Investing in NetSuite Explained
One of NetSuite’s best features is that it can grow alongside your business. You don’t have to migrate your system to new software when you are big enough to need additional services.
NetSuite offers a number of graded packages to fit your business size and requirements. Let’s break them down:
NetSuite Limited Edition Cost
This package is aimed at small businesses (less than 50 employees) with a single-business registration. The pricing is more economically suited for smaller companies, and it offers up to 10 user licenses.
NetSuite Mid-Market Edition Cost
Built for larger businesses with more than one business registration, which might require consolidated financial reports over several currencies, for example. This licensing gives businesses the opportunity to have more than 10 licensed users.
NetSuite Enterprise Edition Cost
Designed for big business at an enterprise level, this package allows more than one-thousand users to access the platform.
Customer Relationship Management
Usually the NetSuite package includes CRM software. However, where companies require only the Financial Management operations, there is the option to exclude CRM from the full suite. You can even integrate your chosen CRM software with NetSuite’s ERP solution.
NetSuite’s CRM solution will cover all your customer relationship requirements, including marketing automation, case and customer service management, Sales Force Automation and partner relationship management.
NetSuite’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) suite can manage a huge range of back-office projects, including project and order management, accounts payable, bank management, inventory management, accounts receivable, employee centre and general ledger services.
NetSuite Pricing for Small Business
NetSuite has its origins in the small business market. The software was initially set up to support small businesses but grew naturally as they acquired larger clients such as GoPro and Shaw Industries.
With larger clients came larger fees, and small businesses found it difficult to keep up with the pricing as NetSuite expanded. After the software company’s acquisition by Oracle, NetSuite started offering a number of attractive pricing structures for small businesses that have outgrown initial back office management software.
You can find out if your business meets the requirements for SMB pricing by completing an online survey from one of NetSuite’s solution providers and partners.
Ecommerce Pricing and Licensing
NetSuite offers three integrated options for e-commerce management software which are fully functional within NetSuite’s ERP. These are:
- Site Builder.
- SuiteCommerce Standard.
- SuiteCommerce Advanced.
With NetSuite’s built-in e-commerce management software you don’t need any connecting software to integrate with the ERP like you would with other standalone e-commerce solutions.
Before you sign up to NetSuite’s SuiteCommerce, ensure that your NetSuite solution provider has knowledge and experience with the suite, as though some partners can provide SuiteCommerce licenses, not all of them can give experienced advice on how to manage the software.
Let’s unpack the three e-commerce management packages from NetSuite:
The most basic option from NetSuite, this package is seldom used. As it was built much before the meteoric rise of e-commerce shopping within the last decade, this software lacks some of the key features available with the SuiteCommerce standard and advanced offering.
Site Builder is available to be licensed. Some early adopters of NetSuite might be familiarised with this bundle, but the more advanced packages are generally recommended.
SuiteCommerce Standard Cost
This package is designed for retailers that have a small to medium catalogue base. It is integrated with the NetSuite system, giving you full integration with NetSuite’s CRM and ERP solutions.
With this package you will be able to build an e-commerce solution that is:
- SaaS based
The Standard solution was designed as an upgrade for Site Builder, improving on some outdated features with cutting edge solutions.
SuiteCommerce Advanced Cost
This solution gives businesses the option to customise their e-commerce system fully and is designed for large enterprises that have a vast catalogue of products, custom point of sale requirements and a high rate of purchases.
You can use this solution across several languages, currencies, channels and brands.
Compared to the Standard solution, which is built for small to medium business, the advanced package is designed for enterprise-grade organisations.
Technical Support Pricing
Having support for your NetSuite software is a necessity. You will need to have someone who understands your business needs and knows exactly how to solve the problem. Luckily, NetSuite offers free support for any licensed subscribers.
There is also an upgraded option of support if you need extra coverage. NetSuite’s Premium Support will give you 24/7 coverage, so if your offices are based in cities at opposite ends of the world, you can contact NetSuite at any time of the night or day, wherever you are.
It is recommended to use your NetSuite solution provider as your crucial support contact. The reason is that they have a deeper understanding of your business and any unique customisations or requirements that you have in place.
You can bring your NetSuite partner on board to help resolve any complicated support issues and use NetSuite’s standard or premium support to bolster your support network.
User NetSuite License Pricing
You will need a user license for anyone who is performing transactions in the NetSuite system; this might include the DOO, Controller or any other business leader.
For limited actions such as completing time sheets or viewing expense reports you can create additional user licensees, defined as self-service users. These user accounts are charged at a 1/5th of a full named user license, allowing you to have multiple limited user licenses and give your staff access basic to features.
Licenses can be added on as and when you need them, so there’s no need to buy a large selection of licenses ahead of time; you can simply update them as you go.
