NetSuite Salesforce Integration : Two Cloud Titans Working Together

If you use Salesforce for CRM and NetSuite for Accounting plus, then you are likely here to understand how to approach a NetSuite Salesforce integration. If that is the case then I have all the information you need to begin scoping and researching that project.

There is a chance, however, that you don’t actually have these systems in place yet and curiosity is driving this investigation. You may need some background before we delve further.

For the purpose of this article, we can boil these two systems down to the following

  • Salesforce is a cloud-based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
  • NetSuite is a cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning solution with a suite of tools including CRM.

If you are not familiar with these two systems, you may be asking why you should integrate when NetSuite already has CRM functionality.

There are definitely areas in which Salesforce excels and as a dedicated system it is focusing all it’s potential on the CRM alone. That said, NetSuite’s CRM functionality is impressive and shouldn’t be overlooked. There is no blanket rule here and the correct solution is specific to each and every business.

If you have not yet settled on the idea of integrating and you are still weighing the benefits of these two systems, you should check out this NetFreak article. Here we compare a few of the major features of each system to help you decide if one is more suitable for you than the other.

Why Build a NetSuite Integration with Salesforce?

Why would you integrate any system with NetSuite?

Although NetSuite has a never-ending list of modules, add-ons and third-party features, in reality most businesses have at least one process going through another system.

When this happens, you have data being stored in two different locations. There may be source data being entered or it may just be viewed and referenced. Whatever the use, this presents a risk. If data is not updated at the same time in both systems, there will be inconsistencies that cause major problems for the organization.

Benefits of a NetSuite Salesforce Integration

By integrating the two systems you are providing the ability for them to talk to each other. When data is updated in one system it is automatically pushed through to the other. The benefits of this will be clear to most teams in the business –

Benefits of a NetSuite Salesforce Integration
Real Time Data in Both Systems
Improved Efficiency Across Multiple Departments
Streamlined Processes
Improved Accessibility of Data
Reduce the Need for Manual Data Entry
Better Integrity of Data
Reduction in Email Traffic

A NetSuite Salesforce integration will facilitate two-way transmission of data between systems. This means that, for example, an invoice could be generated in Salesforce and pushed back to NetSuite to be reflected in the accounting system. When that invoice is paid NetSuite will be able to tell Salesforce so that the invoice record is updated and the relevant account manager is informed.

An example process flow of a NetSuite Salesforce Integration

Without an integration, the account manager would need to contact the finance team to find out if the invoice is paid and the customer’s record in Salesforce may never carry accurate data such as Annual Revenue.

Changes to a customer’s payment terms, tax information or billing address would all need to be manually updated in both systems and reporting would need to be split across the two to ensure all metrics can be sourced.

One of the hardest things to achieve during the implementation of a new system is management and user buy in. Trust in the accuracy of the data in the system is something that comes up during the hypercare phase of any implementation.

Ensuring NetSuite is talking to one of your other key sales systems is going to ease that concern significantly. Management will be able to trust the sales reporting from NetSuite and be confident that all sales activity that has taken place in Salesforce up to the moment of reporting is reflected.

Not only is that data present, but it is accurate since it is being automatically transmitted rather than manually keyed in. Similarly, Salesforce dashboards can be created using financial data sourced from NetSuite.

Data accuracy, process efficiency and reporting capabilities are all improved.

Options for NetSuite Salesforce Integration

There are a few different options available to you when looking at integrating these two systems. Below are some of the most common.

NetSuite integration using the Celigo integration platform – This is a solution backed by NetSuite themselves and built by Celigo who are a partner of both NetSuite and Salesforce. In this video you can view a demonstration of how this integration would work for a service company but of course these processes are transferrable to other types of organization.

The Celigo platform also facilitates integration between countless other systems so it may open the door to future process improvements.

Learn more about Celigo’s NetSuite Salesforce Integration and book a demo here.

Breadwinner for NetSuite – A third party integration solution for NetSuite and Salesforce. Breadwinner provides, among other things, an out of the box suite of NetSuite records available in the Salesforce UI.

This is a far more modest solution than a platform like Celigo. Breadwinner is a native Salesforce AppExchange solution. They have experience connecting Salesforce to a host of other systems as well as NetSuite including QuickBooks and Xero.

Find out more from Breadwinner themselves.

Using middleware such as Dell Boomi or Tibco Integration – Middleware is a centralized platform that allows businesses to manage connectivity between multiple applications all from the same place. Dell Boomi and Tibco Integration are examples of middleware that can connect NetSuite and Salesforce but there are plenty of other providers available.

Custom solution – If you have a NetSuite partner or an in-house team of developers you can look at creating this integration yourselves manually. When making this decision you need to weigh up the labor cost of developing that link against purchasing a prebuilt solution.

Learn the basics of setting up the NetSuite REST API here. Understanding this process should allow you to assist a third party in setting up an integration with NetSuite.

Some NetSuite Partners are more experienced at this than others. Workiro, for example, offer a NetSuite Salesforce integration as part of one of their flagship packages.

Building blocks illustrating the idea that NetSuite and Salesforce can simply be one section of a larger network of integrations

One of the products mentioned above may also be more easily scalable and provide further functionality without significantly more setup at a later date.

If you have a NetSuite partner your next action should be to speak with them and find out if they have implemented this integration before. If you do not have an ongoing partner, then hopefully the above information has shown you a few paths you can head down to begin planning an integration project.

Did you know NetSuite has a customer center login for your customers to be able to access their transactions directly? Learn more in the following articles.

How to Access NetSuite Customer Center

NetSuite Customer Center Roles

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