NetSuite has announced its first major release of 2020. While the company delivers continuous updates, it delivers major releases twice each year.
The depth of functionality improvements and new features demonstrate the investment made by Oracle in the development function. It is now rolling out significant updates that deliver global functionality across multiple industry sectors. NetSuite highlights three themes Automation, Insights, and Integrations. However, describing this update in just those three words does not do it justice. In fact multinational organisations will welcome the additional localisation that NetSuite has added.
While some of the new functionality is highlighted below NetSuite also published several blogs that highlight improvements relevant to each industry. There are some common themes across all but each also has industry specific improvements. The blogs are:
- Advertising, Media and Publishing
- Food and Beverage
- The SuiteCloud Platform
- Wholesale Distribution
The automation improvements include both industry specific and generic improvements to NetSuite ERP. They include:
Intelligent Cash Management: NetSuite has added automated daily bank feeds from North American institutions using the Bank Feeds SuiteApp. For organisations outside North America the Financial Institution Connectivity API allows organisation to create a SuiteScript plug-in that can achieve the same result. NetSuite also now allows users to exclude old or duplicate data. Once imported users can use enhanced matching rules to automatically match transactions, saving time and reducing errors.
Supply chain automation: Improvements to the Supply Chain Control Tower leverage the improved insights (q.v.) that are now available. Supply Allocations Exceptions Management provides recommendations on inventory allocations when constraints occur. Once a lower priority order is identified the system can automatically execute the re-allocation. There are other automaton improvements to further support outsourced manufacturing and food & beverage companies
Bulk updates: SuitePeople Administrators are now able to create repeatable onboarding, offboarding and transfer processes. HR teams can create checklists of tasks with assignees and due dates based on the date of change for the employee. The system also supports bulk updates using CSV files for major changes such as department re-organisation and review cycle changes. Assigned users are now able to bulk update time entries in projects. Subscription billing now supports bulk operations. Mass updates supported include the deletion of specified records, set charge stage to non-billable and to update the Change Order Effective Date.
Other improvements to automation include:
- The creation of automatic fulfilment requests on expected ship.
- A new automatic balance transaction by segments feature in OneWorld accounts.
- A new SuitePeople planning and budgeting SuiteApp provides insights to CFOs and reducs the necessity for data entry linking SuitePeople and Finance data together.
NetSuite added new insights across the application. Some of these tie back to automated processes such as within the Supply Chain Control Tower. Others enable faster and better business decision making through enhancements to analytics. In SuitePeople during salary reviews, managers are presented with comparative and historical analysis to help decision making on salary changes.
The Supply Chain Control Tower leverages NetSuite’s IntelligentSuite to make predictions for purchase orders and transfer orders. The system leverages machine learning to train the model and over time improves accuracy. A new SuiteAnalytics Supply Chain Workbook provides pivot tables and charts to analyse key supply chain metrics. SuiteAnalytics is also contains updated features for Finance teams.
There are improvements to the analysis of budgets, profitability and revenue recognition for projects. NetSuite has also added automatic cost calculations for projects that will help to identify if time or expenses were miscoded.
2020R1 also includes several enhancement to the platform. A new Rest API enables external applications to be securely integrated with NetSuite, and includes full support for custom records, expanded CRUD operations support and record collection filtering.
There are improvements to scalability and relative path names can now be used using a new localized content filtering feature. There are several other enhancements to both REST and SOAP support, with some SOAP web services removed.
2020R1 release notes runs to more than 120 pages and are available here for customers. Other notable changes include
- Enhancements taxation for Portugal, Philippines, Cyprus, Singapore, Germany, Australia, JAPAC, EMEA
- Localisation improvements for Belgium, EMEA, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, UK, Japan and Philippines. These include support for Belgian tax reports in English, French and Flemish. Some of these are in beta.
- Security improvements include improvements to Single Sign On and support for stringer password policy on Commerce websites. There is now automatic antivirus scanning on file cabinet files in all accounts.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
This a significant update that demonstrate the breadth and depth of the NetSuite functionality. For administrators the industry blogs are a good first point to grab the relevant highlights. However, a scan (at least) through the release notes is also worthwhile.
NetSuite continue to deliver on the Supply Chain Control Tower with enhancements that deliver increased efficiencies. There are no major new products contained within this release but each industry, as well as their finance teams has both new and improved functionality.
There is no indication of what NetSuite might announce at SuiteWorld this year. It is likely to be something that has been worked on for several months and years. Further improvements to analytics and Ai are likely and it will be interesting to see whether SuitePeople goes fully international.