NetSuite vs. Microsoft Dynamics 365: Compare Core Capabilities and More

NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are two enterprise resource planning (ERP) software solutions with robust functionality. In this post, we’ll compare them on several factors.

What is the Difference Between NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365?

  • Both software solutions provide strong ERP functionality, but Microsoft Dynamics also includes unique AI tools for financial management, supply chain management and customer relationship management (CRM).
  • NetSuite is intended for all business sizes, while Microsoft has a separate application, Dynamics 365 Business Central, geared toward small and medium organizations.
  • NetSuite gives prospects a personalized quote based on business needs. Microsoft has pricing info on its website.

Product Overviews

The following excerpts from our NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics 365 reviews summarize each software:

NetSuite

NetSuite is a cloud-based ERP software from Oracle that allows companies to streamline business processes and scale fast-growing businesses. It integrates and automates key functional areas like financial management, revenue management, inventory management, order management, billing, e-commerce and CRM. NetSuite targets medium-sized  and large businesses.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a modular, cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with advanced customer relationship management capabilities. It helps companies make better decisions based on data-driven insights and recommendations. Companies can operate more efficiently by automating and optimizing manual tasks with intelligent workflows.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is intended for larger companies. An option for smaller companies is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, a business management tool that helps small and medium-sized organizations combine their processes.

Features Comparisons

Financial Management

NetSuite

NetSuite’s Financial Management module gives users a real-time look into their financial data. They can see an overall picture of their finances and drill down into the data based on location, division or transactions. This module includes core accounting tools, such as a general ledger, accounts payable, accounts receivable and cash management. Additional features include revenue recognition, billing, financial planning and financial reporting. Finally, the module has global accounting and consolidation features, such as multicurrency and multilanguage support, compliance reporting and a custom tax engine, to support enterprise companies with multiple locations or divisions.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 Finance automates financial workflows (e.g., invoices, collections) and has custom functions for global and local business requirements. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) features to predict late payments, so customer service teams can proactively follow up with their customers. Users can set up a budget proposal as the software uses AI to analyze historical data, and they can also create financial reports for different entities that display data in multiple currencies. Additional features of Dynamics 365 Finance are revenue recognition, role-based workspaces and touchless vendor invoicing. Finally, Dynamics 365 Finance integrates with Microsoft 365 for a centralized source of data.

Bottom Line

Both solutions share similar financial management features, especially for companies with global offices. The one main difference is that NetSuite doesn’t offer AI capabilities, while Dynamics 365 Finance has intelligent functionality that gives users data and forecasts for potential cash flow issues and budget proposals.

Inventory Management

NetSuite

NetSuite’s Inventory Management module helps users keep track of their items. It automates the replenishment process by calculating lead times or reorder points, and it notifies users if an item is low in stock. The Inventory Count feature lets users group their items in categories based on transaction volume, and users can also manually enter periodic counts of the items. Additional features include lot tracking traceability, serial tracking traceability and multiwarehouse tracking.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Rather than having a separate module, Microsoft Dynamics 365 incorporates inventory management features into its Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management application. Users can manage inventory for all of their warehouses with configurable dashboards that display data in near real time. Additional inventory management features include barcode scanning, quality management, inventory journals to record transactions and the ability to link orders with outbound picking processes.

Bottom Line

While NetSuite and MIcrosoft Dynamics 365 both have similar inventory management features, NetSuite ERP offers those features through a separate module, while inventory management is standard in the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management application.

