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What is NetSuite and how does it work?

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July 13, 2022

What is NetSuite?


NetSuite is a cloud-based business management platform incorporating a suite of applications that help companies run their business. Its tools help get an understanding of business performance and facilitate efficiency gains and cost savings.

At its core, it is an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, with optional features for Customer Relationship Management (CRM), human resources, Professional Services Automation (PSA) and more.

It was acquired by Oracle in November 2016 for $9.3 billion as part of its shift towards becoming a cloud software provider. At this point, NetSuite began operating as a Global Business Unit within Oracle and has undergone rapid growth with offices and employees all over the world. As a cloud solution, it eliminates the maintenance and upgrade costs of on-premises solutions.

Ultimately, NetSuite allows businesses to bring all their disparate systems together in a single, centralised platform. This gives enhanced visibility and control via a singular source of real-time information.


What are the core features of NetSuite?


Though it is a trailblazing product, NetSuite is not the only cloud ERP solution out there. As such, it distinguishes itself from the competition with a number of key features. Here are some of the highlights:


1. It Offers a Unified Business Overview

NetSuite gives firms the power to run every element of their businesses in one place. This means disparate elements like supply chain, finance, HR, manufacturing and e-commerce all come together in a single database, rather than having to use different pieces of software for each. Company employees simply log in and monitor the status of any aspect of the operations they desire.


2. Truly in the Cloud

NetSuite is optimised for the cloud. Many other so-called ‘cloud’ ERP systems are hosted or hybrid solutions – they are on-site software that has been retrofitted to be accessible via the internet. This means they are not free of the problems that traditionally hamper such systems, including:


  • Slow upgrades.
  • Version lock.
  • Limited scalability.


NetSuite avoids the limitations mentioned above because it is a vendor-managed cloud solution with it’s ability to support growth and scale up virtually unlimited.


3. Native Integrations

NetSuite applications are connected to the central database, which they feed data into and extract data from. This ensures there is always a single source of knowledge. The natively integrated modules mean there is no need for third-party integrations, culminating in a unified architecture with a common user interface.

This means less human resource is required and productivity is increased because all multi-step processes can be carried out from a single application without needing to re-enter or export information.


4. Inherent Flexibility

NetSuite is a good fit for a wide range of industries because it is highly adaptable to meet different business needs. You can modify and customise the platform to accommodate your processes and corporate structure. This is done through diverse SuiteCloud tools and applications, whether you are a start-up building your first product or an international corporation with numerous subsidiaries.

NetSuite also offers added flexibility through a wide range of NetSuite Integrations. Some businesses choose to integrate their NetSuite solution with other applications, and unlike many traditional business software solutions, this can be relatively easy when it comes to NetSuite.

Integration-Platform-as-a-Service (IPaaS) provider Celigo are a great example of this. Over the years, Celigo has developed bespoke software integrations with NetSuite that NetSuite customers can now take advantage of without having to develop their own.


5. Deep Reporting Capabilities

With vast flows of data from departments and businesses straight into the NetSuite database, the platform has wide-ranging reporting capabilities. Users can generate reports on absolutely everything they need to understand or measure thanks to built-in, powerful reporting tools. NetSuite also features role-based dashboards that can give anyone in the organisation the information they need for smart decision-making.


Overview of NetSuite Products


As stated, NetSuite is highly adaptable so it can meet the needs of a wide range of businesses. This is achieved via a diverse array of modules optimised for critical business processes and functions.


For Finance

Financial Management: This can handle many bookkeeping processes with automation for the general ledger, tracking accounts payable/receivable and invoice submission. This reduces time for the monthly close and simplifies the compiling of essential financial reports.

Planning and Budgeting: NetSuite Financial Planning & Budgeting gives you everything you need to create in-depth budgets for departments and the company as a whole. You can also create forecasts, with financial analysis and statistical models to run what-if scenarios, projecting revenue, expenses and much, much more.

Global Business Management: With NetSuite OneWorld, all multinational companies can manage their entire enterprise in a single system. Things like different currencies, languages and tax laws are all accommodated with financial roll-ups for regional, company and global levels.

