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Ultimate Comparison Guide: NetSuite vs Salesforce

Ultimate Comparison Guide: NetSuite vs Salesforce

Staying connected with customers and managing relationships effectively is essential. 

This is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems come into play. 

NetSuite and Salesforce are two standout names that often come up in discussions about top CRM solutions. 

These platforms offer strong tools designed to streamline business processes, however, they cater to different needs and preferences.

With the help of Cumula 3, this article aims to delve into the specifics of NetSuite and Salesforce, comparing their features, usability, and overall value to help you pinpoint the better choice for your business operations. 

Transform your business with Cumula 3’s and NetSuite's comprehensive solutions – Contact us today.


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Understanding NetSuite and Salesforce

For companies experiencing rapid growth, choosing the right CRM system is more than a strategic decision—it's a growth catalyst. 

This choice can dramatically impact a company's ability to generate and increase revenue. 

The right CRM system helps businesses maintain valuable customer relationships and enables them to leverage these relationships to maximize business opportunities. 

To understand more, let’s begin by setting the stage with a look at the origins and offerings of both NetSuite and Salesforce:

1. NetSuite

Founded in 1998, NetSuite quickly established itself as a significant player in integrated business management software. In 2016, Oracle acquired NetSuite, enhancing its capabilities and expanding its reach in the market.

NetSuite is more than just a CRM; it's an all-encompassing suite that combines CRM functionalities with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and other essential business tools.

This integration allows businesses to manage their sales, finance, operations, and customer interactions within a single platform, promoting efficiency and providing a comprehensive view of organizational operations.

2. Salesforce

On the other hand, Salesforce began its journey in 1999, revolutionizing the software world by introducing the cloud-based CRM model.

This innovation made Salesforce a key figure in making CRM systems accessible and scalable for businesses. Salesforce focuses primarily on enhancing customer relationships through various features including sales management, customer service, marketing automation, and more.

Choosing the right CRM system is crucial, and C3 is here to guide companies through these important decisions, ensuring that their software investments drive maximum revenue and efficiency.

Now with the foundational knowledge of what each platform offers, let’s compare them to see how they align with different business operations.


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Key Features of NetSuite and Salesforce Compared


When assessing the best CRM or ERP system for your business, it's important to consider both the immediate benefits and potential challenges associated with Salesforce and NetSuite. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown:

1. Integration and Scalability:


Known for its excellent native integration capabilities, NetSuite is ideal for businesses seeking a comprehensive solution that covers ERP, CRM, and e-commerce.

The platform scales effectively, accommodating growth smoothly and minimizing the need for platform changes as businesses expand.


With its ecosystem and AppExchange marketplace, Salesforce offers customization and scalability.

This adaptability makes it suitable for various business sizes and types, enhancing its scalability and integration with external applications.

2. User Interface and Usability:


Known for its user interface, Salesforce provides a user-friendly experience with customizable layouts to help new users adapt quickly.


A significant advantage of NetSuite is its unified platform approach because unlike other systems that may offer multiple versions, NetSuite maintains a single version of its software for all users.

Users don’t have to navigate the complexities associated with multiple software versions, which can vary significantly in terms of features and user experience. 

This simplification can lead to lower training costs and quicker adaptation across the organization as new functionalities are introduced.

3. Customization and Flexibility:


Has a lot of customization options, supported by a vast marketplace. Businesses can modify nearly every aspect of their CRM experience, making Salesforce as one of the choices for those needing specialized, flexible solutions.


While also highly customizable, NetSuite focuses on ensuring that these customizations integrate well across the entire business suite, maintaining a cohesive operation flow, crucial for those who prefer a consolidated business management system.

4. Platform Comparison: Lightning vs. SuiteCloud

Salesforce's Lightning Platform

Salesforce’s Lightning platform is renowned for its maturity and robustness, which cater to a wide range of business needs through a vast partner ecosystem. 

The platform facilitates the integration of numerous plugins and extensions available on the Salesforce AppExchange, enhancing functionality and user experience. 

This large ISV (Independent Software Vendor) partner ecosystem is a significant advantage, allowing businesses to extend their CRM capabilities extensively.

NetSuite's SuiteCloud

In contrast, NetSuite’s SuiteCloud, though smaller than Salesforce’s ecosystem, provides a solid foundation with its network of SDN (SuiteCloud Developer Network) partners. 

