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NetSuite Independent Product Review

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Additional Modules and Capabilities
Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is tightly integrated to SFA. PRM accommodates joint campaigns, lead distribution and registration, sales forecasting, sales order processing, and partner commissions and royalties. Partners are empowered to submit their own sales orders and the brand owner can automate partner commissions based on the same parameters as employee commissions, including calculating commission based on sales, quantity, inventory, profitability, inventory total profit, and more.

The NetSuite OneWorld product provides global business management and financial consolidation to mid-sized companies with multinational and multi-subsidiary operations. This solution can be configured to manage multiple subsidiaries, business units and legal entities from a single NetSuite account and handle the issues such as varying currencies, languages, tax jurisdictions and global financial reporting requirements. From a CRM perspective, parent organizations can consolidate or view multi-entity customers, quotas, forecasts, revenues, campaigns and cases.

OneWorld rolls up multi-currency forecasts across multi-national sales organizations, permitting sales staff to manage orders and forecasts against quota in their local currency, while providing headquarters consolidated figures in the base currency. Similarly, dashboards can display roll-ups of country specific business activities and results with full drill-down capabilities to the underlying records. OneWorld is a powerful module that is particularly well suited to global and multi-national businesses.

At the SuiteWorld 2011, NetSuite's first ever user conference, the company announced its newest product, Unlimited Edition. This nearly all encompassing suite begins with 500 users, unlocks all (currently 26) NetSuite modules and removes limits around the number of subsidiaries, add-on modules and third party SuiteApps. This product bundle is a very smart move by NetSuite. Market research by IDC forecasts that enterprises with over 1,000 employees will account for more than 43 percent of the total cloud market by 2014, and that these enterprises will turn to cloud solutions at a rate six times higher than that of traditional, on-premise software. NetSuite is poised to capture a portion of this growth. The user count for this solution starts at 500 and pricing for this volume license is set in user increments. NetSuite Unlimited pricing begins at $1 million annually.

Mobile CRM support is provided for the iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile. Android support can be obtained from a NetSuite SuiteCloud partner for an additional fee. The company is also releasing iPad friendly applications with other tablets to follow.

NetSuite continues to find its way with social media tools. So far the company's social strategy has been to integrate with third parties. NetSuite created SuiteSocial, a tool that works with Yammer and permits users to subscribe to activity streams occurring within NetSuite. For example, a user can subscribe to a customer, contact, opportunity or other record, and when those records are updated, the updates will display on the user's personal landing page. This solution is of course a replica of Salesforce.com's Chatter, but at this early stage lacks some capabilities such as filtering streams in order to separate the ambient noise from the critical updates. The SuiteSocial solution also doesn't do anything to engage prospects and customers who regularly communicate on social networks, thereby missing the potential of social CRM (SCRM) and failing to contribute to an over arching social strategy objective.

NetSuite also integrates with InsideView to deliver social sales intelligence (primarily to sales reps) and Qontext to harness the power of online communities. It's clear that NetSuite doesn't value social CRM capabilities like most other cloud CRM competitors. What's less clear is whether a simple partnering strategy will compete with SaaS CRM solutions which develop more embedded and native social tools within their CRM solutions.

NetSuite has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to business intelligence (BI) and analytics. The dashboards are best in class. They are very configurable, role-based and permit drill-down for more investigative analysis. The packaged reports are middle of the road. There are plenty of canned reports and like most systems, customers will likely use a few and ignore the rest. The company offers a custom report writer. It works for the basics however falls short in terms of creating reports beyond simple column displays, such as cross-tab or multi-dimensional reporting. NetSuite does not offer data warehousing or OLAP (online analytical processing), which is unfortunate as this last form of information analysis is by far the most helpful in terms of interrogating and modeling volumes of data as well as developing predictive analytics.

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NetSuite OneWorld is a particularly powerful module that is well suited to global and multi-national businesses.

 

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