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Thread: iCode Everest or Netsuite? - Looking for an "all-in-one" small business solution

  1. #136
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    32
    I looked at Golden Accounting as well - however it is visual fox pro and a few folks in the know suggested I stay away.
    Managemore I was told doesn't work with remote order scanning which is crucial for us.
    Accountmate looked good - but with a price tag of $42,000.
    Everest - I'd like to hear comments from more recent users.
    Interprise - this is the one I've been waiting over 2 years for. An Interprise pro has said it still isn't quite ready for a high transaction business like ours.

    Have you looked at Peachtree, MYOB or Quickbooks Enterprise?

    Louie

  2. #137
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    11
    You may also want to take a look at OpenMFG and its kid-brother, PostBooks:

    http://ww.xtuple.com

    One benefit of these apps is that they run on Mac and Linux as well as Windows. They offer CRM, Accounting, and ERP.

  3. #138
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by sf954
    ...to help people avoid the mistake I made by going with NetSuite from my small business.
    I want to second the advice to be careful with NetSuite. They have a technologically beautiful system but we discovered alarming errors, omissions, and shortcomings. To make a long story short, they signed us up cheap, made clear promises that they failed to deliver, and attempted to raise our renewal fees at alarming rates. I wish others better luck; NetSuite has potential to be an awesome system for some companies.

  4. #139
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    11
    Quote Originally Posted by tww
    To make a long story short, they signed us up cheap, made clear promises that they failed to deliver, and attempted to raise our renewal fees at alarming rates.
    I wonder what would happen if SME's everywhere started demanding service level agreements. I.E., at the same time you sign a contract with a software vendor, create your own addendum that specifies what happens if they don't deliver. For example: "We are tendering your contract in consideration for the future value that we will derive from features X, Y, and Z that you have promised. If you do not deliver features X, Y, and Z by January 1, then you will refund us all monies paid..." If they blink walk away and await their next move. (Consult your attorney for the exact wording and tactics to use here...)

    Also, never sign any agreements that include an arbitration provision.

    If they made clear promises that got you to sign up, I'd say sue them in small claims court to recoup your costs.

    Also, I'd consider using open source software like SugarCRM or PostBooks ERP - that way, if the vendor renegs on a promise, most other competent IT shops can continue to support you.

    Cheers,
    -J

  5. #140
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1

    Volusion or Yahoo Merchant Services Experience?

    Volusion or Yahoo Merchant Services Experience?

    Does anyone have any experience using Volusion? I'd love to get some discussion going regarding its relative strengths and weaknesses. I'm just starting a small customized gift business and trying to find the best hosted, SEO-optimized cart and catalog that will allow me to get up and running quickly. Of course I'm also looking for a platform that's open and extensible and thus capable of growing as my business grows. (I'll worry about implementing a more robust accounting/ERP/CRM/order management system once my business gets some scale and the market proves that there's demand for my products).

    I reviewed Netsuite and found its feature set (and pricing) to be a bit overwhelming given that my business is just starting.

    I'm also considering Yahoo Merchant Services and would value any thoughts on the extensibility of their cart/catalog product as well.

    My thanks in advance to this very helpful community of experts.

  6. #141
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    7
    The two all-in-one solutions I am currently evaluating are Interprise Suite (www.InterpriseSuite.com) and Evolution business management software (www.DarwinProductions.net).

    They each appear to be relatively new startups with their own strengths and weaknesses attempting to gain traction in this space.

    However, unlike the bigger brands (NetSuite, Everest, etc.), they seem to be geared more towards smaller businesses and with pricing structures that seem to be much more affordable.

    Cheers!

  7. #142
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    11
    I've been working for a company that uses Everest (prior to that, we also used Accware) for about 6 years now. It's far from perfect - probably at least partly due to the fact that we access it through a VPN over the internet via TS (RDP) - but it does a good job and keeps track of things. I've recently been given the opportunity to buy out the store I'm managing and take over as owner. I don't have the money to invest heavily in software like Everest, but I'd like similar functionality for some things at least. I may even have to forego anything fancy for a few months (maybe go with an OS program linked earlier in the thread), just until I get a decent revenue stream built up.

    I'll basically be buying the existing customer base, and as it stands we do about 600k/yr, and do anywhere from about 10-50 transactions a day, depending on the day. Those transactions range from simple transactions (cash-and-carry), to service work and also building complete systems. I need something to control inventory, handle POS/Sales Orders, and would like to do all my accounting through it as well. Though I suppose that's not a heavy concern, as there will only be two of us to start. I've looked at a couple of programs so far.

