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SAP Business ByDesign vs SAP Business One – What is the difference?

Technology has introduced better and more efficient ways of doing business. We can send files from anywhere to anywhere and data collection that once took hours can now be done in seconds.

Manual processes such as book keeping and traditional spreadsheets are no longer the best way to do things and many are now looking to digital solutions to automate their processes. Many believe that technology like ERP software is more robust when deployed in the cloud. But how do you choose from all the different offerings on the market today?

Growing companies looking to streamline their business processes turn to SAP because it is a name they can trust. But with ever increasing choice in the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) market, it can be confusing.

We are often asked, “What is the difference between SAP’s two mid-market offerings?” – in effect – SAP Business ByDesign vs SAP Business One.

In this article we review both choices, sap b1 and Business ByDesign – both popular with businesses looking to upgrade for success.

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SAP Business ByDesign Overview

Business ByDesign is a cloud first package – ERP software in a box designed for growing small and medium sized enterprises who want their information in real time. The suite supports financials, human resources, sales, procurement, customer service, supply chain management, and more plus Microsoft Office Integration. You pay on a user per month basis and only pay for what you use. Really useful features include;

  • Run subsidiaries and overseas branches via one system using one interface.
  • Access data in the cloud, not on premise so it is always available in real time
  • Scale up and add users as you grow
  • Get real time business analytics via the powerful SAP HANA platform.

SAP Business ByDesign Typical Customers

Customers range from manufacturers creating products of all kinds eg discrete and process manufacturing to professional service firms looking to automate their business processes in real time and save money by becoming more efficient. Other sectors include life sciences, not for profit, financial services and fintech. Charged on a user per month basis.

Case studies include Baldinger Bakery  and Living Proof 

User numbers: 5 to 500 users on average although many companies have scaled up to 9,000 users without issue.

SAP Business ByDesign Features

  • Streamlines business operation from end to end in real time g. transactions, ordering, logistics.
  • Facilitates interactions between departments and company branches
  • Access your databases from anywhere at any time – including mobile – via the cloud
  • Customise your package to include the features that you need.
  • Real time interactions means inventory can be checked and orders made as soon as you need them
  • Swift implementation – only takes a few weeks to get up and running

 SAP Business ByDesign Alternatives

Competitors include NetSuite and Sage 300 Online.

SAP Business One Overview

SAP Business One is a single integrated solution designed as erp software for smaller companies. It is basically an on-premise system although there is now a version offered in the cloud. As with Business ByDesign it incorporates Financials, Sales, Service, Inventory, Purchasing, CRM, Reporting and Microsoft Office Integration. The core system is designed to work with a number of third party Modules and Enhancements that offer additional functionality and sit within the core system. The system offers;

  • A stable and affordable solution for businesses looking for entry level ERP Software.
  • A step up from solutions like QuickBooks
  • A solution which is on premise
  • Like Business ByDesign, Business One benefits from real time business analytics delivered by SAP Hana.

Business One Typical Customers

SAP Business One suits companies in Distribution, Manufacturing, Basic Retail, eCommerce and Services.

User numbers 1-30

Case studies include CraigCor and Skechers 

SAP Business One Features

  • Streamlines business processes from end to end
  • Deployed on-site and runs on Windows operating systems
  • Allows you to add custom functionality.

SAP Business One alternatives

Sage, Epicor, Microsoft Dynamics (NAV. GP), NetSuite

SAP ByD vs SAP Business One calculator banner

SAP Business ByDesign vs SAP Business One – Further thoughts

Our expert advisors say;

On Premise vs Cloud – B1 is an on-premise application that is available in the cloud but not a true
SaaS application. Some features don’t work in B1 Cloud such as Microsoft Outlook Integration

Scalable Growth – B1 has a lower sweet spot for user numbers and tends to struggle more with high dependency user volume. Typically, ByD can scale further which suits the larger SMB’s and mid-market companies.

Integration – B1 has integration options (SDK, Middleware,) but you need expertise in these areas whereas Business ByDesign has 255+ out of the box web services.

