Top 10 Integration Tips to Maximize NetSuite ROI Webinar – Registration2020-08-19T23:03:03+00:00
On Demand Webinar

Top 10 Integration Tips for Maximizing NetSuite ROI

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Mark Simon Mark Simon VP of Strategy and Operations

NetSuite is used by thousands of companies around the world to manage their businesses. As companies adopt tens or hundreds of cloud applications across the business, many organizations do not have a clear integration strategy when NetSuite remains the company's system of record. Without a clear roadmap, manual processes and activities can lead to delays, errors, and data duplication that can minimize the impact of NetSuite.

Join Mark Simon, Celigo's VP of Strategy and Operations, as he shares best practices and customer anecdotes from over a decade working with NetSuite customers and their integrations. Topics covered include:

  • Approaching integrations with NetSuite
  • Developing an integration strategy and roadmap
  • Integration options
  • Managing integrations
  • Tips and tricks specific to NetSuite
  • Popular NetSuite integrations
  • And more

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Full Webinar Transcript
Welcome to the Top 10 Integration Tips for Maximizing NetSuite ROI webinar. We’re very excited to have you join us today. My name is Rico Andrade. I’m VP of marketing. I’m coming from a rainy California right now. And we’re joined by Mark Simon our VP of operations and strategy coming out from Seattle. So welcome Mark. Thank you, Rico. So just a couple housekeeping items. If you have a question throughout this webinar, please ask it in the chat windows. We will have a Q and A session at the end. And if the question’s actually pertinent to some of the points that we’re going to be discussing, we are going to we’ll bring it up in the conversation. So hopefully, this can be somewhat of an interactive session and we can address some of the concerns that people find within the NetSuite ecosystem around integration. So to get started, this is our agenda. We’re going to do a very quick and introduction to Celigo and to Marc Simon. For those who don’t know either of us, we’re going to talk a little bit about what it’s like to build a business around NetSuite and specifically the challenge that integration brings when you’re trying to bring in new business processes and new applications to the NetSuite ecosystem. And then Mark’s going to talk about his experience and what he’s learned in terms of the integration best practices and we’re going to generally flow along the preintegration and preparation section of an integration project, what happens during integration and some of the items that also post-integration related to maintenance and moving forward that are really helpful especially when you’re dealing with NetSuite. And then we’re going to close out with just a little bit of how we’ve tried to design our own systems to help aid at least on the integration portion of it on the technology side and we’ll close with a little bit of a Q and A. So most of the folks who are here are very familiar with the NetSuite ecosystem and if you’re familiar with NetSuite chances are you’re familiar with the Celigo as well. So Celigo is an integration platform as a service. It’s an i-pass and that sometimes is a little bit surprising for many folks because many folks see us as just a point to point connectors such as the very popular NetSuite to Salesforce connector or the NetSuite to Shopify connector. But the fact is we have a full integration platform that’s actually part of the Gartner Magic Quadrant that enables people to do integrations basically to– any integrations particularly with the cloud applications and we can do on-prem and other EDI services as well. We are application-agnostic but we are the dominant NetSuite partner. We are currently over 1,800 NetSuite customers, growing very fast. We’ll be crossing 1,900 pretty soon and we are vertical agnostic as well. So we have many customers in the software vertical, in the manufacturing vertical, wholesale distribution basically that either use the SMART connectors or do custom integrations using the integrator IO platform. Part of the reason why that’s the case is because we were born out of NetSuite. We had a very strong focus originally on NetSuite. Essentially built our platform to be custom made for the typical traditional cloud-savvy NetSuite customer and we’ve taken those learnings and are expanding into other ecosystems as well. But NetSuite also– our Salesforce connecting particular is very well known because it is the connector that NetSuite resells internally when they do a new NetSuite implementation that comes with a built-in Salesforce integration. And so we end up with a variety of ways that you can connect into the NetSuite ecosystem. We do have the pre-built smart connectors that are standalone applications. These are the very popular integrations with pre-built flows out of the box and then we try to make it easier through either templates or what other people would call recipes or integration adapters to speed up the integration process so a line of business users or technical users can do it. And if it’s not built into the product. there’s an adapter, you certainly can still connect it through one of the API adapters. So as a result, we have connected to thousands of different applications into NetSuite over the last 10 years or so. And it is an honor to have Mark Simon on our team. He recently joined Celigo as our VP of strategy and operations. I’m going to quickly go over his resumé and so you do have a NetSuite expert that you can ask your questions here. But he’s been working with the NetSuite platform for over 15 years, 2 years as a customer and then 13 years in the NetSuite centric consulting primarily with explore consulting we later got acquired by our RSM and in his experience he’s worked with over 400 clients and over a hundred NetSuite integration projects. So someone who has had deep, deep experience both with NetSuite and with integration specifically. And so to set things off for Mark, I just wanted to chat a little bit about the challenge that comes up when organizations are building their business around a foundational