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A photo of the opening keynote at SuiteWorld AccountingWEB Generative AI takes centre stage at SuiteWorld

Generative AI takes centre stage at SuiteWorld


Cloud business software pioneer Oracle NetSuite unveiled its latest product enhancements and generative artificial intelligence innovations on day one of its Las Vegas SuiteWorld residency. 

17th Oct 2023
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Las Vegas never stops. Adele is packing in crowds at Caesars Palace, the Sphere is lighting the skies with a constant swirl of animation, and much to the dismay of locals the roads are being dug up and prepared for the upcoming Formula One fixture on the streets of Sin City. 

But inside the Caesars Forum – the home of this year’s SuiteWorld – the only thing anyone wants to talk about is generative artificial intelligence (AI). 

NetSuite Text Enhance

Evan Goldberg, the founder of the online enterprise resource planning (ERP) suite, took to the stage on day one of the conference, after being introduced by “Evan GPT”, to announce the latest traditional and generative AI-powered capabilities being rolled out across the suite. 

NetSuite Text Enhance is one of the headline generative-AI attractions – it’s effectively a language-processing tool driven by AI technology that creates and refines contextual and personalised content for any text area across the suite. The user just needs to add a few prompt words, similar to how someone would use ChatGPT, and then the tech would produce a draft for them to review and edit.

“The more you use the suite, you’re going to get more powerful AI because AI is only as good as the data that you feed into it. The best data is data from a complete suite, with NetSuite your data is centralised up to data, accurate on demand... It’s like an all-knowing assistant who misses nothing and takes everything into consideration,” said Goldberg.  

It was sold to NetSuite’s devotees as a way to assist finance and accounting teams in writing targeted and personalised collection letters and generating summaries and narratives for financial reports.

“The [AI] breakthroughs that we’ve seen recently make it seem like this time is as revolutionary as that time 25 years ago when we introduced the cloud.”

Goldberg added, “Over the past few years we’ve shown how we’ve been introducing traditional AI into NetSuite… the breakthroughs are coming so fast and the good news is a unified suite allows you to get the most out of AI.” 

Hype around AI has shifted firmly into fifth gear this year with the advent of ChatGPT, unleashing a race among accounting software vendors to tout the latest innovations within their products. 

Gen-AI and data

Credited with taking desktop accounting software into the cloud in 1998, Goldberg is used to being part of the vanguard of accounting innovators. Announcing the new Text Enhance capabilities he said it was “just the start” and committed to continuing to “embed powerful AI capabilities across the suite”. 

Goldberg explained that the suite will continue to maximise Oracle’s “super cluster” AI infrastructure to explore other scenarios such as large language processing. Like all break-out technology, concerns around generative-AI turn to data. But Goldberg reassured the Las Vegas NetSuite disciples – and also presented as a possible differentiator – that Oracle protects customers’ enterprise data, privacy and security. 

The NetSuite generative AI tools are powered by Cohere and built using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which does not share the data with large language model (LLM) providers or third parties, and an individual customer is the only entity allowed to use custom models trained on its data. 

Aside from its generative AI announcement, SuiteWorld attendees learned of new AI-powered capabilities being used in products, such as: 

  • NetSuite planning and budgeting, where AI monitors and analyses plans and forecasts.
  • NetSuite Bill Capture, where AI is used to categorise expenses based on historical data and captures every detail. NetSuite automatically creates a bill record and then AI pre-populates that record based on learnings from other invoices then it can serve it side by side. “The AP team can then view and fill in with smart suggestions from data and then approve,” said Goldberg. 
  • NetSuite Analytics Warehouse, where AI is used to consolidate data for data visualisations and reporting. 

Other announcements

Generative AI may have taken most of the attention like a Bellagio fountain display, but there were a slew of other product announcements and news from the online ERP. 

This year’s SuiteWorld marked the 25th anniversary of the software, and NetSuite continues to grow in its silver year. The software boasts 37,000 customers, up from 32,000 last year, including household names such as TGI Fridays and Paul Newman’s food company, Newman’s Own, Inc. 

Here are some of the announcements presented to SuiteWorld delegates.

NetSuite Enterprise Performance Management (EPM): A new integrated set of finance solutions that connects products such as NetSuite Planning and Budgeting, NetSuite Account Reconciliation and other technologies. At the show, the NetSuite team announced new enhancements and modules: 

  • NetSuite Profitability and Cost Management feature gives customers more detailed insight into their major profit drivers
  • NetSuite Account Reconciliation was recently added to the suite and will automate all reconciliations for accounts payable and accounts receivable bank and credit card transactions, intercompany transactions, prepaid accounts accruals, fixed asset accounts or other balance sheet accounts
  • Tax Reporting: Aimed at larger customers, it extends the tax management capabilities to ensure tax compliance across the globe.

NetSuite Pay: This is a new digital payment solution that was pitched to attendees as helping to eliminate manual steps from payment processing and will make it easy for NetSuite customers to accept and process credit, debit and bank payments. NetSuite customers will also be able to integrate solutions from payment processing providers with pre-negotiated rates and fees. 

NetSuite Electronic Invoicing: NetSuite has partnered with Avalara on this new e-invoicing solution that connects customers to national and international networks from within the suite.

Kimberly Deobald from Avalera took to the stage to highlight the challenges for businesses from countries adopting different mandates around e-invoicing. They have to understand e-invoicing in every single country with different rules, different formats and different networks.

She explained that many businesses have kept up with e-invoicing compliance through outsourcing to local vendors, but that is “not sustainable when you’re talking about 60–100 countries”. 

This solution will connect to Avalara’s global API to fulfil e-invoicing mandates, including digital signatures, QR codes and tax authority clearance and approvals.

NetSuite Transaction Line Distribution: This SuiteApp is designed to help CFOs and controllers to split singular transactions across subsidiaries, departments or other segments, allowing them to establish percentage-based or predetermined amount-based distribution templates. 

NetSuite Benchmark 360: Customers using this new tool will be able to analyse and compare operational and financial metrics to similar organisations in their industry and region. It was billed as giving a 360-degree view into how customers’ metrics compare against their peers. This tool will soon offer “AI-driven recommendations” on how customers can optimise NetSuite to improve their metrics, through learning how similar customers have used NetSuite to improve performance.

“This is the best of the NetSuite eco-system learning from thousands of companies and the insight of experts using NetSuite functionality delivered in recommendations tailored precisely to your business,” said Goldberg. 

Do more with less

Summing up this year’s crop of announcements, Goldberg said: “Over the past 25 years, our mission has stayed the same: deliver a unified suite of cloud applications that enable customers to do more with less and grow their businesses. 

“We continue to extend the capabilities of NetSuite to support this mission and help our more than 37,000 customers benefit from the latest cloud and AI innovations. Our new updates include traditional and generative AI capabilities embedded throughout the suite to increase user productivity, reduce costs and improve overall business efficiency.”


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