Wednesday, June 21, 2017

What’s next from NetSuite?

ERP, NetSuite

Written by Cassius Kellogg Cassius Kellogg

It’s been two months since SuiteWorld and we’re still thinking about all the exciting things we heard and saw! Below, I’ve summarized some of the biggest news coming out of NetSuite + Oracle and what we’re looking forward to seeing from the world’s leading Cloud ERP platform.

 

Global Business Unit – And why it was the most important announcement at SuiteWorld 2017

Las Vegas, for the first time, was the host of the 2017 NetSuite SuiteWorld conference. From the first session, and throughout the remainder of the week, executive leadership made it clear that NetSuite is a Global Business Unit of Oracle. Why was this such a critical point to convey to the thousands of attendees at the conference? Why was it mentioned in nearly every keynote and breakout session? As many know, on November 7, 2016 NetSuite was acquired by Oracle, which of course led to questions about where NetSuite would go in the future.

Those questions were on the minds of everyone at the conference. Investors were curious; would Oracle take the next step in the emerging cloud technologies space, and potentially become the industry leader? Customers were curious; would they eventually be forced off the ERP they love and spent so much time and money putting in place? Partners were curious; would their careers need to shift towards consulting and developing solutions for another software? Even NetSuite employees were curious; how would their daily routines change?

NetSuite wanted to remove doubt and instill confidence and they didn’t waste time doing it. Jim McGeever, Executive Vice President of Oracle + NetSuite Global Business Unit, entered the stage on the opening keynote with an elephant on the screen behind him. He jokingly said, “If there is one place that I thought we could get an actual, live elephant in the room, it is Vegas. Turns out, no.” He went on to explain what exactly is meant by a Global Business Unit stating, “Unlike the majority of Oracle’s acquisitions, NetSuite will operate as its own business, keeping its own product, developers, support team, salespeople, marketers and professional services partners.” What does this mean for the stakeholders mentioned above? Well the investors likely will see results from the new technologies acquired from NetSuite. Customers won’t lose their beloved system, and will likely gain new features and enhancements in future releases. Partners do not need to shift away from NetSuite and in fact may want to focus more on NetSuite services. Employees will need to make small changes now that they technically do work for Oracle, however the methodologies appear to remain intact, and business continues as usual.

If Oracle’s intentions were to consolidate NetSuite into Oracle licensed product(s) rather than establishing NetSuite as a Global Business Unit, the rest of the conference may have been a waste of time. Especially if the Vegas tables and slots weren’t very kind to you. Everyone likely would repeatedly ask themselves, will this feature actually exist, will this enhancement be released, can I anticipate leveraging this new functionality for my business?  The answer to those questions, keeping the ubiquitous Safe Harbor Statement in mind, is likely yes. At least that is NetSuite’s, and more importantly Oracle’s, true intention. With that being said, here are the new features announced at SuiteWorld 2017 that should make you excited, and that you can genuinely anticipate in the coming releases.

Global Expansion

NetSuite will gain tremendous global exposure with the resources they have now that they are part of Oracle. NetSuite’s Global Business Unit plans to more than double their current number of data centers worldwide. This will allow more customers the opportunity to use NetSuite, increase speeds within the NetSuite environment, get more dependable uptime and larger storage capacity, etc. NetSuite also plans to double its number of operating countries, expanding to 23 countries across the globe. This expansion includes increasing the number of field offices, development centers, and their partner networks to ensure that customers have the human resources to answer questions, continue product development, and enhance the overall customer experience. The expansion will include local taxation jurisdictions, accounting principles, and other regional considerations.

SuitePeople

SuitePeople is now available to all customers. NetSuite describes SuitePeople as “The World’s Most Unified and Flexible HR System Ever Built.” The HR offering was a large aspect that was missing from the core NetSuite omnichannel experience. Some of the features that are included in SuitePeople include HR analytics, HR compliance, scheduling, time off requests, kudos to increase employee morale, etc.  With SuitePeople, NetSuite becomes competitive in new arenas that previously were dominated by Workday, SAP, ADP and other HCM applications. NetSuite likely will not be able to sell SuitePeople as a standalone HCM offering against some of the competitors just mentioned, but leveraging a full ERP Suite that now includes the HCM offering will be very appealing to the SMB marketplace.

SuiteFlow for Sublists

As a NetSuite consultant, I love getting deep into the product and developing solutions. NetSuite’s SuiteFlow tool allows users with basic understandings of process flows to automate procedures in NetSuite without having to know any scripting. If you know how to use a mouse to point and click, and you know how to logically diagram a business flow, you can write SuiteFlow. I think SuiteFlow is actually my favorite tool within the NetSuite platform because it truly makes the system so flexible.

The biggest complaint that I hear from customers though is that you cannot utilize SuiteFlow at the sublist level. What does that specifically mean? To provide and example, if you want to sell an item for a specific price based on multiple factors, you would not be able to achieve this using SuiteFlow because the pricing is located within the item sublist. Any record where there is a one to many (1:M) relationship, the “many” aspect is considered a sublist. In the example above, you have 1 sales order, but the potential to have many items within that sales order. Previously, any custom logic/automation to be performed at the sublist level would need to be written in JavaScript. JavaScript is very technical, difficult to write and most likely requires a developer to install. Not to mention that it is expensive to hire the resources to implement this type of automation. However, the average Joe will soon no longer need the developer services for the simpler sublist automation. NetSuite has not announced a specific date of the release of SuiteFlow for Sublists, but we are hopeful that it will be released by the end of the year.

Honorable Mentions

Of course, there was a full week of new exciting features announced at the 2017 SuiteWorld conference that could not all be listed in detail in this blog post, but below are a handful of features that may be of interest. Please give us a call to discuss any of these or other NetSuite questions you may have.

  • Multiple BOM (Bill of Materials) per item record
  • Container Management
  • Single Sales Order fulfilled from multiple subsidiary warehouses
  • Multi-Subsidiary Customer records
  • Global Trading Configurator
  • Multiple currencies within a single journal entry
  • SuiteScript 2.0
  • SuiteCommerce Standard
  • Application Performance Monitoring
  • Automated Intercompany Revenues and Expenses

 

Reminder — everything falls under Oracle’s Safe Harbor Statement; therefore all information provided to SuiteWorld participants was a general product direction. It was intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

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