    Dynacom, which was kind of clunky, and didn't seem very easy to handle inventory with (a major consideration for me). I had the same problem with MYOB. Quickbooks was better, but I'm still not sure if it's what I'm looking for. I've downloaded some of the OS programs linked to earlier, but I haven't installed them yet to play with them. Maybe I've been spoiled by Everest's inventory management, but I really don't want to regress on this feature. I'd like something which gives me a lot of control while keeping things relatively simple.

    I'm considering Interprise Suite, though I'm a little concerned when I try to download the demo and get an error when I click "add to cart". However, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, and will check with their sales dept. tomorrow (Monday) to see about getting that demo another way. In the meantime, what do you guys feel would be a good solution for a 2-man operation of this size that can handle the features I mentioned?

  8. #143
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    19
    Great thread. I have learned tons about the various programs out there.

  9. #144
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    6
    I'm currently evaluating software for my new business and ecommerce integration is a must. I can't find something decent for my needs. I looked at the Interprise Suite, but it's very young and not yet solid project. It has no import-export functions (a must if you work with large quantities of inventory). You can't do basic customers-orders csv import (from paypal or eBay or anywhere else), can't do export-import of current orders in bulk (to import them to shipping manager and print labels in bulk and import tracking numbers back?) etc. What about if I have to export some reports? NONE! And as fas as I understand, they do not plan to implement those features. Look like they have them, but they sell them as plugins(maybe I'm wrong)
    So I'm highly stressed right now - I like Interprise Suite, but lack of functionality scares me. (very sad, if it had fully featured import-export, I'd buy it)

    I tried Peachtree, Abmis, Quick Books, etc - they do have some functionality, but not even close for someone who's willing to do ecommerce.
    ********* is using access, sorry, it's really stone age.

    I looked in to ManageMore, it does look ugly, but seems like most functional piece of software I used.

    In post #144, I saw Evolution software and will try it (if demo available) and see what it worth.

    Any suggestions for good piece of software for eCommerce?

  10. #145
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    10

    Thumbs down

    I would strongly warn those considering Everest. I work for a company using Everest, and the problems are numerous.
    - upgrades and fixes cause problems. often the problem is fairly serious.
    - ecommerce integration is there, but there are too many oddball errors that prevent orders from happening that support is stumped by.
    - there are also oddball and quirky problems with the core application.
    - cost is very high
    - the wording of the licenses, user agreements, etc., is so tipped toward everest it borders on ludicrous. if something happens, you have no recourse, I mean NO recourse.
    - great big promises and carrots dangled before you, very few actually delivered.

    They are pushing so hard for sales sales sales they are not addressing serious problems reported by many many customers.

  11. #146
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    35
    Quote Originally Posted by Rayzak
    ********* is using access, sorry, it's really stone age.
    There is a SQL version of Stone Edge as well. If you're small, you can get away with the Free version, SQL Express.

  12. #147
    Quote Originally Posted by Rayzak
    ********* is using access, sorry, it's really stone age.
    Sometimes the old solutions are still the best. With our Access application you get: open source code with hooks for custom functions and other tools to support customization, a widely supported language (VBA) and complete access to your data from anything that supports ODBC. So any import or export functions that are not already included can be added pretty easily. True, there are issues with using Access for data storage, particularly for higher-volume situations and those with more than 10 active users. So look at our Enterprise version and think of it as a Visual Basic front end to a SQL Server database.

  13. #148
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    18
    Rayzak,

    PostBooks by xTuple has csv import capability, and they are working on integration with eCommerce applications. The API is also very easy to use for any platform with database connectivity; they provide an example on how to use Excel to examine and create invoices on-the-fly.

    Best of all it's free for as many users as you want. It's here:

    http://www.xtuple.org

    Cheers,
    -j

  14. #149
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by tww
    I want to second the advice to be careful with NetSuite. They have a technologically beautiful system but we discovered alarming errors, omissions, and shortcomings. To make a long story short, they signed us up cheap, made clear promises that they failed to deliver, and attempted to raise our renewal fees at alarming rates. I wish others better luck; NetSuite has potential to be an awesome system for some companies.
    Can you elaborate on that either here or in a PM to me?

  15. #150
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    2
    If you need an all-in-one system but don't need e-commerce, Soffront (www.soffront.com) is worth a look.

