Businesses that don’t leverage technology are getting left behind. Our economy runs in a digital world now. Data and other IT assets are rapidly becoming the most valuable parts of companies around the globe.
Cloud-based platforms, APIs, and other integration platforms are the things that can make or break a business. They also allow small business owners to compete in the same arena as the big guys in their industry.
NetSuite integration with Salesforce is no different. Pairing these two powerful platforms together can really supercharge your business.
Using NetSuite’s ERP system, along with the CRM capabilities of Salesforce, makes the perfect integration solution for any business. But, the integration needs to be done properly to get the maximum effect.
And that’s exactly what we’re going to help you with today. In this article, we’re going to cover the NetSuite and Salesforce platforms. We’ll also go over how to properly join them through API integration.
Once you see the power of NetSuite and Salesforce CRM working together, you’ll wonder what took you so long to integrate them in the first place.
So stick around and take out your pad and pencil. We’ve got a lot of information to cover, so you’re going to want to take notes!
Let’s get going.
Beginning the Process
Undertaking a NetSuite integration with Salesforce can be a big process. Both platforms handle a lot of data, and you need to make sure the transfer happens smoothly. As a result, there are some questions you’re going to want to ask yourself before you start the process.
What Are My Goals?
Whenever you’re making a major change within your business, it’s always helpful to start with the end in mind. Think of your goals like a roadmap. If you don’t have any, or you aren’t clear on them, it’s going to be very difficult to get where you want to go.
The same rule applies when customers integrate two powerful platforms like NetSuite and Salesforce. Both of these platforms have tremendous functionality on their own. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of automating and integrating everything.
Having a plan for what you want to achieve by integrating these platforms can save you many headaches.
So, what is your main reason for integrating Salesforce and NetSuite? Are you looking for better reporting or more automation? Maybe, you’re after more accurate, real-time alerts for your team.
Who knows? You may even be after some combination of all three. Whatever it is you’re after, it’s important to clearly define it from the beginning.
More goals to accomplish means you’ll need higher capability and functionality out of both platforms. It’s fine if that’s the case. But, you need to know that it will require more complex integration.
Striking a balance between achieving your goals and making integration seamless is extremely important.
Is A Data Migration Necessary?
Depending on the size of your company, you may need to consider a data migration before a data integration. This also might depend on the age of your company.
Data migration is usually necessary when you’re moving from legacy, on-premise systems to a cloud-based solution. You’ll need to migrate your data away from a physical server room and onto a cloud storage platform.
Once on the cloud, your data will integrate much more easily with NetSuite and Salesforce. Think of it as playing the match game. Your data needs to be in the cloud because it will be hosted on two platforms that are also in the cloud.
It can sound overwhelming, but it makes a lot more sense when you look at it that way.
How Many Endpoints Will I Have?
The number of end-points and the complexity of your data may increase the cost of integration. If your data needs to be moved over from legacy IT hardware, it can make integrating these platforms more difficult.
NetSuite and Salesforce are both endpoints in your system. You have to ask yourself if there are any others you need to consider. Are there databases that need to be transitioned over?
Talk to the vendor doing your integration about any other endpoints you may need to consider. They will be able to give you a full picture of the scope of your integration process.
What Are My Different Record Types?
You’ll need to brainstorm the identity and number of all the record types integrated into your new system. When we say record types, we’re talking about the labels within your current data entry system.
What do you and your team keep track of? Some examples of record types are customers, orders, transactions, deliverables, and so on. The more record types you have, the more complex your integration becomes.
As things get more complex, the price you pay for a vendor to complete the integration increases. It’s important to keep your data structure and integration as streamlined as possible.
How Much Data Is Required?
Since NetSuite and Salesforce will be accessing cloud-based data simultaneously, it’s important to ask how much data they need. You’ll also need to ask how often the connection between the two platforms will be in use.
Integrating your data between two cloud platforms requires a lot of complex connections in real-times. Because of this, many customers think they need a “real-time” connection between their data. And, although we live in a fast-paced world, even that speed of connection isn’t needed just yet.
This question is important to consider for another reason. The answer will dictate which type of API you want to use to connect the two platforms. Different APIs will give you different connections and access to a different range of tools.
Your Options For Integration With Salesforce
There are a few different options at your disposal when it comes to pulling off the actual integration. Your vendor may be more familiar with a particular option than the others. Therefore, the method you use will likely be up to them.
Asking them what integration method they plan to use is an important question to consider at the start of the process. We’re going to outline the most popular methods below. This way, you know what your vendor is talking about and can help them arrive at the best integration solution for your business.
Using A Connector
Connectors can be useful for integrating cloud platforms. But, they’re probably not the best choice for integrating platforms as robust as Salesforce and NetSuite. Connectors do their best work when you require integration for single-use processes.
The challenge with connectors is that they tend to be very inflexible. As a result, they allow for very little scaling or growth down the road.
NetSuite and Salesforce ERP CRM have a lot of flexibility pre-built into their web services platforms. Joining them with something as inflexible as a connector will severely limit their functionality. After using a connector, you may have to automate and plan for processes that didn’t even exist beforehand.
But, not all connectors are bad. The technology in these platforms has come a long way in recent years. If you’re going to use a connector, it’s ok. Just be sure to pay attention to the flexibility and customization options of the connector you choose.
Using An IPaaS Solution
IPaaS stands for Integration Platform as a Service. These software platforms allow their users to create custom integration solutions. The result is you can connect platforms like NetSuite and Salesforce on your own in a way that works best for you.
It takes a bit more knowledge of how these platforms work, and it might even take a little more elbow grease. But, the advantage is you get the increased functionality of an integration solution for your specific business. You don’t have to deal with functions of a pre-built solution that you won’t even use.
IPaaS will also provide you with a much more flexible integration strategy. This makes it a perfect option for platforms like NetSuite and Salesforce. You can change how the integration functions over time, so you never have to be afraid of outgrowing the platform.
Your opportunities to grow and scale are endless!
A Custom Built Solution
This is probably your most expensive, intensive option. It will require you to get together a team of IT developers or engineers. They will work with you to help you build a completely custom solution to integrate Salesforce and NetSuite.
You’ll want to work with a team that has some experience in the industry. You’ll be interfacing with them regularly for years, or as long as you use the integration solution, they’ve made. Don’t go with a startup that may not be here in a year or two.
You’ll also want to go with a team that’s very familiar with NetSuite and Salesforce. In-depth knowledge of these two platforms, and a track record of integrating them successfully, will be key to the process.
The upfront cost can be substantial, but you’ll save money in the long run. Having a completely custom solution built out will save you and your team money on licensing fees.
In recent years, more companies seem to be switching from a completely custom approach. Businesses and their IT teams seem to be more in favor of a flexible but less-involved IPaaS approach.
Come Together Right Now
A NetSuite integration with Salesforce is an opportunity to take your business to the next level. These platforms are powerful enough on their own. The functionality when they come together is truly amazing.
The key is to make sure your integration is handled correctly. That’s why you should contact our team at White Glove Consulting Services. We’ll do whatever it takes to make sure your integration goes off without a hitch.
Whether it’s handling sales orders or managing inventory, our job is to see your business get to the next level. We look forward to helping you do that.
The White Glove Consulting Group is ready to help you automate your systems with NetSuite Cloud, SuiteBilling, and SalesForce CPQ to help you increase your revenue recognition capabilities by automating balance sheets, goods and services tracking, and more. Contact us for a free 40 hours of our time to provide you with a comprehensive assessment of how to reach your business goals.