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Oracle NetSuite EMEA SVP Nicky Tozer onstage at SuiteConnect London 2023
Oracle NetSuite

NetSuite tools up for mid-market cloud battle

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Oracle NetSuite has announced a series of product developments to bolster its efforts to win the hearts and minds of UK mid-market businesses, including planning and budgeting tools, a billing engine and enhanced analytics capabilities.

8th Feb 2023
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At SuiteConnect London, the cloud vendor’s first in-person UK conference since 2019, Oracle NetSuite founder Evan Goldberg took to the stage to sound a note of positivity for hard-pressed UK businesses and accountants.

“NetSuite has gone through the .com bubble, the financial crisis, Covid and the current rise in inflation. During these times of crisis, a lot of companies are formed – people who are laid off or stagnating make the leap and start businesses that end up growing rapidly. It feels like we’re at such an inflexion point now.”

Opening the show to an audience of 800 customers and partners, senior vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Nicky Tozer flagged NetSuite research showing where customers were focusing in 2023. “Profitability, managing costs and growing revenue are now more important than ever, with an increased focus on ROI,” she said. “Our customers are focusing on cash management, securing their supply chain, and gaining accuracy, speed and control.

“Whether you’re a payment platform business that needs rapid growth for expansion plans or a manufacturer with manual, time-consuming systems, centralising and automation are key in this changing environment,” added Tozer. 

In a callback to a tumultuous few years of pandemic lockdowns, supply-chain crises and the rising cost of living, Goldberg told AccountingWEB’s No Accounting for Tech podcast that during times of uncertainty, solutions like NetSuite provide businesses with flexibility and adaptability. “When conditions are chaotic, customers need visibility and control,” he said.

New products and enhancements

As with the majority of conferences from established cloud players, SuiteConnect didn’t reveal any revolutionary new features. 

NetSuite instead concentrated on honing offerings for its target market, with an emphasis on fast-growing, subscription revenue-driven businesses, manufacturers and those with multiple international subsidiaries – perhaps preparing the ground for the “inflexion point” Goldberg referenced in his keynote address to the conference.

Later this year, UK users of NetSuite’s Planning and Budgeting Suite will have access to a version builder wizard and task manager within the suite that allows finance teams to streamline the production of budgets and forecasts, automate modelling, run what-if scenarios, analyse the effectiveness of a business process and generate reports, all from within the centralised collaborative solution.

New features added to NetSuite’s SuiteBilling tool will enable organisations to customise a percentage increase and automatically apply it to a customer's subscription pricing at the time of renewal. The billing suite targets NetSuite customers generating significant revenue from subscription services, allowing users to bundle physical goods and subscriptions onto a single invoice and dynamically adjust the amounts. 

Manufacturing firms are traditionally an area of strength for NetSuite in North America, and the vendor’s Smart Count solution aims to offer increased efficiency and accuracy of inventory management by automating inventory cycle counts without freezing transactions, minimising interruptions in the sales process and the impact on operations.

This year will also see the introduction of NetSuite Analytics Warehouse to the UK market. A relatively new feature in NetSuite’s home marketplace of North America, the tool utilises the power of Oracle’s database infrastructure to pull a range of internal, third-party and industry-specific data together under one roof.

For e-commerce operators, NetSuite has built a connector for Shopify and fulfilment provider ShipStation to automate the transfer of data between applications. The move aims to cut down manual data entry, errors and delays when moving data between e-commerce storefronts, point-of-sale systems, third-party logistics, distribution channels and the ERP system.

And NetSuite’s HR module SuitePeople offers users the ability to centralise and manage common HR tasks, such as maintaining employee records, tracking compensation, streamlining onboarding, offboarding, performance management and managing time off from within the NetSuite platform, integrating with the vendor’s embedded payroll solution provided by Infinet Cloud.

Mid-market takes to the cloud

The conference arrives at a time when mid-sized businesses in the UK are making tentative moves towards the cloud. AccountingWEB research conducted last year showed that while smaller businesses are easing back in the throttle when it comes to tech spending, there are increased signs of activity among mid-size and larger organisations.

The mid-market in particular has seen a wave of cloud adoption in recent years, driven by a combination of Covid lockdown demand, a need for efficiencies brought by automation, and lower barriers to implementation.

While this has boosted NetSuite user numbers, it has also allowed others to expand in a space typically underserved by cloud-based software, the likes of iplicit, Sage Intacct, Xledger, AccountsIQ and Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 have also grown in their respective fields.

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