An Introduction to NetSuite
It could be said that NetSuite set the original standard for a multi-tenant cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) when it was founded in 1998. It was one of the first ERP vendors to develop exclusively in the cloud, and it continues as an industry leader to this day.
NetSuite ERP is a comprehensive ERP suite that includes accounting, purchasing, planning and budgeting, order management, production management, warehouse and fulfillment management, HCM, commerce and supply chain management capabilities. It delivers these capabilities on the NetSuite SuiteCloud Platform, which enables users and third parties to extend, customize and integrate applications. NetSuite supports over 20,000 customers across 212 countries and territories, in over 27 languages.
NetSuite is best suited for midsize enterprises in need of robust ERP functionality on an extensible cloud-based platform. While it serves a wide range of industries, it performs especially well in high-tech, retail, nonprofit, and wholesale distribution sectors.
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What is Included in NetSuite
NetSuite can assist companies with a multitude of business needs, including:
- Operational ERP core functionality for financial management, order management, material requirements planning, accounting, procure to pay, and distribution/logistics
- Global business management and multi-company consolidation with NetSuite OneWorld
- Professional Services Automation with a web-based PSA module
- Assistance to service organizations with OpenAir
- E-commerce, marketing, and POS assistance with an Omnichannel Commerce application
- Tracking the entire customer lifecycle with NetSuite CRM and the Email Marketing platform
- Built-in, real-time analysis and reporting with Business Intelligence and Analytics tools
- Human Capital Management with SuitePeople
Why Organizations Ultimately Choose NetSuite
NetSuite reports that they have more than 22,000 customers across 200 countries using their software.
So, why do so many organizations choose NetSuite over other applications? Here are a few of the reasons why we think they ultimately select NetSuite as their ERP:
Features and Functionality
NetSuite offers a collection of modules and applications that allow organizations to choose the features they need and omit the features they do not need. While some ERPs are designed with a specific industry in mind, NetSuite’s versatility makes it well-suited for a variety of industries and organizations.
NetSuite features include:
- CRM Tools
- Cloud ERP Solutions
- Global Financial Management Software
- Automation for Professional Service Companies
- E-Commerce and Point-of-Sale (POS) Applications
- Marketing and Email Promotion Products
- Analytics and Reporting Tools
- HR Functionality
Expert Implementation Partners
Another reason many companies choose NetSuite is that there are numerous implementation partners available to assist with these types of projects. As these partners tend to have experience in a variety of industries, it is best to seek an implementation partner who not only knows NetSuite, but also has expertise in your specific field.
NetSuite implementation partners offer implementation assistance, technical development, and customization of the software to fit your needs, then, there are consultants who specialize in large-scale NetSuite implementations. Such firms can take you through the entire process, including running the implementation project, change management, and project management.
Configuration and Customization
NetSuite allows for customization and configuration of nearly every aspect of their software platform. Depending on which NetSuite modules you implement, you can add customizations such as:
- Building in new functions and processes.
- Creating tools with point-and-click options.
- Integrating the software to work with third-party programs or legacy systems.
- Creating custom records, forms, and transactions.
- Generating personalized visual dashboards
Product Innovation and Enhancement
NetSuite is committed to expansion and increasing research and development. Oracle has said that 20 years from now (and beyond), they want NetSuite to remain as relevant as it is now. We have observed that they continually work to improve their products and their user experience. They also add modules and expand the applications to work in an ever-widening sphere of departments within an organization, from sales and marketing to HR and accounting.
As Oracle continues to funnel development funding into NetSuite, it generates customer confidence in the company and its products. In the past couple of years alone, NetSuite has made dozens of major enhancements to their applications and software. They continue to augment an impressive array of solutions by adding features to existing software.
The last item on our list of reasons why organizations ultimately choose NetSuite may very well be the most important. NetSuite offers the feature functionality we have outlined in this article at a cost that works for mid-sized businesses as well as large corporations.
Companies that don’t have massive budgets are able to get a software product with plenty of configuration and the ability to customize it for their own needs. NetSuite is priced so that it is not too expensive for most companies, while not being priced so low that it loses functionality.
If you are considering purchasing NetSuite but you are unsure if it offers what your organization needs, we can help. Etter + Ramli Asia has a long track record of experience in NetSuite consulting and managed services, and can offer assistance with everything from the selection of applications through the entirety of the post-implementation project.
How to Find the Right NetSuite Partner for Your Project
A NetSuite partner is a consulting firm that can assist you with implementing your NetSuite instance. The NetSuite Partner Program incentivizes participants by way of commissions. Some implementation partners also sell applications they have developed to extend NetSuite’s functionality.
A cautionary tale to consider:
Clients are often surprised to learn how much the implementation partner does not do — only to find themselves saddled with a massive data migration project or the need to self evaluate opportunities for improvement and efficiency gains, or in analogy, it is tantamount to saying the ”client is tasked with designing and flying a space shuttle”.
