Callidus, Bazaarvoice Detail Their ROI with NetSuite

June 23, 2014 by

There’s been a persistent notion that the cloud hasn’t been ready to support enterprise-level ERP. Try telling that to Bazaarvoice and Callidus Software, two companies that have seen the rapid ROI that can be achieved with NetSuite ERP first hand.

Both companies were on hand at last month’s SuiteWorld 2014 gathering to share their experiences. For Bazaarvoice, those experiences have been varied.

The nine-year-old product review-sharing network has been running on NetSuite OneWorld since its relative infancy, a decision that has kept it off of the QuickBooks-Great Plains-SAP re-implementation treadmill that’s been typical of young, growing companies, Evan Trimble, the company’s financial systems administrator, told SuiteWorld attendees.

Since adopting OneWorld in 2008, Bazaarvoice’s revenue soared from less than $20 million to almost $180 million last year, its staff has grown from fewer than 100 to more than 800, it’s opened offices all over the world and its systems have scaled seamlessly in support of all of that growth. Along the way, NetSuite has helped the company simplify numerous tasks, from managing multiple legers to adding legal entities to performing reconciliation.

“The simplicity becomes your friend,” said Trimble. “It’s boring to talk about, except that it makes life a lot easier.”

That’s not to say there haven’t been issues. For instance, Bazaarvoice found itself in recent years having to compute back sales taxes, and while the company was able to use NetSuite for the international portion of that task, it had to turn to another tool to handle its more complex domestic computations.

The company also outgrew the limitations of NetSuite’s native support of ACH transactions, but adding NetSuite’s electronic payments module solved the problem, and then some. Bazaarvoice was able to start leveraging NetSuite’s saved searches to address its reporting needs, creating a report within the new module in two hours that saves the company’s accounts payable manager four hours every month.

What Trimble clearly likes best about NetSuite is that most issues can be addressed by adding modules or making changes within the NetSuite environment.

“We like to stay inside the applications we already have,” he said. “Integrations are expensive to build and expensive to maintain.”

Trimble’s co-presenter, Shamyo Chatterjee, didn’t need a reminder of that fact. Chatterjee, CIO of sales and marketing software-maker Callidus Software, remembers the pre-cloud days when his company was running on 14 disparate applications—software as varied as Microsoft Dynamics, Marketo and Neocase. In other words, Callidus, which was founded in 1996, was on the treadmill that Bazaarvoice managed to avoid.

“It was really a nightmare,” Chatterjee recalled for the SuiteWorld attendees. “We used to spend a lot of time just doing lights-on type of work. We were on call at night for almost 11 years.”

The nightmare ended in 2006, when Callidus decided to move both itself and its product to the cloud, and it subsequently turned to NetSuite as the engine that would power that migration and the company’s ongoing operations.

The company jumped in with both feet. It adopted OneWorld, OpenAir, and a range of modules, from CRM, financials and support to revenue recognition, recurring billing and T&E. It hasn’t looked back since, amassing 2,300 customers and 2.5 million users of its CallidusCloud suite in more than 160 countries, and growing revenue from $70.9 million in 2010 to $112.3 million in 2013.

What’s more, Callidus was able to complete eight mergers and acquisitions over the past three years, as well as build up its offshore development operation in India, all without adding to its IT head count, Chatterjee noted.
If it sounds like it’s been a wild ride for Callidus, it has. From completely redefining the company to enduring an historic economic downturn and, finally, to managing a period of great opportunity and growth, Callidus has relied on NetSuite to help keep the insanity to a minimum.

“Had it not been for NetSuite,” said Chatterjee, “I think our company would have had to overcome incredible hurdles.”

June 23, 2014 by

Last year, Forbes columnist Steve Denning (I’m a big fan) ran an article with the headline “It’s Official! The End of Competitive Advantage”. What his article was actually saying is that sustainable competitive advantage is dead – a concept with which I wholeheartedly agree. Competitive advantage today is transient. It’s all part of our brave new world where big no longer beats small, where seemingly disparate markets are now interconnected, and where those with the ability to innovate and execute the fastest will trump the competition.

Technology has always had a traditional role in supporting business, but even this role is now changing. Take cloud computing, for example. The primary driver for cloud adoption was once all about lowering costs, and reducing total cost of ownership. Today, there’s a marked shift from economics to innovation as the primary driver for moving to the cloud. Leading-edge companies are figuring out pretty quickly that by investing in cloud services as the very foundation for their new competitive offerings, they can innovate and execute faster, fulfilling the Holy Grail of delighting customers profitably

I believe we are sitting smack bang in the middle of an unprecedented time of innovation. Thanks to Big Data, Cloud, Mobility, and Social, low cost go-to-market models are fuelling growth. New interlinked ecosystems of suppliers, customers and industries are blurring what were once traditional corporate borders. It’s everywhere you look. Music, technology, communication, travel, consumer electronics, automobiles, and even education are facing competitive new situations in which commercial advantages are quickly copied. The industry giants taking profits from a deep well of long standing, loyal customer relationships are a dwindling minority in the context of wider commerce.

