NetSuite is set to announce NetSuite OneWorld on Thursday. It says the add-on module for its hosted ERP (enterprise resource planning) software can help multinational businesses manage and reconcile their financial activities in real-time.
The software can "roll up" financial transactions to the regional and worldwide level, while employing the appropriate currency rates in a given region, according to NetSuite.
For example, a sales employee in Germany would work with and enter figures in euros, but a regional manager based in the UK could see that transaction reflected in pounds, the company said. Currency rates get updated automatically, according to NetSuite.
Similar scenarios can be applied to e-commerce websites. Multiple company subsidiaries could have their own site, employing various pricing, localised tax and currency factors, through a single OneWorld account, NetSuite said.
NetSuite is also promoting the module's ability to provide real-time analytics into business operations. Data can be viewed and explored through a series of dashboards tailored for specific jobs, such as financial officers or salespeople.
Overall, the module "really extends this from being an accounting tool to a management tool," said C. Sean Rollings, vice president of product and industries marketing at NetSuite.
The release also seems to be a battle cry for NetSuite - which recently conducted a successful IPO (initial public offering) - judging by a prepared statement from company CEO Zach Nelson.
"With NetSuite OneWorld, we are really taking on SAP and Microsoft GP Dynamics," it states in part.
An industry observer characterised the announcement as "powerful stuff" overall.
Most mid-sized companies today are looking at international growth opportunities but may be concerned about the cost and complexity of expansion, according to Ray Wang, an analyst with Forrester Research. "What NetSuite has done is make that possible for any size business," he said.
While global financial consolidation is a common feature in higher-end ERP systems, having it provides a good calling card for NetSuite as competition for its target midmarket customers tightens up, Wang said. "This is like one of those blue-chip capabilities you need to have."
A NetSuite customer who has been beta testing OneWorld said it has indeed provided some of the efficiencies NetSuite claims.
"Previously we had to do our [financial] consolidation in Excel, because we had three different instances of their software running," said Tod Harmon, CFO of Six Apart, the parent company to a number of popular blogging services, including TypePad. "Even when you're consolidating in Excel, you can't do it at the account transaction level like we do now."
However, Harmon added that he'd like NetSuite to beef up the module's reporting capabilities.
OneWorld is available now as an add-on to the main NetSuite platform for $1,999 (£1,014) per month.
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