NetSuite Buyer’s Guide: Everything You Need To Know From Licensing to Implementation Success

Navigating the world of ERP solutions can be complex, and choosing the right one for your business is crucial. If you’re considering Oracle NetSuite ERP as you look to modernize your business solutions, trying to understand how to get started can be challenging and leave you with many questions.

Our comprehensive NetSuite Buyer’s Guide is designed to simplify this process, providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision, from NetSuite licensing breakdown to implementation success tips.

We address common questions such as:

  • What Oracle NetSuite ERP product is right for me?
  • How do I figure out the Oracle NetSuite licensing model?
  • Who can I buy the NetSuite licenses from?
  • How much will NetSuite cost?
  • Who will implement the NetSuite ERP solution?
  • My Oracle NetSuite solution has already been implemented; how do I get support for my new Oracle NetSuite application?

Get a glimpse into the guide below where we cover the different options and factors that affect the cost of NetSuite licenses, such as Edition, Service Tier, Modules, Users, eCommerce, Implementation, Customization, Integration, Training and Support.

Downloadable Guide Available

Download the full version of the guide for tips on choosing the right plan, negotiating with Oracle NetSuite and avoiding common pitfalls.


The full process of business system modernization can be complex, and Oracle NetSuite pricing is focused on strategy on scalability. As your business grows and requires more advanced features and capabilities, you may need to upgrade your NetSuite subscription. Understanding the different pricing tiers and what each includes can help you decide which plan best suits your needs.

Additionally, hidden NetSuite costs such as integrations to legacy systems, data volumes, customization fees or additional systems can impact the overall NetSuite implementation cost for your business. ERP software transformations directly impact how your people will do their jobs. It is important to consider change management and understand that people will significantly impact the cost of your NetSuite implementation; get them involved early!

It’s essential to clearly understand these potential extra expenses before committing to a licensing agreement with NetSuite. By carefully evaluating your specific requirements and budget constraints, you can ensure you get the fastest speed to value out of your NetSuite investment while avoiding any unexpected costs down the road.

NetSuite Service Tiers

There is another layer to consider when looking at the Edition that will add some ambiguity. Oracle NetSuite Service Tiers are not the same as Editions and are based on managing business productivity. Each Service Tier has maximum users, file storage, and monthly transaction lines, as depicted in the table below.

Service Tier Users File Storage (GB) Monthly Transaction Lines
Standard 100 100 200,000
Premium 1,000 1,000 2,000,000
Enterprise 2,000 2,000 10,000,000
Ultimate 4,000 4,000 50,000,000

SuiteCloud Plus is a valuable offering byNetSuite designed to enhance the platform’s performance and flexibility. SuiteCloud Plus licenses increase an account’s throughput by allowing more concurrency for various operations and enabling customers to operate more web service integrations, scheduled batch processes and file imports in parallel. In addition, SuiteCloud Plus can provide a significant scalability boost. By increasing governance limits, SuiteCloud Plus licenses allow greater concurrency for web services and scheduled processes and enhance scalability by permitting more queues and threads for various tasks.

SuiteCloud Plus licenses arenot includedwith any service tier; they must be purchased separately. The number of licenses needed depends on:

  • Integration concurrency during peak periods.
  • Batch processing requirements.
  • File import needs.

Optimal license allocation ensures efficient handling of transactions and processes. The Withum NetSuite Team uses a quick assessment to determine what Service Tier is right for you. Contact our NetSuite Team to find the answers.

Which NetSuite Edition Do I Need?

The appropriate NetSuite Edition depends on factors such as the size of your organization, the number of legal entities and geographical reach. Each Edition caters to different business needs:

NetSuite Limited Edition: Suitable for smaller businesses with basic needs, offering rapid deployment of financial and operational processes.

NetSuite Mid-Market Edition: Targets mid-market companies with up to 30 users and offers multiple deployment approaches, including SuiteSuccess Standard for preconfigured processes or a more traditional implementation methodology.

NetSuite Enterprise Edition: Best for large enterprises with over 1,000 employees, offering comprehensive capabilities and advanced functionality.

What’s Included in Each Oracle NetSuite Edition?