By changing the way companies consume and use technology, cloud computing is playing a crucial role as an actual foundation for innovation. The exponential growth in computing power, data storage and networking capabilities is the result not only of a new delivery model that lowers total cost of operations, but of new innovative engagement models for the business itself. That’s a huge shift, and I think we’ll start to see some really interesting advances in the way we do, use and consume things.

In fact, IDC predicts worldwide spending on public IT cloud services will reach $59.5 billion this year, and is expected to be more than $107 billion in three years’ time by 2017. That’s a public cloud CAGR of 23.5% – five times that of the IT industry!

Whilst cost undoubtedly remains an attractive driver, innovation and competitive advantage is the real prize. IDC’s latest report, ‘Innovation in the Cloud’, delivers a quick and easy read if you’re looking for a short synopsis on the role of cloud computing as an innovation platform.

Innovation is not an option: it’s an imperative. The only question for your organisation is how you’re going to support it.

Steve Hurn Senior Vice President and General Manager Cloud and Line of Business, SAP

Cloud And The Business World Of 2020

June 23, 2014 by

At SAPPHIRE NOW in Orlando, Bert Schulze was joined on stage by two millennials for whom the cloud is already very much a reality to find out what the business world might look like in six years’ time.

Paying for taxi journeys by cell phone, collaborating virtually for greater efficiency: For millennials like Amira Polack, these activities are already a normal part of their daily lives. The real challenge, says Polack, is what to do when you come up against a “cloud-less” environment. She recalls the time when, as a student, her apartment in South Africa was broken into and her MacBook stolen – along with all her photos, music, videos, and college assignments. Had Dropbox been as prevalent then as it is today, this would not have been such a big deal. As it was, she had to rely on Facebook and Gmail to salvage what she could. “Sometimes it can be more risky not to opt for the cloud,” says Polack, who now works for SAP Corporate Social Responsibility in Palo Alto.

The three business topics of the future
Bert Schulze sees Amira Polack, who, along with IT business student Ben Christensen, was chosen to represent millennials at the “Cloud in 2020 Forum” at SAPPHIRE NOW, as the personification of the future. In 2020, three topics will dominate the world of business, says industrial engineer Schulze:

Big data: The ability to analyze gargantuan amounts of data in near-real time is becoming increasingly relevant. Online games are a prime example. Whereas it used to take five hours to provide a Battlestar Galactica Online player with the decisive tip for entering the next level of the game, it now takes just a few seconds. This is because online gaming developer Bigpoint switched to SAP HANA database technology. “It doesn’t take much imagination to work out the potential revenues from a service like this,” says Schulze.
Industry 4.0: Applications and devices will interact more and more closely with one another. There are already some good examples of this from the field of energy measurement. “Smart meters” are connected up in the cloud and controlled autonomously by central systems, allowing consumption data to flow automatically from private homes into computers at Techem, Brunata, and other energy management service providers. In another example, agricultural machinery supplied by John Deere automatically takes various external factors into account when calculating the amount of fertilizer required for a field – such as the current weather conditions, the type of seeds being sown, and the location of the field. This is what SAP’s Schulze calls the “Networked Economy.”
Digital transformation: At the moment, too many companies are content to rely on the processes that they are familiar with from the analog world and to merely adapt them to the digital world. “But that’s not what the digital transformation is about,” says Schulze. In the future, companies will need to turn traditional approaches on their head and align their business models to match the new processes being engendered by the digital world. German compressed-air system supplier Kaeser Kompressoren is an excellent example. Instead of marketing complete systems, the company now sells “flat rates for air,” with customers pay according to how many cubic meters of compressed air they need. If the system breaks down, Kaeser fixes it. The customer does not have to lift a finger. The idea behind this approach is the “simplification of services,” explains Schulze, adding, “It doesn’t matter whether a customer is ordering 5,000 liters of coffee from Nestlé or a book from Amazon – the main thing is that the process works.”
Fortune 500: Survival of the most innovative
By the time these three trends come to dominate the working environment, Schulze calculates that the global middle class will number five billion people and there will be 50 billion Web-based end devices in use (the current figure is 15 billion). In this scenario, says SAP, a company’s ability to source raw materials for production will ultimately decide its fate. Smartphone manufacturers like HTC, Apple, and Samsung, for example, are likely to see their silicon sourcing requirements soar to three times the current level over the next few years. Some companies will simply not be able to meet the growing demand for efficiency. If you check down the current Fortune 500 List of companies, you can see that more than half of them entered the index after 2000 and have only succeeded in establishing themselves by offering more innovative products and services than their rivals.

Efficiency is also one of the key factors cited by millennial Ben Christensen. “My personal cloud experience comes from a resistance to things that slow me and my teams down,” he says. Time is the only resource I can’t increase. So efficiency in what we are all doing is key.” The working environment must also be flexible. “We host our meetings on Cloud Connect, collaborate via SAP Jam on storylines for our campaigns, and use microblogging in online communities … wherever we happen to be at the time,” says Polack, who already appears to feel at home in the world of 2020 today.

