There are a few reasons you might be comparing NetSuite and Epicor: You could be choosing your first ERP system, or maybe you’re using Epicor already but want to move to a cutting-edge system with far more capabilities.

In this article, we’ll compare NetSuite vs. Epicor to help you make the best decision.

What Is ERP?

An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system connects your core business processes, from accounting to inventory management, customer relationship management (CRM), and beyond. The software collects information from across departments into a central database for better reporting and collaboration. The best cloud-based ERP systems also automate processes and have business intelligence tools that offer rich insights into your business’s performance.

NetSuite vs. Epicor: An Overview

NetSuite was built in the cloud with a suite of tightly integrated functionalities that can equip your company to confidently change and grow, no matter the industry. By contrast, Epicor is newer to the cloud game, offers disjointed platforms aimed at specific industries, and is often more difficult to implement and maintain.


NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP system uses a common data repository that supports finance, supply chain, professional services automation (PSA), CRM, HR, and other critical functions without requiring integration between and maintenance of ERP modules. In other words, it works the way you’d expect an ERP system to work, no matter how much your business changes.


Epicor started transitioning to the cloud relatively recently, so many of its customers still run on-premises ERP systems. It offers 11 separate platforms built on various codebases, and they aren’t integrated with each other. Epicor tends to add functionality through partner solutions or add-on modules that require integrations, which limits its ability to work across multiple lines of business.

Product Maturity and History

NetSuite launched in 1998 as a web-hosted accounting software called NetLedger. It was founded by Evan Goldberg with backing from Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison. About five years later, the product became NetSuite ERP. NetSuite went public in 2007.

Epicor started in 1984 as Platinum Software Corporation, an accounting software company. Platinum went public in 1992, acquired other software businesses, and changed its name to Epicor in 1999.

Acquisitions by Oracle and PE Firms

NetSuite was acquired by Oracle in 2016 for $9.3 billion. This gave the company access to Oracle’s immense resources.

Epicor has been sold or acquired three times in the past 12 years, most recently in 2020 by private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice — which notably uses NetSuite to run its business. Epicor has largely built its product offerings through acquisition versus developing its own products. It has acquired at least 21 individual software products over the years, and additional products came via its 2011 merger with Activant.

NetSuite vs. Epicor

In addition to a singular focus on a cloud-based solution, NetSuite has key features that Epicor doesn’t.

Epicor especially lacks strong native CRM, ecommerce, and tax management features compared to NetSuite, which was created as an “all-in-one” solution that can manage all of those functions.

And in Epicor, customized reporting relies on tools like Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and SAP Crystal Reports. Both require technical expertise, so many customers have a dedicated report writer on staff or have Epicor professional services build custom reports for them at an additional cost. Meanwhile, NetSuite comes with hundreds of reports and dashboards for real-time insights on your business. You can build new and change included reports in NetSuite with clicks, not code.

More details on the difference between NetSuite vs. Epicor:

NetSuite Epicor
Customers 21,000*
Countries 150*
Platforms Offered 1 11
Accounts Payable
Accounts Receivable
Financial Management
Inventory Management
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Omnichannel Commerce

*According to 2022 data from Epicor’s website
**Native to the ERP; not requiring different technology or separate databases

Implementation Considerations

Epicor implementations are time- and expense-based, so implementations are generally longer and pricier. Most NetSuite implementations are fixed-bid with NetSuite SuiteSuccess, a staged approach that allows your team to go live quickly with out-of-the-box process flows, dashboards, KPIs, and other features tailored specifically to your industry.

Database and Architecture Considerations

To add on to its multiple disjointed platforms, Epicor offers ERP modules that are almost all either white-labeled products from other providers (e.g., Phocas for business intelligence) or acquired technologies written on different codebases, creating a wildly complicated system. Customizations tend to break during upgrades, leaving many Epicor customers “version-locked” on an old release.

NetSuite focuses its development resources on just one multi-tenant cloud platform. As a SaaS offering, all customers run on the same version of NetSuite thanks to automatic upgrades, and customizations carry over with each upgrade.

