This year was a special one - we at Staria decided to go bigger than ever and expanded our traditional NetSuite Day into a whole NetSuite Tour across no less than five countries in Europe!
Take a peak at what NetSuite Tour 2022 looked like:
October 25: Stockholm, Sweden
The first stop on NetSuite Tour 2022 was Stockholm, Sweden. Kicking the morning off was Staria's CEO Artti Aurasmaa, who welcomed everyone to the event and spoke about the importance of collaboration: "Nothing great has ever been achieved alone". Then, it was time for Monzaide Anzola, CFO at iBinder, to tell us about iBinder's growth journey. iBinder offers digital information management services for the construction and real estate industry, with operations in 8 countries.
Then followed a presentation on how to succeed with an ERP implementation by James Brierley, Project Manager at Staria. Brierley talked about the importance of investing enough time and resources, and making sure that people are committed to the project. To conclude, he shared three best practices: embrace the change, be pragmatic in your decisions, and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
The final presentation of the morning was given by FloQast, Staria's partner and one of the sponsors for NetSuite Tour. Brandon Malekie, Inside Sales Manager (EMEA), told us about how companies can close the books 30% faster with FloQast. Malekie further highlighted that FloQast is fast to implement and that companies can be "up and running in as little as 4-8 weeks, depending on the company".
The last point on the agenda was a panel discussion about NetSuite and international growth, featuring the following panelists:
Stefan Faith-Ell, NetSuite Product Owner, VOI Technology
Magnus Hultgren, Financial Controller, Truecaller
Lisa Villman, CFO, Everysport Group
VOI Technology offers e-scooters and e-bikes on no less than 11 European markets. Truecaller offers a platform for verifying contacts and blocking unwanted communication. Everysport Group is the leading sports media and sports data company in the Nordics.
All three panelists are NetSuite superusers with more than 30 years of NetSuite experience combined. Hultgren shared that Truecaller are using NetSuite mostly out-of-the-box, while Faith-Ell and Villman spoke about their experiences in regularly adding and testing new and different customizations and trying out new features as they are released, showcasing that either way of using NetSuite is possible.
A central topic during the panel discussion was users having adequate knowledge of the system. The panelists agreed that having knowledge of the system is key and that to get the most out of a NetSuite investment, companies should focus on educating and training their employees in the system. "Most organizations don’t put enough time into educating the users", Faith-Ell said, continuing with "many of the problems that arise are due to someone making a mistake". Villman agreed, and pointed out that there are several features which go un-used because users are not aware of how to get the best use out of them. "The consolidation function for example is fantastic and much better than people expect it to be”, Villman said, continuing with “but the transactions can be quite complex, so you need to have the knowledge to use it".
Villman said that a way to address the lack of adequate knowledge of the system is to carefully evaluate the intended users. "Who is best suited to be a superuser? Who would enjoy it and is willing to learn more and then be able to support others? Companies should focus on building up the team, not just the system", Villman explained. Faith-Ell agreed: "companies should find the key people that think it's fun, and give them the time to learn and test a lot".
Keynote by James Brierley, Project Manager at Staria
Panel discussion with Voi Technology, Everysport Group, and Truecaller
November 15: Helsinki, Finland - NetSuite Day
The second stop on the tour was NetSuite Day in Helsinki, Finland. This was the biggest event of the tour, and held as hybrid event both on site in Helsinki and via live stream. In total, 300 people participated on site and online.
Read more about NetSuite Day here.
Staria's CEO Artti Aurasmaa opened the event with welcome words, followed by the first keynote speech of the day which was given by Gacho Grigorian, Business Development (EMEA) at Oracle NetSuite. Next up, we listened to Andrei Postolache, Senior NetSuite Solution Consultant at Staria, who spoke about NetSuite's newest 2022 release and highlighted the key new features.
Then, Staria’s partner and one of the sponsors of NetSuite Day, FloQast, came to the stage. Brandon Malekie, Inside Sales Manager (EMEA), and Tom Coldman, Account Executive, explained how FloQast can help companies close the books 30% faster and that companies can have it up and running in 4-8 weeks.
Kicking off NetSuite Day 2022!
Tom Coldman, Account Executive, and Brandon Malekie, Inside Sales Manager EMEA, FloQast
After lunch, it was time for Justinas Lukaševičius, CTO at Smart Brands Laboratory, to share Smart Brands Laboratory’s amazing customer success story. Then, Starians Juha Oja, Business Development Executive, Jani Jääskeläinen, CTO, and Mikko Kurki, Head of Product Management in BI & Planning, took the stage and spoke about how companies can reach financial process excellence.
