NetSuite originally began as NetLedger in the late 1990s. Since its founding, the company and its software have undergone a number of changes. Today, NetSuite offers essentially three software services: NetSuite CRM+, NetSuite, and OneWorld.
The NetSuite product includes much of the functionality offered in OneWorld but is meant for organizations with only a single legal entity. Clearly, the NetSuite product targets the upper end of the small business market. It’s especially suited to small businesses that forecast rapid near and long-term growth.
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Among the early adopters of NetSuite were companies in wholesale distribution, e-commerce, software, and software services. Also, companies with hybrid or non-mainstream business models often found NetSuite’s highly configurable software very attractive. Geographically dispersed organizations also found NetSuite to be an excellent solution, as it allowed access to remote users while avoiding costly infrastructure. Vendors, customers, partners, and especially employees could log in from anywhere at any time to do business in the same NetSuite account. NetSuite’s cost-effective and accessible software effectively leverages the Internet, which is now the most dominant feature of our business landscape.
The theme of offering an integrated end-to-end solution to modern business challenges continued with NetSuite OneWorld. With OneWorld, rolled out in late 2007, you could operate not only from any location in the world but also through multiple legal subsidiaries, in multiple currencies and languages. OneWorld is, therefore, in the simplest terms, a business management software solution for small and medium enterprises operating in a global economy that the Internet has changed forever.
We often field questions about the difference between NetSuite’s main software suites, so it probably makes sense to look at them in a little more detail and make sure the differences and similarities are well understood.
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NetSuite now has three main products:
- NetSuite CRM+
- NetSuite OneWorld
NetSuite CRM+ is simply the CRM module of NetSuite, including sales, marketing, and support. We will cover all of the CRM modules in our discussion of OneWorld, but we will not spend any time talking about NetSuite CRM+ as a separate product offering. Let’s also note here that a NetSuite CRM+ account may be upgraded to NetSuite or to OneWorld. We’ll cover the upgrade process in more detail in later chapters.
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NetSuite is the full suite, including CRM, ERP, and Web Presence/E-commerce, which allows a single company or legal entity to operate its whole business on one system. If you have just one legal entity, then you can use NetSuite to run the business. Later, should you want to add another legal entity, you can upgrade your NetSuite account to OneWorld. All of the base OneWorld functionality described in our Netsuite Training covers NetSuite, minus the ability to consolidate multiple legal entities every month, and a few functions that would only be useful to organizations with multiple legal entities.
The key difference between NetSuite and OneWorld is the addition of multiple subsidiary functionalities in OneWorld. Of course, running several legal entities in a single OneWorld account raises some challenges: inter-company journal entries, intercompany sale and purchase transactions, inter-company time and expenses, inter-company commissions, inter-company inventory transfers, and inter-company accounting allocations.
While you can operate a single worldwide company in NetSuite, you can operate multiple companies in your OneWorld account, with the functionality you need to do it all very efficiently.
Customize, integrate, configure, and extend OneWorld
NetSuite’s OneWorld enables the following:
Customization - Add new tables and manage business processes with server-side or client-side code.
Integration - There is a Web services API allowing you to write from or to the database. There are also SaaS services such as Boomi, or appliances such as CloudConnect and Pervasive for running your integration. For lightweight integration, there are RESTlets, a type of SuiteScript that enables access to a REST API for integration with other web-based applications, or for the development of phone applications.
Configuration - Add fields and code to reshape forms to your specific business model.
Extension - Using the previous options plus the ability to design custom workflows yourself, you can create solution bundles for your organization, or a specific market vertical. Alternatively, you can purchase third-party extension bundles already built.
To prevent confusion, we start at the lowest level of the NetSuite pyramid. The SuiteCloud platform is NetSuite’s term for all of the major parts of their system:
- The SaaS Infrastructure and the Physical Data Center: As you would expect, these are the foundation of all things in NetSuite.
- The next level is the Software Suites, in our case, OneWorld. These provide the base functionality for all other development.
- The third level is the NS-BOS. This is the development platform
- SuiteCloud Developer Network(SDN) is the group to which outside developers belong, providing them with support for the NetSuite extensions they build.
Finally, there is the SuiteApp marketplace, a collection of all of the third-party developments that you can add to your OneWorld deployment
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NetSuite Business Operating System (NS BOS)
NS BOS refers specifically to a set of functions, which enable developers to build applications on top of NetSuite’s OneWorld, or their other suites, adding important functionality.
SuiteFlex is the name given to the tools, listed as follows, that enable development within the NetSuite system:
SuiteBuilder -The basics of development, enables new records, new fields, and new forms.
SuiteTalk - When you have to communicate with another SaaS application or an on-premise application, this is the Web services API (application programming interface that exposes NetSuite records to read and write processes). NetSuite already offers SuiteTalk integrations with salesforce.com, SAP, and Oracle. When you need a lightweight integration with a phone application or with another web-based application, such as Google mail, you can use a RESTlet to gain access to a REST-based web services API.
SuiteScript d-bug - This recent addition enables developers to debug their work as they go, making them more agile and saving precious development time.
Single Sign-on - Enables users who sign onto NetSuite to navigate to other web-based applications.
SuiteBundler - Allows developers to bundle all of their development efforts and then inject the bundle into a NetSuite account with a couple of clicks. This saves an enormous amount of time when re-creating applications and modules, or when enhancing an upgrade.
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