Rethinking NetSuite as the Slave in the Integration Ecosystem

BACKGROUND


The NetSuite platform offers the opportunity to integrate other applications, and e-commerce platforms are particularly popular. The most common request from businesses is to bridge an e-commerce system, such as Magento, Shopify, Sitecore and widely-used marketplaces like Lazada, Shopee, and Amazon, to NetSuite so that items, customers, orders, and other information can be seamlessly connected.

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    This use case has suggested a different approach opposing the ‘best practice’ in Netsuite integration for e-commerce.

    One of the region’s leading property and lifestyle companies headquartered in Singapore with vast experience in NetSuite & E-commerce utilized NetSuite as the dependent or, in integration, the slave, rather than the master core system.

    This use case has suggested a different approach opposing the ‘best practice’ in Netsuite integration for e-commerce.

    One of the region’s leading property and lifestyle companies headquartered in Singapore with vast experience in NetSuite & E-commerce utilized NetSuite as the dependent or, in integration, the slave, rather than the master core system.

    Consequently, leveraging Etter+Ramli Asia (ERA)’s knowledge of the NetSuite business system and NetSuite’s technology, the project team designed a software pattern that allowed for extensible use of the e-commerce platforms against any NetSuite business object.

    CHALLENGES

    COST

    While every customer’s pricing is different, comparatively speaking, NetSuite is a high-end product with a price range to match. As each consumer technically has to get admission to all modules, it may get costly. Endpoint solutions can offer a cost-efficient licensing price and frequently a richer feature set, however of course, at the price of this is the risk of integration breakdown.

    VENDOR DEPENDENCY

    Having all your systems run with one vendor, NetSuite, for example, makes it vulnerable to negotiation risk and dependent on your account managers empathy. A business application like NetSuite requires more transparency and predictability in pricing.  As NetSuite is perceived as the firm’s digital “land and buildings”, and within brick and mortar property long-term leases are standard because “landlords” and businesses need transparency and predictability.  While in NetSuite, two-year agreements are the norm, each contract expiry comes with reviewed pricing.  Neither of these circumstances help with predictability or transparency. 

    ARCHITECTURE

    Being the master core system entails a distinctive work process that is different from other process groups. As a result, this puts up flexibility to the way people work at the endpoint without exposing the whole process to the ERP. The usage of a third party (3PL) help desk, e-commerce design, promotion, and payment processing are all more versatile and responsive in Magenta. This can also scale should the business decide to adopt an alternate platform like Shopify or BigCommerce without changing NetSuite’s underlying architecture to be redesigned.

    SKILLS

    While NetSuite is a prevalent application used globally, its modules can be a challenge to get expertise on. SuiteCommerce for example has a handful of enabled design partners globally, and limited candidate base, while Magento has a globally significant trained user base allowing for swifter onboarding of staff and deeper knowledge base of features within the user base.

    Additionally, NetSuite has retained the fundamental elements critical for them while allowing users to adopt best-of-breed endpoints they prefer.

    SOLUTION

    When using NetSuite, any integration between systems brings communications as a failure point, and NetSuite does not have this because all applications run directly to the database.  A mere solution to overcome this challenge is the business should have domain expertise and skills available to ensure the smooth transference of information, whether internal or external.

    Keeping financial users to a minimum and implementing alternate endpoint solutions to the business process can aid in creating value. Additionally, retaining the fundamental elements essential to the business while letting users adopt best-of-breed endpoints optimized their value utilization potentially driving higher cost of ownership.

    About Etter + Ramli
    Etter + Ramli is your Independent Netsuite Advisor providing high quality managed services to run and optimize netsuite within SMEs and large enterprises servicing across Asia, Australia, Europe and the USA. We emphasize long-term commitment and combine domain expertise with a client-first culture geared towards premier professional solutions and services from advisory, technical services to business IT outsourcing. Our pool of certified NetSuite consultants work in a pragmatic and practical way leveraging our cutting edge skills, knowledge and processes to deliver the right expertise and innovation needed today to future proof your business.

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