What do you do when you know a NetSuite upgrade is coming? You know you’re going to get the upgrade; you’ll get a notification from NetSuite with the date that your NetSuite environment will be upgraded to the newest version. How will you prepare?
For many, this is familiar, and they’ve worked out a process, either internally or with their NetSuite partner, to ensure that everything will work seamlessly after the upgrade is done. If you are one of those organizations, who have been through it before, know the process, and are prepared to act on it, you’re all set. You can even stop reading now if you want. (But don’t… there might be nuggets in here for you, too.)
But… if you are still in your first year of using NetSuite, or if you don’t have an internal team to handle the upgrade process, or if you feel like you need outside help but don’t have that lined up, read on.
You don’t want to let a NetSuite upgrade just happen to you. You want to be prepared.
What does that mean?
It means testing everything.
Release previews come out well in advance (usually six to eight weeks) of your NetSuite upgrade date. The release preview should be tested in your release preview account, along with any customizations you have done and any third-party software you’ve integrated to your NetSuite environment. Every piece of your system should be tested with every relevant role. The testing is done in a contained environment and uses some of your data.
You and your team get the opportunity to verify that everything will work with the newly upgraded software, or to rectify any issues that might come up, well in advance of the NetSuite upgrade taking place. If you have customized NetSuite for your organization, you’ll know what works and what might not, and have the time and ability to change it (or have it changed for you). If you’re running third-party software, integrated with your NetSuite, you’ll have the opportunity to validate its operation as well, and you’ll know if you need to start quizzing the makers of that third-party software about what they’re doing to be compatible with your newest NetSuite version.
I can’t emphasize the importance of this testing enough.
Even if you are running a NetSuite implementation that is absolutely vanilla, no customizations anywhere, no external third-party software integrations, you’ll still want to test the upgrade for every role. While most upgrades don’t impact the user interface, some do, and you want your users – especially your power users – to be ready and educated on any changes that impact how they will use the system.
A NetSuite upgrade needs a plan, and the plan needs to include testing – for every role and every integration and every custom workflow, custom report, or custom anything.
If you need help developing your NetSuite upgrade plan, or help making it happen, I know a guy…