2022 NetSuite Integration Guide
Netsuite is no doubt an all-in-one business software. However, some companies continue to use other software even after onboarding NetSuite.
But, how do you get third-party data to seamlessly blend with NetSuite? That’s where NetSuite integration comes in.
There are a few different ways to go about NetSuite integration — each with its own pros and cons.
While we recommend consulting with a cloud software expert for any final decisions, we put together this NetSuite integration guide to give you a head start.
In this NetSuite integration guide, we will cover:
- Pros and Cons of NetSuite integration
- How NetSuite integration works
- NetSuite integration options, including pre-built connectors, custom integrations, and iPaaS
What is NetSuite Integration?
NetSuite integration is the process of connecting NetSuite with third-party software or applications so data can flow freely between them.
This means you don’t have to manually update information between the two platforms — instead, it’s transferred immediately.
NetSuite integration ensures you always have fresh data flowing between NetSuite and whatever other software, database, or applications your business utilizes.
There are two types of integrations:
- One-way data flows, where data is transferred from the third-party tool into NetSuite.
- Two-way data flows, where NetSuite both sends and receives data from another program.
NetSuite Integration Example
For example, let’s say you recently onboarded NetSuite, but are also using Shopify for eCommerce orders and data management.
Because these are two separate programs, the data will remain in its respective platform: eCommerce data stays in Shopify, and any business tasks performed in NetSuite stay there. With data silos like these, pulling reports can be difficult and time-consuming. You would either have to keep all of the data separate or have employees manually pull Shopify data to NetSuite.
However, if you integrate NetSuite with Shopify, order information and customer data would automatically sync with NetSuite. This keeps all of your data in one place, providing a “source of truth” for easy and quick analysis.
Pros of NetSuite Integration
If your business uses any other software in addition to NetSuite, it’s in your best interest to make sure they’re fully integrated. Here’s why.
Avoid Data Silos
NetSuite was designed to be a centralized source of truth for all of your business data.
However, if you’re still using other third-party tools, such as Shopify for eCommerce or Salesforce for its CRM, that data will remain separate.
Data silos can be detrimental to making strong business decisions — not to mention the frustration and confusion it could cause.
NetSuite integration combines all of the data you have, so you can still see everything in NetSuite without having to pull multiple reports from different places.
Stronger Business Insights
When all of your data is in one place, it’s easier to see a complete picture of positive (or negative) trends going on in your business in real-time. This seamless data management allows you to make quick decisions and pivot resources as needed.
Eliminate Errors from Manual Data Entry
Without a NetSuite integration, you’ll be relying on staff members to input data from other programs. This opens up the possibility for human error — not to mention, it could take some time for someone to add everything to NetSuite.
Integrating third-party programs with NetSuite provides real-time data (in most cases). You’ll have new information as soon as possible without the risk of human error from manual data entry.
Automate Business Processes
In addition to saving you time and money by reducing the amount of manual data entry needed, NetSuite integration can also help you automate more workflows.
NetSuite does a great job with business automation, but it can only work with the data provided. Without integrated data, NetSuite won’t be able to automate everything it possibly can. (Trust us, you’ll want to automate whatever workflows make sense to do so!).
Better Communication with Business Partners and Vendors
You won’t have to worry about missing important updates from vendors — NetSuite integrations can automate this!
If a vendor updates its prices, adds new inventory, or re-stocks certain items, that can all be pushed directly into NetSuite. Without this integration, your staff would have to manually check the vendor’s catalog and input the updates into NetSuite themselves.
Challenges of NetSuite Integration
Of course, NetSuite integrations can also come with a few challenges. While we believe all of the positives of NetSuite integration far outweigh the potential challenges, we still want to make sure you’re fully aware of what you’re getting into.
It Can Be Complicated
Netsuite is a complex software, and it takes specific knowledge and skillset to properly integrate the ERP software with other data systems.
Integrating NetSuite requires knowledge of NetSuite’s API, including SOAP and REST coding frameworks, as well as NetSuite’s specific coding languages, SuiteScript and SuiteTalk.
Only NetSuite developers will be familiar enough with these coding languages to be able to set up a custom integration. (This won’t be a problem as long as you enlist the help of an experienced NetSuite developer team!)
Data Transfer Aren’t Always Instant
While most data can be updated and sent to NetSuite in real-time, this isn’t always the case. It really depends on where you’re integrating data from but, as a general rule of thumb, large batch data transfers aren’t always instantaneous.
How Does NetSuite Integration Work?
NetSuite integration works by either building a custom connection from the ground up or by taking advantage of pre-existing connections or integration platforms.
NetSuite integration options include:
- Custom code utilizing NetSuite’s API and coding languages
- Implementing an integration platform as a service (iPaaS)
- Prebuilt NetSuite connectors
Depending on the third-party platforms you’re using, NetSuite integration will look a bit different.
Here are the different NetSuite integration options and how they work.
NetSuite Integration Options
From custom development to plug-and-play options, it’s important to consider the best NetSuite integration method for your business.
Custom-Coded NetSuite Integration
The first NetSuite integration option is to hire experienced NetSuite developers to build an integration from the ground up. This method uses NetSuite’s API, including SuiteScript and SuiteCloud.
SuiteCloud is a NetSuite platform that allows users to safely integrate data between cloud and on-premise applications.
Designed to support direct-to-API integrations or existing middleware products, SuiteCloud provides a secure way to connect NetSuite to virtually any third-party application.