Intercompany – B1 doesn’t have this as standard so an add-on is required (provided by SAP). ByD is built to accommodate intercompany trading and makes this process easy

Shared Services Organisations in order to switch between entities on B1 you would need to log out or have multiple sessions. Any businesses with shared service departments may find this difficult. ByD is one system with an Organisation Structure to mirror the businesses.

Limited Business Processes – B1’s core is end to end which is good for those businesses with limited requirements however at least 1 or 2 add-ons are required to bolster the functionality. ByD have 36 separate business processes with deep functionality.

From the horse’s mouth

The latest word from SAP tends to suggest that both solutions are being well supported by their creators and that SAP Business One is being positioned for small business while SAP Business ByDesign is being aimed at the mid size.

As to what constitutes a small and mid size business, that can be debated so this distinction might seem a little semantic, but let’s take a look at what SAP say…

This is what they are saying on their cloud ERP website.

Upgrade to intelligent ERP in the cloud

SAP Business One – Cloud ERP for small to lower midsize businesses

For small to lower midsize businesses looking to move beyond spreadsheets, SAP Business One helps you efficiently manage every aspect of your growing business.

SAP Business ByDesign – Cloud ERP for midsize businesses

Built for midsize organisations, SAP Business ByDesign is a market-leading ERP solution from the cloud that can help you connect every function across your business.

Solutions for all

Whether you have two or 200,000 employees, SAP has a comprehensive portfolio of leading cloud-based ERP solutions and tools to fit your needs. We also provide dedicated support teams that are at your disposal 24/7.

Industry leading technology

SAP has over 40 years of enterprise resource planning experience across industries and business sizes. We use the latest technologies to build future-proof Cloud ERP solutions that will power the next generation of business.


SAP is dedicated to creating easy-to-use, adaptable Cloud ERP applications. Whether you want to customise processes, use the public or private cloud, or pay only for what you need, flexibility is at the core of our offerings.


SAP Cloud Platform is built on one of the most advanced infrastructures in the world. We have teams of experts dedicated to protecting your data, warding off hackers, and staying ahead of threats to keep your business safe.

More good advice

Which ever system you choose, sap b1 or Business ByDesign, one way to ensure a positive outcome is by doing a thorough test of your erp system before going live. Test your cloud erp system with a few employees first to make sure they’re well-trained to handle the system. This will mitigate any problems that may crop up after the IT infrastructure change, and at the same time reveal which personnel will be freed up to handle other tasks. Resources may then be reallocated or internal teams shuffled to maximize the company’s potential.

Successfully moving to cloud ERP means engaging a reputable, experienced ERP cloud provider that has your business’ best interests at heart. Once the ERP is up and running in the cloud, learn how to optimize the technology’s features. Who knows, you just might revolutionize the way your business works and fast-track its success.

SAP is dedicated to providing cloud ERP to all businesses of whatever size and the cloud family of solutions is the way they are going about it. Their road map for the future seems to secure both solutions inside this family which leaves businesses with a great deal of choice before they even begin to look outside SAP!

InCloud Solutions is a Cloud First SAP supplier of business software and has many years of experience in software implementation. Our team of experienced consultants are here to advise you on how best to streamline your growing enterprise – please do get in touch if you would like a chat about your options. [email protected]

Key Differences Between Business One and Business ByDesign

SAP Business One SAP Business ByDesign
User numbers 1 – 30 5 – 500 (in practice, many companies scale up to 9,000+ users)
Suitable for Small businesses Mid-sized businesses
Implementation On-premise, also available in the cloud Purely cloud-based; SaaS
Integration Has integration options (SDK,Middleware,) but you need expertise in these areas Has 255+ out-of-the-box web services
Intercompany Doesn’t have this as standard so an add-on is required (provided by SAP) Built to accommodate intercompany trading and makes this process easy
Typical customers Distribution, Manufacturing, Basic Retail, eCommerce and Services Manufacturing, Professional Services, Life Sciences, Not-for-Profit, Financial Services and Fintech
SAP’s description For small to lower midsize businesses looking to move beyond spreadsheets Built for midsize organisations, SAP Business ByDesign is a market-leading ERP solution from the cloud that can help you connect every function across your business.

Video: SAP Business ByDesign vs SAP Business One