Published on 5 July 2011
All-in-one is a much abused term. There are several products that claim to do several things but do very little. This week we will look at a software that promises and delivers several things at the same time. We will look at NetSuite's interface, functionality, and see how it can be of use to you.
JACK OF ALL TRADES?
According to Robert Israch, senior director of corporate marketing at NetSuite, customers gain huge operational efficiencies in the cloud. "Essentially, you can focus on running your business rather than your software," he says.
The company's mission is to help high-growth and mid-sized business run better by providing one complete cloud-based application to run their entire organization. The vision translated into an integrated web-based business software suite. This means that it includes functionality for several parts of your business including financials, inventory management and sales. Translated into software terms, this means that Netsuite has modules for business accounting, ERP, CRM and ecommerce. Their newest foray is in demand inventory planning. The idea is to enable businesses to use sales forecasts and build inventory plans augmenting the plans with special predictions and inputs from multiple divisions of the business from marketing to sales.
SO, WHAT DO I GET FOR MY MONEY?
Experience, for one. The company has been around since 1998 and claims to have a track record of running one of the most stable, secure cloud business systems available for thousands of customers.
In addition, they say they are the clear leader in the space with more experience and customer success than any other vendor. They have the claims to back it up: according to Gartner, a research firm, they are the fastest growing financial management software for the past three years across the US, UK and Australia.
Versatility is another add-on. The software serves multiple industries including software, media and publishing, wholesale distribution, ecommerce, and services. This translates into multiple modules, each serving a different purpose. A review is, perhaps, too short to detail each module's functionality. However, the best part about the software is that it is flexible and customizable. This means you can integrate with third-party APIs such as salesforce.com as well as customize your interface as well as modules based on your business processes. In addition, the software uses role-based functionality to assign user permissions.
Israch recommends that the best way to work with NetSuite is to make sure that it fits your business requirements and stage of growth. "You will get more value from the system if your implementation process is led by a strong dedicated project manager and they have support from the company's leadership team," he says.
Installation and deployment varies by project and company. "But, you can be up and running within 3-6 months," says Israch. "Some customers implement it more quickly and others take longer but thats really up to the customer and their requirements."
THE BASICS: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
It looks pretty good. The interface is pretty simple and minus clutter. A global navigation menu helps users navigate through multiple menu options. The navigation tool bar is at the top of the screen. The rest of the screen has a pull down menu, shortcuts to daily information and one quick way to switch between roles. Dashboarding, in NetSuite terms, helps display and analyze data within minutes.
SUPPORTING YOUR SYSTEM:
NetSuite provides 60 days of free support including data, maintenance, direct support and data backup. In addition, Israch says customers routinely have access to a website where they can send over product enhancements and rank other requests. He says they constantly use this information to improve NetSuite.
IS IT FOR YOU?
Definitely. If you care for experience and performance, if you value the benefits of an integrated suite versus a set of best of breed applications, then this solution is definitely for you. You can also read more user reviews for NetSuite on GetApp.com