All the Editions have core features for Oracle NetSuite’s CRM and ERP functions. The industry-specific Editions include the core Oracle NetSuite functionalities plus add-on modules that are relevant to each industry, as outlined in the table below:

Oracle NetSuite Base Functionality

NetSuite ERP includes the general ledger, accounts receivable, order entry, accounts payable, expense management, purchasing, inventory with advanced shipping and integrated UPS or FedEx.

Customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) with opportunity, quote, and order management, marketing automation with campaigns, customer service and support management with product tools like contacts, calendars and events.

General real-time dashboards with key performance indicators, report snapshots, language Support (greater than 20 languages), simple customer and vendor portals and access to on-demand training.

NetSuite Named User Price

Oracle NetSuite uses a named user approach for licensing: one license per user. One of the key factors to consider is the number of user licenses you will require when you are up and running with the system. There are a few basic types of users, and the modules impact the pricing the users need to use.

The following users are available:

  • A full-user license gives access to all areas of the application. It allows users to perform transactions and access sensitive information based on their assigned permissions and role-based security.
  • A self-service license is used for team members who may just be entering time or expense reports and have limited tasks in the system.
  • Industry/Module-specific users (e.g. Manufacturing, Professional Services, InStore) have user types that complete a specific function.
  • A full user license is required for read-only access to NetSuite's reports and dashboards. Automated reports can be scheduled in various formats without a full user license if static reports are sufficient.
  • Sharing licenses to reduce costs is NOT recommended. It limits your ability to audit system changes and can reduce productivity when leveraging the CRM functions of the system.
  • Value-Added Reseller (VAR)/Partner and NetSuite Professional Services can access your system for six months at no cost to assist with implementations. Once you go over that period, the VAR/Partner on your account can access your system with a reduced named user license.

NOTE: You can add new users anytime throughout your license agreement; however, scaling back is not allowed until renewal. It is important to be thoughtful early to avoid overbuying and add users as needed once you have deployed the system.

For companies seeking additional functionality or features to add to the core ERP or CRM, numerous add-on modules extend the Oracle NetSuite platform to your specific business needs. NetSuite allows licensing to be consumed ‘à la carte’ or in some instances, bundled in the industry-specific Editions. Let’s explore a few of the available add-on modules!

Oracle NetSuite’s add-on modules can be added anytime during your agreement period but only removed during the renewal. The ability to add and remove modules as your business needs change needs to be factored into your planning. Withum often leverages the add-ons in a subsequent phase so the users can learn the core system and ultimately right size the initial project. Using the Minimum Viable Product approach will save consulting fees as your users develop more skills and increase their sophistication with the application.

Oracle NetSuite’s marketplace for third-party add-ons is SuiteApp. Hundreds of solutions are available to Oracle NetSuite customers. Oracle NetSuite has a stringent verification process for all applications, and at each major release, these third-party add-ons must renew their Built for NetSuite (BFN) badge. The BFN badge may be revoked at any time, but it keeps these third-party add-ons compliant.

Third-party add-ons fall into three basic categories, Native, Integrated or Hybrid.

  • Native resides on the SuiteCloud platform and can be deployed to customers' accounts. The entire solution is reviewed during the BFN validation process.
  • Integrated is when most of the solution resides externally in the Oracle NetSuite platform and is integrated via a custom connector or middleware. During the BFN validation process, only the integration components of the solution.
  • Hybrid is a mix of platform resident components and external components that are integrated. The scope of the BFN validation process is for the native and integration components only.

It is important to gain clarity into the third-party add-ons and their BFN type to understand the associated costs with your implementation. For example, some third-party add-ons may need SuiteAnalytics to integrate with Oracle NetSuite. When pulling your third-party add-ons budget together, be sure to ask how the application connects with NetSuite and if additional tools or modules are needed for the third-party application to function properly.

The exact cost of a NetSuite implementation can vary depending on each company’s particular needs and the implementation methodology undertaken. We explain a few implementation types and the level of investment required to prepare the system for the anticipated go-live date.

