Our Independent Evaluation of NetSuite

An Introduction to NetSuite

It could be said that NetSuite set the original standard for a multi-tenant cloud ERP when it was founded in 1998. It was one of the first Enterprise Resource Planning vendors to develop exclusively in the cloud, and it continues as an industry leader to this day.

According to Gartner Group:

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 or divisions of large 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.

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.

 

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Why Organizations Ultimately Choose NetSuite

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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.

1. 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 don’t 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 POS Applications
  • Marketing and Email Promotion Products
  • Analytics and Reporting Tools
  • HR Functionality

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.  And they continue to augment an impressive array of solutions by adding features to existing software.

5. Middle-Ground Pricing

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. ERP Advisors Group has a long track record of experience in NetSuite consulting, and we can offer assistance with everything from the selection of applications through the entirety of the implementation project.

 

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How to Find the Right NetSuite Partner for Your Project

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A NetSuite partner is a consulting firm that can assist you with implementing your NetSuite instance. Some implementation partners also sell applications they have developed to extend NetSuite’s functionality.

Some Different Types of NetSuite Partners

To help you determine which of these companies may be right for your organization’s needs, let’s 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

When you have a large, complex deal where you want more influence over the software vendor on the implementation, it may be best to buy your software and implementation services directly from NetSuite.

Alliance Partners

Sometimes NetSuite will bring in an Alliance Partner to provide the professional services for the software configuration. The Alliance Partner does not sell the software itself, which must be purchased directly from NetSuite. Alliance Partners tend to be experts in a specific industry, which can be useful on certain implementations.

Solutions Providers

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.

Large Accounting Firms

Some large accounting firms also offer NetSuite sales and implementation services. They can walk you through the entire process of business improvement. They can also help you with the integration and implementation of the product. Both Alliance Partners and Solutions Providers can also be large accounting firms.

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.

Determining the Right Partner for You: Which Questions to Ask

Deciding which type of NetSuite partner is best for you is something that is done on a case-by-case basis. While we provide some key questions to ask yourself about your organization and your project, there are no cut-and-paste answers. Enlisting an independent ERP advisor like ERP Advisors Group can help you make the right choice if you are feeling stuck.

How Big is My Project?

You may want to work with NetSuite directly if you need specialized resources across multiple aspects of your project.

You’ll find that NetSuite has many people available who have specialties in many fields. They have technical experts in a number of industries, as well as international resources who speak the local languages and understand NetSuite better than anyone else.

Do I Need Industry-Specific Support?

If you want to work with a smaller firm, or one that has a specialty in your particular industry, then you may want to choose an Alliance Partner or a Solutions Provider. These types of companies are usually entrepreneurs that are more client-focused and invested in ensuring you are satisfied with their services.

How Many People Do I Want to Coordinate With?

If you prefer to speak to one person throughout your selection and implementation, you may want to choose a smaller NetSuite Solutions Provider that can sell the software and offer the implementation services as well. This can be helpful if you want the people that sold you the software to be there for your implementation. They will have an intimate understanding of your project from beginning to end.

What End Result Do I Need?

If your project needs additional software integrations or specialized tools on top of the standard functionality from NetSuite, you may want to choose to work with an Independent Software Vendor. They often assist with more complicated integrations where a requirement needs to be built into the software for a particular organization.

No matter what type of NetSuite software you want and what kind of implementation or integration your project will require, ERP Advisors Group can offer the assistance you need.

 

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Project Management for Your NetSuite Implementation

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Clients are often surprised to learn how much the implementation partner doesn’t do — only to find themselves saddled with a massive data migration project, for example.

At ERP Advisors Group, we act as a trusted advisor between clients, vendors, and implementation partners, to ensure software projects are completed as smoothly as possible. And our Technical Project Managers handle tasks the implementation partner doesn’t cover, often requiring considerable time, effort, or technical know-how.

What We Do

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 validate if NetSuite is right for your company.

Once we have validated NetSuite is the right application for your needs, we will help you determine the right implementation resources from one of these three options: NetSuite Professional Services, Alliance Partner or Solution Provider.

Here at ERP Advisors Group, we have experienced project managers who have run many NetSuite implementations to a successful go-live. We also have experience with solving functional and technical problems, such as issues with banking or EDI integrations.

We have an expert team dedicated to addressing data migration challenges in order to ensure ERP implementation success.

Important Roles to Know

We offer client-side implementation services for NetSuite projects through the following roles:

Project 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.

Functional 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.

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 with 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.

Change Management Specialist

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’s time to choose a NetSuite product, be sure you get the right NetSuite consulting firm. ERP Advisors Group has the experience to help you successfully go live.

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