NetSuite preps release - and stays at the YMCA

The latest version of NetSuite's online ERP applications suite beefs up its financial management offering and adds new features for wholesalers and distributors

Web-hosted ERP vendor NetSuite has laid out the new features that will be available in its next major release, NetSuite 10.0, set for launch in Q3. The company has yet to announce pricing.

Craig Sullivan, director of product management at NetSuite, said the release offered rich financial management features usually associated with traditional server-based ERP applications, and claimed it was unusually sophisticated for a Web-based service offering.

"It's what you get with the likes of Great Plains, Navision, and Sage Line 100. They are not available as hosted solutions, so you get the best of both worlds," he said.

The new financial features include revenue recognition management, more flexible cost accounting, and support for multiple currencies. The software can also support advanced billing for companies that charge customers on a scheduled or subscription basis.

ERP functionality in the release includes support for lot tracking and expiration dates: "This is for companies selling batches of cakes, or pharmaceuticals, where the products have a common expiration date you need to track," said Sullivan.

The release also enables users to allocate inventory in advance, to protect orders destined for important customers, and to implement automatic reordering to make inventory management easier.

"This means a customer's order won't get 'gazumped' in the warehouse by accident," said Sullivan.

The new ERP features are the product of NetSuite's recent focus on wholesalers and distributors, who have many different product types based at multiple locations. The company's next area of focus will be making life easier for service organisations, offering functionality such as job costing, project management, and billable hours.

NetSuite in the UK today also announced its largest customer win, London-based Forest YMCA. In a statement NetSuite said that Forest YMCA had standardised its business operations on NetSuite, and in doing so had eliminated 60 departmental databases, and cut its annual IT costs in half, from £200,000 to £90,000 a year.