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Custom, prebuilt, and iPaaS NetSuite integration: Which is right for your business?

Explore the most common types of NetSuite integrations, the pros and cons of each, and how to choose the best fit for your business needs.

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NetSuite is a powerful enterprise resource platform (ERP) that can streamline your business operations. And while it comes with great features out of the box, NetSuite can be even more effective when you integrate it with other applications in your tech stack.

Integrations and embedded solutions allow you to customize your NetSuite instance to your specific business processes. Today, we’re exploring the most common types of NetSuite integration solutions, the pros and cons of each, and how to choose the best fit for your business needs.  

Why should you integrate NetSuite with other applications?

Integrating NetSuite with third-party software or applications—like your customer relationship management (CRM) system, e-commerce platform, or marketing automation tool—allows data exchange between the connected software. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and ensures you always have up-to-date information in NetSuite, allowing you to save time and make informed business decisions.  

There are two types of integration data flows:  

  • One-way data flow: Data is transferred from a third-party tool into NetSuite. For example, if you’re using Shopify for e-commerce orders and data management, integrating Shopify with NetSuite allows order information and customer data to automatically sync with NetSuite.  
  • Two-way data flow: NetSuite sends and receives data from the integrated application in a bidirectional data exchange. For instance, if you integrate NetSuite with your CRM platform, you can sync customer data between the two systems, ensuring consistency and avoiding duplicate entries.  

Custom NetSuite integrations

Custom integrations enable you to develop a unique solution designed to connect NetSuite with other software applications according to your specific requirements. This approach offers the highest level of flexibility.  

Pros of custom integration

  • Complete control: Custom integration provides you with full control over the integration process. You can design the solution to match your exact specifications and business processes.  
  • Meet unique requirements: This solution is ideal for businesses with complex integration needs or unique workflows that cannot be fulfilled by prebuilt solutions.  
  • Fine-grained control: Custom solutions give you fine-grained control over data mapping, transformation, error handling, and security.  

Cons of custom integration  

  • Time and resource intensive: Custom integration requires significant time and resources for planning, development, testing, and ongoing maintenance. This could require hiring additional developers or reallocating existing resources, potentially impacting other projects.  
  • Specialized technical expertise: You may need to hire experienced NetSuite developers or work with a trusted integration partner if you don’t have experience with NetSuite’s API or coding languages.  
  • Higher upfront costs: This type of integration usually involves higher upfront costs compared to prebuilt solutions. However, it eliminates the need for ongoing subscription fees associated with prebuilt connectors.  

Prebuilt NetSuite integrations

Prebuilt integration, also known as out-of-the-box integration, uses prebuilt software connectors or integrators developed and maintained by third-party vendors. These connectors are designed to work with specific applications, including NetSuite, and can be readily configured for seamless integration.  

Pros of prebuilt integration

  • Faster deployment: Prebuilt integration solutions can be quickly implemented, often in minutes or hours. They come with preconfigured settings and connectors, eliminating the need for extensive development work.  
  • Cost-effective: These integrations are generally more cost-effective than custom development. They also offer a one-time purchase or subscription fee, so you don’t have to worry about ongoing development or maintenance costs.  
  • Ease of use: Prebuilt integrations are designed to be user-friendly, with intuitive interfaces and simple setup processes. They require minimal technical expertise, making them accessible to businesses without dedicated IT teams.  

Cons of prebuilt integration

  • Limited customization: Prebuilt solutions may have limitations in terms of customization. Prebuilt options are designed to cater to common integration needs and might not fully meet complex business needs.  
  • Less control: While they offer predefined functionality, prebuilt integrations provide less control over the integration process compared to custom solutions.  
  • Potential for compatibility issues: Depending on the specific software applications and versions you’re integrating, there may be compatibility issues with prebuilt integrations. Make sure the prebuilt solution supports your desired software stack before implementing it.  

iPass NetSuite integrations

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) provides a middle ground between custom integration and prebuilt solutions. iPaaS platforms offer various integration tools and connectors, allowing you to create multiple integrations on a single platform. With iPaaS, you can integrate NetSuite with multiple third-party platforms without the need for extensive coding.  

Pros of iPaaS

  • Flexibility: iPaaS grants you the freedom to create custom integrations between various software applications.  
  • Ease of use: These platforms typically provide user-friendly, guided integration processes. They eliminate the need for in-depth technical knowledge and allow businesses to set up integrations with minimal resources.  
  • Scalability: iPaaS platforms can scale as your business grows and offer the ability to add new integrations or modify existing ones as your software ecosystem evolves.  

Cons of iPaaS

  • Learning curve: While iPaaS platforms are designed to be user-friendly, there may still be a learning curve for setting up and managing integrations. It’s important to allocate resources for training and ongoing support.  
  • Annual subscription fees: iPaaS platforms typically require an annual subscription fee. While this may be more cost-effective than custom development, it’s an ongoing expense to consider.  
  • Limited customization: While iPaaS platforms offer flexibility, customization options may be limited compared to custom integration.  

How to choose the right NetSuite integration for your business

Now that you understand the pros and cons of each type of NetSuite integration, how do you choose the right one for your business? Consider the following factors:

  • Complexity of your business processes: If your business processes require a unique or complex tech stack, you may need custom integration to meet your needs. However, if you have a straightforward process and manageable tech stack, a prebuilt integration is likely to work for your business.  
  • Number of integrations: If you’re looking for a single integration, like an e-commerce platform, a prebuilt solution could meet your needs. If you need multiple integrations—like CRM + e-commerce + third-party logistics—or want to leave room to scale as your business grows, an iPaaS solution could be the most flexible option.  
  • Budget and resources: Cost, time, and staff are probably the biggest considerations for any business. As you compare integration solutions, consider what fits within your budget and what you can accomplish with your current resources. A custom integration will require a developer (or a team of developers) with the bandwidth to build out and maintain the integration. A prebuilt solution can be the most cost-effective and quickest to implement. An iPaaS solution provides a middle-ground with greater flexibility, quick implementation, and manageable costs.  

Integrate your apps seamlessly with SuperSync integrations

Regardless of your integration approach, partnering with an expert integration provider like SuperSync can streamline the process and ensure success.  

SuperSync integrations allows for seamless connectivity between NetSuite and other applications. This enables businesses to automate data synchronization, eliminate manual data entry errors, and improve overall data accuracy.

SuperSync offers prebuilt integration packages that connect NetSuite with popular platforms like Salesforce, Amazon, Shopify, and Microsoft Outlook.  

Want to see how SuperSync can boost your NetSuite instance? Schedule a demo to get started.  

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