Where Do You Want To Go Today? For Microsoft Great Plains Customers - it’s to the NetSuite Cloud

February 3, 2014

Remember the old Microsoft slogan from the 90’s,"Where do you want to go today?”. Well, Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains)(opens in new tab) customers are already answering that question.  And the answer is the NetSuite cloud(opens in new tab). Businesses across a wide range of industries and sizes are on the move from Great Plains–global media companies like Asia Digital Holdings(opens in new tab), sports and entertainment firms such as Wasserman Media Group(opens in new tab), through to wholesalers like Instrumart.

Why the trend? Why now?  There are three of key drivers behind the shift – business process fragmentation, onerous financial consolidation(opens in new tab), and the need to transform the IT budget from maintenance to innovation.

1. From Fragmented to Integrated

Point accounting solutions like Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains) almost always leave businesses with fragmented systems. And it can result in a serious impact to business efficiency. For example, on a recent webinar “Executive Panel:  How to Use Cloud-Based ERP to Unify Your Business(opens in new tab)”, we asked 80+ attendees how many individual systems they have.  The result is both surprising and not – over a third has 6+ separate systems and a further 40%+ had 3-5 systems.

Unchecked application fragmentation (which Microsoft Dynamics GP customers often struggle with) invariably means fragmented business processes - slow quote-to-cash processes, spreadsheet-based reporting, and often resources wasted simply reentering the data between systems. When we asked the question, 80% responded that their business suffered from duplication and rekeying of data - and over 40% specified that business processes were substantially fragmented.

Eliminating Microsoft Dynamics GP, together with a hairball of other system silos, and moving to a single integrated system enables businesses to make their order, procurement and reporting processes faster and more efficient - and ultimately improves employee and customer satisfaction.

2. From Database Proliferation to Real-Time Consolidation

Businesses that run Microsoft Dynamics GP often suffer in another way – slow, error prone financial consolidation.  Growing businesses quickly acquire new subsidiaries, entities and divisions. But with Great Plains each legal entity requires a separate database. And financial consolidation can quickly become a real chore, with ending up having to use FRx to create static, consolidated reports.

How bad can it get? Wasserman Media Group(opens in new tab) ended up maintaining six Great Plains databases across corporate and their subsidiaries, while ClearChoice Management Services(opens in new tab) ended up with 92 Great Plains databases. For both, the result was the same - a lengthy, error prone consolidation process, and opacity around subsidiary business performance. Both made the move to NetSuite and finally got to a single instance – which meant real-time consolidation and clear transparency from corporate to subsidiary.

3. From IT Maintenance to IT Innovation

Finally, businesses that run Great Plains are fed up with spending their IT budgets on maintenance rather than on innovation. Forrester Research(opens in new tab) recently found that SMB’s spend nearly 70% of their IT budget on both ongoing operations and maintenance and managing capacity to support growth.

For businesses running Great Plains deployments and the myriad of other required LOB on-premise system, the story is similar – and sometimes even worse. The result is that little of the budget is left over to meet business needs. According to Hurwitz Research businesses running Dynamics GP and CRM can end up spending twice as much compared to running a cloud suite like NetSuite. 

Brian Leffler, Instrumart Vice president sums it up: “Continuing with Great Plains required costly software and server upgrades, and when we added up the dollars involved, it was the straw that broke the camel's back".

Small and medium sized business need to devote every ounce of their resources to competitive advantage – and when they are running Great Plains, they end up using valuable resources on unneccessary upgrades, managing backups, and installing desktop clients instead.

Learn First Hand Why Great Plains Customers Are on the Move

Microsoft Great Plains switchers to the NetSuite cloud want to tell their story – and you can hear them tell it on April 19th. I’ll be hosting a free live webinar(opens in new tab) where three executives will be discussing their reasons for making the move and share the results they achieved – and it’s a great opportunity to hear the drivers first-hand.

Paul Turner


NetSuite has packaged the experience gained from tens of thousands of worldwide deployments over two decades into a set of leading practices that pave a clear path to success and are proven to deliver rapid business value. With NetSuite, you go live in a predictable timeframe — smart, stepped implementations begin with sales and span the entire customer lifecycle, so there's continuity from sales to services to support.