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Netsuite is an American cloud computing company based in San Mateo, California, that sells a group of software services used to manage a business’s financials, operations and customer relations. NetSuite’s services are aimed at small to medium-sized businesses, although larger enterprises can also benefit from the consolidated ERP, CRM and e-commerce features. Oracle Corporation offered to purchase NetSuite for approximately $9.3 billion USD in July 2016, with the deal finalizing in November 2016.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is the integrated management of core business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.
ERP is usually referred to as a category of business-management software — typically a suite of integrated applications—that an organization can use to collect, store, manage and interpret data from these many business activities.
ERP provides an integrated and continuously updated view of core business processes using common databases maintained by a database management system. ERP systems track business resources—cash, raw materials, production capacity—and the status of business commitments: orders, purchase orders, and payroll. The applications that make up the system share data across various departments (manufacturing, purchasing, sales, accounting, etc.) that provide the data. ERP facilitates information flow between all business functions and manages connections to outside stakeholders.
ERP systems typically include the following characteristics:
- An integrated system
- Operates in (or near) real time
- A common database that supports all the applications
- A consistent look and feel across modules
- Installation of the system with elaborate application/data integration by the Information Technology (IT) department, provided the implementation is not done in small steps
An ERP system covers the following common functional areas. In many ERP systems these are called and grouped together as ERP modules:
- Finance & Accounting: General Ledger, Fixed Assets, payables including voucher, matching and payment, receivables Cash Management and collections, cash management, Financial Consolidation
- Management Accounting: Budgeting, Costing, cost management, activity based costing
- Human resources: Recruiting, training, rostering, payroll, benefits, retirement and pension plans, diversity management, retirement, separation
- Manufacturing: Engineering, bill of materials, work orders, scheduling, capacity, workflow management, quality control, manufacturing process, manufacturing projects, manufacturing flow, product life cycle management
- Order Processing: Order to cash, order entry, credit checking, pricing, available to promise, inventory, shipping, sales analysis and reporting, sales commissioning.
- Supply chain management: Supply chain planning, supplier scheduling, product configurator, order to cash, purchasing, inventory, claim processing, warehousing (receiving, putaway, picking and packing).
- Project management: Project planning, resource planning, project costing, work breakdown structure, billing, time and expense, performance units, activity management
- Customer relationship management: Sales and marketing, commissions, service, customer contact, call center support — CRM systems are not always considered part of ERP systems but rather Business Support systems (BSS).
- Data services : Various “self–service” interfaces for customers, suppliers and/or employees
(Government resource planning) (GRP) is ERP for public sector, and an integrated office automation system for government bodies. The software structure, modularization, core algorithms and main interfaces do not differ from other ERPs, and ERP software suppliers manage to adapt its systems to government agencies. Both system implementations, in private and public organizations, are adopted to improve productivity and overall business performance in organizations, but comparisons (private vs public) of implementations shows that the main factors influencing ERP implementation success in the public sector are cultural.
Key Benefits of the Service
- ERP can improve quality and efficiency of the business. By keeping a company’s internal business processes running smoothly, ERP can lead to better outputs that may benefit the company, such as in customer service and manufacturing.
- ERP supports upper level management by providing information for decision making.
- ERP creates a more agile company that adapts better to change. It also makes a company more flexible and less rigidly structured so organization components operate more cohesively, enhancing the business—internally and externally.
- ERP can improve data security. A common control system, such as the kind offered by ERP systems, allows organizations the ability to more easily ensure key company data is not compromised.
- ERP provides increased opportunities for collaboration. Data takes many forms in the modern enterprise. Documents, files, forms, audio and video, emails. Often, each data medium has its own mechanism for allowing collaboration. ERP provides a collaborative platform that lets employees spend more time collaborating on content rather than mastering the learning curve of communicating in various formats across distributed systems.