To share data with people who don’t have licensed access to your NetSuite system, you can export files and data to Excel and other third-party applications. NetSuite has a nifty report scheduling function which automates report distribution in CSV, PDF, Excel or Word format
Finance your License using NetSuite Partners and Oracle NetSuite Finance
Putting together the perfect license agreement for your NetSuite package can be incredibly complicated. Sometimes it helps to involve a NetSuite solution provider to manage your payment and licensing.
Some NetSuite partners will even finance your license purchase, so you can get your business integrated with NetSuite and repay your license in instalments as your business grows.
Modules Available for NetSuite
NetSuite gives you the opportunity to add and remove modules from your suite so you can always have (and pay for) exactly what you need. Bear in mind that you can only remove modules during the contract renewal period, so try not to license unnecessary add-ons. There are heaps of modules you can add on to accommodate your business, and they can be licensed whenever you need them during your contract term.
Modules come in two forms. You can custom pick individual modules to add on, or you can choose Industry Suites, which are a pre-defined selection of modules chosen for particular industries.
The industry suites available range across a number of business services including financial management, retail, e-commerce, inventory management and much more. Let’s unpack them:
The finance management industry suite includes OneWorld, designed to help large enterprises that have multiple legal registrations. Use OneWorld if you need separate financial management, financial consolidation and cross-company transactions for multiple legal entities.
Multi-book accounting gives you the ability to concurrently report your books to comply with different industry and country-specific rules.
Advanced Financials is an add-on that can super boost your financial management, allowing you to monitor your budgets versus actuals.
In NetSuite’s financial management suite you will also find add-ons for Fixed Assets, Advanced Revenue Management, Advanced Financials and Oracle Planning and Budgeting Cloud Service (PBCS).
From NetSuite’s manufacturing management industry suite you can find the Demand Planning module. Demand Planning is built for inventory managers, giving them the power to predict the product demand projection in the coming months.
The Manufacturing WIP & Routing module will allow you to properly manage realistic volume and cost targets and analyse your performance against those targets.
You will also be able to handle Work Orders & Assemblies and Advanced Manufacturing using the modules from the Manufacturing Management industry suite.
Services Resource Planning
NetSuite’s acquired OpenAir module is designed to help service-based businesses manage time, resources and expenses across multiple projects. You can also use the Project Management, Job Costing and Resource Allocation modules to better improve your services resource planning.
The NetSuite SuitePeople HR management service is built into NetSuite’s cloud-based platform. You can also add-on their Premier Payroll Service.
Retail and e-Commerce
The SuiteCommerce InStore module is an ingenious solution which couples in-store and online shopping with a single cloud-based software.
You can also use Advanced Order Management to automate your ordering process. In addition to these advanced packages, NetSuite offers the SuiteCommerce Standard and SuiteCommerce Advanced modules.
Investing in NetSuite’s inventory management add-ons gives you the option to use Warehouse Management (WMS), Advanced Inventory and Advanced Procurement add-ons.
Licensing and Using OpenAir
OpenAir is built to manage back of office solutions for service-based businesses, managing resources, time and expenses. It is entirely customisable, so you should probably look to work with a licensed professional to figure out precisely what you need with your Open-Air package.
NetSuite initially acquired the OpenAir software in 2008, and it is designed to connect up with NetSuite and other software such as Microsoft Project, Oracle, and Salesforce. Unlike some other NetSuite modules and packages, OpenAir requires a connector to integrate into NetSuite.
Services Resource Planning (SRP) Pricing
This package is a collection of three NetSuite modules: Job Costing, Project Management and Resource Allocation. NetSuite’s SRP has a similar function to the OpenAir package, but as OpenAir is an acquisition the software has an alternative user interface to the SRP package.
NetSuite’s SRP is designed for a small to medium business size, and companies that want to run their services on just one platform.
Alternative and Additional NetSuite Licenses
A SandBox licensed account is designed to help developers who want to have advanced customisation capability within the NetSuite system. Developers will be able to model and test customisations inside the SandBox environment that will not affect the operation of the integrated NetSuite system during the business day.
Licensing is available in 12-month segments, and the pricing for the SandBox account is based on a percentage of your annual contract pricing.
Advanced Service Tiers
With these advanced service tiers, you can access NetSuite updates early and even get access to your own database storage segment.
There are a number of service tiers, starting at shared, and progressing from 3, 2, 1 and 1+/0. With the standard shared tier, you will receive 10GB of business data, 10GB of file cabinet data and a maximum of 100 users.
With an upgraded tier, you will automatically be able to select a customised upgrade phase, and at tier 2 you will receive the premium sandbox service as part of your package. The top tier 1+/0 allows 3TB of business data and 400GB of file cabinet data.
