Review: Up close with NetSuite's deep ERP

NetSuite offers extensive business management functionality to organizations that recognize the value of SaaS

One of the pioneers in cloud computing, NetSuite launched a cloud-based ERP system at a time when SaaS was widely considered risky to both the security and the availability of an organization's data. Now it is generally recognized that the SaaS provider will probably have more technical resources and expertise than the average organization looking to invest in an ERP system.

Time has not only vindicated NetSuite's Internet-based delivery model. It has also seen NetSuite evolve from a solution aimed at small companies to one that targets midsized organizations (up to 1,000 employees), as well as subsidiaries of the largest companies. Today, NetSuite combines ERP, financials, CRM, PSA (professional services automation), and e-commerce in a single, integrated business management software solution.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Find out which companies are fueling ERP's comeback. | Don't be a victim -- take a lesson from these real-world ERP failures. | Discover what's new in business applications with InfoWorld's Technology: Applications newsletter. ]

ERP systems such as NetSuite contain more functionality than could ever be reviewed in any one article. This review is based on a subset of features (238 in total) that are indicators of the overall system's capabilities. I evaluated each feature based on demonstrations of the functionality by the vendor and scored them using the following criteria:

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