IT Brief Australia - Technology news for CIOs & IT decision-makers
Story image
SuiteWorld 2023: Key takeaways and their impact on NetSuite customers
Fri, 20th Oct 2023

While we're in the midst of digesting the last few days at SuiteWorld, what has become clear is that many of these platform improvements are not just incremental updates; they are strategic enhancements aimed at solving real-world business challenges.

For the final article in this series, I will explore key product announcements and what they mean in practical terms - what will deliver immediate ROI, what is sure to excite (both the Annexa team and our customers) and what will drive long-term sustainable growth for businesses running on NetSuite?

The big, noteworthy announcements
Of all the announcements this year, the most compelling was NetSuite's comprehensive integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across their ecosystem. These technologies weren't just touched on during the keynotes; there were several in-depth breakout sessions that dived into the nitty-gritty of how their AI and ML technologies work and what NetSuite has in store over the coming years. We see so much potential in these new capabilities and look forward to coming up with our own innovative AI and ML solutions to support our customers down in the ANZ region.

We have also found time for some productive catch-ups during SuiteWorld. Conversations with our strategic tech partners like Celigo, RF-SMART, and Zone and Co revealed just how closely aligned our goals are, particularly around AI and ML. They share our enthusiasm for integrating these advanced technologies into their solutions, making for an even more cohesive and intelligent experience for our shared clients. So, it's not just the NetSuite platform getting a boost from AI; these new features will spill over into what our partners offer, too. This sort of synergy only serves to amplify what we can provide for our customers back home in Australia and New Zealand.

Moving onto product announcements and the integration of Oracle's complete Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) solution into NetSuite will be highly beneficial for NetSuite customers in both the mid-market and enterprise sectors. The suite, offering a comprehensive range of finance-related applications and functionalities, covers everything from high-level board reporting and month-end closing procedures to intricate account reconciliations. Notably, its machine learning-driven narrative commentary adds story-like context to your financial data, along with pixel-perfect board presentation packs. We're keen to start exploring and aligning these solutions to customer use cases as soon as possible.

The new solutions that will deliver immediate ROI

Native bank feeds for Australian organisations, finally
We've been advocating for Australian bank feeds for quite some time now, and in conversations with the NetSuite executive team, we learned that this feature will soon be made available. We will commence testing the new NetSuite ANZ bank feed solution immediately, and once we're confident in its performance, we'll make it available to our customers.

NetSuite Bill Capture is now a standalone
It was announced at last year's event and bundled with payment automation, but now NetSuite Bill Capture is available as a native NetSuite module. It uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to scan, read, and input data directly from invoices into NetSuite. Expect significantly reduced margins for human error and streamlined accounts payable processes.

New licensing model
NetSuite's freshly announced role-based access and function-specific licensing model offers existing clients, especially those with specialised operational requirements such as warehousing and inventory management, the flexibility to fine-tune their licensing. This granular approach to licensing will see many customers potentially saving costs almost immediately.

Redwood user interface
We're beginning to see glimpses of NetSuite's new user interface design based on the Oracle Redwood platform. This initiative seems to be moving along nicely, evidenced by the conceptual demo of Customer 360. So much more than a facelift, the previews indicate a far more intuitive, cleaner, and modern user experience that will ensure NetSuite's relevance for years to come.

The critical security and AI factor
Given the valid concerns around both emerging AI technologies and cloud computing, NetSuite's focus on security was reassuring. Oracle's partnership with Cohere for NetSuite's 'text enhance' capability is a good example of this. Built on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and leveraging its top-tier AI services, these embedded generative AI capabilities are crafted to fully respect enterprise data, privacy, and security. What's particularly reassuring is that Oracle's generative AI service operates in a secure environment that doesn't share customer data with machine learning model providers or expose it to third parties.

The commitment to build security into the foundation of their platform has instilled confidence in us and certainly will in our clients and the wider NetSuite customer base.

Finding business value in the SuiteWorld themes
The current economic conditions are putting pressure on businesses to streamline operations, and technology is key to this effort. Having a deep understanding of today's 'next level' technologies and how they can contribute to your transformation strategy is so important.

I recently moderated a roundtable discussion in Melbourne, where C-level executives from SaaS (Software as a Service) and tech companies gathered to discuss this very subject. What struck me was a common gap in knowledge: many understood the basic applications of AI and machine learning - such as their use in creative writing or basic coding - but struggled to see how these technologies could enhance their financial operations. The challenge, then, isn't just in understanding
what these technologies can do, but how they can be strategically applied within your business framework.

Investing time to separate hype from reality is crucial for setting your business on a path of sustained innovation. I'm looking forward to engaging with our customers to share not just what NetSuite offers but how these offerings can be intelligently deployed to address specific business challenges.