Distributors Missing out on Marketing Automation are Missing out on Sales

June 17, 2014 by

Most distributors know that they need to generate quality leads to drive their business, however most of them are underutilizing marketing automation. In fact, distributors are often unaware of the value of marketing automation, according to a survey of distribution companies conducted by research firm RealResults and presented in The 2014 State of E-Commerce Distribution: The Maturing E-Commerce Channel webcast on March 20, 2014 by Modern Distribution Management magazine and NetSuite.

The two marketing automation capabilities distributors are most aware of are “website visitor tracking,” with 80 percent of distributor respondents rating it as important or very important and “automated emails triggered by a specific action taken by a web visitor,” which 55 percent rated as important or very important. The third highest was “shopping cart abandonment alerts and notification” capabilities, with 48 percent of respondents rating it as important or higher.


With this lack of awareness about its capabilities, distributors are missing out on marketing automation’s power to target prospective customers and sales leads with the right offers or content, at the right times, and automatically following up on opportunities without waiting for a human sales person to remember and take action. Marketing automation software makes it easy to track and measure a prospect’s activity, identify when a prospect meets buyer-readiness conditions, and pass that lead to sales as soon as it meets the pre-defined criteria.

Here’s two examples of what marketing automation can do for distributors:

A distributor emails a prospect an invitation to sign up for the company’s newsletter and waits three days for a response before sending the newsletter. If the prospect then opens it, the marketing automation software then sends an offer for a whitepaper which, if accepted, triggers an invitation to attend a webinar. The final invitation, to sign-up for a private demo of the distributor’s product, is the ultimate goal. With marketing automation, that entire process can be automated with rules to trigger, or not trigger, each step of the process and keep the sales person apprised throughout the development process.

When a web shopper views a certain product, the marketing automation software might trigger a pop-up ad for a sale, or send an alert to a sales person to contact the visitor via web chat.


Unlike email marketing, which is usually done through a mass-market email service provider, marketing automation software provides extra capabilities. That might include tracking customer behaviors across a website, creating multi-step campaigns with conditional logic, segmenting data to deliver personalized marketing content, and analyze marketing data from different channels such as email, direct mail, promotional events, or multi-channel promotions.

Those capabilities provide real ROI to the companies leveraging them. According to a 2012 report by the Aberdeen Group, companies that deploy marketing automation see 107 percent better lead conversion rates, 40 percent greater average deal sizes, 20 percent higher team attainment of quota, and 17 percent better forecast accuracy.

That’s ROI worthy of a distributor’s attention.

To raise your awareness of how distributors can benefit from marketing automation, and other aspects of distribution and ecommerce, register to see the webcast recording The 2014 State of E-Commerce Distribution: The Maturing E-Commerce Channel. Slides from the webcast can be found at

NetSuite Helps Land O’ Lakes, Inc. Spread Expansion Plans

June 16, 2014 by

As a member-owned agricultural cooperative, Land O’Lakes, a Fortune 200 agribusiness with over $14.2 billion in sales. With deep roots in the industry dating back to its formation in 1921, the company today is as equally focused on time-honored craftsmanship traditions as it is on progressive new innovations driven by technology.

The company has been laying down an international expansion path and performing some internal structural changes to position itself for rapid growth. It is now making changes and adjustments to its processes and systems to enable and support new global expansion.

“Functionality specific to global consolidation, local statutory reporting, foreign exchange management and several other areas will need to be extended, changed or simply implemented to accommodate our potential expansion beyond our traditional U.S.-centric business model,” Todd Stabenow, director of IT, international and M&A, Land O’Lakes, said at a session at SuiteWorld 2014, recently held at the San Jose Convention Center.

The company is employing more use of technology-enabled agriculture, specifically an application called the R7® Tool, which helps farmers and sales teams better analyze the health of crops by the interpretation of satellite imagery and ultimately get more growth out of limited land growing resources.

The company’s newly formed Land O’ Lakes International division analyzed its business and technical needs prior to making expansion plans and selected NetSuite to help enable their future growth through foreign currency capabilities, localized tax functionality and IFRS and statutory reporting capabilities.

NetSuite OneWorld offers “Out-of-the-Cloud” tax calculation and reporting for 54 countries, in 190 currencies and in 19 UI languages — and the extent and scope of these capabilities represented an important decision factor for Land O’ Lakes.

NetSuite’s single cloud ERP instance also means that any customer is able to manage multiple subsidiaries, business units and legal entities. It is built to accelerate financial consolidation and visibility and is able to elevate productivity by localizing each employee’s workplace experience.

Land O’ Lakes now runs two subsidiaries on NetSuite and is considering further growth.. The platform itself is built to scale with real-time currency conversion and financial consolidation features. Before coming to work with NetSuite, Land O’ Lakes had no effective global consolidation engine for information technology.

Today the company is looking forward to extending its systems with gateways to disaster recovery and other additional service functionalities. It took roughly seven months for the company to implement its Mexico-based installation of NetSuite, which sets the standard for how long it takes the firm to roll out new subsidiaries, although there is a learning curve when new subsidiaries are rolled out.