There are many ways to implement Oracle NetSuite in the market, such as Oracle NetSuite’s ready-made solution called SuiteSuccess, Agile, Hybrid Agile and classic Waterfall methods. Numerous marketing terms to describe the implementer’s offering exist, like quick launch, quick start and financials, to name a few. It is important to understand the methodology, your team’s expectations and the anticipated scope, timeline and budget to meet your requirements. One final comment before we get into various pricing strategies: focus on the minimum viable product initially. Too many times, we see customers’ eyes light up when they see all the features of Oracle NetSuite’s application and they tend to want more crammed into the first implementation. Instead, save the “nice to haves” for an optimization phase post go-live.

A Pre-Configured approach changes the way you complete the project, and you will hear terms like “alignment call” during these types of implementations. The implementer is looking to align your requirements to the application and identify any areas of concern or gaps. If too many gaps exist, the SuiteSuccess methodology is likely not right for your organization.

For a typical pre-configured implementation with no customizations, customers can expect to invest $35,000 to $150,000, depending on the size, complexity and number of gaps/integrations that need to be addressed should the pre-configured solution not fully align with their organization.

Agile Implementation and Hybrid Agile Implementations move the risk of delays, budget overruns and negative returns on investment early in the project. Establishing small, cross-functional teams with dedicated product owners from the business and end users fosters collaboration, flexibility and incremental progress. Agile’s short cycles (two to three-week sprints) combined with scrum-based ceremonies (daily stand-ups, sprint reviews or retrospectives) drive continuous improvement, removal or blocking of challenges and provide transparency. Scrum is an agile framework commonly seen in the deployment of commercially available ERP implementation projects (Oracle NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Business Central, etc.).

Typical Agile or Hybrid Agile projects start with established user stories and the creation of the product backlog, prioritization and establishing “Sprint 0” within three to four weeks. Fees for the initial phase are approximately $25,000 to $40,000 for most ERP deployments with customizations or integrations having a direct impact on fees. Subsequent Sprint Cycles and Iterative Releases are generally based on a ‘weekly burn’ of resources time. Each project is different, but expect to spend twelve to sixteen weeks and invest $40,000 to $100,000 plus (depending on your project size) to complete your project.

Traditional Waterfall Implementation Methodology is also seen in the delivery of Oracle NetSuite. The model follows asequential and linearprocess and divides the project into distinct phases, with each phase building upon the completion of the previous one. Here are the typical phases in a waterfall approach:

  • Requirements: Fully specify the project requirements.
  • Design: Create a detailed design based on the requirements.
  • Implementation: Develop and build the solution.
  • Testing: Verify that the solution meets the specified requirements.
  • Deployment: Deploy the finished system, leading to operational “go-live”.
  • Hypercare: Post “go-live” support to ensure companies get the most of its investment early on.

Waterfall for ERP Deployment is an approach that has predictability and structure. It works well for big, clear projects with fixed requirements and companies that can wait for the conventional “go-live” date to get value. Progress can be slow in the middle of the program or phase, and changes can be expensive as requirements and teams have to adjust within the strict framework.

Waterfall projects take longer upfront because they start with an agreed-upon design. Typically, it takes six to eight weeks to complete the discovery, analysis and design work product, and the cost to complete the design can range between $40,000 and $60,000.

Customizations can take many forms in an ERP project. Generally, it involves tailoring the ERP system to meet specific business needs. Influencing factors include industry requirements, legacy processes and technologies, and specific business needs with custom features or workflows. Many companies over-consume scope on their first project with illusions of “we must have it all” and generally end up with increased risk, cost overruns and delayed time to value for the project. A word of caution on customizations is to consider the MVP mentioned earlier in the project as an initial scope. As your organization gains experience with the application post-MVP “go-live,” consider adding on functionality in an iterative and controlled fashion. Customizations can be costly and typically are priced in a time and materials fashion with bill rates between $125 and $300 per hour depending on the resource type, level of experience and location (on shore, near shore, or offshore).

It is normal for a project to have integrations within it. Oracle NetSuite’s SuiteTalk API offers a strong and versatile way to connect to its platform, and there are many different integration methods in the system. These are SOAP, REST, Data Integration (import/export), or custom-built integrations. There are also various middleware tools (Celigo, In8Sync, MuleSoft, Boomi, and more) available in the market that can help with these integrations.