Finally, we got to listen to a super exciting panel discussion featuring the following panelists:
Heikki Puomila, Finance, Supercell
Johan Haataja, CFO, RELEX Solutions
Lauri Isotalo, CFO, Framery
Steffan Schumacher, COO, Efecte
The topic of the panel discussion was international growth and each panelist shared what their growth looked during the recent uncertain years and what it looks like today. They also discussed the main reasons for choosing NetSuite as their ERP platform and shared their advice for companies that are considering implementing NetSuite.
Read more about the panel discussion from NetSuite Day here.
Justinas Lukaševičius, CTO, Smart Brands Laboratory
Panel discussion with Efecte, RELEX Solutions, Supercell and Framery
November 22: Tallinn, Estonia
The third stop on the tour was Tallinn, Estonia. After inspiring welcoming words from Staria's CEO Artti Aurasmaa, it was time for Indrė Andruškevičiūtė, NetSuite Administrator at Vinted, to take the stage and tell everyone about Vinted's amazing unicorn story and journey with NetSuite. Vinted is Lithuania’s first tech unicorn and offers a peer-to-peer online marketplace for second hand fashion. They went live with NetSuite in 2020. “Before NetSuite, we did everything in excel and manually, which took a really long time”, Andruškevičiūtė explained, continuing with "we needed a system to unify everything and a system that would support us as we grow". She also pointed out that Vinted wanted to digitalize to be able to adapt to the changing business. As an example of benefits that NetSuite has brought, Andruškevičiūtė said the audit timeline has changed from 1,5 months to 5 business days.
Next up, we got to listen to a NetSuite keynote by Gacho Grigorian, Business Development (EMEA) at Oracle NetSuite. Grigorian spoke about the uncertain times of recent years and shared his advise for companies - to invest in adaptability and efficiency. Grigorian also told the audience that current trends show an increase in the demand for analytical capabilities such as planning, budgeting, and forecasting, in business platform flexibility and in wanting to become more efficient.
Then, we got to listen to Staria's Senior Consultant Vilgailė Striužaitė, who gave the following tips on how to succeed with an ERP implementation: make sure that you have enough resources and time, agree on the goals and priorities, and prepare for the changes in people, roles and processes that the ERP implementation will bring to the company. Striužaitė also reminded the audience that "there is no -one size fits all- implementation model, you need the right partner to guide you through the process - people power is the key."
The final keynote of the day was given by Justinas Lukaševičius, CTO at Smart Brands Laboratory. Smart Brands Laboratory offers an algorithm-driven e-commerce operational platform that launces brands globally. They currently have legal entities in three countries and a brand portfolio of 7 brands. Lukaševičius shared that before NetSuite, they had 25 SaaS systems in use. They started to look into implementing an ERP system because they wanted to have a cloud-based system, and to have a consolidated view of all their legal entities in one system. They went live with NetSuite in 2021 and are using the OneWorld module. "With NetSuite, we now have foundation for future growth", Lukaševičius said.
Indrė Andruškevičiūtė, NetSuite Administrator at Vinted
Justinas Lukaševičius, CTO at Smart Brands Laboratory
November 24: Oslo, Norway
The fourth NetSuite Tour stop was Oslo, Norway. Jimmy Löfström, International Growth Director at Staria, welcomed everyone to the event and spoke about how Staria helps companies grow through our three core values: Courage, Collaboration, and Commitment.
Next up, Bo Hjort Christensen, formerly University lecturer at Handelshøyskolen BI, ERP analyst, Consultant and Author, gave a keynote on the new mindset needed when choosing, implementing and maintaining cloud-based business systems. Christensen spoke about today's tendency towards cloud-based systems, often in the combination of a core, like NetSuite, with additional features and services added on top. This tendency creates the need for a cloud mindset among all parties: "A cloud mindset is often something that the customer has, but the supplier and partner must also have it. We only succeed when all three parties have a balanced cloud mindset", Christensen said.
Christensen concluded that choosing a cloud-based business system has become more complex than before and that with a multitude of things to evaluate the process has become very demanding. Christensen pointed out that a good starting point would be to focus on the needs, solutions and partners relevant today.
Then, we listened to a NetSuite keynote by Gacho Grigorian, Business Development EMEA at Oracle NetSuite, followed by a presentation by Matthew Whitley, Account Executive at FloQast. Whitley presented FloQast as a solution for companies to close the books 30% faster and held a short demo.