As a company with an eye on the need to be able to produce 70% more food than we do now by 2050 to support the planet, Land O’ Lakes is committed to profitable but efficient expansion based on a newly empowered NetSuite operational computing platform.

Competing with Amazon in B2B Commerce IS Possible

June 16, 2014 by

The decision to sell online is no longer one of “IF” or even “WHEN” for B2B suppliers. The decision distributors need to make today is “HOW FAST” – because the new arena for competition today is in B2B ecommerce and—just as we saw happen with B2C ecommerce—the B2B market is rapidly falling under the dominion of

The traditional model of distribution is rapidly changing. It’s a whole different ballgame than it was 10 years ago. Today, B2B customers increasingly act like consumers with the desire for self-service tools and instant access to product information through their mobile devices. Many consumers are beginning to buy directly from wholesalers and manufacturers with easy to use ecommerce sites. Additionally, both manufacturers and distributors are looking to cost-effectively increase market share and reach new customers.

In order to more effectively compete, companies need to consider ecommerce as not just an afterthought but an integral part of their strategy to survive.

In just two years, the expectations of B2B customers have rapidly evolved to match those of B2C customers. Much of this it is due to the arrival of Amazon’s B2B marketplace, which launched two years ago as a digital hub for buying equipment, parts, raw materials and supplies of all sorts for corporate buyers. AmazonSupply is encroaching on a growing number of industrial and business supply markets. Research from the Acquity Group found that close to half of business-to-business (B2B) buyers have bought from AmazonSupply and that 25% of B2B purchasers use AmazonSupply “frequently.”

While distributors are struggling to compete with Amazon, however, they would do well to learn from Amazon’s approach to distribution, marketing, customer service and R&D. In the webcast “AmazonSupply: Two Years Later,” a panel of experts shared their insight into how Amazon has done so well, so fast, with B2B distribution and how distributors who run up against Amazon can compete more effectively. Here’s what these experts see as the critical takeaways from Amazon’s rapid success in B2B:

Make ecommerce the hub of your business. Bob DeStefano, online marketing strategist for SVM E-Marketing Solutions advises that distributors must realize that B2B buyers are increasingly tech-focused Generation Y (Millenial) buyers moving up into procurement and management roles vacated by retiring Baby Boomers.

They shop online on their iPads or cell phones and expect to go online for corporate supplies. They want highly informational, content-rich and fully functional ecommerce sites that let them do everything in one place. They have little patience for suppliers who make online purchasing difficult and will most likely move to their competitors. This generational shift is happening now and will pick up speed over the next five years as the last of the Baby Boomers retire.

So distributors must treat their ecommerce sites as the hub of their marketing efforts.

That’s advice that more distributors need to follow. A survey sponsored by NetSuite in partnership withModern Distribution Management showed that distributors are concerned that their own sites lack advanced features. “The 2014 State of E-Commerce Distribution: The Maturing E-Commerce Channel” found that many had low levels of satisfaction with more advanced features such as live chat, price quotes and product suggestions.

Share your expertise with content. Along with rich functionality and communication, buyers want information. They do a lot of online research and price comparisons and appreciate credible content to help them make decisions. It also pays to be involved on search engines, which is how the majority of customers find out about products. Social media channels, as well as email marketing, should also be important methods of pushing out great content and building a reputation as a source and a resource of credible information.

Serve the supplier as well as the customer. Amazon knows how to create opportunities and nurture relationships with its B2B customers and partners. As Chuck Bennett, president of Business Data Links in Pomona, Calif. observed, Amazon has created programs beneficial to wholesalers and manufacturing. For instance, its Seller Central provides a vehicle for wholesalers to easily create a presence on Amazon in exchange for a small percentage of the gross sale. Being able to sell via Amazon is a big boost for many firms. Another program lets companies fulfill their products through Amazon, using its pick and pack capabilities and forecasting to keep inventory stored with Amazon at just-in-time levels. Amazon, as well as Google’s Shopping for Suppliers marketplace offer suppliers opportunities to communicate with and connect to their end customers. Everything they do is aimed at making business better for their suppliers.

Push the envelope of new ideas. Amazon is known for testing promising new ideas for services and programs. Amazon was an early pioneer in the web services market in 2006 selling storage and computing power to end-user organizations. It introduced “anticipatory shopping” or a just-in-time shipping arrangement that forecasts product needs and prepares products to ship immediately upon order. It recently expanded into fresh grocery deliveries, and has talked of delivering orders via drones. That constant quest to find better, cheaper, faster methods of delivering a wider array of products ensures Amazon is a market leader in new services and generates great media coverage as well. While Amazon has a lot more money to pour into experiments then most distributors, there are plenty of great ideas waiting to be tried and even one can make a significant competitive difference.

Learn more by viewing the webcast AmazonSupply: Two Years Later.


