NetSuite is a cloud-first ERP (enterprise resource planning) solution that is part of the Oracle enterprise software ecosystem. NetSuite users can enjoy functionality ranging from accounting and financial management to CRM (customer relationship management) and inventory management.
Rather than keeping your data siloed in NetSuite, it’s much smarter to integrate the software in a workflow with the rest of your systems, whether that’s marketing software like Salesforce and HubSpot or a dedicated data warehouse. This will enable you to extract the right information from NetSuite and mine it for valuable insights using dedicated analytics software.
So what is NetSuite integration, exactly? What are the benefits of NetSuite integration, and how does it work? Below, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.
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Table of Contents
- What is NetSuite Integration?
- What are the Benefits of NetSuite Integration?
- How Does NetSuite Integration Work?
- 3 Challenges of NetSuite Integration
- 3 Ways to Perform NetSuite Integration
What is NetSuite Integration?
NetSuite integration is the practice of connecting a NetSuite software deployment with other systems, databases, and endpoints. This enables information to flow continuously between NetSuite and the other applications in your environment.
For example, if new data enters NetSuite, it can be made automatically available to other systems that depend on this data, without the need to manually transfer it. Integrations can be either one-way (flowing only from NetSuite to other software) or two-way (flowing in either direction).
Related Reading: What is Customer Data Ingestion?
Integration projects should be planned for well in advance, especially if you purchase a new platform that could benefit from NetSuite integration. When formulating your data integration strategy, consider both the cost of the platform as well as the cost of the integration in order to save on time and money.
What are the Benefits of NetSuite Integration?
Helping your enterprise software and systems work more closely together can only be a good thing. The benefits of NetSuite integration include:
Easier automation: By sharing data and other IT resources between NetSuite and the rest of your IT ecosystem, it becomes easier to automate your business processes.
Greater accuracy: NetSuite integration allows users to automatically transfer data rather than manually copying it. This can reduce or eliminate errors, helping your organization save untold amounts of money.
Better communication: NetSuite integration makes it easier to open up lines of communication between a business and its partners, vendors, and customers. Integration can help e-commerce businesses, for example, quickly get information such as catalog prices, product shipments, and order statuses. It can also allow you to set automatic order restocking rules for your vendor.
Smoother business processes: NetSuite integration can provide an end-to-end look into your business processes. For example, you can track customer orders from when they are placed, all the way to when they arrive at the customer’s doorstep.
Smarter decision-making: NetSuite integration helps enhance the business decision-making process. By pooling all your business information in one place, you can understand the health of your business in real-time and make decisions as you go. Being able to do this is vital to your company’s ability to keep up with the competition.
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How Does NetSuite Integration Work?
To get started with NetSuite integration, you may first need to create a NetSuite account ID. In the NetSuite software, go to the Setup tab and click on Integration > Web Services Preferences in the dropdown menu. If you need help, a NetSuite administrator can help you set up user access and grant you the right permissions.
NetSuite integration may require the use of one or both NetSuite technologies: SuiteTalk Web Services and SuiteScript. SuiteTalk is a web service integration tool for joining NetSuite with third-party applications and systems. Coding can be done in SuiteTalk using any programming language. The benefits of SuiteTalk include real-time data integration, built-in support for NetSuite’s ERP, CRM, and e-commerce products, and advanced security and error handling features.
Of course, not every organization has the time or in-house staff available to become proficient at SuiteTalk and SuiteScript. For this reason, many businesses select a prebuilt connector or integration platform that can help them get up and running with NetSuite integrations much more quickly (as we’ll discuss later).
3 Challenges of NetSuite Integration
As with other enterprise software products, it’s not uncommon to encounter some challenges when integrating NetSuite. Below are 3 of the biggest challenges of NetSuite integration.
1. NetSuite concurrency governance
NetSuite limits the number of connections per license: if you’re running several NetSuite connections at once, you may encounter an error. The solutions to this problem include buying more software licenses or using a different integration architecture.
2. Relatively slow data transfer rates
Due to NetSuite's slow transfer rates, it may take longer to transfer files between databases or systems, impeding the decision-making process. This problem is especially true if you're used to larger databases that process data relatively fast.
3. Large and complex API
The NetSuite API allows for both SOAP and REST architectures, opening up a lot of possibilities. However, this doesn’t mean that all of these possibilities are clear to the end-user, or that they’re even beneficial. Exercise patience before, during, and after the integration and make an effort to understand NetSuite on a technical level.
Related Reading: 17 Best Data Integration Platforms
3 Ways to Perform NetSuite Integration
So far, we’ve discussed what NetSuite integration is, how it works, and some of the challenges involved. But how can you actually perform NetSuite integration under the hood? Your choice of which approach to take will be determined by your IT budget, your level of technical expertise (if any), and the applications you want to connect to NetSuite.
1. Building from scratch
Writing a NetSuite integration from scratch will require a deep technical understanding of its various APIs, SuiteScript, and XML. You may wish to use SuiteCloud, a NetSuite platform that enables admins to integrate with external data sources or business systems.
If you have a deep talent pool, doing a custom NetSuite integration can be an appealing option to save on subscription costs down the road. On the other hand, you’ll have to bear the costs of regular software maintenance.
2. Finding a connector
A connector is a software tool that is purpose-built to integrate NetSuite with another software application or system. Many connectors are available on the SuiteApp.com NetSuite marketplace, or by working with the right NetSuite partner.
3. Buying an integration platform (iPaaS)
An integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is a SaaS application that helps users connect their IT environment and manage integrations. Unlike a single NetSuite connector, iPaaS solutions can be used to build multiple integrations and can have several use cases.
Finding a data integration platform with a NetSuite connector is one of the easiest ways to achieve NetSuite integration. It’s important to do your due diligence, since not all NetSuite connectors behave the same way. Integrate.io is an ETL and data integration platform that makes it easy for users to build their own custom data pipelines using a drag-and-drop interface. The Integrate.io platform has more than 140 pre-built connectors, including NetSuite, to make the integration process as painless as possible.
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When done well, NetSuite integration has many different advantages. However, as with any enterprise integration project, it also comes with its own challenges. If you lack the technical expertise to do it yourself, you should consider using a mature, feature-rich data integration tool like Integrate.io.
Integrate.io is a powerful ETL and data integration platform. With its no-code drag-and-drop visual interface, Integrate.io enables anyone—regardless of knowledge level—to build robust, automated data pipelines. Integrate.io offers more than 140 pre-built connectors and integrations, including NetSuite, to handle all of these technical concerns for you.
Want to learn more about integrating NetSuite with the rest of your business? Get in touch with our team of data experts today for a chat about your business needs and objectives, or to start your 7-day pilot of the Integrate.io platform.