NetSuite has unveiled information about its first release of 2021. This quarter’s core theme is injecting intelligence and automation into its suite of products, underpinned by a market-leading cloud ERP solution. Details of the NetSuite 2021R1 were published across several blogs by industry product owners and an overview by Lisa Schwarz, Senior Director, Product Marketing, NetSuite.
Schwartz wrote:”As NetSuite customers look ahead to 2021, they are preparing for new growth opportunities, and a critical part of that is optimizing financial and operational business processes. NetSuite 2021 Release 1 seeks to further help the cause by injecting intelligence and automation into everything from financial and project management to multi-subsidiary operations and inventory management.”
As with most NetSuite updates, this has a little something for everyone across Manufacturing, Wholesale Distributors, Retail, Software, Services, and Nonprofit. Many of the updates benefit multiple industries. Besides the promises of automation and intelligence, this release also marks the formal debut of SuiteProjects. Is this is NetSuite’s next-generation PSA solution? Will it replace NetSuite SRP and finally provide an upgrade path for NetSuite OpenAir users.
SuiteProjects provides the combination of PSA, CRM, HR and ERP to deliver a complete solution for services organisations. Importantly as servitisation is making its way into other industries, the solution will also be available across different industries. Key elements of Suite Projects include:
- Project management
- Resource Management
- Time and Expense Management
- Billing: Provides flexible invoicing capability fully integrated with finance
- Project Accounting
- Project revenues: Organisations with NetSuite Advanced Revenue Management can leverage the revenue forecasting, allocation, recognition, reclassification, and auditing it provides.
Integration to CRM enables the flow from an opportunity to project. The integration to SuitePeople, NetSuite’s HR means that vacation, onboarding, and skill ontology integrates the PSA and HR solutions. However, with SuitePeople not yet generally available globally, it questions whether SuiteProjects will be sold outside the US.
While the product is new, much of the functionality already existed within NetSuite. This release does see several enhancements which include the enhancements to the newly renamed NetSuite Content and Experience. It is now possible to access Oracle Content documents by adding a My Documents portlet. The My Documents portlet can search for documents using keywords or tags. There are also enhancements to expense reports, timesheets, and project purchasing.
Warehouse management and inventory improvements
One of the interesting new features, presumably inspired by social distancing is the new NetSuite Pack Station. This is a touchscreen packing solution that will enable users to administrate goods handling with a minimum of paperwork. With an increase in eCommerce globally, users can consolidate shipments, pack multiple cartons simultaneously, manage multi-level packing, and scan weights from scales using the solution. Other WMS enhancements include wave automation, tally scans, cart put away, bulk picking, and label printing improvements.
Finance not forgotten in NetSuite 2021R1
At the heart of NetSuite is its powerful accounting engines, described by founder Evan Goldberg as transaction centric the enhancements will continue to please accountants. NetSuite 2021.1 now supports independent automatic numbering across a range of documents with users able to create formats with prefixes and suffixes for each one using rules.
NetSuite continues to keep its solution in line with the latest best practices. For example, a new reclassification journal entry adjusts account balances to present remaining obligations as assets or liabilities under ASC 606-10-45-1.
Practical improvements include the ability to approve or reject transactions by clicking on links in an email. While this increases automation, users will need to be cautious if phishing emails start to replicate these transactions.
The release also sees additional localisation, both in the core product and also SuiteTax. There are enhancements to the localisation for China, Germany, Belgium, the Netherland, Portugal Finland, the UK and Mexico.
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
Another comprehensive update from NetSuite. The launch of SuiteProjects is the most important announcement and Enterprise Times hopes to talk to NetSuite in the coming weeks to discover more about this “new” product and what the NetSuite strategy is. Certainly, rivals in the PSA market will take note.
Has NetSuite finally launched its new updated PSA solution that can rival anyone else on the market? There are, however, limited details about its capabilities around support for agile, resource management and the integration to SuitePeople. It promises much, but can it deliver?