June 11, 2014 by

First and Only Unified Cloud SRP Solution to Meet the Functional Needs of Product and Services Companies

New SRP Offers Industry-Specific Needs of Project- and Product-Based Businesses in Software, IT Services, Consulting, Advertising and Marketing Services

NETSUITE SUITEWORLD 2014, SAN JOSE, Calif.—May 13, 2014—NetSuite Inc. (NYSE: N), the industry’s leading provider of cloud-based financials / ERP and omnichannel commerce software suites, today announced the next-generation services resource planning (SRP) solution, the first and only cloud suite that brings together the strengths of ERP and professional services automation (PSA) to enable project- and product-based businesses to run their entire business life cycle—from project management, resource management, time-and-expense management, to project accounting—all in one unified software solution, and the first and only solution that unites all of the functionality to meet the needs of product and services companies in one single system. The new release enables multi-model billing for service delivery across the services value chain from fixed fee, to milestone and to time-and-materials. Designed for tomorrow’s businesses, NetSuite SRP also offers mobile and social capabilities that give on-the-go services professionals access to real-time business information anywhere, anytime and better collaboration across the organization. With functional richness and depth unmatched in the industry, NetSuite SRP also enables services organizations to customize the solution to their unique needs through the SuiteCloud Development Platform.

NetSuite’s pioneering SRP solution enables both product- and project-based businesses to modernize and transform operations the way manufacturing resource planning (MRP) did for manufacturing businesses in the ‘90s. It helps organizations automate and manage key aspects of their business across the complete bid-to-bill lifecycle, giving them what they need to stay competitive, gain efficiency, deliver quality services and delight their clients.

With NetSuite SRP, modern services organizations will gain comprehensive visibility into back-office financials and front-office services operations in one unified system to increase project profitability, maximize billable resource utilization and make informed, data-driven, strategic and tactical decisions with powerful and insightful business metrics. The new NetSuite SRP suite also addresses global businesses’ needs by giving them comprehensive real-time visibility, integrated financials, resource optimization and services management from corporate to subsidiaries, down to the individual project level across geographies, currencies and tax jurisdictions. For companies selling both services and products, NetSuite SRP supplies complete visibility and control over enterprise-wide processes with such capabilities as revenue recognition for diverse revenue streams, and unified billing across multi-model service and product delivery.

Need for SRP and Market Opportunities
Both project- and product-based companies have for years faced the challenge of siloed information and maximizing the efficient use of staff. Traditionally, executives were forced to track services data in disparate spreadsheets, sharing that data with the finance department via email, which resulted in a lack of real-time visibility into operations and the risk of manual data entry errors and duplicate entries. Additionally, these companies have struggled to put the right person on the right project at the right time to maximize performance, profitability and client satisfaction. PSA software addresses many of these challenges, but without the financial component, organizations can’t track profitability through their back-office financials.

“In order to drive profit and growth, project- and product-based businesses have a clear need for visibility into the services, product and financial data that has traditionally been siloed across their organizations,” said Mike Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business Solutions at IDC. “Having that data in one unified, cloud-based system is a compelling offering in the global SRP market, which my research indicates reached $2.9 billion in 2013 and is growing at a rate of 9.5 percent year-over-year.”

Breakthrough Capabilities
With NetSuite SRP, project- and product-based businesses have one system to monitor the financial health of their organizations while also gaining real-time visibility into operational metrics. The new release delivers the following key features and benefits:
•Project Management—enabling project managers and team members to collaborate and update project status anytime, anywhere, improving project efficiency, satisfying clients and reducing non-billable work. Deep functionality includes project templates, task dependencies, Gantt charts with baseline and critical path highlights. And the new project center is designed to increase consultant productivity. The iPhone app helps on-the-go professionals to bill time and file expense reports anywhere and anytime.
•Resource Management—ensuring that the right resources are working on the right projects, based on real-time project timelines, with no one sitting on the bench. Capabilities to assign the best available talent to a project based on skill sets and industry expertise to optimize resource utilization.
•Project Accounting—advanced Job Costing allows for labor from timesheets to be tracked to financials, creating real-time insight into project profitability while detailed project budgeting allows for categorization of costs directly from the project, providing real-time metrics on Budget vs. Actuals.
•Mobile and Social Functionality—the availability of NetSuite SRP for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets gives on-the-go services professionals the ability to manage time and expenses, as well as more flexibility to quickly and easily access and manage critical business information from their device of choice from a client office, airport, home or any location in the world. The embedded social activities within the SRP suite helps improve collaboration.
•Delivery Billing Flexibility—empowering organizations to deliver complex multi-model billing across the services value chain, including fixed fee, milestones and time-and-materials models.
•Time and Expense Management—simplifying timesheet and expense reporting and tracking, and mapping entry and approval processes to unique business needs, helps improve consultant efficiency and compress billing cycles.
•Job Costing—providing instant visibility to finance, with billable hours going directly to the general ledger.
•Revenue Recognition—automating revenue recognition to schedule, calculate and present accurate financial statements.
•Financial Management and Reporting —providing real-time visibility into all aspects of a project-based business, allowing everyone to work off a single source of financial data with robust reporting and analytics to optimize the entire services business lifecycle.

