4 min read

SAP vs. Sage: Comparing SAP Business One to Sage X3

In business, time is money, and time is rarely something you have in abundance. The key to being efficient is an ERP solution that streamlines your workflows and creates a seamless integration between all departments.

The problem is there are many ERP packages to choose from, and it can be difficult to select the best one for your company. The comparison below will help you make an informed decision.

SAP B1 vs. Sage X3 Viability

SAP B1 and Sage X3 are excellent products and viable solutions for any business needing ERP software.

Sage is a publicly held company that has been around since 1989, making various types of accounting and business software with a customer base of more than 6M worldwide. They are ranked #3 in terms of ERP providers.

Sage purchased X3 in 2005 when it was previously known as Adonix. Sage is a reputable brand that makes and supports reliable software.

SAP is another trusted brand. Although its customer base is much smaller (310K), it is considered a market leader for ERP software and solutions.

SAP purchased TopManage from an Israeli company in the early 2000s and rebranded it as B1. SAP markets B1 to small-medium-sized companies.

Scalability Considerations

One of the most important considerations when choosing ERP software is ensuring it can grow with your company, so you won't encounter bottlenecks as things change.

SAP B1 was designed for small-medium-sized companies and works very well for specific verticals. However, if your company grows too large, in terms of data and/or users you could experience some growing pains if you don't considering adding on SAP's HANA database. SAP B1 (without HANA) is not scalable enough to handle enterprise-level processes. 

Sage X3 is robust enough to handle companies that grow year after year. It is focused on mid-market businesses with healthy growth potential. The software is agile enough to grow with you and flexible enough for any industry. It supports up to 2000 users.

Industry-Specific Challenges and Strengths

Every industry has specific needs and challenges and considering an ERP solution; you must factor in whether the software is flexible enough to face those challenges.

SAP Business One is a full-featured solution to fit various businesses and industries. It serves SMBs well but is not an ideal solution for complex manufacturing companies. 

Sage operates more like an old-school organization and designed X3 to thrive in complex manufacturing and distribution environments. It has features geared explicitly towards tracking products all the way through the supply chain. Some highlights include "Bills of Materials" and compliance features based on the FDA, ISO, and Canada Health agencies.

SAP B1 is ideal for a broader audience such as light manufacturing wholesale distribution, service industries, and retail companies. Conversely, Sage X3 is best for construction, complex manufacturing, chemical companies, and food & beverage.

Features

Although the features may be similar in both products, there are some differences in what each ERP solution offers. Both offer the usual AR/AP, inventory management, CRM, purchasing, banking, and payroll.

Some highlighted features of each package include:

SAP B1 Features

  • Accounting
  • Cash flow and bank reconciliation
  • Fixed asset management
  • Financial reporting and analysis
  • Sales & marketing
  • Customer management
  • Service management
  • Procurement
  • Master data management
  • Warehouse integration
  • Accounts payable
  • Business analysis and reporting

Sage X3 Features

  • BOM planning
  • Shop floor control
  • Quality control
  • Project management
  • Purchasing
  • Inventory management
  • Sales management
  • Customer service
  • Budgets and accounting
  • Fixed assets
  • Financial reporting
  • Multi-bill of materials

Security

In this day and age, you cannot purchase any business software without considering security. Cyberattacks are at an all-time high, and government regulations now require companies to store and protect customer, employee, and business data more efficiently.

Unfortunately, legacy ERP solutions like B1 and X3 tend to be vulnerable to attacks. Back in 2018, the Department of Homeland Security warned about a security flaw in SAP B1 that hackers were actively targeting.

In response to the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, Sage has devoted a full-time team to better securing its products. As a result, X3 has been upgraded with more advanced security features.

Deployment

Both solutions offer a cloud option and run on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) backbone. Sage X3 and SAP B1 run very well in the cloud providing accessibility from anywhere. Sage X3 does a slightly better job in terms of browser support, and you can use it with Safari, Edge, Chrome, Firefox, and others.

SAP B1 and Sage X3 also offer on-premises versions. However, B1 utilizes HANA in-memory RDBMS, which outperforms Sage X3 by a wide margin.

Reporting & Analytics

One of the nice features of ERP software is it usually includes a library of templates that you can tap into to create customized reports.

Sage offers a wide variety of templates through its Sage Business Cloud Accounting Intelligence Reporting. SAP B1 also has a plethora of options through its Fiori interface, and you can easily design custom dashboards with meaningful reports for different departments.

Regarding analytics, SAP B1 is the clear winner with lightning-fast databases, searches, and analytical tools to help you predict trends and make better business decisions.

Licensing

Sage X3 and SAP Business One offer on-premises licensing and a subscription-based model for cloud versions. Both companies price according to the number of users, and their packages start at five users.

Price

In terms of price, both ERP solutions are priced similarly. For example, you can get five user licenses from SAP Business One for roughly $20,000+ a year. However, if you take advantage of the SAP Business One Starter Package, that figure drops to $9,000/year.

A Sage X3 package for five users, including inventory, financials, and manufacturing modules, would cost $29,130 a year.

Cloud-based services are priced differently, and you typically pay a monthly fee based on the number of licenses. For example, a 5-user cloud-based package for X3 would cost $2,150/month.

Which to Choose

Determining which ERP option is best for your company is a personal choice. If you are experiencing rapid growth, you may outgrow SAP B1 too quickly. If you are in an industry that leans towards complex manufacturing, Sage X3 might make more sense. On the other hand, SAP Business One may be a better fit if you require advanced analytics /reporting and require need a robust database such as HANA to processes significant volumes of data.

Consider which option best fits your industry and has the right security, features, scalability, licensing structure, and price that aligns with your business. Both are good products with slight differences, and in the end, it comes down to what makes the most sense for your company.

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