Top SAP Competitors: The Best SAP Alternatives for Your Business

SAP is among the top performing vendors in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, with hundreds of thousands of corporate clients around the world.

The Germany-based software titan offers a diverse line of enterprise software suites to serve a variety of business verticals. Their software suites are widely considered to be the industry standards.

But, SAP isn’t for everyone—there are plenty of software vendors that offer fully capable ERP platforms that can serve as alternatives.

To prove it, we took a look at the top SAP competitors in two separate categories: vendors that are most frequently compared to SAP online, and vendors that hold the highest ratings in the ERP space according to our reviews data.

Most Asked-About Alternatives

We’ll first take a look at the vendors and their product lines that are most frequently compared against SAP, as well as consider their overall online presence and popularity.

Note: You can learn more about our Alternatives methodology here.

Oracle

Oracle is SAP’s main competitor and also an industry heavyweight. Like SAP, Oracle offers a diverse line of ERP platforms that can serve many different industry verticals.

The table below lists which products from the two vendors are the most comparable to each other. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that most prospective buyers will consider more than one product line from each vendor, depending on their unique needs.

If you’re looking at… Also consider…
SAP Business All-in-One Oracle E-Business Suite
SAP Business One Oracle JD Edwards
SAP Business ByDesign Oracle ERP Cloud

SAP and Oracle differ in their business strategies when it comes to product development. SAP is often described as being “built from the ground up,” while Oracle tends to acquire other vendors and products, resulting in a greater degree of disparity between its offerings. This isn’t always a bad thing, but it can pose issues for rapidly scaling businesses.

Oracle JD Edwards‘ asset management
 

Oracle has some unique advantages and disadvantages compared to SAP. Consider the following:

Advantages
Disadvantages
• Generally less expensive than SAP

Faster return on investment for some organizations

• Greater customization capabilities

• Generally better suited for non-manufacturing enterprises
• Lack of cohesiveness between product lines and applications due to Oracle’s acquisitions

• Can require more customization out of the box

• SAP might have the edge for large manufacturers

 The bottom line:  The SAP versus Oracle debate is similar to the Apple versus PC debate. Like Apple, SAP offers a cohesive and consistent ecosystem of products at a premium price.

Like the PC market, what Oracle lacks in cohesiveness, it makes up for with lower costs and greater customization capabilities—though the ability to customize is often more out of need than desire.

Microsoft Dynamics

While most people associate Microsoft with consumer and office productivity software, it is also a major player in the ERP space. Its flagship offering, Dynamics AX, is targeted toward growing midsize and large enterprises, while Dynamics GP and Dynamics NAV are targeted to small and midsize businesses (SMBs).

Microsoft takes a unique approach in catering to different industry segments by partnering with independent software vendors (ISVs), who create customized solutions and work directly with businesses during implementation. They are certified by Microsoft, giving them added credibility.

On the other hand, the ISVs don’t cover every industry niche, so you might have to invest more into customization.

SAP’s products don’t necessarily have direct comparisons to the Dynamics line, so treat the table below as a broad reference.

If you’re looking at… Also consider…
SAP Business All-in-One Microsoft Dynamics AX
SAP Business One Microsoft Dynamics GP
SAP Business ByDesign Microsoft Dynamics
NAV

Almost everyone is familiar with Microsoft Office, so the learning curve to the Dynamics line is often less intimidating, due to the similarities in layout and design.

People often either love or hate Microsoft based on their personal experiences with Windows and Office, but their enterprise offerings are a whole different animal, so be sure you and your team give them an objective look.

Microsoft Dynamics sports a familiar look
 

Compared to SAP, here’s how the Dynamics line stacks up in terms of its relative advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages
Disadvantages
• Familiar design

• Affordable offerings for SMBs

• Seamless integration with Office

• Less expensive; significantly lower implementation costs

• It’s Microsoft, the brand you know and love
• Fewer options for larger enterprises

• Industry-focused solutions require partnering with third-party vendors for customization and implementation; some niches served better than others.

• It’s Microsoft—the brand you know (and maybe hate)

 The bottom line:  The Dynamics line is a worthy competitor to SAP’s offerings. Growing SMBs will likely be enticed by Dynamics’ lower costs and faster implementation times. On the other hand, large, established businesses in certain manufacturing niches might be better served by SAP.