Vertical Focus for Software, Advertising, Marketing Services, IT Services and Consulting
NetSuite SRP is designed to meet the needs of a variety of vertical industries. These include: project-based businesses such as advertising, marketing services, IT services, consulting, and product-based businesses such as software companies with embedded services teams that deliver implementation and consulting services, or resellers of hardware supported by service offerings.

For software companies, NetSuite’s next-generation SRP delivers project budgeting to easily and efficiently manage and analyze project finances with advanced project accounting software, from bid preparation through time and expense tracking to client billing and internal charge-back. NetSuite SRP supplies deep functionality to manage key drivers of a services business—revenue, billable utilization, profitability and days sales outstanding (DSO)—while streamlining revenue recognition across subscription businesses, all from one unified system.

Advertising and marketing services companies facing a transformation in the industry with the shift to digital and fee- and performance-based revenue can take advantage of NetSuite’s next-generation SRP for complete job routing from procurement to client to legal approval and streamline project management, resource optimization, pitch-to-invoice; and other critical advertising and marketing business processes by optimizing quotes and staffing, increasing staff utilization and agility. IT services and consulting companies benefit from NetSuite SRP capabilities to improve resource utilization and project profitability through assigning talent efficiently, developing more accurate quotes and identifying areas for margin improvement. NetSuite SRP’s global capabilities allow management consulting firms to manage and monitor a global workforce, assigning resources across geographies and subsidiaries while maintaining one accounting system.

With the added power of the SuiteCloud Development Platform, NetSuite SRP customers can easily customize the application for industry – or business-specific workflows and optimization and those customizations carry forward automatically with every NetSuite upgrade.

Customers Transform Services Efficiency
Services organizations such as YouGov, W2O Group, and Just Marketing Inc. are transforming their performance and profitability with NetSuite technology.

YouGov, a global market research business headquartered in the UK, has already seen the advantages of integrated services and financial data on NetSuite. With a mix of services that leverage its online panels of some 3 million survey takers, YouGov’s revenue sources include BrandIndex, its subscription-based brand intelligence product, the fast-turnaround Omnibus research service, and a range of project- based custom research services. YouGov thus faces the challenges of recognizing revenue and tracking its sales pipeline and financial performance across three distinct business types. Its data products and Omnibus are usually treated as a one-time sale whereas custom research operates as more of a traditional service business. With NetSuite, YouGov is able to track projects and monitor how resources and time are being utilized across the business; while recognizing revenue across its different business types on regular schedules, helping to generate key information and achieve fast financial close.

“NetSuite’s integration of CRM, sales and financial functions means that we have one version of the truth and different business functions can rely on information that is defined in the same way across the business,” said Alan Newman, CFO of YouGov. “Because NetSuite makes it easy to create a consistent structure, we can treat specific sales items the same way everywhere. My aim has always been to avoid complexity. I’m very excited about the prospect of NetSuite providing more project functionality.”

Additionally, NetSuite’s cloud-based system and OneWorld international capabilities have supported YouGov’s global expansion and helped to control back-office costs, including setting up an office in France with its accounting supported by the London office, and bringing a recent Hong Kong acquisition onto the corporate system in just four weeks.

W2O Group, an independent network of complementary marketing, communications, research and development firms, turned to NetSuite SRP to bring its project, finance and customer data all together in one system, to better serve clients, manage staffing resources at offices across the U.S. and improve profit margins.

Just Marketing Inc. (JMI), a global motorsport marketing company operating primarily in the NASCAR, Formula 1, and IndyCar circuits, was also struggling with separate services and financial systems. The siloed systems created challenges in managing time and expenses and financials for JMI, while its existing reporting structure made it difficult to view project profitability, set and establish billing rules and mix billing types.

“With NetSuite’s unified system, we’re able to monitor project profitability in real-time and make quicker decisions that have a real, measurable impact on the bottom line,” said Greg Nordhoff, Corporate Controller at JMI. “Our clients are happy with more accurate and timely invoicing while we’re a more agile operation.”

Global Approach
Global services organizations have lacked the integrated business management tools necessary to truly manage corporate performance on a global basis. Spreadsheets and homegrown systems offer an opaque view into subsidiaries and divisions, making it difficult to weed out unprofitable projects. Finding the right resource with availability to work on a project can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Gauging demand and backlog across geographies is a guess at best.

These businesses also face a number of complex multi-currency billing, expense and revenue recognition management issues across tax jurisdictions that can sap time, resources and increase financial risk—all while trying to ensure ongoing prompt project delivery, billing and receivables across dispersed divisions and subsidiaries.

The new release addresses the issues of global project and financial management. The product’s comprehensive services management functionality makes it ideal for both project-based and product-based organizations with international operations. With its automated multi-currency management, built-in support for international tax, compliance and sophisticated revenue recognition management, NetSuite SRP eliminates arduous manual processes and shortens the period-end close cycle. NetSuite SRP enables global services businesses to unlock these benefits with anytime, anywhere access and minimum capital expenditure, while ensuring fast deployment, and lean requirements for ongoing management, allowing teams to collaborate across the globe.

