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

  1. #166
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    6
    I am in the same boat as well...I like Barney's posts. I will look at the link that you posted for order managment systems.

    Is anyone using an order managment system with a built in website that they are happy with? We would need it to connect to Microsoft Small Business Financials (Great Plains Lite). Has anyone tried AdvanceWare? Ideally it should cost between 5K-15K with implementation. Thanks.

  2. #167
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Intermountain West
    Posts
    10

    Small Business Accounting Software Summary

    www.netsuite.com
    We've used NetSuite since 2001. It is very powerful software, and has been from the beginning. When it comes time for renewal, though, be ready for the hassle of the year. They must have training courses in irritation and negotiation. My recommendation to anyone signing up would be to request a written contract that no features would be de-bundled, and some kind of cost lock for a period of time. Anything you can do to avoid their renewal sales staff, the better. I think that most businesses that use the product, after determining the right package for their operation, will like it. Their support is not as good as it used to be. It seems to be fairly rare that we've needed it, though.

    I think their achille's heel was their choice to focus on mid-market in ~2002. Identity crisis and hunger for faster profits. I don't think it served them well, and they lost a lot of customers (probably at renewal time). Packages and terminology changed every so often.

    It is sure fascinating to see some of the upstarts that seek to eat NetSuite's lunch. Below...
    www.netbooks.com
    These people seem to have a very solid base. Their software thinks differently than the others I've tried, and I think it may be totally worth it to get your mind around it. I bet they will hit their stride during 2008 and be a big contender. I like that they have so much focus on true small businesses. The manufacturing (production), inventory and other features we tried were well done. As of this writing, I think they have a couple of broad strokes to add yet, but they say it won't be long. I was not a big fan of the e-commerce software they chose to connect to: CRE Loaded. I prefer www.avactis.com, head and shoulders above as it is far more intuitive.
    www.sql-ledger.org
    Impressive for open source. Host it on your own Linux or XP/2000 box for LAN or WAN. Very affordable. It would leave any buyer enough budget to bring in a specialist to make it their own. I'm keeping my eye close on this one.
    www.cougarmtn.com
    Their Pro package consists of a server that they install onsite. It is preconfigured and accessible over WAN and LAN. Sounds very cool. However, their salesperson never delivered the quote. It sounded to be between $7k - $10k.
    www.interprisesuite.com
    As discussed on this thread already. One to watch, I'm sure. I bet they'll do a pretty good job with some refinement.
    www.mainstreetcommerce.com
    No impressions either way, yet.
    www.saasu.com (www.netaccounts.com)
    I liked their trial. It is internationally oriented, and in time, I think they'll have a good system.
    www.bizautomation.com
    Another new one. Looks like it would be worth a try.

    www.intaact.com
    If you call for a quote, expect to be interrogated for an hour. Then make sure you're sitting down when they quote you. $10k for the license, and another $20k for integration, setup, fees, destination charge, etc. They claim to be a competitor to NetSuite, but I don't see that. Their website is very attractive, yet cryptic and unsubstantial. I suspect they are trying to hide the price and lack of features.
    www.efinancials.com
    Very new. Still in beta. Looks like they have the model right.
    www.epeachtree.com
    Ho, hum. Moving along.

    www.nolapro.com
    Very intruiging. I'm watching them closely, too.

    www.objacct.com
    This almost seems like a kit for developers. Looks loaded. No idea on price.
    www.intuit.com
    Intuit's Quickbooks Enterprise looks quite powerful, but it networks over the WAN with thin-client technology, which is frankly cheesy. $3k-$6k.

    www.microsoft.com/dynamics
    I only took the presentation tour, which was expectedly professional. I kind of got turned off when I heard of all the integration with MS Office. Great. Buy more expensive Office licenses for multiple users. We were successfully weaned from that to OpenOffice. Can't go back. But, hey. Anyone want to look into it further?

    www.plexus.com
    Manufacturing oriented. No experience with it yet.

    www.distone.com
    I couldn't get past their web design. Look away. It's hideous. Maybe I'm a little touchy, but spend several days researching accounting software, and you'll start disqualifying them for anything.

    www.ronpaul2008.com
    Best site on economics, markets and policy I've seen yet. Don't know how well they'll do. This one depends on the electorate.

    I wish all researchers grand success in their businesses. I think I'd rather get a tooth pulled than go through another bout of researching accounting software. I hope this post will help someone speed through their own search.



  3. #168
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Intermountain West
    Posts
    10
    www.netsuite.com
    We've used NetSuite since 2001. It is very powerful software, and has been from the beginning. When it comes time for renewal, though, be ready for the hassle of the year. They must have training courses in irritation and negotiation. My recommendation to anyone signing up would be to request a written contract that no features would be de-bundled, and some kind of cost lock for a period of time. Anything you can do to avoid their renewal sales staff, the better. I think that most businesses that use the product, after determining the right package for their operation, will like it. Their support is not as good as it used to be. It seems to be fairly rare that we've needed it, though.