    I've spend the the last 5 months on and off looking at the different packages (I defy anyone to do this continually, it's depressing work dealing with pushy salesmen and trying to sift through the marketing to find out what a product actually does). Eventually it came down to a shortlist of NetSuite, Aplicor, Entellium, Evolution, Everest iCode, vtiger (based on SugarCRM), Interprise Suite, SalesBoom, Salesforce and RightNow.

    I run a small distribution company with offices in the US and Sweden. Our main requirement was to find a web-hosted SFA/CRM system that from any PC would allow us to access the system, send and receive emails (with attachments stored on the server), create quotes/orders/invoices, had a strong self-service customer portal and would allow me to monitor the kPI of the companies.

    We weren't interested in a full accounts package because we use external part-time bookkeepers who didn't want to learn new software. In the US, QuickBooks is used and in Sweden a local swedish program.

    - RightNow weren't interested although we were willing to pay for a minimum 10 user license as stated on their website.

    - Aplicor, which was my preferred choice, were only interested in 50+ licenses according to the salesman I spoke with. Still at least they were honest and didn't waste my time.

    - Interprise Suite, after sending them my 5 page RFQ, received the reply from their UK office "I will have to decline to offer as we do not have the legislation in place for Sweden at this moment in time.". The reply didn't make a lot of sense (especially as we had made it clear that we wouldn't use the full accounts module) - so my impression was they are only interested in fast sales and don't have the internal or external resources to modify the program to suit the client. I had downloaded their trial and did find it easy enough to use at first look.

    - Darwin Productions, Evolution : didn't reply to the RFQ

    - Entellium : received an online demo and was quite impressed by the ease of use and underlying strategy. However, the deal killer was that it had no facility to generate quotes/order/invoices online (QuickBooks was recommended). The salesman I spoke with was polite, helpful and not pushy. Although he did follow up quite often, it was not overbearing.

    - Everest iCode : was a close runner up except for two reasons. The comments on this forum and the CRM organisation - it felt like an accounts package with CRM added later (which of course it is). When the account is displayed, you have to right-click or use a menu drop down to access linked quotes, notes, etc. Just didn't feel comfortable. The salesrep I spoke with was not pushy, but very helpful.

    - vtiger : one of our supplier companies uses the CRM element of this open source software and is quite happy. However, they also have the internal skills to manage a Linux server and modify code if required, which we don't. I didn't look too deeply into this as having looked at their Forum I could see that some questions had not been quickly answered by their support staff. Also a little nervous to base our company functions on a package that is largely developed and is supported out of India.

    - SalesBoom : looked easy to use and had most of the features we needed. Those it didn't have we received a quote for development work with a resonable price. People were again helpful and not pushy.

    - Salesforce : over a three month period we had three different salespeople. Pushy attitudes (like their jobs depended on sales which it seems they did), too ready to say yes, it can do that, without stating how. Reached a point where I couldn't trust them.

    - NetSuite : pretty much the same experience as Salesforce. Multiple pushy salesreps. I really wanted to buy this software at the beginning - it looked perfect for us. But the attitudes of the reps and the avoidance of quoting prices just made me feel I was being lined up to be suckered. I also found comments on other forums regarding their poor (non-existent was the most common phrase) support and price gouging. The final straw was the disclosure during their IPO they they didn't have redundant systems.

    Which left Soffront. I liked the salesman who talked straight and even admitted some of the products failings. He has been very helpful and peformed two online demo's. Prices were stated upfront and once we had decided which modules were required a written quote that included the cost of customising work was supplied quickly.

    So we made the decision to go ahead three days ago. Two days later they had the software online for us - just the standard installation at this stage together with demo data. However, good enough to start looking deeper and reference the manuals that I downloaded and printed. Yesterday they have provided a deeper online training so that we can decide what needs to be modified to suit our company procedures and workflow. Another training follows on Friday on the QuickBooks synchronization and next week they will train our web developers on their API so they can integrate the website with the Soffront CRM and Customer Portal.

    It's early days, we have to import our data (seems easy enough with their import and field mapping tools), customize a few fields, create some new fields and they need to create some quote/ordr/invoice templates to our specification.

    The feeling right now is that this was the best decision. They've been very responsive after getting the order and I found out that the sales guy who was our contact had been with the company for more than 5 years - which gave a good impression.

    Once we are up and running, the next step will be to integrate this with a shopping cart. Most likely we will use the module within the EZ Publish CMS our website is based on as we only have simple demands for this.

    I'll provide an update in a few months. Thanks to everyone who contributed previous comments as these were very helpful.

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