Why doesn’t anyone have great NetSuite documentation?
Like a gambler who has the ace of hearts up his sleeve, those who work at Strongpoint know what the answer will be when they pose the question to those who work with NetSuite: ‘Is your NetSuite Account well documented?’
The answer for anyone who has not engaged Strongpoint previously is always a resounding ‘NO’ – apart from a few who will ask what ‘good documentation’ is meant to be… and will then realize that they are firmly in the ‘NO’ camp as well.
“I’ve asked this question to rooms of delegates at conferences and industry gatherings, and I’ve never heard anyone who hasn’t worked with us before say ‘yes’ in response,” Strongpoint CEO and President Mark Walker says.
However, this is not just a party trick. The consequences of not having ‘good documentation’ can be very serious when it comes to compliance and other business operations. After all, if you don’t know what you have then how can you know how a change will affect your system?
So what is ‘good documentation’ and why don’t organizations – apart from Strongpoint customers of course – have it?
What makes documentation GREAT?
Great documentation serves as more than just a safeguard against non-compliance. It improves workflow, delivers efficiencies and frees up company staff to tackle a myriad of other tasks, safe in the knowledge that changes are being tracked and anomalies will be identified and adapted or removed before they stall the system and cost the organization a significant amount of time and money.
Great documentation needs to highlight risk and show the dependencies between customizations as well as organizational risk.
The whole point of having documentation is to mitigate risk, but without great tools for using it, there is always a risk of breaking things or even worse changing them in unexpected ways.
“Strongpoint documentation isn’t an archive, it’s a tool that helps our customers get more done, more quickly.”
Why don't you already have it?
It is easy for organizations to feel like they are staying in their comfort zone by maintaining their existing approach – namely, manual documentation. Concerns about cost and time dedicated to introducing Strongpoint, however, are misplaced and short-sighted.
In terms of cost, organizations that handle critical operations or large volumes of data through NetSuite simply can’t afford to face the expensive consequences – in terms of staff wages and, potentially, a damning response from auditors – of failing to consider Strongpoint as a vital tool for compliance and change management.
"With Strongpoint, an organisation can save 75-95 per cent of their audit preparation time and 75 per cent in auditing costs."
“Strongpoint provides big savings in compliance and audit preparation,” Walker adds “With Strongpoint, an organisation can save 75-95 per cent of their audit preparation time and 75 per cent in auditing costs.
“On the other hand, documenting as you go is time consuming and hard to do well. Additionally, the complexity of dependencies becomes enormous over time.
Dealing with those complexities will take individuals away from their core roles and divert their attention from developing a solution. Strongpoint makes your team more efficient. There is no manual documentation update. It streamlines research on proposed changes and helps you proactively avoid outages. Fixes become much easier. The impact on team efficiency can be dramatic with some customers reporting 26x increases in productivity.”
On a basic level, staff turnover can suck knowledge out of an organization, turning documentation into a disaster zone of forgotten, misplaced and incorrect objects that will leave those still at the business scratching their heads in confusion.
“An organization can lose its tribal knowledge when people leave,” Walker adds.
Adopting Strongpoint will safeguard a company against such uncontrollable factors though. “It’s very easy,” Walker explains. “The automated documentation takes just a couple of hours of an organization’s time over maybe four or five days saving person years of work.
“It’s designed to be intuitive and very easy to adopt. Your team will save huge amounts of time as their research and fixes become dramatically more efficient.
“Within three or four weeks, you will know the basics of how Strongpoint can enable intelligent change management, which will minimise risk and speed up development, approvals and change tracking.”
What does this mean for compliance and change management?
From a compliance and change management perspective, Strongpoint has been a godsend for numerous businesses in sectors that are underpinned by complex and highly-scripted implementations.
Strong documentation is critical to evaluating risk effectively to comply with SOX. It can also be used to identify and resolve permission and personal data use issues relevant to privacy standards such as GDPR. With the arrival of the ASC 606 standard set to give public and private companies a fresh headache over the coming months and years, any organization that is ambitious and fast-growing will need Strongpoint on board.
“If you need to have your changes properly tracked or managed, you need Strongpoint,” Walker concludes. “If you have internal or external compliance needs for change tracking, you need Strongpoint.
“Every organization that adopts Strongpoint realizes the strength of the software and, as they grow, we become an increasingly important part of their business operations.”
With Strongpoint, an organization can rest assured that documentation is under control… and when it comes to auditing, they won’t have to pull a rabbit out of the hat.