The software conference season is in full swing, and the most notable recent ERP events were SuiteWorldand IFS Unleashed, annual conferences by NetSuite and IFS, respectively. While NetSuite is now part of Oracle and IFS was acquired by the investment company EQT Funds, both companies function independently and are important players in the ERP space.
Let’s examine their most important announcements and why they matter.
What are IFS and NetSuite planning for 2023?
The announcements from both events can be grouped into two categories—operations and financials. Here is the most important news for each category.
Operations are the core of any ERP system, regardless of the industry or company segment it supports, which explains why most announcements focus on this type of functionality.
NetSuiteannounced Ship Central for supply chain teams, a solution to improve inventory and warehouse management. This mobile application can locate and combine shipments, track shipments in real time, and customize shipping workflows. For manufacturers, the new NetSuite CPQ solution provides advanced features for product configuration, assisted selling, and proposal generation. It also connects CRM and e-commerce to manufacturing by automatically generating BOMs based on CPQ data.
IFS focused on improving its manufacturing execution systems (MES) solution, enhancing work schedules using AI, and simplifying request management for non-stocked consumables such as packaging. IFS deserves special mention for its asset management enhancements and MRO since maintenance is one of the main differentiators of the product.
Finance is critical for ERP since it ensures that operations are profitable, which explains why both vendors are working to improve their financial functionality.
IFS announced a new cash planning analysis model to improve cash management, as well as improvements to its expense submission and reporting features.
NetSuite unveiled the new NetSuite AP Automation solution, which embeds banking services into its ERP solution through a partnership with HSBC. The solution uses AI and ML to capture billing data, improving matching, payment automation, and reconciliation.
Putting the enhancements into context by a comparison of G2 ratings for IFS and NetSuite
The new functionalities mentioned above supplement numerous other features already offered by each ERP solution. It is, therefore, essential to look at all capabilities when comparing the two solutions. The image below shows how the two products compare as of October 2022, just before the announcements. The new features will likely impact user satisfaction, which will reflect in our future reviews, and potentially impact the scores and Grid® ranks of the two ERP solutions.
Gabriel’s background includes more than 15 years of experience in all aspects of business software selection and implementation. His research work has involved detailed functional analyses of software vendors from various areas such as ERP, CRM, and HCM. Gheorghiu holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest (Romania), and a master's degree in territorial project management from Université Paris XII Val de Marne (France).