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Techfino at SuiteWorld 2017: Day 3 – Ready, Set, Next

Day 3 of SuiteWorld 2017 kicked off with less theatrics than yesterday, but after the Executive Keynote this morning it became clear that yesterday was just the warm up. Today, Evan Goldberg, Executive VP of Development at Oracle+NetSuite, led a keynote presentation jam-packed with announcements!

While there were no pyrotechnics this time around, the crowd was treated to a comedic short in which Mr. Goldberg attends his first staff orientation in 18 years. “Disruptor—that’s just a word—we’re delivering!” the bit preached. But they aren’t kidding with what is next…

In this address, a rotating panel of NetSuite executives spoke on enhancements to the SuiteCloud Platform, SuiteAnalytics, and SuitePeople. The presentation also spoke to the strategic sprint toward global coverage and localization, as well as discussing the need for more industries with SuiteSuccess. Below are summaries and highlights from the keynote that made us excited and will be sure to delight our current and future clients.

 

Global Scale ERP Enhancements

First up was NetSuite’s Craig Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan took the stage to introduce the international product strategy for NetSuite—“the most widely deployed Cloud ERP system”—and to drive forward the “act global, be local” initiative. Among the topics covered was the discussion of 3 vital enhancements that will position NetSuite for its global expansion:

  • Advanced Inter Company Journal Entry – A 2017.1 feature that allows your business to automatically balance financials across all subsidiaries and despite varying currencies. NetSuite is going to do the work with the new “Auto Balance” button and it is available today!
  • G/L Impact Locking – In order for many businesses to stay compliant in other countries the G/L must be locked and set in stone. This feature allows clients to stay compliant while also providing a full audit trail to prevent discrepancies or compliance issues at the line level of the transaction. This feature is already available.
  • Bank Reconciliation – The reconciliation process for many NetSuite users is still largely manual. However, with this enhancement (coming later this year) users can set custom rules, so when bank statements are uploaded appropriate accounts are automatically impacted. Additionally, the enhancement comes with a dual-pane user interface where Imported Transactions and G/L Transactions can be seen simultaneously.

 

The Domination of Micro-Verticals

While global strategy demands immediate attention since the acquisition with Oracle, at its heart NetSuite has always thrived off continuously improving its existing unified suite of solutions. Mr. Goldberg was welcomed back to the stage, along with a spotlight on SuiteSuccess, to introduce immediate enhancements to performance and capabilities.

“Your industry, your vertical, often defines your constraints, your competitors, and where you need to optimize,” said Mr. Goldberg, reporting on NetSuite’s expertise in fashion apparel. After tailored research in the fashion apparel vertical, with SuiteSuccess in mind, NetSuite re-discovered a weakness in critical reporting. For fashion apparel, they delivered: enhanced grid order management, order commit and reallocation with scheduling enhancements, and weekly style trend reporting.

Mr. Goldberg insisted that the leaps and bounds they’ve made in fashion apparel are what shaped SuiteSuccess, “Many of these needs are not unique.” Mr. Goldberg emphasized, “A lot [of enhancements] being delivered for fashion apparel are great for adjacent industries."

 

The Evolution of Netsuite Omni-Channel Commerce

Up next was NetSuite's Allison Manetakis to take us through the evolution of omni-channel commerce and the role of e-commerce in NetSuite. Techfino found Ms. Manetakis' portion of the keynote to be essential for our practice. Covered here are several enhancements that we believe are vital to our clients and will result in success:

  • SuiteCommerce Standard – A new middle ground for NetSuite clients building their own e-commerce site. This new offering is perfect for customers who want more then SuiteBuilder has to offer without the complexity of SuiteCommerce Advanced. Users are given easy control of the site and branding with the option to keep adding on!
  • SuitePromotions – “We heard you that promotions are critical to the omnichannel commerce experience,” Ms. Manetkis said. SuitePromotions establishes a new user experience where you can see and manage all of your promotions from one page. Users define customer actions in order to qualify for discounts or promotions, which are then automatically added to sales orders. A new, super easy way for the marketer to create promotions.
  • Store Pickup – This enhancement unifies the store pickup process as it goes across e-com order management and physical inventory to optimize and increase same store sales. Customers can place the order online with ease, pick up in store upon notification and even add to the order at check out in person. The process is refined from all sides ensuring a seamless workflow all the way down to the store associates.