These partners offer extensions that support large-scale operations, demonstrating SuiteCloud’s capability to effectively cater to complex business requirements, albeit with a focus on seamless integration and operational efficiency.

But don't just take my word for it.  Here's a quote from an actual NetSuite user:

Customization! Some people are afraid of this, but there is so much power in shaping the system to your needs. Tweaking just the layout of a customer or transaction form can improve efficiency and reduce stress. - Joshua Henke - Q2ebanking

Verdict: Both platforms are more than capable of providing end users with the ability to customize and extend their application through an extensive ecosystem of 3rd party vendors to further enhance their Salesforce or NetSuite investment.  

5. ERP Software: Certinia vs. NetSuite

Certinia (formerly known as FinancialForce)

Operating on the Force.com platform, Certinia leverages the existing Salesforce.com customer base and specializes in professional services automation (PSA) and human capital management (HCM), in addition to its ERP offerings. 

Certinia is designed to integrate with Salesforce, making it a choice for businesses already using Salesforce CRM. 

It leverages the existing Salesforce infrastructure, providing an experience where customer data flows directly into business processes. 

This integration is particularly advantageous for companies that prioritize customer information as central to their service, sales, and financial operations. 

However, Certinia primarily attracts Salesforce's existing customers, catering to those who prefer a streamlined solution within the Salesforce ecosystem.


On the other hand, NetSuite offers a broader and more comprehensive ERP solution that caters to a wide range of industries and business sizes. 

Unlike Certinia, NetSuite is not tied to a specific CRM platform, which allows businesses to integrate with various systems as needed. 

This platform is built to handle complex business processes, from financial management and supply chain operations to e-commerce and beyond, all within a single unified system. 

NetSuite's ERP solution is designed to scale with your business, accommodating growth and changes without switching platforms. 

This makes NetSuite a versatile choice for businesses planning long-term expansion and diverse operational needs.

6. CRM Software: Salesforce vs. NetSuite

NetSuite CRM

NetSuite offers a compelling alternative for businesses that need a more integrated approach to managing their operations, 

Unlike Salesforce, which primarily focuses on CRM, NetSuite provides a unified business management suite that includes CRM as one part of a larger system. 

This integration facilitates seamless data flow between CRM and other business functions like ERP, e-commerce, and financial management, making NetSuite ideal for companies that value comprehensive insights and operational cohesion.

Salesforce CRM

Renowned for its comprehensive feature set and user-friendly interface, Salesforce remains a choice for many businesses across various industries. 

Its platform offers several tools and functionalities, including analytics, customization options, and an ecosystem of apps through the Salesforce AppExchange. 

This breadth of features makes Salesforce ideal for businesses that require a high degree of flexibility and customization in their CRM strategies.

This comparison highlights the strengths of both platforms in various operational aspects, providing a clearer picture for businesses deciding between NetSuite and Salesforce based on specific business needs and growth strategies.

To know more, below is the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Cloud ERP for Product-Centric Enterprises which is a critical tool for businesses looking to understand the competitive landscape of ERP solutions. 

The analysis below provides insights into how well various vendors are executing their stated visions and how they are performing against Gartner's market view. 

Source: Gartner (October 2023)

By evaluating strengths and weaknesses, the Magic Quadrant helps companies pinpoint the right cloud ERP systems that fit their unique needs and strategic goals.

As you consider the findings, it’s important to align them with your specific business requirements and future growth plans. 

This resource serves as a foundational element to inform and support your ERP selection process, helping to ensure a choice that is both strategic and tailored to your organizational objectives.

Additionally, Cumula 3 is always ready to help your team maximize the benefits of a unified CRM and ERP environment through expert guidance and support.


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The Role of Celigo in Integration and Expansion


Many companies choose to keep both NetSuite and Salesforce because each platform excels in different areas. 

NetSuite is great for managing financial operations and resources, making it a top choice for businesses that need robust backend management. 

Salesforce, on the other hand, shines in customer relationship management, making it essential for managing sales, marketing, and customer service.

Here are the specific use of each platform:

  1. NetSuite for Comprehensive Financial Oversight: Businesses in industries like manufacturing and distribution benefit immensely from NetSuite's integrated financial tools, which help manage everything from supply chain logistics to complex billing and inventory management.
  2. Salesforce for Customer Engagement: Companies in the retail and service sectors leverage Salesforce to track customer interactions, manage leads, and personalize marketing campaigns, which are crucial for customer retention and satisfaction.