NetSuite

Unlike SAP, Oracle and Microsoft, NetSuite does not have multiple ERP product lines. Instead, NetSuite offers a base ERP platform (NetSuite ERP) designed for midsize businesses and NetSuite OneWorld, which includes all of the features of NetSuite ERP, but also offers multilanguage, currency and international tax support.

The OneWorld platform is designed for large, multinational corporations with complex accounting and financial management needs. Due to OneWorld’s financial and accounting capabilities, it is used in tandem with some organizations’ existing SAP systems (more info about that here).

NetSuite‘s financial management tools
 

NetSuite is only available for cloud-based deployment, whereas cloud, hybrid and on-premise deployments are possible with SAP, Oracle and Microsoft platforms. As such, organizations do not have to invest in additional hardware, and implementation times tend to be shorter.

Let’s take a look at its advantages and disadvantages compared to SAP:

Advantages
Disadvantages
• No hardware investment required

• Less expensive than SAP

• Faster implementation times

• Robust financial management tools
• Lack of on-premise or hybrid deployment options might turn off some businesses

• Fewer customization options

• No offerings for small businesses

 The bottom line:  NetSuite is the forerunner of cloud-based ERPs. It is an affordable solution for midsize businesses, and its OneWorld platform is regarded as having some of the most comprehensive tools for financial management.

Top User-Rated Alternatives

Now we’ll take a look at some of the highest-rated ERP platforms based on our reviews data. Products identified as most asked-about SAP alternatives are omitted from this category.

Intacct

Our advisors often speak to prospective buyers who think they need a full-fledged ERP system, such as SAP, but really only need a system with core financials and a few other modules, such as inventory management and order management.

If that sounds like you, check out Intacct. It is one of our highest-rated ERP platforms, with 63 reviews that average to a 4.2 out of 5 star rating.

Intacct‘s financial management dashboard
 
Here are some advantages and disadvantages for Intacct:

Advantages
Disadvantages
• Ideal for service-based businesses and nonprofits

• Strong accounting tools for SMBs

• Deep integrations with other platforms

• Relatively affordable
• Not a full-fledged ERP platform

• Not suited for manufacturers

• Might have to invest in developing custom integrations

 The bottom line:  While Intacct doesn’t offer certain applications associated with traditional ERP systems such as supply chain management, manufacturing and customer relationship management, it excels as a light ERP platform for growing SMBs.

ePROMIS

There’s a reasonable chance you haven’t heard of ePROMIS yet, and that’s probably because the larger vendors have more brand-recognition in the ERP space. Still, that shouldn’t have you dismissing this software. It’s a robust system with feature offerings comparable to any ERP system, including SAP, and it boasts a star rating of 4.5 out of 5 with a total of 87 reviews.

One thing to be aware of when researching ePROMIS software is the number of different types of industries it services: This is somewhat limited when compared to larger vendors. Still, for those verticals that are included in ePROMIS offerings, there are several packages to think about.

If you’re looking at… Also consider…
SAP Business All-in-One ePROMIS Enterprise
SAP Business One ePROMIS Lite
SAP Business ByDesign ePROMIS Innovate


Included in any ePROMIS suite are tools available to all buyers beginning with consultation services and going all the way through implementation training courses.

ePROMIS main menu
 
Here are some advantages and disadvantages of ePROMIS:

Advantages
Disadvantages
• User-friendly interface makes learning the new system intuitive

• Highly customizable system to accommodate every possible need

• Includes project management module, which not all ERP systems have
• Because it’s less established than SAP, implementation processes might not be fully standardized yet

• Number of industries services is more limited than SAP

 The bottom line:  ePROMIS probably won’t come up on the first page when you Google ERP software, but this vendor has managed to create a product that competes with other fully integrated EPR systems and excels within certain industry niches.

Next Steps

None of these systems are necessarily better or worse than what SAP has to offer. It comes down to what your needs are, what you’re trying to achieve with a new system and how much you are willing to invest.

By making an informed decision, you can ensure that the software choice you make fits your budget and addresses your needs for an ERP system. If you have questions about how to choose the right ERP software for your business, call our software advisors at (844) 852-3639.

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