 

Global Supply Chain Enhancements

Mr. Goldberg followed Ms. Manetakis with a discussion on the ever-present pains of coordinating and balancing a global supply chain. NetSuite has been consulting with several major players in manufacturing and supply chain to help design upcoming features that address: design and engineering, outsource manufacturing, and supply chain visibility.

In particular, we find the approach to supply chain visibility to be encouraging. NetSuite is promising a more complete view of global inventory that will allow you to edit transaction lines and start or change a work order within Purchase Orders. Changes also bring cross subsidiary fulfillment capabilities allowing your business to identify issues at one location and resolve them using transfer orders. By providing more visuals to these proposed reporting enhancements, NetSuite is taking their supply chain solution to the next level.

 

From Product-Centric to Project-Centric

Our ears certainly perked up during Mr. Goldberg’s discussion of a Project-Centric ERP system. Traditionally, NetSuite’s ERP has been built from the sales order to reflect everything from fulfillment and work orders, to invoicing and return authorizations. But there are plenty of businesses running on NetSuite that are simply trying to fit into the native system and are finding limitations. A new Project-Centric ERP means more fluidity for NetSuite users who want to set specific control rules and management resources without necessarily creating a sales order. As not just a NetSuite partner, but a NetSuite user, we are definitely ready for this!

 

Overall NetSuite Performance Enhancements

Mr. Goldberg announced that performance enhancements to the NetSuite software will not take a back seat despite ambitious tasks elsewhere. He unveiled to conference goers that SuiteCloud will be making the shift from queues to processors. What this means for NetSuite users and developers is faster delivery.

Previously, queues of script had to be balanced and monitored. The introduction of SuiteCloud Processors will allow for scheduled script processing, which will improve automation performance. The key selling points here are: a major decrease in average waiting time and an increase in hardware utilization.

What Mr. Goldberg spoke to next pumped us up even more: NetSuite is introducing an Application Performance Monitor for Saved Searches. Not only is NetSuite guaranteeing better automation through the shift to processors, but users and developers will now be able to analyze the performance details of saved searches. As a partner, and a group of experienced IT and support professionals, we routinely rely on the efficiency of saved searches.  With the help of the APM monitor we will be able to more rapidly identify hurdles that have been created in our systems.

 

Our Favorite Updates to the SuiteCloud Platform

The near final section of Mr. Goldberg’s keynote anticipated how NetSuite is going to deliver for the advancement of the SuiteCloud Platform. While he discussed SuiteScript 2.0, from the plans for caching to file streaming, and touched on the new advanced printing for saved searches, we were easily most interested by the Copy to Account feature being added to the SuiteCloud Development Framework.

Copy to account is a new feature based on the SDF enhancement. This feature enables users to deploy changes from an account—perhaps, a sandbox account—to another account without the hassle of bundling. Any changes to the current account made after deployment will not affect the account deployed to. Furthermore, the dependency and validation checks are completely automated simplifying the entirety of the deployment.

An additional update that caught our attention and that will benefit users as much as their developers is SuiteFlow access to line level fields. SuiteFlow allows NetSuite users to edit workflows without coding, so the added depth to its capabilities, specifically at the line level, improves visibility for the NetSuite customer.

 

It is clear that NetSuite is prepared to deliver in several ways over the course of this next year and we are fully on board! We are ready to see how these new features and enhancements roll out and we cannot wait to bring them to our customers. NetSuite is promising a lot to its customers and developers, so stay tuned!

Interested in hearing about what wasn’t covered in this blog? Heard about a new release, but we didn’t mention it? Let us know in the comments!

Watch the entire Executive Keynote from Day 3 here.

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