Should Xero and Saasu be worried?
JCurve Solutions’ scaled-back editions of NetSuite, launched today, fill a gap in the market – a scalable ERP (enterprise resource planning) platform for small business. A new business can start with a fully featured accounting system for $49 per user per month and add more modules as the business grows without shifting from the one platform.
NetSuite has moved from selling to mid-market companies to enterprise, so once established a small business could avoid painful upgrades or migrations even if it becomes the next FaceBook.
The first is price. Xero and Saasu charge for a company file, not per seat. A business with 30 employees on Saasu will pay at most $89 a month. If all those staff were using JCurve Grow the monthly bill would be $1470.
Granted, some businesses will restrict licences to management and finance; there’s little need for the receptionist to be on the same system. Even so the licence cost will push up from several hundred dollars a month once a company gets to 20 employees.
JCurve is a much bigger threat to the desktop software players, Quicken and MYOB. The second hurdle is installation. NetSuite has a reputation as a difficult and complex platform to install. Some NetSuite customers have been unhappy with the cost and time involved in configuring the suite to their business. It remains to be seen whether JCurve Solutions has been able to simplify the installation process so that a business can get started with minimal expense.
(The trial button on the site takes you to an inquiry form which promises that someone will contact you. It’s a shame you can’t sign up and start using the trial immediately.)
Another unanswered question is whether JCurve and NetSuite have enough third-party IT consultants on hand to install JCurve if sales pick up steam. Australia has been a good market for NetSuite but occasional stories emerge of customers frustrated by poor deployment.
JCurve is a much bigger threat to the desktop software players, Quicken and MYOB. Despite their hold over Australian business, neither vendor has a comprehensive answer to ERP for the SMB market. At least, no products that compare well to NetSuite.
There will be many ambitious businesses that believe they are destined for great things and find ways to pay for the power of the JCurve editions. As JCurve Solutions CEO Chris King told BoxFreeIT earlier in the year, “We want to be seen as the most powerful small business suite on the market. Businesses using (the entry-level edition of) JCurve will be looking at the same profit and loss report as Virgin Money get in their implementation of NetSuite OneWorld.”
Businesses that dream of swapping smallness for greatness will be happy to hear that.