For less than the cost of maintaining existing software, NetSuite enables companies to integrate front-office and back-office operations
SAN MATEO, CA, October 14, 2002 — today announced NetSuite, the first online business software solution to automate front and back office operations for companies with fewer than 500 employees. Designed around easy to use portal views, NetSuite adds the advanced accounting, warehousing, CRM, and Customisation functionality of stand-alone mid-market software applications at a fraction of the cost.
"NetSuite is an important offering reflecting two trends," said Mary Wardley, an analyst at International Data Corp. (IDC). "First, there are gaps between the low-end software packages and high-end enterprise applications in terms of functionality and price. NetSuite is positioned to bridge that gap. Second, the NetSuite offering reflects the important need among mid-range organisations to have certain back-office processes, such as accounting integrated with CRM functionality in a single offering."
The software infrastructure utilised by most companies with up to 500 employees does not allow business processes to run seamlessly across front and back office functions. These companies run their business on separate, expensive software packages - one for accounting, one for warehousing, one for sales force management and one for customer support. Additionally, the ongoing cost of running the software and integrating data from such multiple, incompatible systems has been high. NetSuite eliminates this cost and complexity.
NetSuite enables companies to manage all key business operations in a single, integrated system, which includes customer relationship management; customer support; accounting and payroll; warehousing and product assembly; Web store and Web presence; and employee productivity. In addition, NetSuite is delivered as an online service, so there is no hardware to procure, no large, up-front license fee, and no complex set-ups.
NetSuite has also been designed to be easy to use. It provides graphical portal views to the application called "dashboards" that are customizable depending on the user accessing the system. Additionally, users can access it anywhere and anytime, further increasing ROI.
"In a business like ours where one hundred plus orders are drop shipped every day, the need for a powerful back-office and front-office system working together is a must," said Marilyn Leslie, CFO of MiniCo, a provider of self-storage products for retail and facility operations in Phoenix, Ariz. "NetLedger has provided us that integration and more. Our salespeople have enjoyed the Internet-based access, because they can see their daily product sales in real time. Our accounting department has been able to generate the same reports we did with our previous enterprise software system, but at a fraction of the cost with minimum effort. We feel an integrated system is a must-have system for a mid-size business like ours and we're excited about the additional features of NetSuite, particularly the multiple currency feature."
"A company's employees work together and it is time that software applications easily and cost-effectively support their efforts," said Zach Nelson, president of NetLedger. "For less than what companies are paying to maintain their outdated, ineffective software systems, they can use NetSuite and quickly achieve their goal of business process integration."
NetSuite Feature Details
NetSuite User Interface And Employee Productivity
Role-based Centers and Dashboards
Because NetSuite is several applications rolled into one, it includes customizable "centres," portal views of the application tailored to meet the needs of every type of user in a company. NetSuite includes several preconfigured centres, including Support Center, Sales Center, Accounting Center, etc. The centres are navigated via graphical "dashboards" that provide summary data important to the user and easy navigation and workflow within a centre.
NetSuite's Employee Center provides self-service capabilities for all the employees of a business including expense reporting, purchase request management, and time tracking and billing. Also available from within the Employee Center are integrated calendar and task management functions. With NetSuite's audience-based publishing architecture, businesses can also publish company information to individuals, teams or to all employees that they can access from their Employee Center, ensuring that all the information they need to do their jobs is at their fingertips anytime and anywhere.
NetSuite Advanced Accounting / ERP Capability
NetSuite includes all the capability of the company's recently announced NetLedger Advanced Accounting Suite. In detail, features in the Advanced Accounting/ERP capability include:
Multi-Currency Transactions and Reporting
This capability allows businesses that sell internationally to track transactions in non-US based currencies. The powerful automated currency revaluation feature simplifies the period-end close process by generating adjusting journal entries to reflect exchange rate fluctuations.
This feature gives businesses the ability to categorize entities, items, and transactions by location so they can manage, track and report on inventory across multiple locations.
Advanced Shipping and Receiving
This set of tools breaks out the order fulfilment and receiving functions for greater control of order management and workflow. Separate users can be assigned shipping, receiving and returns functions with views on order records and reports tailored to their requirements. It includes capabilities for pick, pack and ship; receiving to multiple inventory locations; and UPS shipping integration.
