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NetSuite champions product ‘Suiteness’, continues international expansion

Ease of onboarding and the challenges of international regulatory changes are key to the company’s strategy for the future

A wide-angle shot of NetSuite EVP Gary Wiessinger, giving a keynote speech with a large screen above displaying "FULL SUITE AHEAD" in retro arcade letters

The second full day of Oracle NetSuite’s annual SuiteWorld conference focused heavily on the solutions the company sees as unique to its brand, and continued the emphasis on automation established at the conference thus far.

If the first keynote riffed off the conference’s slogan to embody the company mission — ‘Full Suite Ahead’, referring to customer adoption of the full suite capabilities — the second relied heavily on an in-company term, ‘Suiteness’. In short, this was defined as NetSuite’s USP, the quality of life features that customers can only enjoy as a result of its cross-solution integration.

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The term was touched upon throughout the various announcements, including that customers will soon be able to enjoy integration between their NetSuite accounts and other business cornerstones such as Microsoft Office and Google Sheets. the regulatory focus of its global expansion.

In one demonstration of what the company sees as its unique offering, Gary Wiessinger, SVP product management, NetSuite, showed NetSuite’s solution for the task of reviewing 70 separate invoices. Using machine learning (ML) rules and the review history that the system has learned from previous user actions, NetSuite filters the list to only include those that require manual review. In-line, through context options, the user is able to assign a review to a relevant employee.

The system also leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to suggest an email template for a customer that it has identified as being slow to pay its invoice, shifting the tone of the payment request in the proposed email to speed the process up. The same automated system was later shown detecting delayed order shipments, and producing a mass-email to all affected customers.

“So, Suiteness intelligence and automation enables you to be more proactive and better serve your customers,” noted Wiessinger.

IT Pro spoke to James Chisham, VP international product at Oracle NetSuite, for a deeper definition ‘Suiteness’.

“We do lots of things, we're a broad ERP suite,” said Chisham.

“But what we want our customers to understand is the value of it being in one place. So how do those parts work in conjunction with each other to help you run your business? I think that's the thing.”

Beyond expanding end-to-end services for its existing customers, NetSuite has outlined a commitment to growing services for new customers, and improving the initial setup experience through pre-built automation presets and by promoting no code development.

“We're leveraging intelligence automation and Suiteness to make the suite more proactive, finding problems before you do,” stated Wiessinger.

“We're also extending our concept of end-to-end ease even further, to include ease of activation. Setting up the product shouldn't be a big monolithic effort you need to do entirely before you start using the product. We’re creating the concept of progressive setup.”

“So you’ll only need to do minimal setup before starting to use the product, and then you can gradually iterate the setup as you use it. And inline sets of assistance will allow you to configure the product right in context, as you work.”

In part to increase its customer base, and also in an attempt to better serve its current customer, NetSuite is looking to expand its supported regions. Human resources (HR) solution SuitePeople is now available in the UK and Ireland, and is coming soon to Japan, and regionalisation of tax services and contextual insights will soon be available in Brazil.

The latter demonstrates the lengths that the company is going to on its mission to automate the back office: though users may never see the individual calculations, Wiessinger claimed that over 20,000 of them can be involved in processes such as tabulating the correct regional tax codes.

“I think one of the biggest challenges for customers that will affect us as well, is compliance regulatory changes. That’s been happening at a rate that I've not seen for many years, and they’re the sort of things that, obviously, keep customers awake at night,” asserted Chisham.

“If we take Brazil as an example, it's one of the most complex jurisdictions on the planet and it changes very quickly. So the capability that we've announced today is going to take a lot of pain away for our customers.”

UK businesses, eyeing up potential IR35 changes and the government’s proposed Digital Reform Bill, could lose out on key NetSuite services such as proper tax automation if the company failed to quickly adapt to legislative changes.

Elham Ghassemzadeh, VP product management SuiteCloud Platform, spoke more on the technical aspects of NetSuite’s expansion. In particular, she asserted that the data centre and cloud infrastructure available to the company as a subsidiary of Oracle is instrumental to its end-to-end suite services.

“We have access to the wealth of Oracle technologies here at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and OCI is at the heart of it all. Not only does OCI give us the essential functionality we need to run our service, it also enables us to take intelligence to the next level.

“We can now mine very difficult to see and powerful insights, and optimise the NetSuite application in new ways. And we are bringing all of that intelligence to you. We are entering new geographies faster than ever before with OCI. In fact, for the very first time, we are running in Japan.

“Later this year, we plan to go to the Netherlands and Wales, realigning our European and UK presence as Brexit redefines and changes data residency requirements. Next year, we plan to be in Canada. In fact, in the last 12 months, we've added 11 new data centres, in five new cities all around the world and the majority of our customers run on OCI now.”

Ghassemzadeh also praised SuiteScript, NetSuite’s Javascript platform, and its role in powering APIs that customers increasingly rely on to improve their efficiency.

“Data is everything. Our integration APIs manage a massive amount of data movements across our ecosystem and our latest APIs are used by thousands of customers. In fact, we are seeing a 133% usage increase of the rest APIs across our customer base year over year.”

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