Supply Chain Management

NetSuite

With NetSuite ERP’s Supply Chain Management module, organizations can manage their supply chain across multiple locations. It has four main features: Planning, Execution, Collaboration and Support. The Planning feature allows users to analyze supply and demand, predict sales forecasts and set up plans. The Execution feature allows them to monitor all orders (e.g., purchase orders, transfer orders and work orders). With the Collaboration feature, users can engage with clients and vendors using NetSuite’s preconfigured portals. Finally, the Support feature helps users address customers’ issues with case management and warranty management functionalities.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

The Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management application helps companies efficiently run their manufacturing processes. Users can track production across multiple locations and subsidiaries in one place with features for keeping up with supply and demand, such as AI-powered demand forecasting, the ability to prioritize replenishing high-demand items, production scheduling, resource allocation and inventory management. Users can collaborate with their suppliers via the vendor management portal, including managing contracts and tracking deliveries.

Manufacturers can also manage their shop floor in real time because the software includes tools like AI, Internet of Things (IoT) and mixed reality. They can also track maintenance needs (e.g., preventive, corrective, predictive) of all of their equipment with the optional asset maintenance functionality.

Bottom Line

Both vendors offer users the ability to analyze supply and demand, track orders and collaborate with their suppliers. However, Microsoft Dynamics 365 has additional unique features for manufacturers, such as connecting with data from IoT devices and asset maintenance.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

NetSuite

NetSuite has a dedicated CRM solution that integrates with its ERP platform. It gives users a 360-degree view of their customers, and it provides several tools to help sales reps manage their pipelines, such as sales forecasting, opportunity management and quote management. In addition, the CRM tool offers marketing automation features (e.g., landing pages, search engine optimization, campaign management) and customer service management features (e.g., customer portal, knowledge management).

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 has two core applications: Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Marketing. With Dynamics 365 Sales, sales reps can optimize the selling process, personalize customer engagement and build meaningful relationships. A customer dashboard offers users actionable insights and predictive guidance. Sales reps can communicate with prospects via Microsoft Teams and get notifications if a deal is at risk of being lost. In addition, sales managers can provide feedback to their reps with real-time coaching tools.

The Dynamics 365 Marketing application targets prospects through multi-channel campaigns and increases the number of qualified leads. Marketers can find and nurture leads by connecting sales and marketing departments, as well as understand market trends with web and social insights. They can also create emails with the AI-powered editor that recommends content ideas, such as images or offers. The application also integrates with Microsoft Teams for event and webinar planning.

Bottom Line

NetSuite has all of its CRM features in one module, while Microsoft Dynamics 365 separates its Sales and Marketing tools into two applications.

Human Resources

NetSuite

NetSuite has an integrated human capital management platform called SuitePeople that helps companies manage their global employees. There’s an Employee Center where employees can see their paychecks, request time off, recognize their peers and update their information. SuitePeople’s features include payroll, performance management, compensation management, onboarding, job management and time-off management.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

With the Dynamics 365 Human Resources application, employees can set up a profile that includes skills and career accomplishments, and they can also use Microsoft Teams to manage their leave balances and submit time-off requests. Managers can use Dynamics 365 to measure employees’ performance and training, and HR can create flexible compensation plans, manage benefits packages, and set up time and attendance policies that comply with global requirements. Dynamics 365 Human Resources doesn’t have payroll or recruiting features, but it integrates with third-party payroll systems (e.g., Ceridian Dayforce) and LinkedIn Talent Solutions. Finally, HR can send employee surveys via Dynamics 365 Customer Voice and improve their workforce planning with dashboards and visualizations from Power BI.

Bottom Line

NetSuite’s SuitePeople has built-in payroll features, but Microsoft Dynamics 365 Human Resources integrates with a third-party software. Additionally, SuitePeople doesn’t have recruiting features or integrate with a recruiting solution, while Microsoft Dynamics 365 connects with LinkedIn Talent Solutions.

Pricing

NetSuite

NetSuite offers a licensed annual subscription model. It doesn’t publicly provide pricing details, but based on our research, it appears the base license starts at $999 per month, plus $99 per user, per month. NetSuite offers a tailored quote that takes into consideration the client’s specific requirements, as well as ERP configuration, any add-on modules and other factors.

