The Importance of Effective Financial & Operational Processes: Interview with Oracle NetSuite

We speak with, Nicky Tozer, Senior Vice President, EMEA at Oracle NetSuite, about the pandemic’s impact on the ERP industry, SuiteWorld and women in tech.

With SuiteWorld taking place recently, what new products and innovations are you most excited about?

Now more than ever, organisations need clear visibility throughout their business, from cash flow and revenue recognition to inventory and the supply chain. At SuiteWorld, we delivered more innovations to help businesses manage their operations, to be incredibly agile, and deliver on their high-growth ambitions.

For example, the launch of SuiteBanking marks the first unified suite to embed FinTech into cloud ERP, giving our customers full visibility over their cash flow and bringing intuitive automation.

By bringing together the automation of accounts payable and accounts receivable processes, SuiteBanking makes it fast and easy for our customers to pay bills, send invoices, and get paid, all within NetSuite. Integration with alliance partners like HSBC can offer businesses easy access to other financial services, including a global digital wallet and virtual payment card.

At SuiteWorld, we also announced our new Analytics Warehouse: a prebuilt, cloud-based data warehouse and analytics solution that provides real-time access to data-driven insights that span the entire organisation. Built upon Oracle Analytics Cloud and Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, customers can access entirely unstructured data, without coding, and integrate this into more than 25 prebuilt connectors – including Dropbox and Google Analytics. With organisations creating and having access to more data than ever before, being able to combine those insights alongside critical business data around financials, inventory and supply chain within NetSuite is extremely powerful and will allow for more detailed and comprehensive decision-making.

Between changing work models, supply chain issues, financial pressures, stock issues, labour shortages, and employee retention, there has been a lot to cause business disruption.

Business leaders are focused on expansion and agility, and we are excited to bring SuiteBanking and Analytics Warehouse capabilities to our customers globally in the future, following a successful rollout in North America. Understanding and eliminating the most frustrating and time-consuming processes of day-to-day life is key, and our technology development is focused on giving them the agility and efficiency they need.

Over the last two years, the pandemic has touched every industry, which many organisations are still recovering from. How has the crisis affected NetSuite’s growth and the ERP industry as a whole?

Despite most businesses wrestling with obstacles that they would have been hard-pressed to predict, those with a proactive rather than reactive approach are seeing the benefits. Businesses have realised the importance of effective financial and operational processes, and data insights that give real-time visibility into the health of their business.

At their core, ERP systems break down the barriers between business units, automating financial and operational processes, and bringing a real-time view of data to inform proactive decisions that drives improvements.

Many businesses are seeing how NetSuite takes the complexity out of ERP and adopting our system to gain the visibility, agility, and flexibility they need to eliminate challenges and capitalise on opportunities.

What challenges have your customers been facing over the last two years and how are they looking to overcome them?

It’s not news that organisations across every industry have been running a gauntlet of challenges over the last 18 months. Between changing work models, supply chain issues, financial pressures, stock issues, labour shortages, and employee retention, there has been a lot to cause business disruption.

Being agile has become a fundamental requirement. Organisations need to be able to adapt their business models, change operational elements such as supply chain structures, and evolve their customer and employee engagement approaches.

It’s never been more important to bring together all aspects of the business to drive decision making with confidence. In doing so, threats can be identified and mitigated, sales revenues accurately forecasted, and the supply chain and resourcing proactively managed.

What should businesses be looking for in an ERP provider?

At a first glance, it can be hard to distinguish one ERP provider from another by looking at top-line functionality. Knowing how the technology works in the real world is critical.

Is the ERP technology easy to use? Can I get the business level insights I need at-a-glance but also allow others to drill down into the detail? Does it recognise the currencies and languages I work in? Is there an understanding of the governance and compliance aspects of each market?

Look for an ERP provider that brings a true understanding of your world, and customers often approach us with a particular goal in mind. Our new Advanced Customer Support service provides prescriptive playbooks to help meet a particular goal and help enable customers accelerate their return on ERP investment. The playbooks are based on our experience and the data and insights from thousands of NetSuite implementations and can help customers address a multitude of aims, including operational challenges such as revenue recognition, or preparation for an IPO and merger/acquisition activity.

At NetSuite, we are helping more than 28,000 businesses, with the majority being challenger brands and or those with high-growth ambitions, and we’re focused on ensuring they can demonstrate clear, measurable impact.

As a big proponent of improving women’s role in technology, what are your observations about the sector as we approach 2022?

Elevating women into senior roles within technology is a topic close to my heart. In the last few years, we have seen a pattern of change throughout the industry, but there is still massive room for improvement. I recently took part in a brilliant session organised by Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) on the theme of ‘I have your back’, discussing how we can empower and develop current and future generations of female leaders in our business.

Industry-wide, I think we need to acknowledge the need for conscious change when it comes to both women in leadership and wider diversity and inclusion issues. We need to constantly challenge ourselves to lay the groundwork for people to prosper socially, economically, culturally and politically.

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