This is up to the fullest extent possible, always trying to prove the solution with a prototype, even if paid for, prior to committing to any purchase of licenses. Doing this will 1) bedrock your decision on the implementation partner chosen and 2) reaffirm the basis for the license purchase and if it is a fit into your organization.
Some Different Types of NetSuite Partners
To help you determine which of these companies may be right for your organization’s needs, let us examine the different types of NetSuite partners and what they do. Be aware that while there can be some overlap between these types — they are not always entirely distinct from one another.Working Directly with NetSuite
- All software licenses are contracted directly with NetSuite regardless whether it is a ‘Direct’ or a ‘Channel’ customer. They do this because NetSuite is ultimately responsible for the service delivery of the software service, not the channel partner and, thus, it has to assume direct responsibility.
- When you have a complex deal where you want more influence over the software vendor on the implementation, Oracle NetSuite would propose that dealing directly is better.
- Oracle NetSuite delivery team is focused on implementing their ‘SuiteSuccess’ methodology which emphasizes normal, simple, and fast deployments.”
Sometimes NetSuite will bring in an Alliance Partner to provide the professional services for the software configuration. The Alliance Partner is not authorized to sell the software, and they often team up with the direct sales team to win business. Alliance Partners, often referred to as “implementation shops,” are usually organized toward delivering the implementations which NetSuite Direct cannot and do not want to deliver. Often experts in a specific industry, the Alliance Partners focus on delivering the scope and keeping the projects profitable.
These are companies that are authorized to sell NetSuite licenses and have proven their expertise with everything from accounting and ERP to CRM and e-commerce solutions. They offer complete NetSuite services, which include the implementation of the software and technical support once it is installed. Solution Providers are incentivized to sell licenses, and to maintain relationships with NetSuite as a priority.
Independent Software Vendors
Finally, there are also Independent Software Vendors in the SuiteCloud Developer Network, or SDN partners. These types of companies make tools and products that sit on top of the NetSuite technology stack. You might use this type of partner if you need specific functionality built into NetSuite to comply with a requirement or regulation or to provide more advanced functionality in a specific module. As product providers, flexibility and interoperability within a clients environment can be tricky to evaluate and manage, and repercussion could result in a significantly slower and cumbersome system to manage.
Managed Service Providers
Sitting outside the partner community is the Independent Managed Service Provider, with no vested interest in earning commissions the Managed service Provider is focused on perpetually achieving customer success. While engagement methods differ, the essence of a managed service provider is to provide client side deployment of fixed resources or maintenance deliverables.
What We Do
As a Managed Service Provider, Etter+Ramli’s methodology is focused on regular attainment of objectives, distilled into process group priorities. These priorities are shared between process owners and analysts, a partnership between the business and the experts. We deploy as internal resources, championed with identifying opportunity for improvement, advocating for client success and maximizing system utilization. Whether using dedicated or shared resources, clients get the benefit of certified consultants that are not consumed by project deployments which can demand very high levels of attention for the sake of all other clients.
We have done a lot of business with NetSuite and other cloud-based solutions, and we work across industries so we can utilize our vast experience to help you maximize your NetSuite investment. To be upfront and clear, we do not sell software or take commissions. Being truly independent ensures we find the right solutions for clients within any bias to objectivity.
Important Roles to Know
We offer client-side implementation services for NetSuite projects through the following roles:
1. Business Manager
This is a person from our firm who sets up the meeting cadence, project plans, budget trackers, and calendars. They monitor every possible aspect of the project, which is vital to ensuring your project moves forward and that nothing is missed that could cause issues in the future.
2. Functional Process Analyst
The Functional Analyst knows a lot about NetSuite and how it should function, and they learn your business intimately to ensure your requirements are met. They build business process models to show progress through the system, and they can even assist with testing the application, as well as training and documentation.
3. Technical Analyst
This is someone who will help with NetSuite data migration tasks. This can include extracting data out of legacy systems, performing data hygiene, and correctly formatting data for NetSuite. This type of consultant also loads the data and tests the loads.
Technical analysts can also do NetSuite integrations with banks or payroll providers, or other third-party business applications such as an expense tracking system. These analysts can assist in integrations with a vendor or an e-commerce system.
Because there are so many different technologies you can choose from and so many configurations that are possible, you need a specialist who has worked through the NetSuite platform and knows the integration toolset and the right tools to use for a particular integration.
Value of Excellent Change Management Within Success Parameters
When it comes to NetSuite implementations, sometimes change management can be done too quickly, focusing on the technical configuration of the application, and forgetting about key users. This type of specialist can discover if key users have communicated what they need from the project and whether those needs are being built into the app. Then they can confirm if the users have validated what has been programmed into the app and that it is understood. They will also ensure that everyone is trained properly on the new system. Finally, at go-live they will make certain all users are ready to use the new program.
When it is time to choose a NetSuite product, be sure you get the right NetSuite consulting firm. Etter + Ramli Asia has the experience to help you successfully go live and create a roadmap that will fully utilize your investment with NetSuite.
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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Phone: +65 9231 8351