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Microsoft Dynamics 365 consists of applications that target specific business areas (e.g., Sales, Finance, Supply Chain). Users can purchase individual subscriptions of any of the applications rather than having to pay for the entire platform. Here is the pricing of some of those applications:

Dynamics 365 Sales comes in four tiers. The Sales Professional tier includes sales automation tools for $65 per user, per month. The Sales Enterprise tier has all of the features of the Sales Professional tier, plus contextual insights and advanced customization features for $95 per user, per month. Companies with a Base License of a qualifying Dynamics 365 solution can also purchase an Attach License of Sales Professional or Sales Enterprise for $20 per user, per month.

The Sales Premium tier includes all of the features of the first two tiers, plus prebuilt customizable sales intelligence tools, for $135 per user, per month. The Microsoft Relationship Sales tier has all of the features of the first three tiers, plus the LinkedIn Sales Navigator functionality, for $162 per user, per month.

The Dynamics 365 Marketing application costs $1,500 per tenant, per month for up to 10,000 contacts. If a company has purchased a Base License for the Sales, Customer Service, Commerce or Supply Chain Management application, the price drops to $750 per tenant, per month, and there’s a minimum 10-user requirement.

The Dynamics 365 Supply Chain Management application is priced at $180 per user, per month, and companies that purchase qualifying apps as Base Licenses can add the Supply Chain Management application on for $30 per user, per month.

Dynamics 365 Finance costs $180 per user, per month, and an Attach License is $30 per user, per month.

The Dynamics 365 Human Resources application costs $120 per user, per month. Employee and manager self-service functionality can also be added on for $4 per user, per month.

Bottom Line

NetSuite offers prospective clients a custom quote, but Microsoft provides its pricing up front. Also, while prospects can purchase individual Dynamics 365 applications, they’ll need to consider Microsoft’s licensing requirements if they want to purchase more than one application.

Customer Support

NetSuite

NetSuite offers two support plans: Basic and Premium.

The Basic plan is included with each subscription, and its features are:

  • 24/7 phone support for Severity 1 (critical) cases
  • The ability to browse articles, watch tutorials and submit tickets through the SuiteAnswers knowledge base
  • Support Community user forum

The optional Premium support plan includes all of the features of the Basic plan, plus:

  • 24/7 phone support for Severity 1 and Severity 2 cases
  • Business hours phone support for Severity 3 and Severity 4 cases
  • Four authorized support contacts

Microsoft Dynamics 365

All Microsoft Dynamics 365 subscriptions include phone and web support. In addition, Microsoft offers community forums, a service dashboard, access to Microsoft Dynamics self-help portals, 24/7 support for Severity A (critical) cases, under one hour response time for critical incidents, lifecycle services and as-needed online training.

There are three optional support plans:

Professional Direct Support – This plan costs $9 per user, per month and there’s a minimum cost of $180 per month. It includes all of the features of the basic subscription support, plus crisis management, a technical account manager, priority handling, escalation management, Ask the Expert webinars, advisory support, monthly service reviews and proactive services.

Unified Advanced – The Unified Advanced Plan starts at $50,000 per year based on licensing spend and is intended for enterprise organizations. It covers all of Microsoft’s products and includes all of the features of the Professional Direct Support plan, plus access to the Microsoft Services Hub self-help portal, an assigned technical account manager, on-demand workshops, a cloud success plan, remote diagnostics and monitoring, on-site services and a limited catalog of enhanced solutions.

Unified Performance – The Unified Performance plan starts at $175,000 per year based on licensing spend and gives enterprise organizations more personalized support. It includes all of the features of the Unified Advanced plan, plus 30 minutes response time for critical issues, priority routing to experienced specialists, a full catalog of enhanced solutions and the support technology advisor service.

Bottom Line

Both vendors have robust support offerings, but Microsoft provides other optional features in its support plans, such as expert webinars, remote monitoring and personalized services for enterprise organizations.

ERP Vendor Comparison Guide

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