NetSuite is a full-featured cloud-based ERP system that can be made even more powerful when it is integrated with other applications.
In this brief Q&A, we highlight Buiness Solution Partners' NetSuite Project Manager Antonio Posella.
Tony takes this opportunity to discuss the risks and rewards you can expect when NetSuite customers embrace integrations to extend the native functionality of their NetSuite ERP core.
Q: Is it common for customers to want to integrate NetSuite with other applications?
A: Some of our customers want to do everything in NetSuite, but almost always, there’s some sort of integration somewhere along the line. What’s a new trend is that around 60-70 percent of the customers I’ve worked with recently who are implementing NetSuite want NetSuite to be integrated with other applications out the door. This can make the implementation process end-to-end more complicated.
Q: Some applications offer pre-built integrations with NetSuite. This makes integration easier, correct?
A: Applications like SalesForce (customer relationship management) and Adaptive Suite (corporate performance management) offer pre-built integrations with NetSuite which does streamline the integration process between programs. However, what we’ve found is that even with these pre-built integrations, often customers will need some customizations to get where they need to go, such making sure fields are mapped accurately. Because BSP experts really understand NetSuite, we can help with this step.
Q: What are NetSuite connectors?
A: They are pre-built integration solutions offered by third-party providers. For example, customers can buy a connector to manage e-commerce shopping carts for Amazon or EBay. Customers don’t have to worry about doing the programming, themselves, or maintaining the connector. The caveat here is that these third-party connector solutions can carry high price tags.
Q: What are custom integrations?
A: These are custom applications and are often the best choice when a client needs to connect NetSuite to a legacy or home-grown application.
Q: What are the risks associated with integrations?
A: Integrations are living things. They are constantly changing and evolving because NetSuite does regular updates, as does the software clients are integrating. Integrations need to be monitored, understood and managed on an on-going basis. Clients need to be aware of and understand the automation that integrations enable. They need to know what to watch out for and how to fix potential errors. For example, I worked at a company prior to BSP where because of an issue with an integration, the company double-shipped items and cost the company almost $10,000 in one day.
Clients also need to understand the requirements of the integration and what can happen if a change is made— leading to such problems as duplicate records or slow system performance.
Q: When does it make sense to work with a partner to tackle NetSuite integrations?
A: The value of working with a partner like BSP is that we really know NetSuite since we’ve worked with many, many companies over the years. We will help clients who may not have the knowledge or resources to focus on integrations. We gather integration requirements from clients and then do the legwork and locate several integration choices.
Some options are best-in-class, and we do alert customers about these options, but we always go for what’s best for our clients. In my opinion, often it can be cheaper to work with BSP to create a custom integration or a connector compared to going with a third-party pre-built integration or connector. In addition, support from BSP is likely more responsive because we’re a smaller company.
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