application like NetSuite. So typically speaking, they will get NetSuite as their ERP. And typically speaking, they will also connect to a primary foundational application like perhaps Salesforce. That’s a very common scenario. And they might use a smart connector for that. But what we are seeing in industry is that the need, especially if you’re centering it around NetSuite, end up growing very, very fast and so all of a sudden you have these mini hubs that are quickly needing to be integrated into the different applications and going back and forth inside of NetSuite. So we see this map, and it’s a very fluid map because business processes are often changing and employees are coming and going and new applications are added and oftentimes without any IP or systems or operational input. In my case, in marketing, I have purchased hundreds of thousands of dollars in applications without any sort of IT involved. And we see this especially, and certainly in e-commerce, and it’s a very common thing where they’ll start with the RP and then there’s a storefront that they’ll add in the marketplace and then there’s a 3PL now that they’re handling returns. And as they grow, there’s more and more systems that need to be quickly integrated and automated because they are competing with the likes of Amazon perhaps and need that immediate responsiveness with not a lot of people. So what happens is that these integrations can be fairly daunting for some folks who haven’t really thought about how they’re going to handle integrations as they come along. And so integrations are really much more than just the connections. They’re much more than just the technical aspect of the integrations. And one of the things that Mark has taught me that he’ll talk about is that most of the integration challenges that come up, they tend to be around process issues and really not around technical challenges because the technical challenges between the two applications is just a small part of a much larger– the business processes that need to be– the business logic. Which fields need to go where? What is the design of that– of the process that needs to be integrated and then also the technical know-how of the endpoints themselves to make sure that the right data with the right permissions are flowing to the right places? So oftentimes that means that going live is only the very first step, but an integration strategy will be needed because there will be changes as business processes evolve, applications change, and even the market forces that perhaps might force someone to switch from a retail-centric model to an ecommerce-centric model. So you really don’t want to be caught in this fluctuating world, having to reinvent the wheel every single time an app is added, or every single time a new process is added. And so this is basically what Mark is going to cover throughout this with some technical knowledge built in. And hopefully that’ll make integrations much less daunting with this upfront work. So with that, I’m going to just say that to kick it off to Mark, that it is– we encourage everyone with the tip number one to make sure that you think about integration from a holistic perspective and have an integration strategy much earlier on then integration is typically considered in an organization. Integration today oftentimes – and we see this with hundred million dollar companies – integrations are often seen as an afterthought where it will be considered as the application is going to be added, but there are ways in which you can plan that out ahead of time so that there is a much smoother model as your organization grows. So, Mark, I’ll let you take it from here. Great. Thank you very much, Rico. I’m excited to be here both on the Celigo team and on the webinar today to talk to everybody a little bit about some of these integration tips. Like Rico mentioned, there’s a wide spectrum of things here to talk about around NetSuite integration, but I’m going to draw from my experience. And what I’ve seen repeatedly is it’s typically not– the root cause of a lot of things are not the technical issues. You have to have good tools, choose good, solid proper tools, but once you have those the underpinnings of a lot of the issues that arise are non-technical. So we’re going to talk a lot about those and that’s even the most important for some of the more technical people involved in the project because that’s where these issues can manifest themselves. When you’re trying to build out integrations is when you’re going live and things, when that when the technical team is digging into those. So jumping into our tips here with tip number one– and Rico set this up really nicely here and this is the thing, as a consultant, when I would come in on engagements and I would talk to clients, we would often be brought in to do a new ERP implementation at the beginning or coming in later on if something had already been implemented. They had some integrations and they were having some challenges but one of the first things I like to ask is, “What is your integration strategy?” And you ask, “What is an integration strategy?” And it’s really a plan for how your processes and tools can be standardized in an organization and scale as you grow. So these break out into a couple of different sides, we have both the business side of your integration strategy, which is defining who owns integrations. And this is really important because as we’ve seen with the proliferation of SAS apps, we have a lot of departments making these purchasing decisions, within a single department, integrating apps themselves. We see this very often within marketing departments. Sometimes this happens within finance and accounting, and it’s great to see organizations empowering at a departmental level. They know what they need and it doesn’t always involve centralized IT management, but this can cause some problems later on when you’re talking about compliance and standardization. So it’s really important to– that’s an area that you really want to think about is, which integrations can be kept a little bit smaller, and which ones need more holistic and higher-level management across the groups. You also want to be considering your implementation of who’s doing the implementation but also