Oracle’s NetSuite division has added two dashboards to its ERP suite for project and cash management for small and medium businesses. The dashboards provide real-time forecasting, without the need for third-party integration, as well as an added layer of analytics.
The NetSuite 360 dashboards are designed to proactively inform users of what they should be looking at, said Paul Ferrell, Oracle NetSuite’s VP of product management.
Automated forecasting capability within the suite
NetSuite Cash 360 was designed to help businesses make strategic cash decisions and improve forecasting of their finances. The automated software uses data such as current cash balance, accounts payable, and accounts receivables balances to provide cash management as a service. It also uses data modeling for forecasts “to allow enterprises to quickly adjust the cash flow forecasts based on things that might happen,” Farrell said. The forecasting tool in NetSuite Cash 360 uses multiple data points such as funding sources, planned expenditures, sales forecasts, and billing schedules and can apply historical averages to the models.
Many companies have trouble seeing cash beyond 60 to 90 days, so many are working to fund projects and business operations without a high degree of cash visibility, said IDC financial applications research director Kevin M. Permenter. The challenge can increase if the enterprise has operations across many geographies.
There is no out-of-the-box product in the market like NetSuite Cash 360, said Constellation Research chairman Ray Wang. IDC’s Parmenter noted, “Other ERPs are handling these functionalities via API connections to third-party applications. This functionality is most often offered as a point solution rather than as part of the treasury management system or as a stand-alone purpose-built cash management application.”
The typical API-driven approach means IT systems often have to traverse multiple ERPs and multiple point solutions, which Parmenter said is “a barrier to insight. As a result, CFOs are hungry to find ways to shorten the timeline from a mountain of transactional data to actionable insights. The best way to do this is to have your insights (your forecasting/planning tool) live in the same place as your transactional data (ERP),” such as NetSuite Cash 360 is doing.
Real-time analytics and improved reporting for projects
NetSuite Project 360 offers an additional layer of visibility and reporting enhancements for projects. The dashboard is part of NetSuite’s SuiteProjects, a professional services automation (PSA) product, that can combine with NetSuite’s CRM, HR, and ERP suites.
The NetSuite Project 360 dashboard brings data from across SuiteProjects and offers enterprises a centralized view into vital project information to help them monitor KPIs, project budget analysis, plan and rectify project billing, and help check project resourcing, Oracle NetSuite’s Farrell said. “The system is going to very quickly allow me to diagnose the health of all those projects.”