Findings from the latest Anderson Frank Salary Survey paint a bright picture of NetSuite’s future, but what do they mean for NetSuite customers?
Those who are familiar with the cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS) model for deploying business applications can readily understand that demand for these solutions has been on a steady upward climb. But the recent rush for businesses to shift to remote working is shining an even brighter light on the importance of web access to vital systems such as ERP and CRM, and will further fuel demand for cloud-based solutions, such as NetSuite.
I recently wrote the foreword to the 2020/21 Anderson Frank Salary Survey and have reviewed the results from it. This study offers a wealth of information to help NetSuite professionals determine what skills and certifications are essential for their careers, and help and in businesses that use NetSuite better determine ongoing staffing and partner requirements.
It also provides insights into market demand and requirements for ERP, and NetSuite in particular, which I highlight in this post.
Before we start, what is the survey about?
Now in its fourth edition, Anderson Frank’s annual survey is the largest independent market report on NetSuite technology.
While its initial aim was to help NetSuite pros benchmark their salary against the industry average, the report has evolved into a comprehensive exploration of market trends and tech developments, with 48,000 data points taken from self-reported information from survey participants, as well as data accrued by Anderson Frank in the course of its recruitment activity.
You can grab a full copy of the survey from the Anderson Frank website, or at most NetSuite events around the world (when we go back to having physical events again, that is!).
What solutions are NetSuite customers migrating from, and why are they choosing NetSuite?
When asked what solutions they migrated from, respondents could indicate multiple solutions. Interestingly, 44% noted that they had been using Microsoft Excel to take care of some or all of their ERP and CRM needs prior to switching to NetSuite, followed by Intuit QuickBooks, at 41%. Furthermore, almost two-thirds said that they had not been using an ERP or CRM solutions that directly competes with NetSuite.
Many organizations are coming to NetSuite directly from much less complex and less comprehensive, non-ERP solutions. Several factors are driving to take this big leap forward, with the top ones including:
- Functionality of the product/services, 61%
- Moving to the cloud, 45%
- Need for global capabilities, 40%
- Increase business responsiveness, 40%
This data indicates that NetSuite’s messaging to appeal to fast-growth companies with multi-currency, multi-country requirements is convincing these companies that they can successfully make this leap.
The majority of NetSuite end users worked with a partner, and the average implementation took 7-9 months
As a result, NetSuite’s implementations are also business transformation projects, requiring more planning and resources than many smaller companies have in-house.
So, it’s somewhat surprising that only marginally more end-users implemented with a partner than independently. 48% of end-users reported using a NetSuite Partner when implementing NetSuite, while 47% opted for using in-house resources only. Of the organizations that used a NetSuite partner, 43% also used in-house staff, which is increasingly common with NetSuite customers looking for continuity once their NetSuite projects enter the “business as usual” stage.
Whether working with a partner or independently, the majority of implementations and migrations took between four-to-six months (21%) and seven-to-nine months (23%).
While these findings suggest NetSuite can be implemented successfully in-house, it appears that a lack of internal skills can significantly hamper implementation. Respondents were most likely to say this presented a challenge, with 52% of respondents reporting that a lack of appropriate internal skills slowed down their project. User adoption (49%) and difficulties migrating data from legacy systems (45%) round out the top three challenges organizations faced.
Additionally, half of NetSuite customers surveyed said they experienced a delay in their implementation. Unforeseen customizations, data migration issues and poor planning prior to migration were the top reasons cited for causing these delays.
Companies often underestimate the complexity and resources they’ll need to transition to a new, more comprehensive solution that will touch many aspects of their businesses. Businesses migrating to any new ERP or CRM need to thoroughly assess requirements and internal resources before implementation. Working with a partner, even in a consultancy capacity, may prove more time and cost-effective in the long run.
NetSuite ERP is the white knight, but SuiteScript and integration are also in demand
Given NetSuite Enterprise Resource Planning is the world’s number one cloud-based ERP product, it may come as no surprise to see it listed as the most popular NetSuite product among survey respondents. NetSuite ERP was used by 88% of professionals, with OneWorld (72%) and CRM (69%) taking second and third place.
Interestingly, while only 46% of professionals reported proficiency in SuiteScript, this was listed by 57% of NetSuite Partner organizations as one of the most in-demand products. This indicates that many NetSuite customers want to customize and automate business processes beyond the NetSuite core. This is a good omen for NetSuite, as this customization extends their customers’ reliance on NetSuite to run their businesses.
Customers are also integrating many other third-party solutions with NetSuite. The long-tail is in evidence, as 50% of respondents said they were integrating “other” solutions with NetSuite. Celigo, Salesforce and Avalara were the top named solutions.
These survey findings provide good insight into the NetSuite end-user experience. But of course, each business is different. Companies considering NetSuite need to focus on their own requirements, constraints and goals as they evaluate the solution.
The full Anderson Frank report offers additional data about the NetSuite end-user experience, as well as trends and developments in the NetSuite ecosystem. It’s not only a helpful tool for NetSuite professionals, but one that will help customers better understand the resources, skills and expertise available to them should they embark on a NetSuite implementation.
©SMB Group 2020