What is NetSuite

In this video we cover what NetSuite is. We talk about ERP systems in general, and how they can be used in improve business efficiency. We cover why you may want to use NetSuite, how it can be used to help manage your business, and some of what the system is capable of doing. We talk about the customization capabilities of the system, and how they can be used to make NetSuite work the way you need it to. Finally we talk about how the system works in the cloud on hosted servers, and how and why this frees your business to be more nimble.

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NetSuite is a lot of things. I’ve heard it described as accounting software, but it’s so much more than that. Until just recently, NetSuite was not just the software, but also a standalone company as well. This is, until they were acquired by Oracle, which we’ll talk about in the next video. At the core it’s a business management system. It can be used to run all aspects of your business. ERP Systems are sometimes referred to as three legged. Accounting, Human Resources and back office operations make up one leg. Sales, Marketing, Customer Relationship Management or CRM, and other front office operations make up another leg. Lastly Warehousing, Manufacturing and other Logistical operations make up the final leg. Of course, this is a very simplistic view, and while NetSuite can do all of this as an ERP System, it can do much more. NetSuite can be used to perform accounting, and that’s at its core. Along with financial accounting, it can be used for managerial accounting, to create and manage budgets, and enter and track transactions. It can be used to track company assets, and manage inventory. It can be used to manage a Sales team, including managing the entire sales cycle and customer relationship management. It can be used to manage tickets and service requests when things don’t go as well as they should. NetSuite features robust reporting and dashboarding capabilities. Most of your data can be shown in a highly visual way. This allows you to easily see what’s going on, at a glance. Because it’s interactive, you can drill down into more specific issues you may have. This allows you to discover the root cause of small problems, before they become big problems. The system is setup to handle work management through activities. These include tasks, phone calls, events and calendaring. It can also integrate with third party calendaring software, such as Microsoft Outlook and Google Apps, using extensions or integration tools. The system is feature rich, with tools to manage employees as well. NetSuite can handle managing your own warehouses. Or you can use it to provide data to third party logistics warehouses, often referred to as 3PLs. It can handle manufacturing management, jobs, assemblies and builds, and process tracking. And there is so much more that listing it all would be exhausting. In addition to all of this, if you need a more custom solution, that can be provided too. There are a host of third party companies, who provide solutions, that connect to NetSuite. Most of the time you can find just what you are looking for. Additionally, the system is extremely customizable, allowing you to change everything, from the look and feel of the interface, down to how transactions flow through it. You can change how forms, fields, records, and almost any part of the system behaves. You, or a developer, can relatively easily add custom code to it, through workflows and scripts. This code can be as simple as a few lines, to make minor changes, or as complex as you want to make it. You can even write entire applications inside the system. Best of all the scripting is all done with JavaScript. This means most developers can pickup on the interfaces NetSuite provides, which they refer to as SuiteScript, very quickly and easily. And, there is thorough documentation to help move things along. One of my favorite things about NetSuite though, is that it all runs on hosted servers. The buzzwords are “In the Cloud”. Basically this means, that you don’t have to worry nearly as much about backup and security, connectivity, system validation and testing, provisioning, upgrades, or any of the other things that typically go along with a large business application such as this. Being browser based means that you can use it anywhere you have an internet connection. I was recently on a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, and through Satellite Internet and Wi-Fi, I was able to use NetSuite. That’s pretty amazing. Of course, trying to quickly list everything NetSuite can do is a daunting task. To be honest, I think if I sat here and rattled any more of this off you would probably start to fall asleep. While I have never bought into the “One System, No Limits” hype that they like to use, I think the limits are few and far between. I also think that having it as the hub of most businesses makes sense. At its core, NetSuite, and really any large business system is a communications tool, first and foremost. This is a definition that you might not expect, but when you think about it for a moment it becomes perfectly accurate. If you are entering purchase requisitions, your are communicating to your purchasing manager, accounting department, or other coworkers, that you will be, or need to, purchase something. If you enter a work order or service request, you are communicating that there is a problem with a particular product or service. If you are entering information for just about any reason, you are communicating with someone, and this could include communicating with your future self. The reason people don’t think of NetSuite as a communications tool though, is because the communication is well structured. This is as opposed to unstructured communication in email, Slack, Reddit, and of course Google and Facebook. It’s this well structured aspect that makes it such a great business tool. Now that we’ve talked about what NetSuite is. In the next video, we will cover a little history of it, in order to provide some overall perspective. Questions this video will answer: • What is NetSuite Software? • What is NetSuite Company? • Who owns NetSuite? • Who acquired NetSuite? • What can NetSuite do? • What are the components of NetSuite ERP? • What are the legs of NetSuite ERP? • Is Accounting part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Information Technology part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Human Resources part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Sales of NetSuite ERP? • Is CRM part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Marketing part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Warehouse management part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Manufacturing management part of NetSuite ERP? • Is Logistics part of ERP? • Is NetSuite accounting software? • Is NetSuite used for financial or managerial accounting? • Can NetSuite manage service requests? • Can NetSuite integrate with other systems? • Can NetSuite integrate with Salesforce? • Can NetSuite integrate with Google? • Can NetSuite integrate with 3PL (Third Party Logistic) warehouses? • Can NetSuite manage assemblies, jobs and process tracking? • Is NetSuite customizable? • Does NetSuite support scripting? • How robust in NetSuite scripting? • What language does NetSuite scripting use? • Does NetSuite have good documentation? • Is NetSuite on premises? • Is NetSuite cloud? • Can I use NetSuite anywhere? • Does NetSuite have system limits? • Is NetSuite a communications system?
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Back to: NetSuite Usage Basics > Chapter 1 - Introduction