NetSuite Previews For Partners More Customizable, Intelligent ERP And Commerce Platform

NetSuite's leaders on Tuesday described to some 1,000 partners attending the sixth SuiteWorld conference in San Jose, Calif., how a spate of upcoming products would be far more customizable, agile and intelligent than any they had seen before.

Executives of the cloud software vendor, based in San Mateo, Calif., demonstrated for resellers, system integrators, independent software vendors and customers several new and upgraded capabilities soon to be introduced to the company's business, financial and e-commerce management platforms.

It will be up to partners to leverage those capabilities to build powerful and unique solutions for the company's diverse customer base, said Evan Goldberg, NetSuite's co-founder and chief technology officer.

[Related: NetSuite Recruits European Solution Providers, Reports 31 Percent Q4 Growth]

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"We've given you a lot to work with," Goldberg told NetSuite partners. "You guys have done some great things in the past. I want to see what you do in the future."

The cloud pioneer has amassed more than 30,000 customers running its business software around the world, and, for the first time in its history, is projecting a $1 billion run rate, said Zach Nelson, NetSuite's CEO.

Nelson delivered the first keynote of the day, introducing SuiteBilling, which is "probably as big of an announcement as we've ever made." The new product is the first to integrate revenue recognition capabilities.

Built natively into NetSuite's core enterprise resource planning platform, SuiteBilling dovetails with new revenue recognition rules that will take effect this year in the U.S. and other countries, Nelson told attendees.

The combined capability to bill and recognize revenue makes NetSuite "able to handle some of the most complex use cases you see on the planet today," said Jim McGeever, the company's president.

SuiteBilling, importantly, offers a single system for billing any product, service or subscription, he said.

"More development effort has gone into this than anything we've ever done," McGeever said.

Nelson also touted a new set of capabilities extending NetSuite's OneWorld ERP with new features for global enterprises, including multiple accounting books, automated intercompany processes, and automated elimination and consolidation.

The latest version, called OneWorld 16, is "the crown jewels of NetSuite," Nelson said.

Goldberg told attendees that with OneWorld 16, "we've removed the hairball of multiple siloed systems."

Features and capabilities will expand over the next six to 18 months, Goldberg said, with functionality including multi-currency and financial governance in the works.

"We will always make it the best financial system in the world," Goldberg said.

Another product on the horizon introduces intelligent order management, adding analytic capabilities to processing orders.

"We have built algorithms that will automatically give you the best result for your inventory depending on how you define it," McGeever said.

Goldberg also demonstrated an upcoming version of SuiteAnalytics, a toolset for embedding business intelligence into the SuiteCloud development platform, that introduces advanced analytic capabilities, and meets a common request of customers by unifying search and reporting tools.

Malin Huffman, senior director for user experience, told attendees that NetSuite engineers "are cooking up in the lab" a next-generation "intelligent NetSuite experience."

"In the future, NetSuite will learn from how we work, from the data that's going into the system," Huffman said.

Goldberg, in his keynote, highlighted the importance of the SuiteApp marketplace to deliver third-party solutions to customers, and encouraged all developers distributing applications through SuiteApp to leverage the dashboards available to personalize the NetSuite interface and add functionality.

The CTO also previewed the 2.0 release of SuiteScript, offering simplified and more powerful coding tools.

Showcasing its customer wins, the NetSuite executives welcomed to the stage a number of innovative customers, including Hyperloop One, a company developing a state-of-the-art transportation system; Snapchat; and Daqri, developer of an augmented reality headset.

Matt Haller, North American NetSuite practice lead at Paris-based Capgemini, told CRN it was nice to see those innovative companies featured in Nelson's keynote, even if the stories mostly lacked detail on how the NetSuite platform was helping them be innovative.

Haller said he was in complete agreement with Nelson and McGeever that the "crown jewels of NetSuite are the SuiteCloud Platform and the OneWorld module" and happy to hear about the continued investments to improve those products.

Mark Rhyman, co-CEO at Big Bang ERP, a NetSuite partner based in Montreal, said the customers invited to the stage served as examples of the credibility that NetSuite has in the market.

The upgrades coming in OneWorld 16, especially the features enabling automated intercompany transactions, should solve a major pain point for customers, Rhyman said.

"They're delivering on what the community wants," Rhyman told CRN.

The importance of SuiteScript 2.0 shouldn't be discounted either, according to Rhyman, because it will do a great deal to help partners better customize solutions.

"It is important because it will give us more ways to do things that are not out of the box," Rhyman told CRN, including code in the system, do queries and incorporate databases.

Haller, at Capgemini, told CRN the unified billing and revenue platform is compelling.

"We do see companies with combined models for product, service and subscription, and what was announced has the potential to simplify how a company can execute all three models simultaneously," Haller told CRN.