who’s going to be doing the maintenance. I see maintenance for integration forgotten repeatedly. It’s something that’s very important. Sometimes you have two different groups, sometimes you have others, sometimes different sub-organizations, or groups within one, are managing needs. So plan for that. Think about it. Ask that question before you even get started with your integrations. Also, consider whether you’re using internal or external resources for this. Along with this consider how you’re going to prioritize your integration projects. That’s key. Every organization these days seems to be strapped for resources. Business moves very fast these days so it’s part of your strategy. Prioritization is very key. Make sure you’re covering communication for stakeholders. Some integrations you can keep fairly isolated, there doesn’t need to be as widespread or as broad a communication, but with some others, you need to have communication across multiple departments. And so recognizing that ahead of time can really head some problems off. I’ve seen multiple times coming into integrations where you go to go live and then you have stakeholders deciding they want to be engaged, and this can really really cause huge disruptions. And I see this sometimes in the biggest organizations I work with, billion-dollar revenue organizations. This can happen. So make sure you really think through those stakeholders and get them at the table as early as possible. And then another one on that business side is, who’s responsible for the documentation and training? This one again is often missed or you can produce documentation, but is it good documentation? Does it meet the needs of the team that’s actually going to be maintaining it both from a business process standpoint and from a actual integration, a technical integration, standpoint later on. So along with this holistic integration strategy, you want to look at the technical side. There are so many tools nowadays, obviously as Celigo’s in the integration tool business, so this is something we feel very passionately about, but there’s still a wide variety of techniques and they each have their place. I would say most companies are still doing a lot of custom integration development and that’s very crude, but there’s places and times where that can sometimes be the right thing to do, but you want to make a decision about that and have that be a conscious decision as part of your integration strategy. Native integrations. this is something that a really strong platform like NetSuite will let you do. Another core point to that is your point-to-point connectors, so we see that a lot in the NetSuite ecosystem. There’s some point-to-point that exists. Those can have their place but they also have a lot of limitations. They don’t tend to be scalable and it can be hard to modify those as your business grows and scales, and this is where the holistic strategy comes in as you think about, “Hey, do we want to use a point-to-point connector here for this use case to get us or what else is there? What can set us better for future growth? And that gets us candidate– one of the final options, which is iPaaS. And those of us who aren’t familiar with that acronym, it’s fairly new, that’s integration platform as a service. And Celigo’s core product, our integrator IO platform, is an iPaas solution. And really the concept there is using central cloud-based, primarily cloud-based, tool to manage and build your integrations on and provide a consistent platform. And that really sets you up for growth. That gives you flexibility, scalability as you look at where things are going. This is where integration is going in the future. And this ties back into to our product set as Celigo’s smart connectors are built on top of an iPaas platform and we really try to provide the best of both worlds. So you’re not just getting an iPaaS box, you’re getting some of the others as well. So on to our second tip here, clearly define ownership. And this is a big one. So who responsible for which parts of the process. Repeatedly, I have seen this with different integrations where integration can fall through the cracks. You’re connecting different business systems. You might have a team that owns the accounting system or the ERP, like Netsuite. You have somebody else that owns– maybe a different group owns the CRM but who’s owning the integration between the two systems, for example? You really want to think about that and have that be very clear. So define that ownership, with that ownership, you want to define goals for each of those integrations. And this is important because you can definitely over-engineer integration. Sometimes it needs to be just good enough. That’s something that I’ve learned through, yeah, going on 15 years of custom business application development, both within Netsuite and outside of it is that for a business application or integration to provide a good ROI, sometimes it needs to just meet your needs. So clearly define those. Sometimes something’s temporary. It doesn’t have to cover every use case. So think about those goals, be clear, and that really helps get everybody on the right track. So along with this ownership definition, you really want to determine who will own and contribute to the stages of the process. Just think these through. Your architecture, your tool selection, your business process, project management. This is a big one I see missed in a lot of smaller and mid-market companies is even when you’re working with a consulting firm or a service provider like Celigo or one of our partners that has a project manager, you need to make sure that this project to your organization is being managed on the client side, on the customer side. So think about that. Have ownership and accountability for that project, clear project management. And that really sets the stage for a successful initiative. One of the things we threw in here as a bonus pro tip is establish ownership team. So very often, we see a single person being assigned some of these roles and that’s great. That’s better than none. But you’re going to always be more successful and have some succession planning and have some redundancy if you look at more than one person’s plan for many teams to share some of