Sage EM vs SAP B1 (SAP Business One)

sagex3-v-sap 

The sheer number of ERP software solutions out there is daunting. As a result, the task of choosing the right ERP software for your company can be extremely difficult.

ERP systems are not “one size fits all.”

What works perfectly for one company may not be a fit for you, your users, your objectives, or your workflow processes.

So to help break it all down for you, here’s how Sage EM (X3) vs SAP B1 – two popular ERP solutions on the market today – stack up against one another.

Company Viability

Note: Company viability is important because it represents how publishers like Sage and SAP manage their expenses, the availability and allocation of funding to R&D, and likelihood that the publisher will continue investments that enhance the customer experience.

Sage (The Sage Group, plc) is a publicly-held company currently traded on the FTSE 100 and has posted steady, predictable growth year-after-year since 1989. Sage is the 3rd largest ERP software provider worldwide in terms of revenue (US$ 2B) and #1 with a base of more than 6M customers worldwide. Visit the Sage Investors page for more information about financial and stock performance.

In 2005, Sage entered the global ERP market with its acquisition of Sage EM (X3) (then known as Adonix). Sage is a brand that’s recognized worldwide and is an admired company in many countries (see also: “who is Sage”).

SAP is a publicly-held organization with shares listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and a market cap of € 90B . SAP is recognized as the market leader in enterprise application software measured by revenue (€ 22B) helping 310k customers worldwide. Visit the SAP Investor Relations page for more information about financial and stock performance.

SAP completed three acquisitions and rebranded the solutions as SAP Business One; TopManage Financial Systems (2002), XL Reporter (2004), and CRM/e-Commerce from Praxis (2006).

Advantage = Neutral Both Sage and SAP have brand recognition, global reach, solid stock performance, and a history of delivering reliable solutions for businesses of all sizes.

Industry Strengths

Note: Each ERP product delivers core functionality for accounting operations but only one includes industry specialization that separates it from the competition.

Sage EM (X3) is an ERP solution specifically designed for Distributors and Manufacturers, both Discrete and Process Manufacturing including: Instrumentation Controls, Food & Beverage and Chemicals. Out-of-box capabilities deliver industry requirements like Change Control Management, Lot Traceability, Quality Assurance, and Formulations for transactional processing, audits, and regulatory compliance by the FDA, FSMA, 21 CFR Part 11, and more.

SAP Business One relies on 3rd parties for industry specialization (Infor FourthShift for Discrete, Acellos for Distribution, and BatchMaster for Process Manufacturing). Critical functional requirements are often delivered as customizations or add-ons through third parties and the SAP Business One partner channel. The end result, SAP does not support these add-ons and customizations that a customer needs to run its business. The Software Development Kit (SDK) toolset required to develop enhancements has been cumbersome for many SAP Business One partners to use.

Advantage = Sage EM (X3) Why risk your business with a patchwork of solutions cobbled together to complete your business solution? Sage EM (X3) provides industry specific capabilities for your most critical requirements and government compliance so you can focus on growing your business.

Target Market and Scalability

The ideal customer for Sage EM (X3) is a growing, small-to-medium sized company with industry specialization requirements, including Distribution, Discrete and Process Manufacturing. Sage EM (X3) scales for organizations as small as 5 users up to 1000 users (the sweet spot is 15 or more combined users) depending on the functional needs and volume.

SAP Business One is designed for, and targets, small companies with less than 100 employees. SAP Business One lacks functional depth in areas that stress an organization’s ability to grow like single-database multi-company support, consolidated financial data, and limited production capabilities. Although SAP has other ERP solutions that scale for larger enterprises, there is no upgrade path from SAP Business One and it runs on a different technology stack than other SAP solutions.

Advantage = Sage EM (X3) While SAP enjoys greater brand awareness among Fortune 500 companies, SAP Business One fails to capitalize on its brand name with a product that is too small and doesn’t scale for mid-market companies plus requires add-ons for must-have functionality.

Cost (License & Implementation)

Both Sage EM (X3) and SAP Business One are competitively priced for on-premise licensingwhile SAP Business One holds a slight savings advantage vs. Sage EM (X3) via its scaled-down SAP Business One Starter Package. With either product, there are a range of variables to consider when calculating your final cost.

But for purposes of comparison, here’s an example of pricing for a 5-User system:

SAP Business One Cost for 5 users – base financials, not including distribution or manufacturing add-ons starts at $20,000+ a year. SAP business partners promote an implementation project scope as low as 8 weeks without consideration of add-ons or enhancements. Additionally, the SAP Business One Starter Package pricing for 5 users starts at $9,000 a year.

Sage EM (X3) Cost for 5 users – including financials, inventory and manufacturing is $29,130 a year. Typical implementation project scopes start at 80 days and scale upwards based on organizational complexity and functional requirements. A 5 user Sage EM (X3) Cloud option hosted on the Amazon Web Services platform for financials, inventory, and manufacturing starts at $2,150 per month.

Advantage = Sage EM (X3). Only Sage EM (X3) provides the flexibility of an on-premise or true SaaS deployment. The freedom to choose creates options for how to record the investment on a company’s books, the impact on its IT resources and the ongoing cost of ownership.

*Note: cost calculations performed based on information available as of April 2016. Please check with a Sage or SAP Business One authorized partner for a quotation of current pricing and implementation.

Other Helpful Resources
Sage EM vs Netsuite
Sage EM vs Dynamics AX
Sage EM vs Epicor
Sage EM vs Infor
8 Sins of ERP Implementation Failure (And How to Avoid Them!)
Sage EM Product Features

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Who’s the Winner?

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