Industry: Human Resources
When the founders of Infinet Cloud Solutions, a Sydney, Australia-based company specialising in cloud-based payroll and HR solutions for the APAC market, first encountered NetSuite in 2003, they quickly realised that something revolutionary was going on. Fraser and Anton Selfe and Paul Hooker realised that the design of NetSuite's SuiteCloud platform architecture, combined with its comprehensive cloud customisation environment, would enable them to rapidly prototype and deliver new products.
Infinet Cloud Solutions quickly became a partner and chose to embed their applications in the SuiteCloud platform to take full advantage of NetSuite's functionality and make optimum use of the development toolset and partner support.
"One of NetSuite's very powerful features is the ability to prototype things quickly," said Paul Hooker, Technical Architect at Infinet Cloud Solutions.
"We went from research into Australian payroll rules to a beta in less than six months and we were live with paying customers in about eight months," said Fraser Selfe, Managing Director at Infinet Cloud Solutions.
Many of today's cloud frameworks enable developers to create their own functionality, user interfaces and authentication systems, yet most require a lengthy upfront development effort.
"It's a fairly significant undertaking before you can get something into the marketplace," explained Hooker. "If you build upon NetSuite's records, you're actually a fair way along already. With NetSuite, you can keep your focus on your core product functionality."
Infinet Cloud Solutions products take full advantage of many of NetSuite's core features, including employee records, general ledger and accounting, and customisable search and reporting.
"You get so many free things out of the box," Hooker said. "You can add additional fields to existing records or create a new record structure, and tie it all together. So you start building on the platform much quicker than you can with other platforms."
"NetSuite give us built-in multi-company, multi-subsidiary functionality," Hooker said. "Our payroll bundle is designed so you can run any number of your subsidiaries through the same record structures. We use the same payslip record for Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the UK. It's the same structure, so that means customers can report across their countries and subsidiaries. This is really powerful and it's a great opportunity for us. There are very few payroll packages out there that will allow you to run all of those at the same time."
Infinet Cloud Solutions developers also benefited from SuiteCloud IDE, an Eclipse-based integrated development environment, to build SuiteApp functionality on top of the NetSuite infrastructure more efficiently.
"The IDE allows us to write scripts, which are the customisation elements. It helps us upload the SuiteScript file, it tells us this particular API call requires these five different pieces of information, and also allows us to reference records and our custom records within the IDE," Hooker said. "So it basically cuts down the effort with developing."
NetSuite's SuiteBundler has made it easy for Infinet Cloud Solutions to bundle groups of customisations, manage versioning and quickly distribute changes to customers.
"We've got over 400 customers in our installed base," Fraser Selfe said. "Because our software is embedded in the platform, we can update our entire installed base from uplink en mass or as individual accounts to the different versions of the product without having to access their account or having customers do anything.
"When tax tables change in Australia, we push an update for the tax table and the customer doesn't even know this occurs. We update remotely, typically outside of hours, and they just keep running. Our customers wake up the next morning and the new tax tables are there. From the customer's perspective, it's very much seamless. NetSuite's managed bundle functionality allows us to do that."
The SuiteCloud Developer Network (SDN) has also been key to Infinet Cloud Solutions' success from day one. The SDN gave the company access to crucial development tools and support, including comprehensive technical services, product management collaboration and extensive co-marketing and lead generation programs.
"Normally with other cloud environments, you are effectively covering the cost of serving your products to the customer, but because we're installing into NetSuite's environment as a partner, there's no cost to us," Hooker said.
"NetSuite not only has the software and hardware infrastructure that allows us to accomplish what we do, but a company infrastructure that they provide to us as well," Fraser Selfe said. "They provide assistance for everything from marketing to providing leads. There really is nothing like it anywhere else. They also provide SuiteApp.com where they advertise our product along with other third-party solutions for NetSuite. The support we get from NetSuite allows us to focus on what we're good at—our payroll product. We don't need to do a lot of marketing."
"If you're thinking of developing for the NetSuite platform, take advantage of the SDN," Fraser Selfe said. "Join up with the SDN and go on to SuiteWorld, attend a webinar, take NetSuite training. It's a community… it's probably a whole way of life. Certainly it is for us."
Infinet Cloud Solutions Pty Ltd is an Australian company specialising in cloud-based solutions for the NetSuite community. They are one of the leading NetSuite Partners in Asia Pacific, specialising in Australasian and European payroll and HR business solutions. While their focus is Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, they have customers worldwide. Founded in 2005, they have a highly experienced team of developers and payroll specialists and are also members of the Australian Tax Office's (ATO) Software Developers Consultative Group (SDCG).