The final part of the day's agenda was a panel discussion, featuring the following panelists:
Jon M. Soløy, CEO and Owner, Scandinavian Home Products
Julian Duque, Finance Manager, Keystone Education Group
Bo Hjort Christensen
Scandinavian Home Products distributes sewing machines in the Nordic countries, and have been a NetSuite user since 2015. Soløy explained that they wanted to find a local partner that would understand how to handle Norwegian and Swedish VAT rules. He said that ”the best thing about finding a local partner is that they understand the business systems we have in Scandinavia” and that when it comes to local Norwegian practices like using OCR and KID numbers, NetSuite has worked for them. Christensen agreed that while there is a tendency today to source expertise from around the world, it's important to have a somewhat local partner.
Keystone Education Group connects students around the world with education institutions and went live with NetSuite for their first Norwegian subsidiary at the beginning of 2022. Duque explained that going forward, they plan to move their 14 remaining subsidiaries to NetSuite within the next two years. When asked about challenges during the implementation, Duque pointed to the issue of anticipating how flexible they had to be with their customers, as many educational institutions still use legacy systems. "You have to understand the requirements you have in the countries where you want to implement the system, and your own processes as well", Duque said.
On the topic of challenges when implementing NetSuite, Soløy said "We weren't an advanced company. We had to put up clear processes". He also said that when choosing a business system, it is important to look at the drive of your company and whether it matches the intended business system. For instance, a company planning to expand globally looking for a system that has a strong global capacity. Christensen highlighted that it is often the global capacity that differs between different systems, and that "the special thing about NetSuite is the multi-country concept with global capacity in the solution", concluding that "if you have operations in several countries, NetSuite is a good choice".
Keynote by Bo Hjort Christensen, formerly University lecturer at Handelshøyskolen BI, ERP analyst, Consultant and Author
Our panelists: Jon M. Soløy, Julian Duque, and Bo Hjort Christensen
November 29: Prague, Czech Republic
The fifth and final stop on NetSuite Tour 2022 was Prague, Czech Republic. Jimmy Löfström, Staria's International Growth Director, welcomed everyone to the event and told the audience about Staria's commitment to helping companies grow. He pointed out that "collaboration is the key to a successful ERP project". Then followed a NetSuite keynote by Gacho Grigorian, Business Development (EMEA) at Oracle NetSuite, who advised companies to invest in adaptability and efficiency in order to cope with the recent uncertain times.
Next up, we got to listen to Katarína Vigodová, Head of Delivery at Staria, share some tips about how to succeed with an ERP implementation. Vigodová shared many valuable tips such as the importance of companies knowing the goal and keeping it in mind throughout the implementation process, staying involved since as a company, you know your business the best, and to invest time in the implementation. "You can grow when you have the right people doing the right things and if they enjoy doing that", Vigodová said. Vigodová also said to base the solution not only on current needs, but future needs as well, and to get familiar with the system early in the process.
Then, it was time to listen to Lukáš Zmátlík, Finance Transformation Manager at Rohlik Group, share Rohlik's unicorn story. Rohlik is an European technology leader in e-grocery that attained unicorn status in 2021. Zmátlík shared that before NetSuite, Rohlik were using several different systems, processes and practices in the countries they operate in, which also included a lot of manual work. "We needed a system that would cover all current countries and also the future ones", Zmátlík said, sharing that they were looking for faster closing, faster processes, fewer manual processes and to speed up the international expansion. The choice fell on NetSuite, due to key features such as being able to have all information stored at the same place, a unified workflow, and the possibility to integrate other systems. "The integrations with NetSuite and other systems would allow us to reduce manual work and errors and process data faster", Zmátlík explained.
When it came to choosing a partner, Zmátlík pointed out that "the speed of the implementation was important", because the goal was to go live a year later. They chose to implement NetSuite with Staria, through a phased timeline where countries were implemented in different phases. First out was Czech Republic, which went live in spring 2022. The rest of their countries followed during summer and autumn 2022. "We learned a lot from the whole implementation project and NetSuite during the go-live phase, which helped us in the other go-live processes for the next countries", Zmátlík explained.
Welcoming the audience to the final stop on our NetSuite Tour!
Lukáš Zmátlík, Finance Transformation Manager at Rohlik
NetSuite Tour 2022 was sponsored by Staria, Oracle NetSuite, and FloQast.