What To Expect From The Latest Oracle - NetSuite Update: 2021 Release 1

Simon Soh
23-Feb-2021 16:09:46

Editor's Note: This post was originally published in February 2020, and has been updated to reflect the changes that came with the latest updates from NetSuite.

Oracle recently announced the 2021 Release 1 update for NetSuite, and it will be going live for customers on a rolling basis from February to April 2021.

To help its customer optimise their financial and business processes in anticipation of new growth opportunities, 2021 Release 1 will introduce intelligence and automation into every aspect of the true cloud ERP software.


Learn about the details of 2021 Release 1 in this NetSuite Podcast. Source: YouTube


These include new improvements to existing features such as financial management, project management, multi-subsidiary operations and inventory management.

And just like for previous updates, the 2021 Release 1 update also comes with new sector-specific features and functionalities which caters to the unique business needs of different industries, in addition to the aforementioned general improvements.

Let’s jump in and take a look at the highlights of the first major update of the year for NetSuite.


Take A Look At Some Of The Most Useful Tips And Tricks We've Collaged To Help You Get The Most Out Of Oracle NetSuite.


Smart Automation Of Financial And Operational Management

The 2021 Release 1 update brings improved financial and multi-subsidiary management features to the table.

Smart Financial and Operational Automation
Centralised subsidiary purchasing and billing. Source: NetSuite


  • If you have multiple subsidiaries under your business, the introduction of centralised subsidiary purchasing and billing now enables you to consolidate purchases across your subsidiaries and generate vendor payments from a single location. This helps you reduce purchase order volume and automate corresponding cross-charges for improved spend management and productivity levels.
  • Expense commitments and budget validation is a new functionality that ensures budgets are closely followed and prevents overspending, by validating your purchase requests and orders against your business’s available budget.
  • SuiteApprovals now provides email approval, allowing you to review, approve or reject transactions by clicking on links within emails, leading to more flexible and quicker transaction approvals. You can also use the email approval log to review and audit email approval actions before they are updated within the system.
  • You can now use the Bank Feeds SuiteApp to automate the importing of financial data from banks in Asia, Australia and New Zealand with the latest global bank feeds feature. This increases efficiency and simplifies bank reconciliation.


Optimisation Of Project Lifecycles

With 2021 Release 1, NetSuite provides new functionalities to enhance project lifecycle management, as well as a new feature that will be especially useful for professional services firms.

Optimizing the Project Lifecycle
SuiteProjects is a natively built PSA solution on NetSuite. Source: NetSuite


  • SuiteProjects, a professional services automation (PSA) solution that’s natively built on Oracle NetSuite, makes its debut in 2021 Release 1. It provides complete visibility and control into your projects and billable resources by combining project management, resource management, project budgeting and project accounting. Used together with NetSuite’s financial management features, NetSuite CRM and SuitePeople, SuiteProjects becomes the comprehensive single platform you need to manage your professional services firm.
  • Your project managers can now initiate purchases directly from projects, thanks to new project purchase automation and visibility functionalities. This lets your project managers easily view how their projects are affected by purchases, and enables your purchasing and project management staff to collaborate effectively.
  • You can now set limits for each expense line in a project, and use additional filters to control your expense report policies based on billable line items. This ensures that your customer contracts align with your business’s policies.
  • Your employees can use the new “retract” button to correct weekly timesheets prior to approval, saving time for approvers, administrators and themselves.


Here Are Three Ways A Cloud ERP Software Like Oracle NetSuite Can Boost Profits And Slash Costs In Your Professional Services Firm


Automation Of Inventory Management

Businesses which need to take stock of their product inventory will find that 2021 Release 1 brings enhancements which automates their warehouse management and order management.

  • 2021 Release 1 brings enhancements to the warehouse management system (WMS) such as wave automation (for taking advantage of off-peak processing), tally scans (makes bar code scans quicker and more reliable), cart put-away, bulk picking, added support of mobile status changes, and automated label printing.
  • The new supply allocation against blanket PO feature now bases your location assignments on earliest availability and required-by date. This helps you promise orders to your customers more accurately than before.