    I think their achille's heel was their choice to focus on mid-market in ~2002. Identity crisis and hunger for faster profits. I don't think it served them well, and they lost a lot of customers (probably at renewal time). Packages and terminology changed every so often.

    It is sure fascinating to see some of the upstarts that seek to eat NetSuite's lunch. Below...

    www.netbooks.com
    These people seem to have a very solid base. Their software thinks differently than the others I've tried, and I think it may be totally worth it to get your mind around it. I bet they will hit their stride during 2008 and be a big contender. I like that they have so much focus on true small businesses. The manufacturing (production), inventory and other features we tried were well done. As of this writing, I think they have a couple of broad strokes to add yet, but they say it won't be long. I was not a big fan of the e-commerce software they chose to connect to: CRE Loaded. I prefer www.avactis.com, head and shoulders above as it is far more intuitive.

    www.sql-ledger.org
    Impressive for open source. Host it on your own Linux or XP/2000 box for LAN or WAN. Very affordable. It would leave any buyer enough budget to bring in a specialist to make it their own. I'm keeping my eye close on this one.

    www.cougarmtn.com
    Their Pro package consists of a server that they install onsite. It is preconfigured and accessible over WAN and LAN. Sounds very cool. However, their salesperson never delivered the quote. It sounded to be between $7k - $10k.

    www.interprisesuite.com
    As discussed on this thread already. One to watch, I'm sure. I bet they'll do a pretty good job with some refinement.

    www.mainstreetcommerce.com
    No impressions either way, yet.

    www.saasu.com (www.netaccounts.com)
    I liked their trial. It is internationally oriented, and in time, I think they'll have a good system.

    www.bizautomation.com
    Another new one. Looks like it would be worth a try.

    www.intaact.com
    If you call for a quote, expect to be interrogated for an hour. Then make sure you're sitting down when they quote you. $10k for the license, and another $20k for integration, setup, fees, destination charge, etc. They claim to be a competitor to NetSuite, but I don't see that. Their website is very attractive, yet cryptic and unsubstantial. I suspect they are trying to hide the price and lack of features.

    www.efinancials.com
    Very new. Still in beta. Looks like they have the model right.

    www.epeachtree.com
    Ho, hum. Moving along.

    www.nolapro.com
    Very intruiging. I'm watching them closely, too.

    www.objacct.com
    This almost seems like a kit for developers. Looks loaded. No idea on price.

    www.intuit.com
    Intuit's Quickbooks Enterprise looks quite powerful, but it networks over the WAN with thin-client technology, which is frankly cheesy. $3k-$6k.

    www.microsoft.com/dynamics
    I only took the presentation tour, which was expectedly professional. I kind of got turned off when I heard of all the integration with MS Office. Great. Buy more expensive Office licenses for multiple users. We were successfully weaned from that to OpenOffice. Can't go back. But, hey. Anyone want to look into it further?

    www.plexus.com
    Manufacturing oriented. No experience with it yet.

    www.distone.com
    I couldn't get past their web design. Look away. It's hideous. Maybe I'm a little touchy, but spend several days researching accounting software, and you'll start disqualifying them for anything.

    www.ronpaul2008.com
    Best site on economics, markets and policy I've seen yet. Don't know how well they'll do. This one depends on the electorate.

    I wish all researchers grand success in their businesses. I think I'd rather get a tooth pulled than go through another bout of researching accounting software. I hope this post will help someone speed through their own search.

  4. #169
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    11

    Mainstreet Commerce

    Mainstreet is a FL based small company that seems to have an ecommerce platform that seems to look ideal for online retailers. It is competitively priced that looks barely affordable enough for an SMB to buy it.

    IT is written in .net and uses MS SQL Database. They seem to have a robust backoffice that can be wired to have a website that can have a custom look and feel.

    So far so good, right? Well, that is the mousetrap. The company does not understand that software is only as good as the company's service level, which is non-existent. They have no appreciation for their customers or care if they stay or leave. Since they get paid for their license fee upfront, they have no interest in keeping you as a customer anyway. The CEO who runs the company has no ethics, very difficult to talk to. Their deployment of the software is what it comes down to. Their resources are limited and therefore they make their customers wait forever. They always want to get paid upfront for their "professional services", which is for deployment but anytime you express your dissatisfaction, they are ready to suspend your work.

    Bottom line, this company needs to educate itself and clean up its act to appreciate their customers. They need a professional CEO who understands software = service and put in place a proper project management process.

    Otherwise, they will go down in flames and hurt many companies in the first place.