It uses REST and SOAP web services, which are industry-standard integration technologies. SuiteCloud only handles the technical side of things (such as data transfer and connections). If you’re looking to customize dashboards and automations, SuiteScript is a great option.
Customizations possible with SuiteScript include:
- Creating a custom NetSuite interface
- Importing external data into NetSuite’s dashboard
- Automating business processes, such as scheduling calls on overdue accounts, automatically re-assigning leads when they’ve gone cold, or sending out marketing emails.
Best for: Businesses who need advanced customizations or integrations with complex third-party programs.
The plus side of a custom NetSuite integration is that you won’t have as many annual costs as if you went with an iPaaS or NetSuite connector. There is more of an upfront cost, and ongoing maintenance as needed, but you typically won’t need to pay for any annual licenses or subscriptions.
Prebuilt NetSuite Connectors
Prebuilt NetSuite connectors are by far the easiest option. These are solutions designed to integrate NetSuite with other platforms as quickly and easily as possible. In most cases, a NetSuite connector can be configured in just minutes, rather than weeks.
When it comes to prebuilt NetSuite connectors, you have a few options: go directly through NetSuite or find a third-party provider.
NetSuite provides its own library of NetSuite integration connectors in an online marketplace called SuiteApps.
While SuiteApps make it easy to integrate other platforms (and don’t require costly or time-consuming development work), they aren’t always the best solution.
The downside of SuiteApps is that they aren’t very customizable. Plus, it’s not guaranteed there will be a SuiteApps connector for the platform you need to integrate with NetSuite.
Most third-party NetSuite solution providers also offer their own suite of pre-built NetSuite connectors.
For example, here at SCS Cloud, we’ve created a suite of NetSuite integrations called SuperSync. We currently have integrations for Amazon, Shopify, and Microsoft Outlook.
Going with a third-party provider for prebuilt NetSuite connectors can be better than going directly through NetSuite. Sometimes, third-party providers might be able to add some small customizations, since they were the ones to build the tool in the first place.
Best for: Companies looking for a quick, simple integration with a platform supported by prebuilt NetSuite connectors.
With this integration option, you won’t have much room for customizations. However, it will go live much faster than other NetSuite integration methods.
Purchase an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS)
An integration platform as a service, or iPaaS, is a good middle ground between a custom integration and a pre-built connector.
An iPaaS allows users to create multiple integrations on the same platform. So, unlike a NetSuite connector that might only integrate Salesforce, you could use an iPaaS to integrate Salesforce, Shopify, and Amazon with NetSuite.
With an iPaaS, you won’t need to hire NetSuite developers to hand-code your integration. You’ll be able to use a guided, step-by-step process to set up each integration.
However, there are still some intricate instructions to follow. While it’s possible to learn and integrate on your own, this option requires more in-house resources than custom NetSuite development (which hires external help) or pre-built integrations (which are set up for you).
Best for: Companies that need to integrate NetSuite with more than one third-party platform and have the in-house resources to learn how to do so.
iPaaS platforms are typically purchased on an annual basis. It’s important to research an experienced, high-caliber iPaaS provider before making your decision.
How Long Does it Take to Integrate NetSuite?
NetSuite can be integrated in as little as a few minutes, or as long as a few months.
The amount of time it takes to integrate NetSuite depends on the integration method you choose.
For example, a pre-built Amazon NetSuite integration connector likely only takes a few minutes to implement. On the other hand, if you wanted a customized, API-connected solution, it could take weeks or months to fully set up depending on the scope of the project.
How Much Does NetSuite Integration Cost?
The cost of NetSuite integration can range from $2,500-$5,000+ annually. There’s also usually a one-time implementation fee ranging from $1,500-$10,000+ depending on how much development work is needed.
Custom NetSuite integration projects tend to have a higher initial cost and lower annual costs, while pre-built connectors or iPaaS have higher annual costs.
Integrations are just one portion of the overall price of NetSuite, which varies depending on your business needs, active number of users, existing legacy software, and integrations.
What Does NetSuite Integrate With?
NetSuite integrates with many different software, platforms, and databases.
Whether you’re looking to integrate eCommerce data from Amazon, customer information from HubSpot, or shipping data from ShipStation, there’s likely a tool (or developer!) that can connect them.
Top NetSuite Integrations Include:
- NetSuite Salesforce Integration
- NetSuite Shopify integration
- eCommerce Integration
- NetSuite Outlook integration
- NetSuite shipping integration
- NetSuite Amazon integration
- NetSuite Hubspot integration
How Do I Know if I Need a NetSuite Integration?
If you have NetSuite but also use other platforms to manage specific areas of your business, you probably need a NetSuite integration tool.
It’s okay if you still aren’t sure — you can enlist the help of NetSuite consulting services. This way, a NetSuite expert will give you a full rundown of everything you need to keep your business running smoothly (and profitably!).
Don’t have NetSuite yet but are planning on getting it soon? Your NetSuite implementation partner should be able to tell you exactly what integrations you’ll need.
Choose an Experienced NetSuite Integration Partner
Integrating NetSuite with other systems isn’t something you should do on your own. Even if you want to keep it simple with a pre-built connector, it’s best to make sure it will fulfill your business requirements before making the purchase.
SCS Cloud has a team full of NetSuite-certified experts ready to help you! Contact us today for a FREE consultation.