NetSuite Offers Customized ERP for Software Companies

The company is realigning itself around vertical offerings, focusing on its new NetSuite Software Company Edition.

NetSuite is going beyond verticalization and industry-specific capabilities to customize its software by business type.

The on-demand ERP (enterprise resource planning) company announced its new NetSuite Software Company Edition on March 14.

The Software Edition has 15 different role-based AJAX (Asynchronous Java and XML) dashboards geared specifically toward software development companies.

The goal: to better enable software businesses to implement processes specific to their industry—from the moment a sales lead is in the NetSuite system through the sales process, to purchase, renewals and repeat sales.

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The preconfigured dashboards include KPIs [key performance indicators] geared toward the upper half of the org chart: the companys CEO, chief financial officer, controller, sales vice president, sales manager, renewals manager, support vice president, engineers and the like.

The KPIs themselves allow the tracing of sales on billings, forecast on billings, GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) revenue, quota-bearing representatives on board, and weighted and un-weighted pipeline, officials said.

NetSuite, which based the KPIs on its own experience, is well versed in the ways of software companies.

"We are a software company," said Mini Peiris, vice president of product management at NetSuite, based in San Mateo, Calif. "And weve been running our business on NetSuite. Weve learned a lot in that process and have built a lot of those learnings into templates."

According to Peiris, NetSuite recognizes that software companies face a lot of challenges around accounting, with issues only getting more complicated, as regulatory compliance mandates continue to change, for example.

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The stumbling block: managing revenue recognition—particularly for those companies that employ a services-based subscription model—and billing schedules.

With this in mind, the Software Company Edition has new financial management functionality around revenue recognition and usage-based billing built in, including templates for deferred revenue management, renewals management, recognizing service revenue versus product revenue, pricing management, revenue forecasting, and GAAP & regulatory compliance.

There are also CRM (customer relationship management) capabilities built into the Software Company Edition, including lead-to-order, sales forecasting, commissions management, self-service customer centers, bug-tracking integration, partner relationship management, and renewals and maintenance sales management.

As with NetSuites more traditional offerings, users will be able to customize and integrate the Software Company Edition using the companys NetFlex platform.

The Software Edition is not something the company is taking lightly: "Were aligning the company around it," Peiris said, adding that NetSuite expects to make additional company-based software announcements in April.

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