    My recommendation is to make a solid date specific product deployment plan that is associated with payment, which includes their license fee. Once you pay that you are stuck anyway. And tie in penalties if they delay. They will agree to anything until you make payment, after which they won't even hear you.

    They need a good lesson and a shake up to realize their true potential.

    I will be happy to provide further info if anyone needs it.

  5. #170
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Deerfield Beach, Florida
    Posts
    10
    MainStreet Commerce

    MainStreet Commerce has recently announced that BusinessFlow is available for $950 a month - with no up front license fee, no per user fees, and you get all of the software. You can also cancel if you have an issue. Services are optional and you can have your own developer work the project.

    Customers say that customer service/tech support is rapidly improving.

  6. #171
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Deerfield Beach, Florida
    Posts
    10

    MainStreet Commerce

    There are absolutely legitimate concerns and a heavy dose of truth in the delays as professional services has been very busy. When someone wants MainStreet to do project work for the company, they have had to wait for a slotting which has been sometimes 4 or 5 weeks out. Acknowledging is hopefully a strong indication that there is a sincere desire to improve.

    During the past few months, the company has been working hard to correct and improve this and make more resources and documentation available. This has involved implementing a support portal, providing 2 hour "hot topic" conference call sessions, and beefing up support for third party developers who can do implementations of BusinessFlow.

    There most definitely is an appreciation for customers. Hopefully, the blend of strong software along with improved project management process, and just generally trying to reach out in every way to provide assistance will benefit everyone.

  7. #172
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    11

    4 or 5 weeks?

    Quote Originally Posted by CSR
    There are absolutely legitimate concerns and a heavy dose of truth in the delays as professional services has been very busy. When someone wants MainStreet to do project work for the company, they have had to wait for a slotting which has been sometimes 4 or 5 weeks out. Acknowledging is hopefully a strong indication that there is a sincere desire to improve.

    During the past few months, the company has been working hard to correct and improve this and make more resources and documentation available. This has involved implementing a support portal, providing 2 hour "hot topic" conference call sessions, and beefing up support for third party developers who can do implementations of BusinessFlow.

    There most definitely is an appreciation for customers. Hopefully, the blend of strong software along with improved project management process, and just generally trying to reach out in every way to provide assistance will benefit everyone.
    According to this posting, they start a project in 4 or 5 weeks as "Professional Services" is busy. How about 4 or 5 months after several lies? By the way, when they do start a project, they don't finish it either. They simply say "we are done, we now want to hand it off to your developer". If we have our own developer, why do we need their "Professional Services". Of course, since they charge by the hour, if you ever find thngs they did wrong, they don't want to touch it or they simply want more money to do more work. They have no accountability what-so-ever.

    Stay away from this company at all costs.

    We regret ever having to go with them. They are not worth the cheap price ticket. They end up costing you so much business in the long run.

  8. #173
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    52
    Here is another company worth looking at....compiere (www.compiere.com)

    They say they are "open source" and yes, you do get the source code when you buy the product. But it's not "open source" in the most true sense whereby the developer community influences the feature enhancements and upgrades built into the product. All the built in feature enhancements and upgrades are built in by the company. Another thing to note, while the truest of the true "open source" solutions are free, these guys (while they do offer a free version of their software) are really moving toward a proprietary model. You can download a free version of the software, but it doesn't have as many out of the box features as their "professional" paid version. The paid version is probably the best software I have seen go against Netsuite (at least for our needs). It has solid CRM and accounting functionality, the out of the box reports, drill down and dashboard are all solid and of course (because you have the source code and they have what they call an application dictionary) you can do any customization you want.

    These guys are also much more cost effective then Netsuite. The minimum number of user licenses you can buy (if you go the paid route) is 10, and the cost is $7550 per year. It's a web based solution, and it's a yearly subscription fee. You can either host it on your own servers OR have it hosted. You will incur implementation costs (without servers it can run anywhere from $7K up, depending on how much tailoring, customization and data moving you have to do).

    One thing you definitely need is an integrator you feel comfortable with. We had a meeting this morning with an integrator that just didn't give us the feeling they were all that knowledgeable...so while we do like the software, we are going to now look to find another integrator to work with. We do have these guys on the shortlist.

  9. #174
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10

    An Alternative

    Hi,

    I ended up developing my own all-in-one suite to run my own company, if anyone is interested in taking a look. It's like NetSuite. Chances are you guys will delete this post as self-promotion, but I don't really care. I just figured people might be interested in hearing about another option, especially from a member on the board. I'm not saying you have to buy it. Even some criticism would be nice, so I know how to make it better.