these responsibilities, especially the ongoing maintenance and business process ownership after your project goes live. That can make a world of difference for how smoothly things run in the future. So our third tip is process first and details second. We kind of touched on this one earlier but 95% of the time, from what I’ve seen, integration challenges are process issues and not technical problems. So select a really strong tool, select a good toolset, and that’s going to remove a lot of your technical problems and what you end up with there with a good tool– once you have the foundation of a good toolset is these business process problems flowing through. So when you go get down through the testing of the integration and you have an outcome that doesn’t meet what you expect, hey, these records aren’t going through, these records are failing, we’re having a lot of errors. Most often when you go through and you investigate those, the root causes is often a miss on the business process side and that happens. That’s going to be expected but you’re never going to get everything but endeavor to really think about that process first, white whiteboard things out, map out your processes. I always like to say that if something doesn’t work out on a napkin, it’s never gonna work whether you code it up or build it in a tool. So it’s a lot cheaper to tear up your napkin than back up hundreds of or dozens of hours of time depending on the scenario. Think about your use cases. The vast majority of things that we do with integration are really just otherwise manual activities that now we’re automating. And so with that, that gives you the opportunity during your business process mapping and design to actually walk manually transfer data in your use cases across from your systems. So use real data in your Salesforce account or your e-commerce. So you’re going from a custom e-commerce system into NetSuite while putting real data in their real order for representative of your use cases and then manually bring that over into NetSuite based on how you’re expecting your integration to work. That step alone I’ve seen solved so many problems repeatedly because it will flush out implementation issues. We see this a lot because typically with integration there’s often a system change. So maybe you’re implementing NetSuite while you’re doing this or you’re implementing a new module in NetSuite or a new external system or sometimes both, multiple systems. This manual walkthrough can save tons of time and headache. It can take a little more time upfront but I’ve seen it pay off dividends every single time. And then while you’re doing that– by doing that process, you’re really thinking about your testing at the beginning and this is important. You’re defining it but be actively thinking about how am I going to test this. How will we know when this is done? That’s something that I always coach developers on was, “Hey ask yourself how will I know this is done? ” And if you can’t answer that at the beginning then we need to go back and do a little more work. So that’s a lot of the high-level detail process part of this but then you definitely have to get into the details and there’s a million methodologies out there. But you’re never going to be able to get all of the details right. So do your best there with the fine-grained details and know that some things are just going to come up along the way and in testing and strike a good balance. So on tip number four, this is all about not letting the technology– don’t let your technology get in the way and have the resources you need. And when we talk about resources, that means multiple things so the correct tools but also the people and time. One of the things we see with integration that can very commonly crop up and I saw this repeatedly in my career was a new system was being implemented and you often have experts on one system but not on the other. And nowadays, everybody in technology and business systems is very accustomed to learning, picking up new things quickly, adapting and so you shouldn’t be afraid of integrating or working with new systems but that introduces some risk. So you want to make sure that if you don’t have those resources on your team, you at least want to have access to that, tap into them. I’ve seen this come up several times in my career where you’ve got a big, mature API. Maybe it’s very modern. The documentation looks really good. You’ve got a team that’s used the application but they haven’t maybe used the– no one’s familiar with the technical aspects of it, and it doesn’t end up working quite the way it’s documented or there’s some issues with that. And those can take a lot of time to resolve without access to sometimes the right people. And that’s where a little bit of planning upfront, gaining access to maybe technical support for that upfront, getting them engaged– and part of that, too, is actually using it. I’ve seen this happen very often on projects where you– it might be recommended you acquire some enablement resources and then, as a customer, you don’t make use of them like you should. Really think about that, engage them early on. They should be a priority. And here, a very small investment often has a very high return. The other thing is when you talk about picking your tools, and this is often your technology tools, make sure that you’re thinking about your resources on your team. What are the people, the knowledge base that you have on your team already? And make sure that’s a good fit for the integration tools that you’re using. So this is one where– we see this in iPaaS very often. We come in and– new prospects will bring us in, and they might have chosen an iPaaS solution, but a lot of the iPaaS solutions out there are oriented towards very technical resources. And they might have had a technical team implement it, but the team that took over is more business-oriented, and they can often very much struggle with taking that over if their skillset isn’t in line with the tool. So that’s one of the things we strive, with our tools with, is to make this very approachable for a business user, and this is where it can help to have that planning upfront. Are the tools aligning with the people, both for the project and for the maintenance