Content, IT management, MSP

NetSuite OpenAir PSA Upgrade Pursues Midmarket MSPs

NetSuite has upgraded OpenAir, the company's PSA (professional services automation) platform. Key adopters include midmarket IT solutions providers and MSPs like Softchoice.

The upgrade arrives at a key time for NetSuite and its PSA clientele. Oracle Corp. in July 2016 announced plans to acquire NetSuite for $9.3 billion. However, some NetSuite shareholders have balked at the deal. Oracle has given NetSuite shareholders until Nov. 4 to approve the buyout, or the database giant has threatened to walk away from the deal.

Amid the ownership debate, NetSuite must prove that it can remain customer-focused. The company is best known for its cloud-based financials and ERP software. But OpenAir, a SaaS-based offering, also has a strong following among professional services providers.

NetSuite OpenAir PSA Enhancements

The new NetSuite OpenAir release includes international capabilities like:

  • A new performance console that introduces a rules engine and algorithm for automatically adjusting auto-billing and auto-revenue recognition settings on completed projects.
  • Greater foreign exchange currency decimal precision, allowing customers to integrate with other ERP systems when billing or recognizing revenue in foreign currencies.
  • New project accounting functionality around advanced revenue recognition, including the Balanced Income vs. Forecast (IvF) rule, a requirement for some global and international customers.

Moreover, budgeting enhancements include:

  • Workflow controls, giving finance leaders the control to approve and lock down figures.
  • Configurable cost categories, allowing teams to enter cost categories that are unique to their industry and business (e.g. buying servers for a software company, outsourcing creative work or a prototype for an advertising agency) in a single repository.
  • Automated expense and time/labor entries.

The upgrade also includes new reporting tools. Key adopters include Valtech (an international digital agency) and Softchoice, an MSP and IT solutions provider that applauds the platform's reporting capabilities.

Midmarket PSA Competition

While Autotask and ConnectWise typically are the best-known PSA platforms within the IT services market, OpenAir generally competes in a slightly different segment.

Indeed, OpenAir often attracts professional services organizations in the midmarket, and supports multiple verticals beyond IT services. The company frequently competes with PSA platforms like FinancialForce and Krow, among many other PSA options.

If Oracle completes the NetSuite buyout, MSPs should track if or how OpenAir PSA gains integrations with Oracle's various financial, ERP and CRM platforms.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.