NetSuite, business management software-as-a service (SaaS) provider today announced free data migration for customers who switch to NetSuite from financial software competitor Sage.

The SaaS vendor said its offer is in response to growing demand from Sage’s install base, who it said are struggling with fragmented, non-integrated product offerings including Line 50, Line 100, Line 200, Line 500, MAS90/200/500, ACCPAC, Peachtree, ACT! and SalesLogix.

NetSuite claims to date, hundreds of former Sage customers have moved to NetSuite and gained higher productivity at a much lower cost because of its integrated customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP) and e-commerce functionality.

Craig Sullivan, NetSuite vice president of international products told CIO UK the offer is more tactical than strategic. “It’s almost because Sage is so well known, we can’t do business without running into one of their products along the way. And our Professional Services have figured out the best ways to migrate data from its systems to ours quickly and easily.”

With more than 30 different product lines, Sullivan is also quick to point out that Sage has yet to solve the problem of cross-departmental information flow and full integration. While Sage continues to focus on point, client/server software based on pre-internet architectures with a different application for each department, NetSuite’s ‘one system’ architecture eliminates redundant data entry and the cost associated with managing multiple systems in-house, including ongoing costs of maintaining and upgrading the application.

Many, like retailer Totally Fitness are claiming the lack of a clear upgrade path is forcing them to look at alternatives to support business growth. Mike Triall, Totally Fitness IT manager told CIO UK: “While the Sage Line 50 we were using is an entirely adequate software package, it was entry level and the company quickly outgrew it.”

Of the alternatives like SAP and Microsoft Dynamics (formerly Great Plains), he added: “Some could do CRM well, others do ERP better or you’d have to buy additional modules for deeper functionality around order management, for instance. The hosting was a big thing for us because we had a number of our own hardware and network management-related problems. We want to grow to some 20 stores in the next two years and now we don’t need the internal resource to manage that.”

“There’s also no shortcuts to building out a rich data set and broad functionality with the reliability, scalability and availability needed by businesses,” said Sullivan. “We know because we’ve done it.”

NetSuite is offering the free migration services up to a limit of £5,000 in total migration costs to all existing Sage Line 50, Line 100, Line 200, Line 500, ACCPAC, MAS 90, MAS 200, MAS 500 and SalesLogix customers who purchase NetSuite before 31 August 2007.

More information can be found on the NetSuite website.