later on? And another one along with this is, think about what type of integration you’re doing when you’re selecting your tools. Are you going to be looking at real-time? Are you going to be looking at batch? This could be a whole topic unto itself, is real-time versus batch and what those mean. And is it true real-time? Is every 15 minutes or every hour, quote, “real-time” and that’s adequate? This is something, again, upfront. Really think about and get the stakeholders to buy in on that because it can be very hard to– it can be a big gear shift to go from batch-oriented to real-time where you need data synced in, say, within a minute or two. So think about that upfront. Choose your tools accordingly. Mix and match them based on that. Mark, this one is counterintuitive to me. I would think you’d want to tackle the easy things first and get them out of the way. Fair enough, Rico. And I understand where that comes from, but you really– what I’ve seen time and time again is, if you do that and you don’t assess your risks upfront and take on the biggest risk, the hardest things first or the potentially hardest things, the unknowns first, you can run out of timeline. You essentially run out of runway when things don’t go according to plan. So this goes back to the adage of planning for the– hope for the best and plan for the worst. That’s what we really want to do with our risk assessment on our project. And how this would manifest itself with integration is anything that you haven’t done before. So maybe your team is new to the tools you’re using. Maybe it’s not, maybe you’re not so worried there, but you’re connecting to an API that you don’t have a lot of experience with or a system you don’t have experience with. And maybe it’s a newer company. I’ve seen things where we’ve been integrating to an API that someone is building for the first time. That’s a big risk. You need to think about that and account for that and put focus. And taking this approach also does things. It also lets you get your technical people off and running earlier. We talked a lot about process and business process side of things. Well, while you’re working through a lot of that, you know you need to connect to different systems. And so building proof of these concepts and testing out connectivity, how data flows with with these systems you’re working with. That’s a great activity to bring on early in the process for the technical team as you work through this. So going through and just asking what could go wrong here, and then jumping into those as early as possible. I’ve see that pay a lot of dividends and then you also get– you can get some quick wins out of it. So picking integration flow that is maybe just simpler or smaller. Get that up and running. If you’re going to be moving you want to pick a transaction, pick a smaller transaction at go live. It may need 50 fields map. Well, get it over with the minimum. Just start out and get that proof of concept up and running and then you can iterate over that. And this ties into a concept of agile development and various things like that but the gist of this is bite something off, make sure you’re testing everything out early on. And I often made recommendations. We would, especially where we had multiple systems we’re connecting to, is that in an initial pass we try to get a simple downstream and a simple upstream integration working quickly and early. And this has really helps flash things out, especially when you’re working with tool sets and authentication and things like this, you get those any of those issues ironed out early on when you still have time to work through. So our sixth tip here is establish data contracts. And what are data contracts? So this is a term that I’ve coined along the way through my experience with integration. And I really came upon this a couple times when I was brought into some integrations that were let’s just say struggling. In one case, a large customer large client had been working with another vendor on some specialized integration for about six months and they still weren’t live with their EDI integration. And they were just– they were so frustrated. And I had come in after the fact, assess what was going on, after I got what was going on. And essentially we had end points where the data was going and a system in that suite where the data was originating and essentially we’re taking sales orders from our sales team and flowing through. And what was happening was there wasn’t a clear data contract. And by that I mean, just being there having clearly documented what your– what the source format, and what the use cases are going to be and making sure that what the destination system expects the sender is complying with. And it sounds very simple and it is very simple, but it can be hard to execute on and this, this is– those contracts are critical to successful integrations. And I’ve seen as be the root cause of more problems over and over again. And if there’s not a clear outline kind of how this needs to come in. The data needs to come in, it’s never going to be successful. You’re always going to have errors. So think about that. There’s a lot of ways to get there, with your documentation, definitions, documenting your transformations. And when you write stuff down, make sure it’s readable by business users, that’s a key part of this. So that a business user can read it, and it’s not overly technical. A summary abstract can go a long ways to making this resolvable later on by somebody else. And then confirm that. Once you have these contracts in place, confirm that this is possible, get everybody to sign off on. And then with that, you’ve got a plan for some expected failures. Things will go wrong, you can generally look at the data flowing, and anticipate where some things may break. Think about that, plan how you want to handle that, but don’t go overboard. Pick the right thing. This is a good area to iterate later on, as we’ll talk about in another tip. Tip Number Seven: Know Your Systems. And there’s specifically, Tenets we hear small details with NetSuite can have a massive impact on your integration. This is an area where we could talk about this for days, let’s be honest. Anyone that’s worked with NetSuite knows that there is a