Enhancements To SuiteCloud And SuiteAnalytics

As has become customary of NetSuite updates at this point, 2021 Release 1 comes with enhancements for both SuiteCloud and SuiteAnalytics, providing new features and functionalities for your developers.

Platform and Analytics
New APM dashboards lets your monitor the health of your REST web services-based integrations. Source: NetSuite


  • New application performance management (APM) dashboards allows you to monitor and analyse data generated by your REST web services-based integrations, ensuring that they’re performing as expected.
  • New internationalization and localisation tools and processes makes the NetSuite user and administrator experience feel local for any business operating in multiple countries. In additional SuiteAnalytics workbooks now come with native language support, localisation for a wide range of fields, and the ability to extend support for analytics development and automation.
  • A new secrets management feature set enables your developers to manage authentication information securely. SuiteScript APIs have also been made more powerful and easier to use for application development and account customisation projects.
  • Asynchronous coding techniques now enable your developers to work with significantly larger data sets. They can also test and debug applications without leaving browser context, thanks to native Chrome debugger support for SuiteScript.

These are just some of the highlights for your developers. To get the full list of enhancements for both SuiteCloud and SuiteAnalytics, you’ll want to refer to this Sneak Peek.


New Service Level Commitment For NetSuite Customers

While not part of the 2021 Release 1 update per se, Oracle NetSuite has committed to a new Service Level Commitment (SLC) to strengthen their reliability commitment to customers like yourself.

While NetSuite has offered an SLC of 99.5% on a quarterly basis for the last 16 years, the following will be effective from 1 April 2021:

  • Uptime

To elevate their commitment to their customers, NetSuite will increase its uptime commitment from 99.5% per quarter to 99.7% per month.

  • Service Credit

Based on the degree of any impact on service in a month, NetSuite will provide service credit from 10% to 25% of your monthly fee, based on the following table:


Service Availability <99.7% and >=99.5% <99.5% and >=99.0% <99.0%
Service Credit 10% 15% 25%


This will replace the “all or nothing” one month’s credit that was offered under the previous quarterly SLC.

  • Submission Deadline

To make it easier for customers like yourself to submit claims, the submission deadline will be extended from 5 days to 30 calendar days. The rest of the customer-facing submission process will remain unchanged.

For more details about the change in the SLC, go to this link to find a copy of the new terms in PDF form.


Questions About Oracle - NetSuite's 2021 Release 1 Update?

As usual, the 2021 Release 1 update comes with enhancements that are sector-specific, and tailored for the unique needs of businesses in particular industries.

Take a look at the following Sneak Peeks from Oracle to find the details about the new features and functionalities that are relevant to the following industries:

With these new enhancements to the features of Oracle NetSuite, your business will be in a good position take advantage of new business opportunities that are coming in the post-pandemic economy.

If you'd like to learn more about Oracle NetSuite and what it can do for your business, click the image below to learn more about the most popular true cloud ERP in the world today.


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Highlights Of 2020 Release 2

Oracle NetSuite’s 2020 Release 2 Update was recently announced, and the second major update of the year is currently going live for customers on a rolling basis from August to October 2020.

This time around, NetSuite 2020 Release 2 delivers a set of enhancements that will enable greater automation for more than 20,000 customers around the world, and help them save on their time and resources.


To Get The Most Out Of Oracle NetSuite As An End User, Here Are Some Tips And Tricks For You.


These include Improvements to several of NetSuite’s functionalities, which include (but are not limited to) finance and operations, human resources and employee engagement and supply chain management. It also comes with new tools for developers as well.

Just like the update from the beginning of the year, the 2020 Release 2 update offers new features and functionalities tailored to the unique business needs of individual industries, along with those that are applicable to every customer regardless of the industry they’re operating in.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the highlights of the update.


Financial and Operational Management 

NetSuite 2020 Release 2 greatly streamlines invoicing and bank reconciliation, and brings significant improvements to the processing of intercompany transactions.