Upgraded service tiers give large businesses the opportunity to access real scale in the system at an additional cost.
You can also access SuiteCloud Plus to manage high-traffic customers and large value purchases. SuiteCloud Plus gives you a number of advanced development options such as an increase in queues for scheduled scripts, advanced CSV imports and concurrent web service threads.
For businesses that want to get their NetSuite system installed as quickly as possible, SuiteSuccess is the perfect option. It comes with built-in KPIs, dashboards and modules which are designed to suit a particular industry.
The key aim of SuiteSuccess is to get a particular company up and running with NetSuite in less than one-hundred days.
While SuiteSuccess comes with a varied list of everything you might need for your industry, it might limit the amount of customisation you can implement with your system. So if you need to integrate third-party software, add in different customisations, KPI’s and dashboards from the start, it might be better to build your NetSuite integration from scratch rather than use the SuiteSuccess integration.
It really means the difference between customisation and speed, and you can prioritise either depending on your individual business needs.
Custom Subscription Time Periods
With NetSuite you can customise your subscription period based on your requirements and expectations. The shortest subscription available is 12 months, and the longest is up to five years.
In short, 12 months will give you flexibility, allowing you to remove modules out of contract as needed. On the other hand, a five-year subscription will give you more security and a predictable price across your license period, ensuring you can avoid price increases during the license term.
Choosing the right billing and finance
It’s essential to choose the correct billing option for your NetSuite licensing. By picking the right option, you can save yourself money and keep your company running smoothly with outright or monthly payments.
Financing services such as Oracle Financing will enable a consistent monthly license payment so you know exactly how much you need on a month-to-month basis. If you’re a small to medium business and you want to get NetSuite set up as soon as possible, this can be a great option to integrate the system sooner rather than later.
You can negotiate a custom license term and billing arrangement with NetSuite, and regardless of whether you use a NetSuite solution provider or go direct, your contract will always be with Oracle NetSuite.
Integrating NetSuite with your Systems
NetSuite gives you the opportunity to integrate your existing software with the SuiteCloud platform. The NetSuite platform was built to give users the option to extend its services across their businesses needs, integrating it with existing software or additional software that they might add on as the business grows.
To integrate NetSuite into your systems, you need connectors. There are three basic types of connectors:
Connectors will give you an automatic connection between your NetSuite and extended applications. You can find connectors with a bunch of different suppliers, including FarApp and Celigo. You will need to pay a separate license fee for connectors, these can range up to $100 (US) per month.
These provide a robust solution to connectors, known as Integration Platform as a Service (iPaas) they can cost a bit more than basic NetSuite Connectors, ranging between $100 – $1,000 per month.
Dell Boomi, Jitterbit and Celigo are the biggest suppliers for Integration Platform solutions.
This is an advanced option which allows developers to code a connection solution. You can use this software with any programming language that is SOAP supported to connect legacy applications and Web 2.0 tools to NetSuite.
The best thing about SuiteScript is that it comes free with your NetSuite subscription, but you will need to have a developer or development team on hand to build the connector.
The Cost of Implementing NetSuite
The cost of implementing NetSuite greatly depends on your needs. The process could take much longer if you choose a custom option rather than the pre-defined SuiteSuccess package, for example. If you want to add custom KPI’s, modules and integrate other third-party systems, the cost and integration process can differ wildly from a more basic SuiteSuccess set-up.
Let’s look at the steps required to assess your individual implementation cost:
- Analysing your Requirements
- Deploying NetSuite and managing configuration
- Implement NetSuite customisations
1. Analysing your Requirements
The process will usually begin with an analysis of your business requirements by NetSuite partners. The analysis will differ depending on the NetSuite partner you are using, but they will essentially analyse your business and try to figure out exactly how NetSuite can fit in, where it will be best used and what you need to get out of the software suite.
They will analyse your model, clients, employee base and the processes you are currently using. The process is not intended to be invasive but rather to produce a detailed and in-depth picture of your business and its individual needs. This is essential to the appropriate licensing, implementation and ongoing support on the NetSuite system.
Analysis and reporting may take a few months to complete and will cost between $150-250/ hour. Though the cost can be high, it is critical to use this time to develop a robust and detailed plan for how to use and license NetSuite before you get the ball rolling.
Once the analysis is complete, the NetSuite partner will deliver a Business Requirement Document (BRD) detailing exactly how NetSuite should be used to grow your business. Once you have this analysis completed, you will have a clear path to developing and implementing your NetSuite system integration.
2. Deploying NetSuite and managing configuration
With your Business Requirement Document in hand you will now be able to start the process of implementing the NetSuite system. Generally, you can expect this to take around twice as long as the analysis phase.