myriad of things here. And where to start and where to end on this is a tough one. But I think maybe the most important one is regards to integration, around NetSuite, is just having the right expectations for the system. And I’ve seen this repeatedly cause a ton of problems. And by that expectations, I mean know the system, what it can handle from a data perspective, and how you’re going to use it. So, an example of that was working with software companies. I’ve seen them brought into situations, been brought into situations where I’ve seen them bring in all of their usage data. Well, that might have worked early on, but as that scaled out, they were bringing in, they were trying to bring in 100 000 records a day. And then trying to process this usage data within NetSuite. And to be honest, that’s just not a good use of the system. That’s not the right application of NetSuite as a data store for tens of millions of records. So, think about that upfront. How you’re trying to use it. Another great example is I’ve worked with IT resellers who’ve wanted to bring in from their other partners that they work with that might have a catalog of millions of items. Bring in the data that you just need, have a good strategy. Don’t bring in your catalog of four million items when you only sell maybe 10 000 of those items in a month. Bring them in just in time into NetSuite as you need them, So thinking through some of those things can really head off a lot of problems. With that right expectation– having that right expectations and then planning around scalability, adhering, work with performance planning with NetSuite, work with your NetSuite sales reps, to engage the NetSuite performance team, if you’re going to have a radical shift. That is one of the biggest tips I can recommend, and specific to NetSuite, is it just doesn’t work like a– a lot of people from like a standard database, a lot of people, “Hey, why can’t I just push in 50 000 records in a minute?” Be aware of that, plan for it. There’s other little things here. Like I said, there’s a million things to talk about. Be familiar with what you can do with the flexibility of NetSuite a great example is using custom fields or external IDs to– the external ID field to track your external primary keys. Use the custom fields in that suite to make your life easier. Track data through leverage that can be incredibly valuable along the way. The other thing, too, is around your data types NetSuite. Really think through using text fields versus custom list values. This is always such a– it can be such a tough decision and have such big impacts. Such common detail-based error with integrations is the list look-up values. And I see sometimes there’s this tendency to use lists for everything. They’re fantastic. It’s a better data model. Anyone that has database modeling, relational database understands that and wants to go there. And it’s quote, “the right thing” to do a lot of time but sometimes it isn’t. And you have to look at your data in NetSuite and sometimes denormalize it to make your integration life easier. And so that’s something to really consider. So step back, look at it specific to as a SAS system, not as a database sometimes will really make a– resolve some of your issues ahead of time and even if you– when you do choose to use the lists have a good plan for how those are synchronized and a backup plan for when they don’t. That’s where little things like saved searches with an email alert out to a team that might own– if it’s a manual synchronization that they’re getting alerted some proactive monitoring of these things could go a long way to keep your automated integrations up and running successful– successfully. And then always think about compliance with your values and data coming across is– PCI consideration is SOCs. Are you going to be looking at a SOC 2? Any of these things, GDPR, these are all really important considerations now for every company. Keep that in mind and think and think through that and how you can leverage specific field types in NetSuite to make things more secure. Yeah. Mark, we have a question starting to come in here. One is we have millions very small transactions. We need to upload and download large amounts of data. So the point you made about large transactions is a surprise. And also I want to be cognizant of the time. So I just wanted to throw that out. So that’s a really great question, when you want– –when you have millions. So when you’re looking at millions of small transactions, I’m going to be honest, that’s a use case that can challenge NetSuite. So that’s an example where you really want to work with your NetSuite sales rep or partner and do some performance mapping with that. So you want to be on the appropriate tier for NetSuite and make sure that you’ve got those costs accounted for in your budget. So I’ve definitely worked with clients that have millions– are bringing millions of records into the system. But you need to go in fully educated on the impact of that. I’ve also a number of times solved that or worked with that where we do external aggregation. So during the integration process, we might bring that data into a staging area. And then there can be the aggregation and you can–you can roll that up and bring that in. I’ve worked with a– one that really comes to mind is a large client that had invoices for example, that sometimes had over one hundred thousand invoice lines on that individually for a single month. Well, NetSuite really, beyond a thousand. They don’t recommend that. So that’s a case where we had to think outside the box a little bit. We did some external aggregation with another system and then we brought in rolled-up invoice lines at the transactional level but also stored the full detailed report in Amazon S3. And we were able to deliver and provide that to any authorized user in NetSuite or send it out to the customer. So something that you kind of have to think about. That’s where some solution architecture comes in. You have to think outside the box. Kind of going through some of these other tips about NetSuite, think about your governance. Anyone who’s not aware of that is just NetSuite is throttling your concurrency – how many concurrent threads when you get a lot of