    Aaron
    Aaron Greenspan
    President & CEO
    Think Computer Corporation

    http://www.thinkcomputer.com

  10. #175
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    East Hampton, NY
    Posts
    1,896
    Quote Originally Posted by thinkcomp
    Hi,

    .....Chances are you guys will delete this post as self-promotion, but I don't really care. I just figured people might be interested in hearing about another option, especially from a member on the board. I'm not saying you have to buy it. Even some criticism would be nice, so I know how to make it better.

    Aaron
    Not at all Aaron. I didn't delete your post because I thought it was helpful.

  11. #176
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    52
    Aaron, with all due respect, I believe your statement "It's like NetSuite" is a bit broad and misleading. It seems to me your product is a Saas accounting software, but does not offer CRM or SFA. If I'm wrong please let me know.

    Roban it seems this thread has branched off to cover many different solutions...it seems it started as a "I'm a small business solution looking for an all in one ERP system" and now has posts in here that "compare" software(s) that are not really/exactly in the same space. In this thread we are now seeing "accounting" software being compared to full on ERP/CRM/ACCT/Ecomm software.

    I just think it may be easier for new users to find info on the type(s) of solution they are looking for IF this thread was split up.

    Just a thought

  12. #177
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    10
    Hello mutahman,

    Without going into too much detail, I would like to point out that my statement about Exponent being like NetSuite was not intended to be misleading, nor was it misleading in actuality. It does, in fact, contain several features that are directly related to customer relationship management, sales force automation, and e-commerce that you might not be aware of. Furthermore, your insinuation that people should not be comparing systems in different spaces seems unusual in light of your previous post about an open-source downloadable program, Compiere, which seems to be, in my opinion, quite a bit different than the predominantly closed-source web-based systems being discussed here.

    I do agree that this is a very long thread, but especially given that my post was approved by the administrator just like everyone else's, I don't think that my mentioning one more alternative out of many, many others really hurt anyone.

    Aaron
    Aaron Greenspan
    President & CEO
    Think Computer Corporation

    http://www.thinkcomputer.com

  13. #178
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Intermountain West
    Posts
    10
    I like that people will present this kind of stuff here. I had no idea that Exponent was out there. I thought I was a good searcher on the web, but never came across it.

    I think the market is ripe for this kind of application. There are so many accounting packages that miss the mark and disappoint in too many ways. I think the NetSuite model is pretty good, once you remove the hose-your-customers-at-renewal mentality, anyway.

    EJ

  14. #179
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    52
    Aaron, I was not trying to fire a shot across your bow. As per one of my previous posts that refer to "perception being reality" and the responsibility the software provider to "skew" our perceptions of their products I believe my post in response to yours is consistent. Your site positions Exponenet as an accounting solution and it came across to me that this was an "accounting" solution (not an accouting, CRM, ERP and e-commerce solution).

    If there are CRM, SFA and e-commerce features in your software then I am interested to look further into what you have as we are in the market and seriously considering everyone. I have no issue with your post....my comments were around software features (IE comparing apples to apples with regards to features, in that Netsuite/Vision Core/Everest/Interprise, etc) are "all in one solutions" for a small business.

    Regarding your latest post, I don't know that "open source" VS. "closed source" is an issue at all, especially since solutions likes Vision Core and Interprise now offer their source code.

    Again, if your software has CRM, SFA and e-commerce functionality please

  15. #180
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    1

    ZEN CART anyone?.

    I am a very small business person. One woman show trying to get some drop ship business going in the gun industry. I am bound and determined to not spend a load of money doing this. I will be the first to say I am not familiar with all the different things that has been discussed on this thread.
    I am using Zen Cart for my internet presence. http://www.zen-cart.com/ So far so good. I do have to pay a computer guy to do my set up for me with the credit card processing and the shipping rates. Well heck, he is just doing it all since I am not that talented. Just try to get a credit card company to approve you if you sell guns on the internet! Not a easy task even with a walk in store front. I did it though and am still plugging on the other details. This is what the program says it will do.
    multiple customer modes,unlimited category depth, multiple sales and discounts,multiple display modes, XHTML template system, unlimited extra pages, multiple ad banner controller, multiple shipping options, multiple payment options, newsletter manager, discount coupons,gift certificates, featured products, quantity discounts
    I am small so this will work for a while. There is also a easy populate module that is free but I had to get the paid version since I have over 14,000 product logged in to get the rest of the stuff on the net. Everything is switched off at this time until I have all the nit picking things worked out with shipping and someone trained to update inventory quantity and prices. My computer guy is slow but he is the only one I have found in several states that can do what I want him to much less at a cheap rate. Once I get this stuff put together I need to go in and smooth out some of the looks on the website but it will get there. Anyway.... Between Open Office and Zen cart and what other freebies I run across I might get this done. Hope this is information that will be useful to someone that needs to save some money.

    Ranchmama
    http://www.gunslingersgear.com

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