What are the most critical functional differences between S4 HANA & M3?
In general, if you are looking for a strong HRIS, Quality Management, then SAP has the upper hand. In areas such as Finance, Manufacturing, Inventory etc. both packages offer similar functionality.
SAP excels in Product Technology as well.
I can only base this on selections done a couple of years ago and I may be off by a version or two.
SAP tends to have more functionality and lends itself to modification and customization for large companies. M3 is really good technology and where it works, offers a price usually 1/4 that of SAP - EU consulting teams are really good with M3 given it's Swedish heritage and EU acceptance. It's really hard to find US teams who are at the same implementation volume as their EU cousins.
The rational choice between the two generally comes down to 'we can customize a process that saves time for 1,400 worldwide sales reps' with SAP. Notice I said 'rational'. The actual choice is more like 'SAP is better known and represents less percieved risk to deploy' also - the career building aspects - an IT team with SAP experience has better future career choices - and I suspect that drives SAP selection as well.
M3 is a lower cost option - and with the right implementation and support team, performs very well -
However, they are both Tier One solutions and will require sufficient budgets, support staff internally, and a good partner.
I'd suggest a fully formed selection process and if M3 suits your requirements, it's a great choice. SAP projects are what they are, long (M3 won't be shorter by a large factor) and upgrades and audits are historically pricey.
It really comes down to your cost justification and if you have the internal team to achieve the project goals (which happen well after go-live). You'll be much better off with a clearly defined cost/revenue model prior to selecting either and a numerical goal to achieve with either software package.
(And Alex's comments regarding Netsuite are valid, we do see more overall clients selecting Netsuite than any other platform - however - Netsuite cannot do process manufacturing - especially in FDA validated environs where M3 and SAP play, so in those cases, SAP and M3 are solid choices - though I might include DynamicsAX in the mix - but that was not the original question.)
first, you need to distinguish different deployment options: S/4HANA on-permise is different from S/4HANA public or manage cloud. Cloud solutions are much more restricted.
Secondly, you need to take the release planning into consideration: currently S/4HANA includes only Simple Finance but time flies and soon more and more "Simple" components become available. All this is described in the roadmap and needs to be mapped to the customer's project timeline.
Third, taking "Simple Finance" as an example, the installation is not a classic add-on but a so called "Exchange Innovation" which changes and/or removed SAP code and database tables! You also get Fiori apps... So functionaly these are not the same.
Disclaimer: I am a NetSuite employee.
From my own experience as a former SAP employee I would be very through in investigating the marketing/messaging , indirect access challenges (non compliance audits) and maturity of SAP S/4 Hana.
Here is an example of messaging and maturity of S/4 HANA that is not publicly touted:
The latest public figures SAP shared in October 2016 put the number of S/4HANA customers who have licensed the in-memory-based business suite at more than 4,100, 350 of whom are live on S/4HANA. Typically, SAP talks about its ERP customer base being around 37,000, so there’s a long way to go before everyone is live on S/4HANA. We’ve heard both SAP and ASUG members describe S/4HANA as being “a journey.”
On INFOR I would express concerns at the AWS environment where they are hosted (not true cloud) and that that INFOR ION middleware adds complexity as it must reconcile data between various models and databases. NetSuite uses a single database and there is no reconciliation process so when data is changes all modules access the current data
In a totally biased plug I would like to mention that at Netsuite (where I work) our motto is 100 days to the cloud, our 99% client retention rate and a large number of awards for excellence in the ERP space.
I would welcome the chance to offer a third perspective if their is an appetite for further information or if not I wish you the very best in your future ERP investment.
I suggest the following like to be used for the requested comparison:
SAP S/4 HANA is the best Manufacturing ERP, it has in memory processing. Uses huge amount of RAM to process reporting specifically BI. Whereas M3 Lawson can be said as one the best suited products for Process Manufacturing from Infor.
I have no direct answer to your question from my recent experience with S4 HANA are
- In memory processing
- best practice process with proven from large company
- many capable implementer available in the market (and to support as well)
- industry expertise with IFRS roadmap develop to support future
Not very much heard about M3, guess Infor buy too many ERP solution to thier house and roadmap / R&D might be unclear.
Most of supply chain functions should be almost the same. Finance and Accounting are areas that you can compare implementers skills. Bring your critical business requirement, be open mind and listen to what they offer.
I’m sorry, but I can’t actually comment on Infor Lawson M3 as I have no experience with that application. If there are specific questions pertaining to S/4HANA functionality, I would be happy to offer perspective.
1. With respect, an analysis needs to start with the customer’s requirements (industry, revenue, headcount, geography, business goals, budget, timeline, risk assessment etc) before any meaningful analysis can be undertaken.
2. Why wouldn’t the Customer start with what’s already in the public domain (see below) AND
3. Why wouldn’t the Customer ask for each vendor to provide their own analysis of their product and the target competitor product, and then go from there with data sets 1. 2. and 3. respectively?