Sessions with your NetSuite partner will be weekly, usually numbering around two to three per week, and will generally run for up to three months. You will also need to ensure that the system is thoroughly tested by users so that, by the time you are using it at full-tilt, there are no errors which arise. Any issues with handling the software should be ironed out at the testing phase.
The surveying and analysing process will generally take up about a third of the entire integration. The implementation period is the meat of the process and will make or break your system. While you will be best served by a NetSuite partner when handling implementation, there are also some options to handle your integration in-house.
This means that if your budget is tight you can use self-implementation to save on charges from professional services. This option is ideal for smaller businesses with a fairly basic NetSuite set up, and it can mean you will save a lot of time and money.
3. Implement NetSuite customisations
The final step in the process will be to identify any additional services, customisations or requirements which may not be available with the traditional NetSuite package. This is where you can use your developers to customise the NetSuite system and produce custom packages that essentially cover those services.
To do this you can use NetSuite’s SuiteFlow or SuiteScripting software. These options will allow you to build customised add-ons. SuiteScripting is the advanced option and is aimed at developers who want to build new apps and automation.
SuiteFlow is available for less technically advanced users and provides a drag and drop functionality that means you can avoid the murky world of coding.
You should keep in mind that customisations can mean an extra chunk of the budget, especially if you are outsourcing the project to professional developers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a pricing matrix available for NetSuite options?
If you’ve read this entire guide, you will understand that the NetSuite licensing process is a complicated affair. There are a number of modules, packages, licensing periods, financing, support and other options available, and as a result, the cost can vary dramatically from business to business. Most NetSuite partners will have a set of pricing options available, but this level of detail is generally not useful for the average business owner. It is easier to get an individual quote for your business based on your specific needs.
Is it possible to license the ERP system without NetSuite’s CRM?
NetSuite understands that some businesses have third-party CRM software already in place, but still require an ERP financial management service for their business. This is why you are able to license the ERP as standalone without NetSuite’s CRM software.
Why is there an additional pricing structure for NetSuite OneWorld?
NetSuite OneWorld is designed to go above and beyond the standard NetSuite service. It’s designed for worldwide companies that have several legal entities that need to run through NetSuite. It is probably best to get your NetSuite partner involved in the discussion as to whether you need to upgrade to this suite.
How has NetSuite pricing changed since being acquired by Oracle?
The pricing of NetSuite services has not changed much since the Oracle acquisition. Oracle has actually enabled some attractive offers for users in small to medium businesses. Companies that are looking to graduate from QuickBooks have found a unique advantage in using NetSuite’s systems.
In fact, there are a number of other key improvements in pricing following the Oracle acquisition.
NetSuite Support prior to the acquisition required a 10% charge in addition to the contract value and would be available at tiered levels. After Oracle took over NetSuite the basic support package now comes as a standard inclusion with each NetSuite license.
Prior to the acquisition in 2016 the NetSuite OneWorld package would require a separate license fee per subsidiary for enterprises with greater than three subsidiaries. The new model offers you unlimited subsidiaries for each country.
Before the Oracle acquisition you were required to pay between ten and twenty per cent of the annual license fee to license the NetSuite Sandbox. In 2019, NetSuite has set this fee at a flat ten per cent based on the annual subscription for all licenses.
What is the monthly cost?
Monthly cost greatly depends on the type of package you choose, including any user variations, modules and other add-ons you wish to include.
What about licensing the CRM without the ERP?
If you are happy with your current ERP service, but looking for a reliable and integrated CRM, you can also license NetSuite’s CRM suite as standalone software.
What pricing is available for small businesses?
If you qualify as a small business, NetSuite can offer unique packages that are designed to get you up and running. These packages are built with small business budgets in mind and cater to fewer employees, simpler system requirements and small business needs. NetSuite offers a limited edition and starter edition that are both perfect for smaller businesses.
Is there a cost per license user?
Not necessarily. As NetSuite is licensed as a software entity, and licenses are granted to users in increments, the cost comes down to business size and requirements, not individual users. The NetSuite Limited Edition package designed for small businesses only allows 10 user licenses, but after you upgrade to the mid-market level the number of licenses becomes redundant.
Get Started with NetSuite Today
There really isn’t a more robust suite of business software services available. NetSuite offers a wide range of options for covering office admin, CRM, project management, resource planning, e-commerce solutions and much more.
If you’ve taken the time to read through this guide, you will get a sense of just how flexible this suite is. There are options to tailor your license and integration to meet your exact business requirements. NetSuite can give you the infrastructure you need to create real business growth.
You can integrate NetSuite today, whether you are an established mid-market business, a small but fast-growing company or a worldwide enterprise. And if you need to upgrade, downgrade or alter your requirements down the road, NetSuite’s chameleon-like customisation and flexibility gives you that option.
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