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What are the pros and cons to become a partner of NetSuite?

Hi community professionals,

My company (a Tech Services one) is looking to tie in with an ERP solution. 

Among the solutions, we are looking at is NetSuite. It's a SAAS solution which is one new aspect for us as we have always been selling the traditional on-premise. Another significant point is the fee to be a partner that is enormous relatively (when speaking with other vendors).   

I just find it difficult to comprehend that the cost (or the point) that we need to pay that amount of fee every year to be a partner with NetSuite.

I'd like to hear from partners of NetSuite their experience (the pros and cons) and perhaps thoughts on a couple of questions I have raised.

Thanks for the help!

ITCS user
45 Answers

author avatar
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

So, as a software selection consulting firm, we work with our clients to evaluate any ERP system deemed applicable to a client's industry or business model. We work hard to maintain a software agnostic approach and never forget that every ERP 'works somewhere' and while our preferences are relevant in any system we might use internally, we don't presume to know what's best for any of our clients. 

Given that...

About 2014 we began to see a strong client preference to NetSuite - after years of distrust of 'cloud'-based software, it seemed that Salesforce finally showed the market that cloud software was 'safe'. 

At first, we heard resellers of traditional ERP dismiss NetSuite saying 'It shows great'. Which implied there was not much under the hood, but the demos were somehow misleading. 

By 2018, NetSuite was gaining significant market share in new licenses and every traditional ERP package was coming out with a cloud version so they too could 'show great.'  Remember, many of these traditional ERP offerings had made the jump from DOS to Windows, ported from client-server to thin-client, then fully browser-based - what was one more porting? 

Fast forward to 2021 and NetSuite is in a truly dominant position - having pioneered the first significant cloud SaaS ERP and having 20+ years in the cloud space, versus latecomers year 3 anniversary in the cloud. 

Without going into too much more detail - the significance of NetSuite is not that it's cloud-based, but that it was created for an internet world and uses modern approaches to business support not conceivable to the original developers of traditional ERP in the pre-internet late 1980s. 

What this means for potential partners is NetSuite will win between 60% - 80% of all ERP evaluations that actually result in a licensing purchase (As a software selection consulting group, our clients, by definition are already spending significant consulting dollars and rarely go to the no-decision situation which traditionally plagues the market). 

Naturally, NetSuite's high win rate is an attractive situation for potential partners.

One of NetSuite's strengths is maintaining a strong partner channel. We tell the story of meeting a dentist around 2008. Upon learning we were in the software business, he announced he too was a Microsoft Reseller - he'd not actually sold a license yet and was mostly involved in his dental practice - but he hoped to one day have a sideline VAR business.  The point being, if you don't maintain certain standards for reseller partners, you end up with a wildly varying level of experience - which we imagined could result in an ERP implementation as painful as pulling teeth - but enough of the dentist jokes. 

We do know Microsoft Dynamics partners who've balked at NetSuite's stringent requirements and became Acumatica resellers - Acumatica and Sage Intacct are both solid SaaS options and we have many clients happily using both. 

However, NetSuite is growing 30% year after year and already has over 20,000 businesses using the platform. The recent Oracle re-acquisition has put incredible development behind the platform - we're seeing new verticals adopting NetSuite rapidly. A recent Oracle sales training class we attended had people from the EU, Ireland, Southeast Asia, Japan - Oracle has created country localizations worldwide and NetSuite is going global. Hyperion, formerly for Oracle Fusion now has a NetSuite version. Suite People, the HR option is now in a third-generation release for NetSuite - the list goes on and on. 

Anyway - NetSuite is super strong in the market and the greater costs associated with becoming a partner are an indicator of how much stronger the product is than other ERP/Accounting software options. 

My firm is not a full reseller - but we are a referral partner (of many different ERP platforms) and we staff project managers and system administrators for NetSuite who directly help clients in the implementation and later support process. We were planning to add both Acumatica and Intacct support resources - but the last year we're so busy with NetSuite work our expansion to other platforms has been back burnered. 

author avatarDominic-Gopal
Top 5Real User


author avatar
Top 5Real User

@Gene Hammons
just for your information, I decided to go ahead with NetSuite. I must say that your review above helped to sway that decision. I see the value of paying for that partnership fee as the level of partner engagement from NetSuite is just another level compared to the previous vendor I had been dealing with for 15 years. They are crystal clear in their message when it's being delivered and if nothing I am looking at the subject of ERP with a different lens and it's refreshing.
I shared your review with NetSuite team in Malaysia and they all agreed it's a great article.

author avatar
Top 5Real User

@Gene Hammons ​ thank you for a very detailed insight on NetSuite. I really appreciate the time to write your experience and analysis of the product.  

Anyway, for your information, we are most likely signing on with SAP Business By Design, as we evaluated the product we found the manufacturing part of the solution ... outstanding for a cloud product.  

I have 15 years of experience with Epicor ERP and I know when I see more than a decent solution with SAP's mid-tier cloud offering. In fact, I dare say Epicor should take heed on how to improve its UI/UX with the way SAP Business By Design has done its UI/UX.

author avatar
Community Manager

Hi @Antonio Lira, @Gene Hammons ​and @RobertWolf . 

Maybe you can share any insights or pointers with @Dominic-Gopal?

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