Billing: NetSuite SuiteBilling is all about the management of invoicing and billing. All types of billing models are supported, recording revenue in line with regulatory standards.

Project Accounting: With NetSuite Project Accounting, businesses can maximising their service delivery and profitability of projects by gaining a real-time 360-degree view of every aspect of the project life-cycle. NetSuite links all aspects of project delivery into core financials, ensuring projects can be managed to deliver the forecasted profitability.


For Customers

Customer Relationship Management: NetSuite CRM gives you a comprehensive insight into your customers. It includes rich automation, powerful forecasting tools and capabilities to improve customer service all in one place. Marketing tools are included as well, with automation at their core.

Commerce: NetSuite B2B SuiteCommerce and B2C SuiteCommerce helps you create exceptional omnichannel shopping experiences. Launch and manage responsive e-commerce sites and connect all transactions and visits to create better customer experiences and a seamless order flow.


For Operations

Inventory Management: NetSuite Inventory Management lets you view inventory across every channel and location in real-time. Sales data can set reorder points and alert purchasing managers when it’s time to replenish. Stay on top of stock and avoid stock depletion and excess inventory.

Order Management: NetSuite Order Management lets you handle the full order lifecycle step-by-step. This can automate processing and fulfillment based on predetermined rules for greater speed and efficiency.

Warehouse Management System (WMS): NetSuite WMS enhances the system’s inventory management functions for putaway, order picking, barcode scanning and authorisation of returns. It can run on mobile devices to help boost warehouse efficiency.

Procurement: NetSuite Procurement improves the procure-to-pay process, saving you time and improving cashflow.

Supply & Demand Planning: NetSuite Supply & Demand Planning helps prepare future demand for services and products you offer based on advanced analysis of existing data. Different planning methods are available for this.


Additional Features

Payroll: NetSuite Payroll calculates earnings, taxes, deductions, paid time off and bonuses automatically. It accounts for tax variations and can pay employees via direct deposits or printed cheques, and can also file taxes and create tax forms.

SuiteApps: This huge catalogue of applications from Oracle NetSuite and approved third-party development partners extends the capabilities to almost limitless levels.

Human Resources: SuitePeople integrates human resources data throughout the system. It stores personal details, guides new hires and tracks things like promotions and compensation changes. It also provides self-service tools for employees like viewing directories, booking time off and congratulating colleagues.

Analytics: SuiteAnalytics takes full advantage of all the data the platform collects to provide profound insights from summaries to transactions. Build on saved searches and reports with custom visualisations and features and take advantage of simple drag-and-drop tools with no coding.

Professional Services Automation: NetSuite PSA solutions are there for services companies. They provide resource and project management, time/expense management, billing and project accounting.

For a full overview of the products available in NetSuite, you can read our informative article Popular NetSuite Products.


Customising NetSuite to Meet Your Unique Requirements


Through its SuiteCloud platform, NetSuite allows users to extend their system capabilities to meet their precise business needs. This facilitates greater flexibility to meet evolving business challenges as they come, with no threat of version lock thanks to the portability of customisations.

Here’s a summary of the SuiteCloud applications and tools:


  • Customisations: Developers can create custom forms, fields, roles and records, tweaking the system to reflect their organisation’s structure with SuiteBuilder.
  • Platform Development: Developers and administrators can use this tool to build new processes or applications. It is done through JavaScript, with code debugging from SuiteScript.
  • Process Automation: Developers can construct custom workflows for different processes with SuiteFlow. Automation can help with lead nurturing and approval of purchase orders and sales discounts.
  • Integration: With SuiteTalk, developers can create custom integrations to ensure the smooth flow of data from NetSuite to external software applications.
  • Inernationalisation: create a natural-feeling environment for users no matter what language, tax regulations or accounting rules apply.
  • Application Distribution: This helps bundle developed customisation and applications for streamlined deployment. SuiteBundler facilitates the easy distribution of new versions and the application of customisations to different accounts.
  • Performance Monitoring: These dashboards allow visibility into system health to ensure your NetSuite account continues at an optimal level.


How is NetSuite implemented?


SaaS ERP systems generally allow quicker, easier implementation in comparison to on-premises systems. This is because there is no need to set up and configure servers. NetSuite really builds on that advantage via its SuiteSuccess implementation methodology. This is something that no other software vendor provides.

