Manufacturing the Cloud: Platform 9 ¾

One of my favorite pieces of creative writing has been the outrageously popular Harry Potter series. In particular, I’ve always appreciated how the author managed to weave little pieces of realism into the story by referencing common elements of modern society to offset the wild and wonderful world of wizardry. Take for example the concept of taking a train to Hogwarts, and only being able to access that train from a special platform — platform 9 ¾.

At NetSuite, we have our own special platform — we call it SuiteCloud. While we recognized a long time ago that the cloud is the place to be, we also recognized that not everyone is ready to hop on a broomstick (or worse, travel by floo powder) to get there. We also recognized that no matter how logical we might think our native business processes or flows are, every business is in fact unique. And not only that, business processes can and should evolve over time to become more efficient.

The SuiteCloud development platform helps bridge the gap between NetSuite’s core business processes and those of our customers by providing a number of tools, including SuiteBuilder, SuiteScript and SuiteTalk.

SuiteBuilder allows the user to personalize NetSuite by adding a checkbox to an Item record as a flag for reporting, or by adding custom records (essentially custom tables) to track any information that isn’t native to NetSuite. There are many uses for this type of functionality but a common use seems to be setting up custom records to track data that is stored in one of the many disconnected silos of information that the average business has—typically in a local spreadsheet or database.

As requirements become more complex, SuiteScript (based on the industry standard JavaScript) can be used to provide validation logic or automate business logic. The key here is that any customizations (fields, records, etc.) added using SuiteBuilder are also available to SuiteScript. That means we can not only capture that information that was once kept in isolation and integrate it into the overall business architecture, but we can enhance its effectiveness as well.

Finally there is SuiteTalk, the ability to have NetSuite communicate with your legacy and third-party applications via web services because we realize that it’s not always practical to migrate your information to NetSuite.

Of course we are constantly monitoring enhancement requests by customers, aligning them with our product roadmap and adding core functionality every six months. So while your SuiteCloud configurations will upgrade seamlessly, they may eventually not be required at all!

So there you have it, NetSuite’s answer to platform 9 ¾ and taking the train to Hogwarts. What are you waiting for? Hop on board! We welcome not only you but we welcome the uniqueness of your business and look forward to helping you see how that business looks where it belongs — in the cloud.

Gavin Davidson — Vertical Market Expert, Manufacturing

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