Ready or Not, Your NetSuite New Release Has Arrived

NetSuite icons

That time of year again already? Yes, that’s right – NetSuite’s new release has arrived. Get ready to make a smooth transition, by taking a few simple steps to prepare your account and your company for the change. Then keep these steps in mind for the next time that NetSuite performs a system upgrade.

As a true SaaS application, NetSuite is typically upgraded for all accounts twice a year – typically in Q1 and Q3. This is great because it means you’re automatically provided with new features that can benefit your business. You can’t opt out of the upgrade or postpone it, as you might with an upgrade of an on-premise solution; it’s going to happen whether you’re prepared or not. To ensure you get the most value out of the new features, invest a little time and effort beforehand to learn about what’s new.

Here are some simple steps to take in order to ensure a smooth transition.

1. Read All About it: New Release Portlet

Several weeks before the new release, NetSuite will share important information about it through the New Release Portlet, including the date and time NetSuite will update your account to the new version. The portlet is published to all users’ home dashboards and also provides quick access to a number of great resources to learn about what’s to come in the upcoming release, including:

  • New Release Overview – A 10- to 15-minute “quick tour” video of feature highlights coming in the new release; this typically includes the most pervasive or impactful features that are relevant to its broad user base.
  • Sneak Peeks – A series of short videos providing a preview of features to expect in the new release; this provides more detail than the New Release Overview and is typically categorized by vertical market.
  • Release Notes – A document describing all the new features and changes in the new release.
  • Login for New Release Preview Account – A link to a “test” NetSuite environment representing a copy of your production environment and data, but with all new release features deployed; this account is completely separate from both your production and sandbox accounts.

By setting some time aside to review the information in the portal you’ll become familiar with what’s to come in the new release and will be better able to plan for the upcoming transition.

2. Give It a Try: New Release Preview Account

Your New Release Preview Account is a snapshot of what your NetSuite production account will look like once it’s been upgraded to the new version of NetSuite. This account contains all of the data, configuration, workflows and customizations you’ve built in NetSuite, as well as any bundles and SuiteApps that you’ve installed in your production environment. It gives you the ability to preview how your account will perform in the new version and run through advanced testing of the new features using your own data and business processes.

While it is unlikely you can (or would want to) test all functionality in the Preview Account, we recommend creating and executing a plan to at least test all your most critical processes, including:

  • Business-critical processes
  • Custom reports
  • Scripts and workflows

In addition, you should also test any integrations with third-party applications. (Keep in mind that the end points of your integrations with third-party applications will need to be updated to point to this New Release Preview environment in order to work correctly.)

3. Spread the Word: Organization-Wide Communication and Socialization

Each new release of NetSuite gives you an opportunity to identify new features that can help improve your business. This is why we like to encourage you to communicate and promote the upcoming release with everyone in your organization. Whatever your approach to internal communications may be, the important thing is to make everyone aware of what’s to come. Be sure to share upcoming release dates with them, as well as information about new features. This often helps identify opportunities to leverage new functionality and address existing problems and issues.

As a Texas-based leader in delivering NetSuite business solutions, Bridgepoint Consulting has a large team of NetSuite consultants who are here to help you make the most of your implementation. If you have any questions about the upcoming new release or would like help preparing your organization for the transition, please contact us.