SuiteSuccess came onto the scene in 2017 and it enables a bespoke implementation of the platform to businesses based on their size and industry. NetSuite SuiteSuccess boasts a deployment schedule of as little as 100 days and covers no less than 12 verticals;


  • Agency.
  • Food and beverage.
  • Apparel and footwear.
  • IT value-added reseller.
  • Media and entertainment.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Publishing.
  • Non-profit.
  • Software.
  • Retail.
  • Wholesale distribution.
  • Solution provider.


Additionally, there are product-specific editions for planning and budgeting, financials, SuitePeople, SuiteCommerce and a special addition for small companies with rapid growth.

Through the SuiteSuccess model, industry-leading practices NetSuite has developed are leveraged, fuelled by more than two decades of experience. The result is rapid deployments and faster time-to-value, leading to greater employee adoption and, ultimately, more success for customers.

The system comes complete with preconfigured KPIs, dashboards, reports and reminders. Many companies have been able to go live on NetSuite in less than 100 days thanks to the help of SuiteSuccess.

SuiteSuccess is designed around established best practices, but it is still open to customisation and configuration to better meet the exacting requirements of a company. NetSuite is based on the principle of flexibility, so there is a team of consultants available to help customers get the maximum benefit from the solution.


What business types use NetSuite?


NetSuite has established itself as the industry leader in cloud ERP. This is because it can accommodate the needs of businesses of almost any shape and size. This means everything from early-stage startups to household name enterprises, including both service-based and products-based organisations and companies that sell on a B2B or B2C basis, or both!

NetSuite has more than 31,000 customers operating in a diverse range of industries, including:


  • Digital marketing.
  • Campus stores.
  • Apparel and footwear.
  • Consulting.
  • Energy.
  • Education.
  • Food and drink.
  • Financial services.
  • IT services.
  • Health and beauty.
  • Media and publishing.
  • Manufacturing.
  • Professional services.
  • Non-profit.
  • Retail.
  • Hospitality.
  • Wholesale distribution.
  • Software and tech.
  • Transportation and logistics.


Within these industries, NetSuite offers support to various roles in all manner of departments. Everyone from the C-suite to HR professionals and sales reps benefit from the powerful capabilities of the platform. It also supports 190+ currencies, 27 languages and automated tax compliance for 100+ countries.


How much does NetSuite cost?


As a rough guide, NetSuite SuiteSuccess Financials First Standard starts at around £1350 p/m. Additional general access users are charged at around £70 p/m

NetSuite solutions are delivered through a cloud subscription model. It is a multi-tenant cloud solution, so all customers run on the same version of the software and receive updated versions automatically. Access is made securely via a browser from computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets for outstanding flexibility.

To subscribe to NetSuite, companies must pay an annual licence fee. This is composed of three components:


  • The core platform.
  • Optional modules.
  • The number of users.


The annual licence fee is far lower than the large upfront payment some businesses pay for a perpetual licence of an on-premise ERP, not to mention the investment in on-premise systems and the ongoing cost of maintenance and support.

With NetSuite’s modular pricing structure, you will only pay for what you need at the time you need it. As you grow, you can easily activate new modules, remove those that you no longer need and add new users for unlimited scalability.

Licence costs vary because of the differing needs of companies in terms of the modules needed and the number of users involved. The initial set-up also involves a one-time implementation fee – you can learn more about this in a consultation.




NetSuite is a trusted, powerful cloud-based business solution that you can put your faith in to manage critical information and processes. Thousands of organisations have used it to grow and achieve their goals.

By putting all key business information into a single system, you can make more informed decisions and resolve problems swiftly before any major disruption is caused. In short, is a top rated cloud solution for gaining insights into your operations and running your entire company from a single, centralised platform.



Why choose Eventura to deliver your NetSuite Project?


As an official NetSuite partner, we have successfully delivered countless NetSuite implementations. Our expert team of business analysts, developers, consultants, technicians and support staff can guide you through your entire project, from initial scoping through to implementation and on-going support.

If you would like to speak to one of our NetSuite experts, you can request a free call back here.

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