In 2021, Oracle NetSuite acquired FarApp, a leading developer of Oracle NetSuite pre-configured connectors for eCommerce, logistics, retail and hospitality. Preconfigured connectors are available from Oracle NetSuite, Celigo, In8Sync and many other marketplace providers. Preconfigured connectors can be a quick alternative to larger custom integrations. It is important to understand your integration use cases and determine if the preconfigured connector may work for you. Withum often starts with a preconfigured connector and then may move to increased feature sets in a later engagement after “go-live”. Preconfigured connectors offer an economical approach and derisk the project as they are typically deployed in many accounts and the bugs have been worked out. Connectors range from $750 to $5,000 (or more), depending on the complexity. In general, the Oracle NetSuite connectors are the most economical, and if they meet your use case, are a good place to start.

Training your people is a critical long-term cost savings strategy for your company. Many options exist in the marketplace, including Oracle NetSuite’s Learning Cloud Support (LCS) passes. LCS is a continuing education platform for users to access online video training. The portal is designed to provide core Oracle NetSuite training along with ongoing supplemental training to keep up to date with new features that are released each year.

Withum uses the LCS model as a baseline in our implementations. In addition, we provide our “Train the Trainer” and customized one-on-one or group training. During the implementation, we will evaluate your team, apply change management principles and determine the best combination of training required to get your team ready to “go live” and improve in the future.

Account Management or Post-Go-Live Support

After you “go live,” numerous options exist to optimize/maximize your ROI in your Oracle NetSuite solution. Oracle NetSuite provides an annual Advanced Customer Support(ACS) program that is application-specific, in contrast to third-party support alternatives that typically provide Oracle NetSuite Solutions (including integrations, third-party applications and customizations).

Oracle NetSuite’s ACS program is a yearly agreement and provides application support that could serve larger, dispersed organizations to consider. A range of support types are available within the Partner community and need to match your deployed solution (NetSuite, 3rd party applications, integrations, customizations, workflows, etc.). For instance, Withum’s ERP Services provides functional and technical support for our customers’ Oracle NetSuite-Centric solutions. We offer different levels of adaptable support tiers and build in strategy time with our solution architects and management consulting teams.

Pricing of these solutions can vary across the ecosystem, but typically, there are “pay as you go”/ time and materials, monthly, quarterly, yearly subscriptions with pre-purchased support hour banks. Withum offers flexible, scalable (up and down) packages to match your specific utilization needs and timing. It is important that each company should look at the year ahead and determine the right account management solution. Evaluating the right support contracts post go-live, will be influenced by the final solution deployed, including level of complexity, customizations and integrations, and a big factor is your people’s affinity to technology and change. Don’t underestimate the “people” influence on support needs. If you squeeze the implementation time and don’t allow your team to adopt the new system, you will likely need extra support to ensure your people can complete their day-to-day jobs using the system.

When you are ready, negotiating with NetSuite can be a daunting experience. A NetSuite Solution Provider can suggest ways to navigate your licensing needs and NetSuite costs and avoid common pitfalls. Recently, NetSuite changed its sales organization and moved direct and indirect sales channels through a common sales leadership. This pivot is intended to reduce channel-to-channel sales conflict and provide transparency into the process with NetSuite pricing via either channel for software is the same.

That said, there are some key areas to consider when negotiating an Oracle NetSuite contract. Download the full guide to learn more.

This NetSuite overview guide is intended to provide clarity and an initial understanding of the NetSuite ERP pricing structure and considerations.

Remember to carefully evaluate your specific requirements and budget constraints to ensure you get the most value out of your NetSuite ERP investment. By partnering with a knowledgeable and experienced NetSuite provider, you can navigate the complexity of Oracle NetSuite pricing and make the best decisions for your business.

Ready to Dive Deeper?

Download the full NetSuite Buyer’s Guide to explore each section in detail and get all the information you need to make an informed decision.

Authors: Wally Merkas, MBA, Lead, Cloud Solutions | [email protected] and Melissa Holton, MBA | [email protected]

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