SAP is one of the world’s leaders in business software, and ERP is no exception. In fact, SAP offers several ERP solutions, including SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign. These two systems are both designed for SMEs, so it can be confusing for a user to choose between them confidently. This article will explore the differences and similarities of these solutions as well as help you identify which is the better choice for your business.

What is SAP Business ByDesign?

SAP Business ByDesign (or SAP ByD) is designed for mid-market, fast-growing businesses looking to expand their ERP capabilities. It allows users to connect a wide range of business processes across their organization through a single platform with world-renowned best practices. Users of ByDesign can expect to streamline processes end-to-end, boost their profit margin, increase efficiency and productivity as well as improve transparency.

SAP Business ByDesign provides modules for finances, project management, customer relationship management, procurement, localization, HR, supply chain management and industry-specific versioning.

Also Read: What is SAP Business ByDesign?

What is SAP Business One?

SAP Business One (or SAP B1) is an ERP solution designed to streamline workflows and increase your control over your organization. It promotes transparency at every step of production, sales, distribution and management. B1 powers business growth through intelligent BI, tapping into your proprietary data to offer actionable insights. This solution focuses on reducing costs, streamlining workflows and integrating a range of business processes into a single solution to optimize overall business performance.

SAP B1 offers modules for accounting, financial management, analytics, reporting, sales, customer management, purchasing, inventory management and industry-specific versioning.

SAP Business One vs. SAP Business ByDesign

While these two solutions may seem similar, they have several differences that can help you determine which would be a better option for your business. Let’s break them down:


Business One offers a lean, clean set of modules that make up the core of ERP. Users can expect to see financial management, CRM, procurement, sales management, inventory management, production management, service management, some basic project systems, dashboards, embedded analytics, excel integration, access via an internet browser and basic multicompany functionality.

If you don’t see some capabilities you think you’d like from an ERP, SAP Business ByDesign might be the better option for you. In addition to all the features mentioned above, it also offers project system management, multi-level bills of material, revenue recognition, the ability to incorporate multiple companies under a single instance, user-defined KPI reporting, a mobile app, timesheet integration, travel expense fields and a built-in workflow to help your employees stay on task.

Company Size

Business One is designed for small to mid-sized businesses and has a minimum user limit of one user. It is recommended for small- to mid-sized businesses that need a step up from a basic accounting solution. It is ideal for 5 – 100 users and doesn’t scale well for large enterprises.

SAP Business ByDesign is designed for mid-sized organizations and requires at least five users to operate. It is recommended for mid-sized businesses looking to scale and subsidiaries of enterprises. It is ideal for 20 – 700 users and can manage scaled growth to a certain point.


Business One has an implementation target budget of 10,000 – 100,000 USD. In addition to this implementation cost, users are responsible for hardware, software license, IT support, security and infrastructure. Depending on your deployment option, hardware and support requirements can obviously also assigned to a cloud solution provider.

SAP Business ByDesign estimates an implementation budget of 50,000 – 250,000 USD. In addition to this implementation cost, users are responsible for annual subscription fees and optional technical support.


Business One can be deployed on-premise or in a private intranet cloud, but it is not a true SaaS solution.

SAP Business ByDesign is cloud-based only.


Business One is not updated automatically — the user is responsible for rolling out updates on their own time and cost.

SAP Business ByDesign undergoes scheduled updates on a quarterly basis rolled out by SAP automatically to all cloud-hosted instances.


Business One is an on-premise solution, which means the client is responsible for providing security measures. Because the data does not travel back and forth via the cloud, it may be less susceptible to remote hacking, but is more vulnerable to a physical attack or espionage on your premises.

SAP Business ByDesign is an SaaS system, which puts the onus of security on the vendor. SAP is one of the world’s leaders in software, so you can be sure they have the best data security money can buy. This also means the client has no control over security measures for better or worse.


Business One specializes in manufacturing, trading, distribution, retail, eCommerce and service industries.

SAP Business ByDesign is best for organizations in distribution, project industries, manufacturing, software, IT, HR, consulting, construction, pharmaceuticals, medical, chemical and service industries.


You can integrate SAP Business One with just about anything, but it requires expertise and often additional cost to do so. You will need an add-on for intercompany functionality, and SAO B1 requires users to switch databases when accessing information of a different legal entity.

SAP Business ByDesign is considered an “out of the box” solution and offers over 200 integrations pre-built into the base system. It is a true multi-company solution with built-in intercompany capability, facilitating single-sign-on for visibility across legal entities.

To make it easier, we put together an infographic comparing the most relevant features of SAP Business byDesign vs SAP Business One:

Infographic SAP B1 vs SAP Business ByDesign

You can drop by here to read our latest blog on SAP Business One VS SAP Business ByDesign. 

The Final Word

Both SAP Business One and SAP Business ByDesign are excellent mid-market ERP solutions, but they serve slightly different needs. If you have a smaller organization, want only core ERP functions or have a limited budget, SAP Business One will meet your needs well. If you want to see multiple legal entities in one database, you need sophisticated project management functionality or prefer a true SAAS solution, SAP ByDesign is a slight step up the ladder in power and reach, but it comes with an associated increase in cost.

Do you have more questions about how to implement SAP Business One or SAP Business ByDesign?

Get in touch with us at Axxis Consulting and we’ll help you get started with the perfect solution for your needs today!

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