NetSuite Group Invoices

Overview of Group Invoices. Source: NetSuite

  • If NetSuite users had multiple invoices for a single client, they had to manually consolidate them into a single invoice, which is a tedious and time-consuming process. However, with the new invoice grouping feature, you can now automatically consolidate multiple invoices into an “invoice group” which can then be sent to your customers, facilitating ease of payment and improving the cash flow of your business.
  • You’ll now be able to automatically create and post transactions directly from imported data from your financial institution. This streamlines the automated bank reconciliation which was introduced in the last update, greatly reducing the time needed to match data from your bank with your financial data in NetSuite.
  • With intercompany cross charge automation, your accounting function can now automatically post cross charge transactions between your subsidiaries, reducing manual processing and streamlining your accounting period close process.
  • Your accountants and financial controllers can now offset mutual intercompany open balances and auto-generate intercompany netting settlements. This helps you easily net intercompany accounts receivable (AR) and accounts payable (AP) by reducing open intercompany transactions, and minimising the manual effort needed to manage open balances.


Oracle NetSuite Can Help Take FinTech And Financial Services Firms To The Next Level. Click Here To Read More About It.


Expense Management 

With Release 2, NetSuite offers several new features to help you manage your employees’ business expenses.

NetSuite Expense Reports

Overview of Expense Reports. Source: NetSuite

  • If your business uses American Express corporate credit cards, you can now use expense report credit card integration to populate the expense lines in NetSuite’s expense module directly from your corporate credit card accounts. This streamlines the data entry and reduce errors, and can help increase user adoption.
  • The controls and notifications on your employees’ expense reports are now automated to ensure compliance with your company’s policies and contracts, reducing unapproved overages and limits excessive expenses.


Supply Chain Management

Manufacturing businesses using NetSuite will get a variety of new tools to help them manage their supply chain with 2020 Release 2, from material requirements planning to risk management.

NetSuite Planning Workbench

Overview of Planning Workbench. Source: NetSuite

  • Users who are using NetSuite Demand Planning will find that the cloud ERP software’s new material requirements planning (MRP) capabilities have been completely re-architected, and now features a dedicated planning repository. This helps your planners make decisions based on timely and consistent information.
  • A new planning workbench processes data by product line, plan, location, user-defined categories and groups, and highlights situations that require attention. This helps you avoid both shortages and surplus of supplies, and offers what-if analysis capabilities for simulating multiple plans.
  • Intelligent Predicted Risks have now been extended to include sales orders, providing you with greater insight into the potential risks on goods which are not shipping on time. It can also identify purchase orders at being at risk, and give you recommendations on alternative vendors based on its new machine learning (ML) algorithms.
  • Inbound shipments will now be included into the allocation of supplies in context with related purchase orders, providing additional precision to supply allocation. In addition, full rate optimization allocates existing supply to satisfy as many sales order lines as possible, based on available supply.


SuiteCloud Enhancements 

As is customary for all NetSuite updates, 2020 Release 2 comes with new features for developers. These include:

IDE-agnostic Node.js Command Line Interface (CLI)

Overview of IDE-Agnostic. Source: NetSuite

  • A new records catalogue which makes it easy to discover and view all standard and custom records, as well as fields in your NetSuite account data model
  • The IDE-agnostic Node.js Command Line Interface (CLI), NetSuite’s first-of-a-kind open source distribution is now available on both GitHub and com. Your developers can use it to efficiently manage and automate SDF projects across your development lifecycle.
  • SuiteCloud support for the open Jest-based JavaScript Unit Test Framework, for testing and debugging customer SuiteScript modules.
  • Asynchronous execution support for SuiteScript Query and SuiteQL APIs, making it possible to work with larger data sets and reduce the number of timeouts.
  • New Application Performance Monitor (APM) performance health dashboards, which lets you view account status in real-time, and provides at-a-glance overview of key health indicators and flags potential system resource bottlenecks so you can proactively prevent stability and performance issues.

These are just some of the highlights of the many new enhancements in SuiteCloud. To get the full list of platform enhancements, you’ll want to read this blog.


Questions About Oracle - NetSuite's 2020 Release 2 Update?

Some of the enhancements that NetSuite 2020 Release 2 brings to the table are, as was also the case for the previous update, intended to help businesses in specific industries with their unique needs.

Here are some blog posts that offer a breakdown of the new features and functionalities which are relevant to these industries:

The numerous enhancements applied to the features and functionalities of Oracle NetSuite will certainly stand your business in good stead, as you navigate the upcoming challenges of this year and the next.

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