NetSuite 10 Revs Up Automation

NetSuite's upgraded hosted application suite culls through core business processes.

NetSuite Inc. is bolstering its suite of hosted applications with new components designed to reach to the core of a companys business.

Version 10 of NetSuites namesake suite of services, which the company unveiled last week, includes upgrades to core business automation areas such as purchasing, order management, order fulfillment and revenue recognition, officials said.

The new features in NetSuite 10 provide the ability for companies to recognize revenue according to customer contracts and to comply with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles and other reporting standards.

A new Allocations feature enables users to assign costs by general ledger account, class, department or allocation, and choose to weight the numbers by dollar or percentage. Additional new capabilities support multicurrency bank accounts and expense reporting, said officials at NetSuite, of San Mateo, Calif.

For the wholesale and distribution markets, two of the key vertical industries that NetSuite targets, NetSuite 10 adds lot tracking, enhanced inventory commitment, inventory reordering and a special-orders module.

Jonathan Lizotte, chief financial officer at Designs for Health Inc., has been using NetSuite for more than two years to run every aspect of his distribution business, from back-office accounting to running the Web site to managing customer relationships.

Lizotte said NetSuite releases so many feature updates that its hard to keep up with all thats offered, but he is looking forward to the inventory reordering module in Version 10. "If there is some kind of module that will assist us in inventory order, in terms of getting us as close to just-in-time [processing] as possible, that will be helpful," said Lizotte, in East Windsor, Conn. "Wave a magic wand and I dont have a million dollars in inventory—that would be great."

Lizotte, who is using Version 9.5 now, said there will likely be functionalities within NetSuite 10s Revenue Recognition and Allocation modules that will also be helpful.

NetSuite 10 will be available next quarter.

NetSuite has been upgrading its hosted applications to reinforce the idea that they are more than just a step up from off-the-shelf accounting packages.

With added functionality in recent releases, CEO Zach Nelson said hes seeing increased competition in the middle and upper levels of the market. In about 50 percent of NetSuites sales engagements, the company is in direct competition with Microsoft Corp.s Business Solutions division, and in about two deals a month, it is competing against full-fledged enterprise applications providers PeopleSoft Inc. and SAP AG, Nelson said. He attributed this to the increased functionality in NetSuite as well as to the complexity of dealing with top-tier enterprise applications.


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