NetSuite or Workday: Which One is Right for You?

Comparison:As the Cloud business application environment matures, you will now regularly hear about Workday. Founded in 2005 by some of the key innovators of the PeopleSoft ERP system, Workday shares similar design philosophies.  Peoplesoft was created to take care of human resources and benefits management concerns for larger organizations.  Over time, it offered strong financial management with general ledger, accounts payable and accounts receivable functions.  Peoplesoft uses a classic client / server architecture with has now fallen out of favor.  Workday, in many respects, is following the successful Peoplesoft approach but embraces the Cloud as its delivery model.

Since Workday was designed with human resources as its focus center, industries that are people intensive are its target.  This means financial services, healthcare, education, etc.

 

 

NetSuite and Workday Similarities

When we compare Workday to NetSuite, we see some similarities.  Technically, both applications are fully Cloud-based and are growing their integration capabilities.  Functionally, they are both strong accounting applications compared to other financial systems with distinguishing capacities such as advanced revenue recognition.  And each seeks to serve the same client size; although one may argue that Workday seeks to satisfy the concerns of only the largest service organizations.  We believe that NetSuite is willing to help the smaller organization in advanced growth and looking to scale their operation.

NetSuite and Workday Differences

In contrast to Workday, NetSuite excels in that it is a fully integrated business platform.  It can take care of eCommerce and CRM concerns where Workday only makes an offer to integrate to other third party services.  For example, Workday touts its integration to Salesforce.com, as does other financial-only cloud applications such as Intacct.  As we have discussed many times before, NetSuite is one of the few business applications that can truly deliver on the fully-integrated ERP/CRM benefits.  Most newcomers to business applications don’t realize what is required to get full reporting and information out of these systems using the best-of-breed approach until they have to make yet another investment in a reporting application.  Workday suffers from this weakness because of its design philosophy.

Another area that NetSuite excels over Workday is inventory management.  And this makes sense because NetSuite is strong in distribution and manufacturing industries – less people-oriented business categories.  The item master is one of NetSuite’s strong functional capacities.

And finally, if we are going to decide on technical merit, NetSuite’s SuiteFlex platform is rich, robust, mature, and very capable.  Workday simply has not had the time to invest what NetSuite has in its API.

Nonetheless, Workday is a company to keep an eye on especially because of their target customer size.  Their focus is clear, positioned well, and the management team is experienced.

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Marty Zigman

Holding all three official certifications, Marty is Southern California's NetSuite expert and leads a team of senior professionals at Prolecto Resources, Inc. He is a former Deloitte & Touche CPA and has held CTO roles. For over 25 years, Marty has produced leadership in ERP, CRM and eCommerce business systems. Contact Marty to setup a conversation.

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