integrations. Just be aware of that. Your processing order of scripts is important. So if we’re bringing in data, what should be firing and when? And then also if you really want to get into the nitty-gritty here, look up what NetSuite calls their safe guide. It’s just going to suite answers and type say safe guide you can download that. It’s really oriented towards software development network partners. But it’s great for anyone building integrations or and suite apps on the platform. There’s amazing tips in there. You can get a hold of that and check that out. Tip eight. This is one of my favorite ones actually. And this is about planning for traceability with your integration. And think about this from the very beginning. When something goes wrong, you’re going to have to go back and follow data from the end to the beginning and sometimes from the beginning to the end. And so think about that from the very, very start. And that’s where the flexibility in NetSuite is very handy, adding in custom fields along the way to track when, say, an item might have been pushed outbound – so a date, timestamps, statuses. This is one thing where you can really leverage the power of orchestrations and integrator IO. So we might have a flow outbound, we’re moving sales orders outbound from Net Suite out to our 3PL, for example, but we can– maybe we’re using the 3PL as an API. Well, we can bring information back in with that orchestration and update the sales order and do a round trip. So something to really think about. With that, you want to make sure that you’ve got that clear handoff of records from system the system, keep those keys in place, and track the dates and times if you want to be very, very thorough. And there’s times when you want to do this and there’s other times when you don’t. Just depends on audit ability but with transactional stuff, I’ve never regretted having this capability. So we’re almost to the end here. So tip number nine. This one often really impacts things that come about in testing and then posts go live testing. And the recommendation I want to make here is that as you go through errors, you want to move your data validation upstream to prevent those errors. You want to go from being reactive to proactive. So with that when you’re analyzing errors that occurred with your integration– and this gets back to a baseline. Hey, everybody should be endeavoring to have as few errors as possible and no unresolved errors. So as you go through and you’re looking get those, you should always ask yourself, “Why did this error occur?” Oh, and this ties back into what we talked about data contracts as well. “Why did this occur?” “Oh, it didn’t meet the expectations.” So, ask. It might take asking “why” several times to get back to the root of the problem and it can very often be data entry. I’ve seen this very, very often with sales orders and thereby sales team. The speed, they’re often trying to get things in as quickly as possible, and maybe not focusing on accuracy. And this is where you can leverage the great flexibility in NetSuite, through forms, form customization, suite scripting, to bring that validation upstream. So, whether it’s a sales rep entering something or you’ve got a B2C customer entering an order into your e-commerce system, bring that validation as far upstream as possible. It’s far easier to resolve there and it will eliminate your integration errors ahead of time. And I just endeavor– this is part of the evolution of your integration. You’re always going to have new things coming up. You’re always going to have new use cases. Plan for that and move those upstream. And then, our last tip is plan for the work to keep things running. The integration isn’t just going to keep humming along on its own. There’s certainly integrations I’ve seen built and been part of that we built and, with very minimal maintenance, they kept up and running. But those are the exceptions to the rule now. In the mid-market, the business landscape is very, very dynamic. So, with that, plan for your integrations to change. Planning for the resources, make sure that you have somebody that owns it. We talked about that earlier. But give them time, both on the business process side and on the “technical” side as well. You’re going to need both of those to keep things up and running and keep clean. What you want to do is make sure that– think of this as an evolution. It’s, once you go live, you’re not done. Your integration should continually evolve over time. And you don’t want to end up in what I call “integration debt.” So that will be where you kind of leave it, you ignore it, things were running pretty good at go live. And then a year later, two years later, three years later, you have hundreds or thousands of errors. People are like, “Oh, the integration isn’t working.” Well, the integration probably is working just fine at the point in time for the business three years ago. But the business has changed and now those use cases aren’t being covered. And if you keep up with those every month, every week, every quarter, it’s far easier and you then you’ll keep your integrations happy and healthy and successful. So, some of the key takeaways I’d love for everybody to have here, too. We went through ten tips, but if we could distill this down into four bullet points to make sure your integrations are successful. Define your business processes and ownership. Choose the right data for NetSuite in your systems. Define your data contracts and make sure it’s met. And then use the best technology you can that’s appropriate for what you need to do. Thanks, Mark. We have questions coming in. so I’m going to jump to that, given the time here. But if you do want to start using Celigo, you can try the iPaaS. Just go into or and sign up, and you have a free flow that you can use permanently and grow from there. Well, let me jump into the questions. So, we are a small company and we don’t have the resources to do some of the things you’ve described. Is this something we can do our own or should we hire a consultant? The answer is yes to both of those. Sometimes just asking the question and thinking about it helps set the stage and the groundwork for being successful. When we talk about an integration plan, for a larger