Today, more than 20,000 companies and subsidiaries depend on NetSuite to run complex, mission-critical business processes globally in the cloud. Since its inception in 1998, NetSuite has established itself as the leading provider of enterprise-class cloud ERP suites for divisions of large enterprises and mid-sized organizations seeking to upgrade their antiquated client/server ERP systems. NetSuite excels at streamlining business operations, as demonstrated by a recent Gartner study naming NetSuite as the fastest growing top 10 financial management systems vendor in the world. NetSuite continues its success in delivering the best cloud ERP/financial suites to businesses around the world, enabling them to lower IT costs significantly while increasing productivity, as the global adoption of the cloud accelerates.

Inventory, Supply Chain and Order Management Are Not Keeping Pace with Omnichannel Commerce

June 10, 2014 by

While online retail continues to grow at a rapid pace, many of the systems needed to support it are not keeping up. In fact, ecommerce is growing faster than in-store retail, according to the U.S. Commerce Department and Internet Retailer, climbing 16% in 2012 and 17% in 2013, compared to just 4% in both those years for store sales. Add to that the growth of other sales channels –such as catalogues, wholesale distribution, and social media—and out-of-store sales becomes an impressive growth market.

Yet many retailers lack the technical infrastructure and processes to succeed at omnichannel commerce. Specifically, inventory, order and supply chain management are the top three operational challenges for retailers seeking to succeed in omnichannel commerce. The retailers most aware of their weaknesses in those areas are also the most likely to overcome them and ultimately achieve success.

Those are some of the conclusions of a recent webcast, “Inventory and Order Management: Streamlining for Supply Chain Success” with Steve Rowen, managing partner for Retail Systems Research (RSR), Jay Moltz, IT operations manager for Ibex, and Andy Lloyd, general manager of NetSuite Commerce Products at NetSuite.

Most of these order and supply chain challenges can be managed with an omnichannel commerce platform, such as NetSuite SuiteCommerce. Jay Moltz, IT operations manager for Ibex explained how SuiteCommerce enabled Ibex to achieve real-time visibility of inventory to better manage orders across its multiple channels.

Ibex uses NetSuite to schedule its inventory and move products across three channels – online, retail stores, and wholesale. The company estimates it has saved five administrative hours per day processing individual orders after moving to NetSuite. In addition, managers can see all retail inventory in real time, compared to the 24-hour lag time they experienced with its previous system. NetSuite has also helped to improve inventory forecasting and makes it easier for online customers to pick up merchandise in stores.

Retailers like Ibex need five key capabilities in their commerce platforms. Those are:
•The ability to rapidly support innovation and offer new customer experiences, because new technologies and customer channels are coming out constantly.
•A 360-degree view of customer behavior and habits, both to understand consumer trends and to be able to more accurately personalize products, marketing, and sales offers.
•Intelligent order orchestration, to centrally manage orders from multiple channels and optimize inventory across channels.
•Unlimited expansion potential, including native support for multi-site deployments, unlimited subsidiary reporting native support for multi-language, multi-currency, and multi-tax transactions, and support for multiple business models (B2C and B2B) on the same platform.
•Support for all of the company’s application needs in one integrated platform, so that customers can have real-time visibility into data and processes throughout the company, and avoid the cost and headaches involved in maintaining fragmented systems.

These capabilities are important for ensuring that the ordering and supply chain processes are flexible enough to support future change. They can’t do that if their supply chains are mired in the 1990s.

As Rowen noted, “It’s a race to keep up with all of the ways that consumers want to shop. First it was stores, then the Web, then some retailers added catalogues, and Facebook. Today consumers shop any way they please – It’s completely changed in the last 10 years. But the problem is a lot of the progress that retailers have made is just veneer… the supply chain itself hasn’t changed.”

How Many Hats Do You Wear?

June 10, 2014 by

Rapidly growing small businesses are typically haunted by the fact that key personnel often wear too many hats. Leaders wear their primary hat for their core area of expertise and often others outside of their core because time and budget preclude hiring enough talent to cover all of the various areas of the company that require direct attention.

This often results in a dilution of leadership in these outlying areas of responsibility. The key individual focuses the bulk of their time and bandwidth on their core area while the others take a secondary position. This may be a temporary situation until cash flow solves the issue, but often it is the norm for extended periods of time. While these secondary areas of responsibility may function well enough to get by, it is often the case that they could perform much better contribute more with direct leadership.

This situation begs the question about how to increase cash flow, hire additional leadership, reduce expenses and increase opportunity for even more growth and a brighter future.

Many leading companies that have solved this problem set have often done so through the judicious use of software solutions that free up technical resources, reduce cost and provide ancillary benefits heretofore not available prior to the software’s installation and use. This does not have to require additional budget but rather a re-allocation of current spend.

A proven method is to look at the cloud for a single-platform software solution in order to achieve their objectives.

A single source of cloud-based software with a subscription pay-as-you-go model is ideal for the fast growth small business. Cloud means that the burden of hardware is removed and cash flow is enhanced. Fewer resources are needed to maintain on premises systems adding more cash to the credit side of the balance sheet.

