Called NetSuite 2007, the application is a single hosted platform running entirely from a single database, on which to run an entire business, covering everything from high-impact business functionality such as CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and accounting down to stock control, handling and even shipping logistics.
"We have around 5,000 customers globally, and our UK business is growing, in some areas more rapidly than our main US business" said NetSuite chief executive Zach Nelson, this is the first time Netsuite has announced a major announcement outside the USA.
Nelson is targeting current and potential customers of rival companies such Salesforce and Sage with the new release, in particular Sage which offers both traditional client server accounting and CRM software as well as retrofitting some of its applications into a hosted environment.
"Heavy customisation is usually required to make them fit into a business, and users struggle to get comfortable with complex applications. Making the same apps easier usually happens at the expense of the functionality and the features the users actually need and want" Nelson added.
By making use of modern web technologies such as AJAX, the NetSuite product provides a fast dynamic and interactive front-end to business data, sitting alongside an enterprise-level reporting engine and graphing system that can show the information in real time and in ways that makes it easy to understand and follow.
Primary users for the NetSuite product have come from the smaller business community, but with recent releases, the company has picked up several large customer deployments,
"SaaS is increasingly being a strategic decision for large enterprise businesses" said David Bradshaw, principle analyst in Ovum's software group. "It is bringing business professionals and the IT department together in the buying process and ensuring that all sides have a better understanding of what work takes place and what tools are needed to do it."
New features in NetSuite 2007 include SuiteBundler, a batch automation system for new feature deployment and configuration of accounts and reseller deployments; as well as the globalisation of the accounting software, making it easier for a company to manage multinational accounts and subsidiaries all via the one NetSuite deployment. This is possible by allowing divisions to work and report figures in local currency while still running the business as a whole in a different one. All currency calculations are performed in real-time as demanded using live or pre-set currency data.
The company unveiled NetSuite Assistants, a refinement of its current ERP package that will make setup, data import, and ERP back-office management simpler.
Services within the Assistants suite include a setup assistant, a data import assistant, and a graphical transaction form assistant.
Matrix Item Assistant will now allow for inventory tracking of multivariate products.
NetSuite Global CRM and PRM adds the ability to manage orders, forecasts, quotas, and commissions on a per-country basis in local currency.
Also included is a dashboard that can aggregate global information from across an organization into a single, consolidated view.
An upgraded analytics capability, SuiteAnalytics, will add scorecards and the ability to include Excel-like customized formulas within a dashboard.