Non-Profit Organizations Switch From Microsoft Great Plains To Netsuite For End-To-End Business Automation At A Fraction Of The Cost
NetSuite Enables Nonprofit Organizations to Focus on Core Social Goals While Lowering TCO and Improving the Bottom Line
SAN MATEO, Calif. — NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), a leading vendor of on-demand, integrated business management software suites for mid-market enterprises and divisions of large companies, today announced that some of the latest non-profit organizations switched to NetSuite from Microsoft Great Plains. In the current economic climate, nonprofits are being asked to do more with less and have adopted NetSuite’s single integrated system, which delivers enterprise resource planning (ERP) / accounting, customer relationship management (CRM), and Ecommerce capabilities to address multiple problems.
The customers announced today, which include Canadian Food for the Hungry, Imagine!, and Christian Care Ministry, all implemented NetSuite, which enables them to customize and address their unique social goals along with their financial and CRM operations. They also cited the advanced functionality, ease of use, lower cost of ownership, massive savings in IT costs, and avoidance of additional hires as compelling reasons for moving to NetSuite from Great Plains’ antiquated architecture and cost model. For more detailed information, please visit www.netsuite.com/ GPswitch.
On-premise software applications such as Microsoft Great Plains were once very popular within organizations but are rapidly falling out of favor due to a number of deficiencies. Chief among them is that nonprofit organizations experience data silos of financial, fundraising and constituent data. They seek to create a dynamic business environment where key operational data is visible, reportable and available for real time decision making. Financial systems like Great Plains do not allow donor and constituent data to move easily across departments, resulting in a lack of real-time visibility across key metrics needed to optimize operations.
In addition, nonprofit organizations that deploy best-of-breed applications like Microsoft Great Plains are forced to manage their business on separate on-premise software packages — one for accounting, one for inventory and warehousing, one for sales force management and one for Ecommerce — an approach that requires costly integration to get them to work together. The cost of implementation, integration and on-going application maintenance in such environments can be many times the cost of the software itself — a particular challenge in the current economic environment. In addition, tying together disparate systems typically does not provide the integrated real-time visibility across metrics that is essential to managing growth.
In contrast to Microsoft Great Plains, NetSuite is designed to help solve the challenge of bringing together these different systems because it is a single system for CRM, accounting/ERP, inventory, and Ecommerce operations. As a result, nonprofit organizations benefit from 360-degree, real-time visibility into their business processes. In addition, NetSuite is delivered as Software as a Service (SaaS), so not only is the cost of integrating disparate systems eliminated, but so is the on-going cost of maintaining on-premise applications.
All nonprofits have unique business requirements and NetSuite allows them to meet their unique requirements in addition to more common challenges in accounting, CRM, Ecommerce, and data visibility. Thanks to NetSuite’s SaaS delivery, non-profit organizations can securely access their key operational data anytime and anywhere staff has Internet access. For nonprofits with multiple offices and staff in the field, huge cost savings can be recognized by not having to install and maintain client applications at multiple locations.
The most recent nonprofit organizations that have defected to NetSuite from Microsoft Great Plains include the following:
Canadian Food for the Hungry International (CFHI) (www.cfhi.ca) is a registered Christian charitable organization dedicated to sustainable development and emergency response worldwide. Since the organization began using NetSuite in 2005, CFHI uses NetSuite to power the Ecommerce and ERP aspects of its child sponsorship program and experienced an increase in online donations of almost 300 percent. Traditionally isolated in silos, child sponsor and donor data was combined into a single database by taking advantage of NetSuite’s Ecommerce functionality. Financial reports that used to take one week to compile now take one minute. As a result, CFHI’s sister organization in the U.S. is implementing NetSuite as well.
“While using Goldmine, Microsoft Great Plains, a proprietary inventory management system, and another system to run our Web site, we had a patchwork of programs that didn’t work well with each other,” said Mark Petzold, IT Manager, Canadian Food for the Hungry International. “We were focusing too much time getting these disparate systems to talk to each other rather than focusing on our core work. NetSuite was one of the few products that covered all of our needs—from accounting and inventory management to CRM and Ecommerce. And it was all integrated and Web-based, which is important since we have multiple locations, including a main office and a warehouse where medical supplies are refurbished and shipped.”
Imagine! (www.imaginecolorado.org), provides support services in Colorado’s Boulder and Broomfield counties to people with developmental delays and cognitive disabilities.
After a successful three-year term using NetSuite for case management, Imagine! extended NetSuite to manage its internal processes and quickly replaced Great Plains in the process. Switching to NetSuite for ERP and CRM has helped Imagine! successfully deploy self-managed services plans to families and provide services faster and more effectively. It has also enabled Imagine! to easily manage more than 200 providers of counseling, education, and other support services. Finally, NetSuite has saved the organization from having to hire an additional three full-time employees through a more streamlined and automated business process and from spending thousands of dollars in annual postage costs by enabling email communications that can be logged and tracked as a part of their business operations rather than relying exclusively on paper.
“Most companies will implement NetSuite for the back office first and then expand, but we did it backwards because our need for case management was so immediate,” said Kevin Harding, Director of IT, Imagine! “We saw that nothing else would develop into the product we wanted, and that NetSuite would give us the top-down view we needed. Our biggest advantage now is in reporting, because every manager and supervisor is able to use NetSuite to check on their budgets and employees using real-time data. When we ran on Great Plains, we could only get a report out of the finance office once a month, and not everybody had access to the system because the per-user costs were so high. NetSuite has not only made things easier, but more accessible as well for all 600 people who use Imagine! services.”
Christian Care Ministry, Inc. (CCM) (www.tccm.org), based in Melbourne, Fla., is a not-for-profit ministry that helps members care for each other by sharing their medical bills on a voluntary basis. The organization also offers wellness resources and a program in which participants share in the cost of replacing lost income due to a disabling event. CCM has been using NetSuite since 2005 to streamline operations for its 145 employees.
“I had been a Great Plains user for about two years, but then about three years ago I switched to NetSuite,” said Jerry Lawrence, Controller, Christian Care Ministry. “At first I was resistant to the change, but once on the NetSuite system I was amazed at the ease of use. I especially like the flexibility in the reporting module. NetSuite is much easier to use and navigate and generate complex financial statements. I love the ease of file conversion, which I feel is head and shoulders above Great Plains.”
For information about NetSuite Inc., please visit www.netsuite.com.
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