NetSuite Project Remote Delivery: Best Practices for Clients and Partners
By Matt Posey, NetSuite Practice Director
Even before social distancing and remote work became more common during COVID-19, we were seeing a shift to remote collaboration for NetSuite project deliveries. Whether the work is an implementation or optimization, working with a NetSuite Alliance Partner remotely is an efficient way to navigate a project delivery – provided that both the partner and the client team adhere to a few important best practices.
Shifting expectations (and surprising cost savings) of remote delivery
Many NetSuite clients assume their ERP implementation will be staffed by an on-site Alliance Partner team, and that assumption is for a good reason: it’s the way it’s always been done.
For many years, on-premise systems literally had rooms full of a company’s servers and the partner team that maintained them were physically present. Because collaboration technologies were very spotty and taxing in terms of bandwidth and costs, it was generally assumed that technology partners and consultants couldn’t work unless they were hip-to-hip with the client team.
Today, project delivery doesn’t have to be hip-to-hip or even on site (and, at the time of this writing in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it usually cannot be). Not only was the base NetSuite ERP system built as a cloud product from its beginnings, but collaboration technology has improved to make overall project delivery much more cost-efficient. In fact, clients can see cost savings in several areas.
Travel. The cost of the NetSuite Alliance Partner traveling to your site is minimal or even nothing, depending on the work and your team’s needs.
Flexibility for the NetSuite Partner. If a partner is on-site, their people can’t work on other clients and therefore the entirety of their day is billed to you. On the other hand, remote delivery allows a partner’s team members to bill the client in much smaller increments and spread their day out across multiple projects more easily.
Flexibility for the client. When a NetSuite partner is on site, the client’s resources are spending as much time with them as possible – and are being pulled from other tasks. By going with a remote delivery approach, your resources can better maximize their time on the NetSuite project and still perform other work, rather than tying up entire days at a time.
How to ensure remote delivery is successful
In our experience as a NetSuite partner, the most common remote delivery challenge we encounter is a client that only dedicates their team for the minimum amount of time possible (perhaps this is because a partner team that’s off-site can also be out-of-mind). Failing to give your teams an adequate amount of time on a project will only cause issues and delays.
A NetSuite Alliance Partner can work with you to set expectations on the time required from your team. The partner will get to know your client team and make recommendations on how they can best engage to make the project a success.
A successful remote delivery also requires the partner to keep a close eye on communication; emails and status reports can be taken very differently depending on how the reader interprets the tone. The partner should go over as much as they can on video chats (not email) to help avoid misunderstandings.
Getting comfortable with a NetSuite remote delivery project
As the client, if your only experience has been with on-premise resources and teams, then a remote delivery model can be somewhat daunting; you may feel like you won’t have the same level of influence and oversight.
Here at BTM, we use both on-site and remote options when working with NetSuite clients, and we offer a hybrid approach that gives clients the flexibility to choose.
At the beginning of the project, the BTM NetSuite team goes on-site for one or two days for initial discussions and kick-off activities, which may include a facility tour, business process validations, or discussions on how the client would like NetSuite configured. From there, we work with the client on what is best for them: Some clients lean more heavily on the in-person, high-touch model, while others literally don’t need us to come back ever; they even go through the go-live and support phases without ever having our team there again. As a client’s confidence in us is cemented, they typically prefer the remote delivery model and don’t require any subsequent visits.
To discuss our NetSuite offerings or learn more about our remote delivery approach, contact us.