NetSuite Retools With Analytics and a Recommendation Engine

NetSuite, a growing provider of on-demand CRM and ERP capabilities, has released Version 10 of its application suite, introducing a range of new analytical capabilities aimed at improving management visibility and customer profitability. Effective immediately the NetSuite 10 core contains an Upsell Manager as a standard component. The module examines customer purchase history and company-defined rules to suggest relevant complements or add-ons to a considered product purchase, both in a live mode for sales and support agents using NetSuite, as well as for Web visitors using a NetSuite-provided e-commerce store. A separate module, NetCommerce Analytics, provides full Web-visitor tracking and analysis, from origin to purchase. E-commerce analytics is nothing new, but NetSuite hopes to lure converts by tying the analytical record to the existing NetSuite customer record, a feat requiring additional integration when using third-party applications. The analytics module is a $199 monthly flat charge for NetSuite customers, regardless of the number of users. "This is not a real high-end predictive analytics module, but what they're trying to do is bring in functionality that you would find in a more sophisticated package with a relatively easier way of doing it," says Sheryl Kingstone, CRM program manager at The Yankee Group. "That doesn't mean smaller companies can't optimize and try to cross-sell. The total cost of ownership is priced right at the SMB market." Most important, the Upsell Manager includes rules to track the products already owned by the customer--avoiding common, embarrassing scenarios like the phone company putting in an obligatory pitch for call waiting, even to existing call waiting subscribers. "A lot of the time when you call into a call center, you just get the 'special of the day,'" says Mini Peiris, NetSuite director of product management. Finally, NetSuite 10 offers improved management visibility and monitoring through a set of configurable dashboards that include real-time statistics on Web-sales conversions. Dashboard views are administrator-configurable, and can be modified and expanded by the target user. Kingstone sends a reminder that although data visibility is an important payoff, no vendor's dashboard or analysis report reduces the importance of collecting good, actionable information in the first place. "I don't want people to think that this is a purple pill you swallow and you get rid of your heartburn--you have to [endure] a lot of heartburn...." Related articles: NetSuite Intensifies Its Focus on SMBs
NetSuite Expands Its E-Commerce Capabilities
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