The consolidation capabilities now allow financial results to be rolled up for complicated multi-level business entity hierarchies, with full drill-down to the subsidiary company transactional data.
Assembly and Package Items
This new inventory feature allows items assembled from other inventory parts to be tracked separately from their components. Once created, assembly and package items can be managed just like a single inventory item with their own quantity counts and costing calculations.
NetSuite includes the marketing, sales and customer support functionality of NetLedger's recently introduced NetCRM front-office application suite. This Web-based solution provides complete CRM functionality and provides important features not found in any other online CRM application including:
Sales Order Management
NetCRM allows businesses to actually sell and track product and service sales with its integrated order processing capabilities.
Because NetCRM integrates purchase history, campaigns can be created to target specific customer segments. In addition, NetCRM provides end-to-end marketing campaign management — from system-provided templates to e-mail campaign creation and distribution to results measurement and ROI analysis -- all in one application at no additional charge.
Customer Support Automation
NetCRM includes knowledge management technology for customer self service at no additional charge. NetCRM's NetAnswers enables customers to search an online knowledge base and find answer to their questions, without calling customer support.
Partner Relationship ManagementNetCRM includes complete partner relationship management. The NetCRM Partner Center allows selling partners to view their leads, track orders, and submit and view support cases.
NetSuite Integrated Web Presence And Web Store
Web sites can be highly customised to reflect a company's look and feel. The catalog and shopping cart functionality allow products and services to be marketed, ordered, shipped and billed automatically. Finally, NetSuite includes powerful extranet and intranet publishing capabilities that enable personalised communication with customers, partners and employees.
Catalog and Shopping Cart
With a click of a button, a business can turn its Web site into a full-featured Web Store with a product catalog generated directly from the company's item list and item images. The company can also track referrals, and accept promotional 'coupons' defined through the partner and promotion code capabilities. The checkout sequence features integrated shipping rate calculation and online credit card authorisation before the order is completed. Once the order is taken it then feeds directly into NetSuite's powerful order management workflow (including drop-shipment). Customers can return to the store and login to their Customer Center to view the status of orders, track shipments, browse the knowledge base for answers to their questions or submit case forms for person-to-person customer support.
NetSuite's Web Presence capabilities give vendors the ability to easily enter and publish their company information to users of their Website, allowing them to modify its layout and appearance in order to meet the needs of their business. Additionally, with NetSuite's unique audience-based publishing architecture, vendors can also define who can see what type of content and information. In conjunction with Customer, Vendor and Partner Center 'Extranet' capabilities, companies can publish specific information to groups or individual customers - a contract for one customer for example, or a price list that is made available to all customers. The functionality is also powerful for Intranet publishing.
NetSuite breaks down the barriers typically found in immature application services by allowing a number of options for Customisation. From the ability to easily customise user interface and form capabilities to the ability to enable complex, custom business processes, companies can manipulate NetSuite to meet their business-specific and industry-specific requirements.
Advanced Customisation Tools
NetSuite's Customisation capabilities also include NetLedger's integrated custom record creation and management tool, NetBase. NetBase makes NetSuite completely extensible to the specific needs of each business, allowing them to define their own custom data records with complex relationships between each other and existing records / transactions. For example, a property management company can define a property record and associate it with tenants, rent invoices, maintenance records, etc. Being an integral component to the rest of NetSuite ensures NetBase is easy to use and configure while simultaneously providing extraordinary power and flexibility for companies to customise the application to their specifications.
NetSuite Third-Party Application Integration And Synchronization
Companies can move data from existing legacy systems to NetSuite. NetSuite also provides real-time, server-to-server XML data exchange capabilities to allow the integration of other business applications with NetSuite. It is also possible to configure single sign-on authentication to enhance the user experience and allow users to move seamlessly between NetSuite and other applications.
In addition, NetSuite includes a number of technologies to support disconnected use of the application. NetSuite provides synchronization with Outlook, ACT!, Goldmine and Palm OS devices to ensure that offline calendars, tasks and contact lists are up to date.
Pricing and Availability
NetSuite is available late October, with an entry-level price of $4800/year for three users. Each additional user can be added for $50 per month. The company also offers NetSuite Enterprise Edition, a fixed-cost, unlimited user version of the application for $3750 per month.
For more information about NetSuite please visit www.netsuite.com.au.
NOTE: NetSuite and the NetSuite logo are service marks of NetSuite Inc. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners.