The latest edition of NetSuite's OneWorld on-demand enterprise resource management package is integrated with Google Apps, giving customers the option of running all their essential business processes in the cloud.
NetSuite OneWorld 2010, released on Sept. 30, is designed for midsize companies that own multiple subsidiaries and include divisions operating in one or more nations overseas, said Mini Peiris, NetSuite's vice president of product marketing.
The OneWorld suite includes accounting, customer relationship management, e-commerce, business intelligence and services resource planning, The package is designed to allow multinational midsize companies to manage all their essential business operations, sales, marketing, quotes, orders, invoicing, revenue, finance and tax accounting in the cloud.
With the Google Apps integration, "not only can you run your major business processes in the cloud, but you can also have your productivity suite that you are using in the cloud" tied in with you ERP application, Peiris said. This includes Google Calendars, Gmail and Docs.
NetSuite already has one development partner that has created a way to integrate NetSuite and Gmail that enables users to share information in context between the two applications, Peiris said. This integration, for example, would enable a Gmail message about a pending sales deal to automatically update the status of a sales opportunity in the NetSuite CRM application "without ever having to go back and forth between the two applications," Peiris said.
NetSuite has also streamlined the user interface for the software-as-a-service ERP package to simplify navigation and make it easier to perform common tasks, Peiris said. "We're using the latest in AJAX technology" and other Web application development tools to make OneWorld interface far richer than aging on-premises ERP applications that many companies are still using, Peiris said.
In addition, the new version has new global inventory management capabilities that allow companies with complex multinational subsidiaries to transfer inventory between any subsidiary anytime, anywhere with just a few clicks in a Web browser, Peiris said. This feature makes it easier for companies to "manage all of the associated cost of goods and the financial implications" of moving product inventory between multinational subsidiaries, she said.
The tax engine in NetSuite OneWorld 2010 has been enhanced to handle simplified tax reporting in more countries around the world, she said. This includes expanded support for different types of taxes for Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada and the Philippines. "The OneWorld tax engine has built-in support for the tax codes of nine different countries."
Furthermore, the tax engine is customizable so that customers can add tax code information for virtually any country in the world, Peiris said. More customers are demanding support for a wide range of currencies and national tax codes, she said. "Though a company might be headquartered let's say in the U.K. or the U.S., they have operations around the globe. So we need to be able to support all those different countries that they're doing business in," said Peiris.
"Another beauty of cloud computing is that we're able to make sure that we have updated our product to see that our customers" automatically get updated national tax code information as the governments make changes. For example, New Zealand happened to be making changes to its taxes on Sept. 30, the same day that NetSuite released OneWorld 2010. The updated New Zealand tax code is already accounted for in the new release, Peiris said.
There were also recent tax code changes in the United Kingdom and in Canada this year, both countries for which NetSuite provides native tax code support directly in the OneWorld tax engine, Peiris said. "When these codes change, NetSuite customers get those updates seamlessly overnight and they're ready ... to transact business the next day with the code changes in effect," she said.
With the new version, NetSuite is gaining certification for complying with national accounting standards in Austria and Switzerland. NetSuite also has existing accounting standard certifications from Germany and from the U.K.'s Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, along with support for Japan's accounting standards.
NetSuite is competing in a crowded field of on-demand and on-premises ERP software vendors, including giant software vendors Oracle, SAP AG, Microsoft and Lawson Software. It also competes with Salesforce.com in the on-demand CRM market.
One of the key reasons Palo Alto Software, a producer of business planning and marketing software based in Eugene, Ore., selected NetSuite OneWorld is because it has a subsidiary in the United Kingdom. Using OneWorld makes it easier for the company to consolidate and manage its financials across the two companies, said Sabrina Parsons, Palo Alto Software's CEO.
Before selecting NetSuite OneWorld, "We were using various systems, but our CRM was in one area, our accounting in another area. Everything was just distributed and it made reporting a big pain," Parsons said.
The company evaluated a lot of different ERP and CRM applications, but eventually selected NetSuite OneWorld because it has "the best features to deal with our CRM needs, accounting needs, our inventory needs, our fulfillment" as well as the need to support an overseas subsidiary, she said.
As a CEO Parsons said that what she likes best about the SAAS ERP package is that it allows her to produce her own reports on a self-service basis.
"I don't have to have someone write a SQL query and go into one database and print things and then stick it into excel and then go into another database to run another SQL query. I can see how we're doing in the UK. I can see how we're doing in the U.S. across various channels. I can see how our campaigns are doing. I can pretty much look at anything that strikes me even at 2 a.m. in the morning," Parsons said.