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Corporate ERP Applications for Small and Medium Businesses: SAP Business One and Microsoft Dynamics GP are serving a similar market for ERP, MRP, and accounting systems. We assume your organization is facing a dilemma of replacing your small business accounting application (QuickBooks, Peach Tree or similar) with something more scalable for current and future growth, or you are simply trying to recover, redeploy or upgrade the previous version of SB1 (such as 2005 or 2007 to SAP Business One 8.8) or Great Plains (GPA for DOS, Great Plains Dynamics 6.0, 7.5, 8.0, 9.0, 10.0 to the new version 11.0). Let’s try to briefly review and compare these two corporate ERP packages, following the short article genre format:

1.Technical information. Both systems are available on the Microsoft SQL Server DB platform and the Windows Server operating system. Both platforms are open for customization and integrations through software development kits (SAP Business One SDK and Dynamics GP eConnect respectively). Both are open for initial data conversion via integration tools: SAP Business One Data Transfer Workbench (usually for initial data migration, however could be implemented in automated and semi-automated ongoing integration scenarios – see our previous posts ). Dynamics GP also has a friendly integration manager module for the end user (and even the VBA developer if any modification is desired), where you can design and run (or program) integrations. For both SB1 and GP, you can embed text files (separated by commas or tabs) or connect to your source log database via an ODBC connection. Data repair: In Dynamics GP you can perform very precise data corrections through SQL update statements; however in SAP B1 this is not recommended and SB1 has Early Watch Service to report any direct intervention in the data layer

2. Comparison of main functionality. SAP Business One does not have batch posting (often also known as batch processing), which means that when you add, say Sales Invoice, it is automatically posted all the way to General Ledger. We saw feedback that batch processing functionality adds flexibility (approval cycles, hold processing) and scalability to the corporate ERP system. On the other hand, we did not hear any serious complaints about the automatic posting of SB1 and even companies with more than fifty SAP BO users are working smoothly. Both GP and SB1 should be a good choice for inventory management, light (discrete) manufacturing, or often BOM. SB1 has its own CRM module (Opportunity Management – thick client application, not web based at this time), where Great Plains should guide you on how to buy and implement Microsoft Dynamics CRM (web based). The SAP Business One Professional User or Distribution user license should probably give you more features and functionality in warehouse management, picking and packing, shipping and receiving, MRP planning, light manufacturing, and service contract management. Great Plains has comparable features, however they are not typically included with the purchase of the Business Ready Business Essential user license

3. SB1 and GP plugins and third party extensions. Both corporate ERP apps for small businesses have ISV partner channels, where you can look for add-ons. Dynamics GP, being a more mature ERP solution, offers richer business logic options, directly supported by Microsoft Business Solutions. SAP Business One is younger compared to Great Plains Dynamics. For example, SAP Business One does not have the core functionality of the US Payroll module, while Dynamics GP does. If you have unique and specific business requirements for your future corporate ERP application, they may need to be analyzed separately.

4. Internationalization. Here, SAP Business One has additional advantages as it supports Unicode (16-bit characters: Chinese, Japanese, Korean), plus it is localized in mega-countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain. . Microsoft Dynamics GP, in turn, does not support Unicode (current and likely future restriction from Microsoft Dexterity). Dynamics GP is available compared to SB1 in Arabic speaking countries (mostly localized: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, OAE). From the point of view of the internationalization of Corporate ERP, both systems compete in English-speaking countries and in Latin America. If you are a (possibly small) multinational corporation and are implementing SAP Business One in the US headquarters, then SB1 should be the natural choice for you if you are moving to countries like Brazil, China, Germany, Russia, Korea, Japan . If you have Dynamics GP in the US HQ, SB1 should help you expand internationally, especially considering the version 8.8 merger

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