An example: Epec Engineered Technologies is a manufacturer that experienced Epicor’s architecture flaws firsthand. The company struggled to customize its on-premises Epicor system, forcing it to continue to complete workflows manually. Epec Engineered Technologies switched to NetSuite, which could be customized to automate its specific processes, and has since onboarded 10 acquisitions and counting without issue.

Platform and Integration Capabilities

Epicor’s platforms are narrowly focused: For example, Epicor Kinetic (formerly Epicor ERP) targets manufacturing, not distribution or retail. If your manufacturing business runs Epicor and wants to enter the retail and/or ecommerce space, for example, you’ll likely need to implement a separate Epicor product.

NetSuite's platform allows you to easily add functionality for more industries and sales channels. For example, when Epicor’s limitations prevented distributor E-Z LOK from launching an ecommerce channel, E-Z LOK switched to NetSuite. It now runs a sleek ecommerce site and fulfills orders faster than it did with Epicor.

NetSuite also makes it simple to add and manage local and international subsidiaries with real-time and automatic financial consolidations. Consolidations in Epicor require a submodule at an extra cost, as well as manual work.

Partners and Ecosystems

Epicor doesn’t include a cloud development platform, preferring to provide any development in-house or use partners and charge for professional service hours. It has a comparatively small independent software vendor (ISV) partner network, so customers usually create custom integrations to outside tools.

NetSuite has a broad ecosystem of partners that have extended the platform’s value, with over 600 applications available in the SuiteApp(opens in a new tab) marketplace.

Support Services

In addition to phone and online support, NetSuite has a searchable SuiteAnswers knowledge center and NetSuite Support Community(opens in a new tab) that includes some 48,000 users. For customers that want to proactively optimize their solution with a team of experts, it offers NetSuite Advanced Customer Support (ACS).

Epicor offers similar programs to ACS but packages them as a customization upgrade contract or special agreement. Its EpicCare support offering, which comes standard, provides online and phone support, a knowledge base, and customer communities.

NetSuite vs. Epicor Pricing

Epicor’s pricing is fairly complicated and varies based on multiple factors, including whether you choose its on-premises or cloud-based solutions. NetSuite pricing is simpler, with just one solution and deployment model to consider.

When evaluating pricing, factor in the costs of implementation, customization, and system maintenance, plus any outside apps you’ll need to cover all of your business requirements. For example, Epicor users often choose an add-on CRM right out of the gate.

Why Choosing NetSuite Over Epicor Is the Right Call

You should choose NetSuite over Epicor if you want to: use an ERP system that’s built for the cloud, eliminate maintenance costs and headaches, and give your business room to change and grow as all businesses do. You should also choose NetSuite ERP if you want strong support from in-house experts, access to a vast partner network, and a system that seamlessly delivers the reporting you need to make smart business decisions.

infographic purchasing and ap dashboard (opens in a new tab)
NetSuite dashboards give you real-time insight into company performance across departments based on an individual’s role and responsibilities.

Ultimately, choosing NetSuite over Epicor is the right move for any business so long as you’re not a manufacturer or distributor that specifically wants to run an on-premises ERP system, even after considering the time and resource demands of that approach.

NetSuite vs. Epicor FAQs

Is NetSuite better than Epicor?

NetSuite is better than Epicor if you want to avoid complicated ERP implementation and maintenance, clunky add-on solutions, and customizations that break during upgrades. NetSuite is also better for businesses that want easy-to-use reporting built into a cloud ERP system.

Who is NetSuite's biggest competitor?

When evaluating ERP systems, businesses often pick NetSuite over offerings from Sage Intacct, SAP, Microsoft, and Acumatica.

Who is the competitor of Epicor?

Epicor competes with SAP, Microsoft, and Acumatica. You’ll also find NetSuite at the top of most lists of Epicor competitors — but Epicor tops the list of NetSuite competitors much less frequently.

Why is NetSuite better than other ERP?

NetSuite is better than other ERP systems because it was built in the cloud as a suite of tightly integrated solutions that cover all business requirements, with the option to add functionality over time as your business changes and grows.