Cloud technologies have successfully replaced countless old-school SQL server applications. The shift in consumption has generated an increasingly complex family of pricing and associated SKUs to pick from. So while new age software delivers near-term business value and offers strong ROI to support business cases, getting to GO can seem purely complicated! For this reason, you’ll never see a rate card or menu of user types and modules to select from. We share a few basics about the process to provide a framework for buyers to understand the complexity of purchasing NetSuite. In summary, the process must gain an understanding of the company’s environment today and to also include the vision for tomorrow.
Picking the Right Platform
There are more than twenty-five different platforms to choose from. While NetSuite has bundled functionality to accommodate specific industries through Vertical Solutions, it equally attempts to give smaller businesses a more affordable option. So while there are so many platforms to choose from, there is only one type of user license (more later). Let’s first explore the two primary variables that ultimately determine which platform is best:
- High-level Functional Requirements – Modules used immediately and in the foreseeable future must be considered up front. While we can negotiate a favorable contract, this won’t be relevant if the platform that’s purchased doesn’t allow for expected growth. While small business pricing can help companies get started, the cost to “outgrow” such platform should be properly forecasted into your budget.
- Size of the Company and System User Counts – While today’s user counts are primary to this equation, volume purchasing isn’t available across tiered discounts. Volume does have merit while considering small business platforms, which can provide a considerable price break for smaller companies. Breakpoints are typically 10 or 15 users. Consider that purchasing user number 11 or 16 can present the cost to upgrade the platform. So while it’s great that the software can be made affordable for a small company, plans to grow your business should be considered in advance.
Determining User Counts
The only occasion where NetSuite defines a “lite” user is for Professional Service Automation (PSA) solutions that require modest Time and Expense data entry from specific users. For most every other system users, standard licenses are sold at a single cost; regardless of the platform and additional modules that comprise your solution. Unlike several other ERP software packages, NetSuite user licensing doesn’t entertain Power and Lite user types either. For this reason, picking the right platform is critical to the cost and functionality required to meet your solution needs. In summary, purchasing ample user licenses is secondary to the platform choice itself and the per-license cost doesn’t vary or change according to volume or user type.
Choosing a Service Provider
At the point of envisioning your implementation, your engagement with a qualified service provider will define your solution throughout a proper software selection process. When such “presales” process is done right, it becomes a portion of the ERP project plan and ultimately, it morphs into a Statement of Work (SOW), which corresponds with your resulting contract of software licenses and implementation services.
What kind of ERP software implementation style is best for your organization? The right service provider should adhere to your company culture and align with the project’s expectations. This means that either a waterfall, agile or combination of the two can be amply defined. Traditional waterfall methodology is good for a top down approach and lends itself to a limited budget, accomplishing a predefined scope and timely go-live objectives. Conversely, some organizations prefer an agile approach that feeds upon multiple iterations of design and testing; lending a value to the creativity of defining a solution that solves a specific business problem.
The MIBAR.net team is dedicated to assisting your software selection process to result in a successful NetSuite project. More about our consulting services, our history implementing over 500 solutions, multiple client success stores and NetSuite specific case studies is readily available on our website for your reference: http://www.mibar.net/how-we-work.aspx.
Negotiating the Contract
During the first year of your contract, we need to consider the total expense of implementation services, in addition to license costs. Other variables such as contract term, renewal features and timing impact budgets and precious cash flows. For this reason, it’s imperative that you work with a service partner who earns your trust and respect throughout the sales process. Software licenses alone don’t achieve business goals but when software is properly implemented, significant returns are gained. So be sure to choose a partner who can negotiate a contract that allows your budget to go far, and for your solution to become properly implemented.
Wondering what a NetSuite solution would cost your organization? Ask MIBAR.net for a free assessment and we’ll help you build a solution that optimizes your software license and implementation services budget.
Additional NetSuite Resources
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