The single platform source means that integration of various requirements across the enterprise becomes a reality not a dream. That reality translates to a more nimble ecosystem that delivers what every department within the company requires consistently and economically. What’s more, today’s software allows businesses to run more efficiently with features and benefits that free up time, make analysis more exact, offer insights never before imagined coupled with access from anywhere on any device.

So what does this mean to the executive and their many hats? The answer is quite simple:

Save money with less hardware, fewer tech resources and a payment model that permits cash management never before available
Take advantage of the Cloud’s benefit of reduced capital expenditures and the efficiencies that re-allocation of available spend inherently delivers
Enter today’s new world of modern reporting, in-depth analytics, and trendspotting with previous laborious tasks reduced to minutes instead of hours
Leverage a single integrated software platform to simplify management what you do best — run and grow your business
The bottom line is that those many hats can now be distributed to those who they fit best. Your business is better managed. The back and front office hums in the Cloud. Your opportunity for growth is greatly increased. The potential for a happy ending is exponentially compounded.

Why wait? Isn’t it time you only took one hat to work in the morning?

Cloud Applications Cutting Costs and Driving International Growth for Midmarket Manufacturers

June 9, 2014 by

For most mid-sized manufacturers, doing business internationally has become a fact of life. Manufacturers today sell products to, and buy supplies from, all over the world. That requires navigating diverse markets, currencies, languages and regulations, while managing all of the business processes that cross corporate departments.

Fortunately, the increasingly sophisticated capabilities of cloud-based applications are helping businesses address these challenges.

A recent survey of mid-market manufacturers, by IndustryWeek magazine and NetSuite, revealed many manufacturers are capitalizing on international growth. The survey, conducted earlier this year, found that over 62 percent of the manufacturers expected to increase their revenues “somewhat” and another 11 percent expected to increase revenues “significantly.” More than 60 percent planned to increase their capacity to meet rising customer demand. These findings, along with data from another survey by ERP consulting firm Mint Jutras, were the topic of “The Secret to My Success: How Mid-Market Manufacturing Leaders Are Using the Cloud to Drive Growth.”

Both reports illustrate how cloud computing is helping them achieve this success. Past and current cost reduction strategies have enabled manufacturers to position themselves financially so they can expand in the year ahead. One of these cost reduction strategies is the move from in-house hardware and software to cloud-based software as a service (SaaS). In fact, manufacturers listed cost reduction as their key reason for choosing a SaaS strategy, and three of the top five cost-cutting tactics that respondents cited were directly related to SaaS: improving employee productivity; modernizing, streamlining or automating processes; and reducing overhead.


The Mint Jutras survey reinforces that data. According to that survey, the top five reasons that manufacturers gave for why they found the cloud appealing were directly related to cost reduction. Those five reasons are:
•lower total cost of ownership
•reduced cost and effort of upgrades
•lower startup costs
•limited IT resources
•no need to purchase or maintain [hardware or software].

One example of a company that invested in the cloud for cost savings is Shaw Industries, a carpet manufacturer and subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway. Shaw needed an ERP system that could scale across a complex global environment, and do it with low capital costs on a lean IT footprint and with a quick deployment. NetSuite’s cloud-based OneWorld Manufacturing met Shaw’s requirements. Among other benefits, OneWorld made it possible to cut its delivery time to its Asian markets.


If a little cloud software is good, more would be better. Midmarket manufacturers are adopting SaaS, but often on a piecemeal basis, such as financial software first, then supply chain planning, sales management, etc., instead of a platform-based approach in which all of the important business processes and data types are standardized and centralized in one cloud-based platform.

The Mint Jutras survey showed that more than half, or 55 percent, of the manufacturers polled listed financial software as the SaaS product they used most extensively. Other popular SaaS applications (selected by 33 percent or higher) include order management, lean manufacturing, manufacturing resources planning, quality management, and supply chain management.

Ironically, this phased approach to cloud adoption may be prolonging some of the problems that mid-market manufacturers suffer from in their efforts to expand. Specifically, their ability to grow is restricted by:
•an incomplete business view
•overly complex and inefficient business operations
•an inability to get needed data in a timely manner
•out-of-control business costs

All four of these inter-related problems limit a business’s ability to expand. Yet all four can be greatly improved by a migration away from siloed applications to an enterprise SaaS platform.

With a cloud-based system, data and business processes are centralized and accessible from any location, meaning executives can get a complete view of the business with real-time reports on operations and performance. It also enables managers to more easily find inefficiencies and reduce operating costs.

Reducing the cost of ongoing operations through outsourcing is a key strategy for expansion. At the same time, more than 60 percent of manufacturers surveyed in the IndustryWeek poll are under pressure to increase capacity to meet demand in the market — and increasing capacity requires money. So the more money a manufacturer can get by cutting costs, the more it has available to invest in expansion when it sees an opportunity available. Cloud computing can’t solve every problem associated with international expansion, but it certainly can help companies streamline their operations and budget their money more effectively, so they can spend it in the areas that are most strategic to their needs — not for shoring up leaks and fixing inefficiencies.

See some of the stories that manufacturers have to tell about their cloud computing experiences at NetSuite’s manufacturing section.


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