These platforms perform best in their specific areas, but businesses often face challenges when they need these systems to work together. 

This is where Celigo comes in as a key solution for integration.

It connects Salesforce and NetSuite, letting businesses use both platforms effectively without losing functionality. 

Here’s how Celigo helps:

  1. Data Synchronization: Celigo keeps customer information and financial details up-to-date across both platforms. This is crucial for accurate financial forecasting and customer service.
  2. Unified Operations: By linking Salesforce and NetSuite, Celigo gives businesses a complete view of customer interactions alongside financial data, which is essential for strategic planning and decision-making.
  3. Increased Efficiency: Celigo automates the exchange of information between Salesforce and NetSuite, reducing manual data entry and speeding up processes. This helps businesses save time and reduce errors.

How C3 Group Helps:

C3 Group specializes in setting up Celigo integrations, making sure both systems work well together to improve your business operations. 

We will guide you through the entire process, from start to finish, ensuring that the integration meets your specific needs.

With Celigo and C3 Group’s assistance, companies can effectively manage both customer relationships and financial operations, leading to better efficiency and competitiveness in the market.



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Which Businesses Benefit Most from NetSuite and Salesforce?


Different industries and business sizes have unique needs. 

Here, we'll discuss which CRM system, NetSuite or Salesforce, is favored by various sectors and why:

A. Suitability for Different Industries


Often the choice for manufacturing and distribution sectors, NetSuite provides a whole suite of ERP functionalities combined with CRM capabilities. This integration suits industries that require a seamless flow between production and customer management.

Retail and e-commerce are other sectors where NetSuite’s ability to handle everything from inventory to customer interactions in one place is highly valued.


Salesforce's flexibility and customization allow these sectors to leverage cloud-based CRM for deeper customer insights and engagement. Nonprofits and educational institutions benefit from Salesforce's scalable features and extensive third-party app integrations.

B. Size of Business

Startups and Small Businesses:

Salesforce: With its scalable model, Salesforce is a choice among startups and small businesses that anticipate growth. The platform's ability to scale up to accommodate increased demands without a significant shift in operational handling makes it a future-proof choice.

NetSuite: While generally more robust and therefore a bigger initial investment, NetSuite can be a strategic choice for startups that need strong ERP from the beginning, particularly if they deal with physical goods.

Mid-sized Businesses:

NetSuite: Perfect for mid-sized manufacturing and distribution businesses that benefit from the integrated ERP-CRM model. This integration helps streamline their operations and reduce the overhead associated with managing separate systems.

Salesforce: Continues to be effective for mid-sized businesses, particularly in service-based industries or those that engage heavily in B2C activities, thanks to its extensive CRM features and customization options.

Large Enterprises:

NetSuite: Large enterprises operating across multiple countries or having complex supply chains find NetSuite's comprehensive features tailored to large-scale operations advantageous. Its ability to handle multiple currencies and tax systems, combined with thriving ERP capabilities, makes it suitable for global enterprises.

Salesforce: Ideal for large corporations that prioritize customer engagement and personalization at scale. Its ecosystem supports integration, handling large volumes of data and interactions without compromising performance.

It is important to note that NetSuite’s predictable pricing model offers a fixed annual cost, not based on consumption. 

This predictability helps businesses budget more accurately and manage expenses without worrying about fluctuating costs based on usage.

These distinctions are critical for businesses evaluating ERP solutions. 

Companies seeking a stable, innovative platform that simplifies operations and financial planning might find NetSuite’s approach more aligned with their needs, providing a strong foundation for growth and scalability.

To summarize, both NetSuite and Salesforce offer distinct advantages tailored to specific industries and business sizes.

Understanding this information will guide businesses in choosing the right platform to align with their unique operational needs and growth aspirations.


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Conclusion – NetSuite vs Salesforce


Choosing between NetSuite and Salesforce depends heavily on your business needs, growth expectations, and specific industry requirements.

Both platforms offer significant advantages, but the right choice will align with your long-term business strategies and operational needs. 

By carefully considering these factors, you can make a well-informed decision that aligns with your long-term business strategies and operational requirements. 

Engage with C3 to explore how each platform can be tailored to fit your business, participate in demos, and consult user reviews to make an informed decision tailored to your business.

Remember, the right choice is the one that best fits your unique business context, supporting your goals and facilitating your desired outcomes.

Reach out today to schedule a free business assessment and maximize growth with the help of NetSuite and Cumula 3.

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