UPDATED 10:23 EST / OCTOBER 06 2020

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Oracle broadly enhances NetSuite and bridges to Autonomous Data Warehouse

Oracle Corp. today is announcing a broad set of enhancements to its NetSuite software for small and midsized businesses, including customer self-service capabilities, machine learning features that identify transactions and recommend ecommerce site configurations, and new integration with Oracle’s flagship Autonomous Data Warehouse

The company, which was one of the first software-as-a-service providers, said its business has remained strong during the pandemic, growing 23% this year, to more than 22,000 customers. “We are seeing companies really accelerating their ecommerce,” which has benefited sales of the SuiteCommerce component, said Evan Goldberg (pictured), executive vice president for Oracle NetSuite. 

In core financials, customers can now connect to thousands of financial institutions globally to automatically import  transactions and account balances directly into NetSuite, which learns to identify different types of transactions. “We will recognize how things should be categorized,” Goldberg said, the result being that “everything about your cash standing is completely up to date all the time.” 

Updates to the accounts payable component enable customers to digitally manage workflows and automate entry of invoices, electronic payment processes and scheduled  payment runs. Invoices are now grouped into a single entity, making them quicker to create. There’s a new dedicated budgeting  feature and added capabilities for revenue and expense projections. 

New automation features in supply chain management “make sure you have the best plans and can make the best decisions when things inevitably change,” Goldberg said, a feature that businesses will find useful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Order fulfillment can be automated based on user-defined criteria such as lead time, shipping cost and fill rate.  

Smart inventory management

Machine learning algorithms can identify purchase, sales, or transfer orders that are at risk and provide alternative  recommendations. Inventory allocation can now find items in stock, in shipment and in manufacturing which can be reallocated to fill a customer order and avoid cancellations. “Computers turn out to be very good at juggling,” Goldberg said. 

The NetSuite Analytics Warehouse has been integrated with Oracle Analytics Cloud and Autonomous Data Warehouse to deliver near real-time metrics across an organization. The warehouse will be able to “pull data in at automated intervals, take snapshots and analyze NetSuite data along with data from other systems” when it’s released later this year, Goldberg said. 

The human resources component of NetSuite, called SuitePeople, is getting streamlined onboarding features for new employees that ensure that all steps in the  process are completed. “It’s tailored to the department so you can build templates for each job, such as health and safety training for warehouse employees,” Goldberg said. Performance reviews can now be centrally administered and performance metrics applied across the suite “so you can build smart goals that are specific, measurable and timely,” he said. 

The ecommerce site manager is getting new customer self-service capabilities and an intelligent agent that recommends the optimal set of features and user interface for customer-facing sites. NetSuite is in the process of rebuilding much of its user interface around Oracle’s Redwood design specification, which is based on design thinking principles. 

Global focus

Strategically, NetSuite is setting its sights on international expansion as well as smaller customers that are “graduating from QuickBooks,” the small business accounting system from Intuit Inc., Goldberg said. “As an organization we are much more focused on building things that are global in nature but highly customizable,” he said.

Oracle will continue to target its Fusion line of cloud applications at enterprises and NetSuite at “companies from just after formation to thousands of employees,” Goldberg said. Few companies actually ever “graduate” from NetSuite to Fusion because of the SMB suite’s scalability, which will be improved by an impending migration to Oracle’s Exadata cloud engine. 

Not all features are available immediately. A more detailed schedule is in the announcement press release

Photo: Oracle

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