NetSuite Adds Deep ERP Functionality with CRM-like Usability, Ending the Teutonic Isolation of Back-Office Users
Customer Dashboard Provides First Comprehensive View of All Customer Information in One Location with At-a-Glance Metrics
KPI Scorecards Track Performance Against Complex Corporate Objectives
SAN MATEO, Calif.—May 24, 2006—NetSuite, Inc., the leader in on-demand business software suites, today announced new advancements that bring mid-sized companies the benefits of a single business management suite without the cost, complexity, and rigidity of traditional software applications like SAP. NetSuite Version 11.0, a new release currently being rolled-out to thousands of companies, adds three key features that now make back-office applications as easy to use as front-office applications, giving mid-size companies more power and functionality to meet the needs of their businesses:
For details about SAP for the Rest of Us, please go to www.netsuite.com.hk/sapfortherestofus.
Contrary to its previous stance, on April 20, 2006, SAP acknowledged that an on-demand approach is an important way to bring the power of a single suite to the mid-market and that on-demand software can be applicable beyond CRM in the lower mid-market (source: SearchSAP.com). However, SAP's proposed solution, SAP All-in-One, is far from the answer to this need. All-in-One, a derivative product from SAP's incredibly complex and expensive enterprise R/3 product, was never designed to be delivered over the Internet. All the problems of the traditional R/3 code base — difficulty in upgrading to new versions, etc. — will be magnified to customers attempting to use it over the Internet. In addition, SAP All-in-One does not support a "multi-tenant" architecture, instead it requires each customer to purchase an individual instance with corresponding supporting software, rather than sharing such costs over multiple companies. In fact, it is likely that customers buying SAP All-in-One delivered over the Internet will have a higher cost of ownership than if they managed it themselves on their own premises.
Both financial and industry analysts recognised how far behind SAP is in the on-demand ERP market. When SAP made its All-in-One announcement, industry trade publication NewsFactor stated, "SAP is light years behind NetSuite..." JMP Securities responded to SAP's announcement similarly: "The leader in on-demand ERP, interestingly, is not SAP, but rather a private company based in San Mateo, NetSuite." The Yankee Group commented: "It would likely take a multiyear plan to turn over a complete business suite that would compete with NetSuite. You've got to make a big architectural shift to truly make it on-demand."
The new features in NetSuite Version 11.0 put even more distance between NetSuite and SAP's approach by breaking a number of barriers in on-demand suites centered on transaction management for back-office users and greater overall visibility of customer and organization health throughout the business.
NetSuite Brings Deep ERP Functionality with CRM-like Usability — Makes the Back Office as Usable as the Front Office
NetSuite Version 11.0 adds deep ERP functionality including Demand-based Inventory Replenishment, Landed Cost, and Bin Management for product companies, Project Accounting and Milestone Billing for those delivering services, and Expense Amortization for companies with more complex financials. These new features combine the depth of functionality required in the mid-market with the ease of use necessary for success in this size company.
CRM has long been considered the domain for customer-facing activities. In reality, back-office systems own the most important information in the ongoing relationship with the customer — orders, credits, invoices, payments, and product/service delivery. Mistakenly, the back office has long been shrouded in Teutonic isolation from customers and users. NetSuite Version 11.0 is the first application to make the back-office part of the strategic core of total customer relationship management. In NetSuite Version 11.0, every interaction of back-office users — phone calls, emails, meetings, documents, and user notes — are tracked in the transaction records such as orders, invoices and shipments, enabling the automation and personalization of workflows like collection emails and phone calls. In turn, all interactions at the transaction level roll up to a single customer record for visibility to all users in the company.
The Customer Dashboard — One Comprehensive View of the Customer
Every business application claims to provide a 360-degree view of the customer. The problem is that most vendors expect the user to go to about 360 screens to gather — and piece together — all that information. The result is, at best, a patchwork view of the customer. NetSuite uses its industry-leading Dashboards to give unprecedented visibility to individual customers. NetSuite 11.0 introduces the first comprehensive view of the customer in a single Dashboard. Simply by clicking the "View Dashboard" button in the customer record, users can quickly gauge metrics, the overall health of a customer, and drill into the detail associated with any front-office or back-office aspect of the customer relationship. Every customer record now has a complete view, allowing users to see Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Report Snapshots, KPI Meters and History; all of the information is specific to the customer being viewed, and all of it is customizable.
KPI Scorecards — the Company Unifier
The rap against business applications is that while they've been able to successfully manage transactions — to get information in — it's too hard to extract meaningful information — to get true business intelligence out — for smarter decision making and business improvement. NetSuite has inverted the information pyramid, putting business intelligence at the top with Dashboards for at-a-glance intelligence, saved searches and report snapshots for ad hoc intelligence, and rich reporting for strategic intelligence.
NetSuite's new KPI Scorecards support management by objectives and goals, allowing a company to manage its entire business based on one comprehensive set of cross-organizational business objectives. It also provides individual employees with visibility into goal-specific metrics that contribute to those objectives. For example, a company can align its teams to support sales and financial goals within departments and across the corporation with a KPI scoreboard posting the basics in leads and orders, and then drilling down to track efficiency with lead conversion to opportunities, opportunities to sales, and through cost of sales periodically (days, weeks, months, more). From here the company might further present cash flow, net profit/loss, and cash balance. All of these can be measured as achievement and delta versus against plan. With KPI Scorecards, NetSuite is the first and only business application to provide a real-time, at-a-glance view of the overall health of the corporation. Highly configurable, KPI Scorecards allow comparison in multiple dimensions — between different KPIs or between different date ranges of the same KPI (e.g. this week, month, quarter, year) within one portlet on the Dashboard. A new type of comparison is also available to provide relative measurement — Ratio or Variance — against KPIs. This new type of KPI compares one KPI to another, and displays either the Absolute difference or the Percent difference.
Pricing and Availability
There is no extra charge to existing customers for the core features of KPI Scorecards, Customer Dashboard and ERP usability enhancements. The new ERP features will be included with specific modules and vertical editions of NetSuite. NetSuite Version 11.0 is being delivered to customers using NetSuite's patent-pending "phased release" process, starting in April 2006 and continuing through June 2006.