Integrating NetSuite and Salesforce: Selecting an Approach

As a Salesforce implementation partner, our commitment lies in helping organizations to optimize their operations, enhance the customer experience, and make more informed decisions. The integration of NetSuite with Salesforce provides substantial value to businesses that rely on these platforms to manage diverse aspects of their operations, including sales, finance, and customer service.

Choosing the right approach is a pivotal step in integrating NetSuite and Salesforce, and it can make a substantial difference in its efficiency and effectiveness. In this article, we'll explore three viable approaches: Turn-key Integration, iPaaS/ETL Usage, and Custom Code Creation.Summary of the Three Approaches

Turn-key Integration:
A turn-key integration offers a swift and straightforward path, particularly when the replication of NetSuite data within Salesforce is a priority. However, it may lack the additional platform touchpoints required by some users.

iPaaS/ETL Usage:
Leveraging an Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) or Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) method can seamlessly synchronize NetSuite and Salesforce, with the added advantage of facilitating data transfer to numerous other systems. Yet, iPaaS solutions often demand customization, typically involving several weeks or more of professional services.

Custom Code Creation:
Creating custom code opens up a realm of unparalleled flexibility, tailored to meet your company's specific needs. However, it comes with inherent risks such as maintenance, monitoring, and potential human lock-in, as the responsibility for upkeep may rest on the shoulders of a single individual.

Turn-Key Integration: Breadwinner
Currently, Breadwinner emerges as the singular turn-key integration between Salesforce and NetSuite, bringing along its unique advantages and limitations that warrant thorough evaluation.

Advantages of Breadwinner:

  • Rapid Deployment: Breadwinner offers a swift go-live potential and typically requires minimal configuration, making it a strong choice for initial evaluation.
  • Data Replication: It excels at replicating NetSuite data into Salesforce, establishing the necessary structure and architecture within hours of installation.
  • User-Friendly Operations: With a guided wizard, it assists in creating records in NetSuite from Salesforce, offering a viable choice for companies seeking granular control and oversight for unique cases.

Limitations of Breadwinner:

  • Integration Limit: While capable of full automation for data transfer from Salesforce to NetSuite, Breadwinner's point-to-point connection is available only for Salesforce and NetSuite. It might not be suitable for those seeking automation from Salesforce to NetSuite and desiring connectivity with additional systems.

Ideal Use Case

Breadwinner excels when prioritizing the replication of NetSuite data to Salesforce and when you require precise, human-monitored data transfer from Salesforce to NetSuite. Conversely, it may not be the best fit for those who do not prioritize visualizing NetSuite data in Salesforce, seek automation from Salesforce to NetSuite, or desire connectivity with additional systems.

Because Breadwinner is a native Salesforce app, you can also leverage its Salesforce NetSuite integration through its AppExchange listing.

iPaaS / ETL: Navigating Through Varied Options

Imagine an iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service) as an octopus, each tentacle delicately interfacing with distinct data stacks, facilitating the bidirectional flow of data among multiple systems like NetSuite, Salesforce, Workday, and others.

Navigating Through iPaaS Choices:

Options are abundant, from Salesforce's Mulesoft and NetSuite's preferred partner Celigo to other highly recommended solutions like Boomi, Jitterbit, SnapLogic, and Workato. Each has its unique strengths. Considering your team's expertise is crucial, as familiarity with a particular iPaaS can significantly impact your decision-making.

Addressing Challenges:

While these systems are robust and reliable, success primarily depends on their configuration. Many implementations fail due to design issues, build problems, or a misunderstanding of accounting rules. Therefore, evaluating and minimizing configuration-related risks is paramount.

iPaaS vs. ETL: Understanding the Difference:
PaaS represents the next generation of ETL, excelling at real-time data flows and cloud-based solutions, while ETL tends to operate traditionally, often dealing with batch data movement and compatibility with local systems.

Custom Code: Weighing Flexibility Against Risk
Choosing custom code opens up a world of boundless flexibility, allowing you to tailor solutions to your company's specific requirements.

Advantages of Custom Code:

  • Tailored Solutions: Custom code aligns perfectly with your specific needs, eliminating unnecessary functionalities.
  • Potential Cost-Efficiency: For smaller projects, custom code might be a more cost-effective and less labor-intensive initial investment compared to iPaaS.

Risks and Considerations:

  • Human Lock-In Peril: Custom code introduces the risk of human lock-in, as the departure of the individual who wrote the code could disrupt business processes. This risk persists whether the code is developed by a direct employee, an independent consultant, or a large consultancy.

In Summary: Charting Your Path Through Three Approaches

Each approach - turn-key, iPaaS/ETL, and custom code - presents its unique set of benefits and challenges:

  • Turn-key: Ideal for rapid deployment and establishing NetSuite data within Salesforce quickly.
  • iPaaS/ETL: Suitable for interconnecting multiple systems, contingent upon a proficient implementing team.
  • Custom Code: Offers unparalleled flexibility, assuming you can manage personnel turnover without impacting business processes.

You might even find value in blending two approaches. Whatever path you choose, a thorough evaluation of all three approaches is indispensable before making a decision, ensuring that your choice aligns seamlessly with your operational demands and strategic aspirations. Prolocity is here to help you navigate this journey and make the best decision for your organization's success.



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