NetSuite Inc., San Mateo, Calif., is rolling out the latest version of its hosted CRM software, with an emphasis
on the one piece of the puzzle that its competitors have yet to address.
NetSuite 9.5, which is available today at no extra cost to existing customers, adds functionality to its billing component. It can now automatically bill customers and dole out sales commissions for service contracts and subscription plans. NetSuite began as an accounting provider and has long touted its ability to integrate order management with CRM.
Other enhancements include no-click e-mail support for a variety of messaging clients, including Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Yahoo Mail and America Online. NetSuite's technology automatically captures e-mail exchanges and associates them with the appropriate customer record. That eliminates the need to cut and paste conversations, according to Mini Peiris, NetSuite's senior CRM product manager.
Version 9.5 also adds new analytics abilities. Users can mine and search customer information on purchase, case, opportunity and transaction histories; then they can use the tools to segment customers and prepare campaigns. They can also apply analytics to search results and have them show up on a NetSuite dashboard.
NetSuite is taking a phased approach to rollouts and expects that most existing customers will be on NetSuite 9.5 by the middle of the month, Peiris said.