organization, that might be a huge project. And I completely understand, from a resource standpoint, that that’s not something you want to bite off. But sometimes it’s just a 15-minute discussion internally with some of the stakeholders, “Hey, what are the other integrations we’re planning to do?” Just posing some of these questions upfront can go a long way, and they don’t need to be time-consuming, but they’ll illuminate potential pitfalls. And you can bite off as much of this as you want and get as deep as you need to, and you’ll still see value. And what we’ve seen from a lot of our customers, too, is that they perhaps hire just for the implementation, but then make sure that they’re up to speed for the maintenance. It ends up being a lot easier. Okay, next question. We’re an eCommerce seller. Are there specific items that we should consider based on our business? As an eCommerce seller, I think, all of these apply. It can be a little bit– it can be a little bit different. And what I see with eCommerce sellers is that’s where some of the real-time versus batch considerations come into play. And so that’s a case where maybe you’ve got a– you’re using an off-the-shelf eCommerce platform, and you have some tools that need direct real-time integration. Some of the marketing tools, for example. Those are still going to need to be embedded. And this is actually where strategy can be very, very helpful. I found you choosing an iPaaS solution perfect. You’re setting the right stage, but some things may not be fit. You’re going to go in and know that, “Hey, I’ve got a marketing tool, site activities that are going to occur that we’re going to need to push out in real-time.” You’re still going to be embedding whether it’s– any of the numerous tools out there, you’re still likely embedding JavaScript for them. With eCommerce, when you start talking about custom eCommerce, there’s so much there, you’ve got concerns about PCI compliance, and so you want to make sure you’re really planning for that and using tokenized data. Yeah. But most of these things, I feel still very much hold forth for an eCommerce company. You’re just thinking a lot more, sometimes, about anything that is happening pre-conversion. But, yeah, be very, very cognizant of time. Those should all be real-time activities and planning around those optimizing for speed, pushing them off later, if at all possible, because you want to do everything to speed up your funnel process and not negatively impact conversion. Great. How scalable is NetSuite? Is it really suitable for our clients that have a very large number of transactions? Well, I’ve seen clients with large amounts of transactions using NetSuite. And that’s where a tier-one or tier-zero coming come in, and NetSuite has some great options. I’ve worked with clients that are billion-dollar companies running on that suite. So you want to be– you want to make sure that it fits the tiering and that you’re evaluating that and that fits. So just where I have seen some challenges is where you have very, very low margin businesses that actually don’t have a lot of revenue. Low margin, low revenue, but very high volume. Well, that is where you get they maybe can’t afford to step up in the tiers with NetSuite. So that’s where you need to be a bit more careful, but just plan for that. Transactional data and NetSuite does very well, but I’ve seen things like I mentioned earlier, the usage data, if you can avoid overloading the system, don’t. Make sure when you get into large volumes that you’re just architecting it, you’re working with the NetSuite performance team, you’re breaking things down and really evaluating it, where you’re bringing in larger volumes. Great. This next question, the Salesforce and NetSuite connector, can the transfer of the invoice to the Salesforce financial object include transfer the line items to another custom Salesforce object, i.e., can the out-of-the-box connector be altered? And I can answer this one. We need to check if it’s straight out of the box, if it’s available in the prebuilt connector, but that’s one of the nice things about building smart connectors on an iPad platform, is that it gives you the flexibility to expand with custom flows. So if it’s not available out of the box, you can add a flow inside of that will you to do that particular transaction. So I don’t have the scope documents for that connector to answer that. I don’t know if you know off the top of your head, Mark, but if it’s not out of the box, which we can follow up later to the asker of the question, you can use for that. Yeah. And if I understood that question where you’re taking an invoice, bringing it from NetSuite back into Salesforce, and you want to map those lines to another object, that is something that I would expect to require a custom flow that’s kind of outside the scope of the builtin yield level mappings. But as Rico has said, that’s where comes in. You can just turn off that flow in your NetSuite Salesforce connector and then build a custom flow. We have our free edition, out there, of It’s the full product; you’re just only allowed to have one production flow. So this is a great use case. You have the Salesforce connector. You get one free flow. You can actually build this custom flow and not pay anything additional. Okay. I think we can wrap it up here. For those of you who still have a couple of questions, we will follow up directly. But otherwise, thank you, Mark, for the time. We will send out a recording of this for everyone who registered to this event. And feel free to reach out directly to us if you have any questions or if you want a demo to try any one of our connectors. And I’m sure Mark will be happy to answer questions. If you have more NetSuite-specific questions that you want to pick his brain on. So thank you, Mark. Yeah, thank you, everyone, who attended. We had a very broad audience. I tried to focus on some of the more process-oriented stuff this time, but for those more technical, if we want to get deeper on the technical side and get into the real nitty-gritty in NetSuite, please send some feedback and we will plan for another session that gets much deeper in the platform if people are interested. So thank you. Thank you. Have a good day, everybody