesn’t work for your business, Acumatica may not be the best fit.

While SAP Business One has traditionally been offered as an on-premise solution, private cloud hosting has become the preferred option for most customers. It provides the best of both worlds, with the control of on-premise plus the scalability and efficiency of public cloud.

Ability to tailor your ERP solution to your needs

No ERP solution will fit you perfectly right out-of-the-box. But some will get you closer than others.

Acumatica’s platform is designed to be easy to implement, which is great in many ways. But it also limits your ability to tailor the system. For example, you can easily add custom fields to a sales order. But if you wanted to add a custom field to the transaction lines of the sales order, that requires additional coding. It’s possible but will require extra effort and cost.

SAP Business One offers complete flexibility. You can create User Defined Fields to capture data that’s unique to your business. And if you need more than just a field or two, you can create User Defined Objects (tables), giving you even greater flexibility.

Depth of functionality

While ERP vendors will provide a list of features in their product, be sure you understand how deep the functionality goes. The existence of a feature isn’t necessarily equal to full functionality.

Overall, this seems to be the case with Acumatica – their functionality is an inch deep and a mile wide. On the surface, they have a lot of features, but what you can do with those features is limited. For example, while they offer both Manufacturing and Distribution Editions, the capabilities for inventory management and MRP is highly simplistic. You’ll likely need other add-on products to fill those gaps and reach what is considered standard functionality in other ERP solutions.

As a more mature product, SAP Business One meets (and in many cases exceeds) minimum functional requirements for most businesses. For example, where you’ll likely need a WMS (Warehouse Management System) add-on with Acumatica to meet basic inventory management requirements, SAP Business One meets those same requirements out-of-the-box. In fact, as our customers grow, they can often meet new requirements simply by configuring additional standard functionality in SAP Business One, rather than looking to add-on integrations.

Built-in reporting capability

On the surface, Acumatica offers comprehensive reporting, dashboards and analytics. But here again, as you dig a little deeper, you’ll find that their native reporting is limited. The key challenge here is ease of use – extracting data through reports or ad-hoc queries is technical and requires development experience. So, as an everyday system user, you’ll be reliant on more technical resources to create reports for you, leading to delays in reporting and analysis.

SAP Business One analytics and reporting allow even the least technical user to access information. In addition to an array of standard reports that come out-of-the-box, you can create custom reports and dashboards that give you easy access to the questions you ask most often. And there are several options for ad-hoc reporting, ranging from simple drag and drop functionality, to standard SQL queries.

Ecosystem strength

When we talk about the ecosystem, we’re referring to the partners that sell, implement and support the solution, as well as any partners that provide certified integrations. While both solutions are sold through a VAR (Value Added Reseller) network, product and ecosystem maturity is the differentiator between the two.

Acumatica has 340+ VAR partners supporting their 5,200 customers worldwide. Additionally, they have over 200 partners that provide solution integrations to extend the functionality of their solution. As a younger solution, they’ve grown the size of their partner channel quite quickly, but the level of expertise among partners still needs time to mature.

SAP Business One’s maturity offers an advantage here as they’ve had more time to develop a stronger partner channel. Many Canadian SAP Business One partners have upwards of 15 years of experience, giving them a greater depth of product and industry knowledge. On a global scale, there are 850 VARs supporting over 65,000 SAP Business One customers. Plus, over 300 solution partners provide upwards of 500 integrations to address industry needs. In short, SAP is a stable ERP vendor with a long track record, giving you peace of mind that your mission critical business systems are in good hands.

Which ERP solution is right for your business?

In summary, Acumatica may be a good fit for some businesses. They seem to do well in Services industries and their commerce solution appears well designed. But no matter what industry you’re in, be critical about the depth of functionality you’ll get. Particularly with their streamlined implementation approach, the focus is on implementing top level features, rather than tailoring the system to fit your business.

Think about your business needs. Which solution will help you accomplish your goals – one that has many features, but limited functionality? Or a comprehensive solution that gives you the functionality you need now and 10 years from now? SAP Business One offers a truly scalable ERP solution, backed by a leading ERP vendor and a strong partner community to support your business as you grow.

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December 10th 2020
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