QBR – Crucial for Success

A QBR (Quarterly Business Review) allows you to boost your image in the eyes of customers by demonstrating the success they can achieve with your service.

What is a QBR?

QBRs are quick checks of KPIs and review of the relationship with the customer overall. The QBRs are basically touchpoint meetings with your customers on a quarterly basis to review how well you’re backing their success. The intention of the meeting is to review the impact of your product on the customer’s business as well as discuss future goals.

Business reviews are part of the most undervalued tools in a services company’s resources, however, QBRs focus on new ways to help customers achieve their goals, expose risks and opportunities you’re equipped to address and ensure customer leadership sees you as a critical part of their growth strategies. That’s the reason these meeting are so important!

These meetings ensure customer satisfaction or check the possibility of improvements keeping activities on schedule, at or under budget achieve the agreed KPIs. It’s up to you and your business to demonstrate how you can add more value so that the customer is willing to continue the partnership.


Main reason for the existence of these reviews are that being a vendor does not mean being only a service provider but being a partner to your clients’ business success. As a partner you can increase your customers’ loyalty and expand the relationship you have by insisting on having QBRs meetings.


Which content should a QBR meeting include?

A QBR usually discusses the progress made in the past 90 days, review product usage and performance. Additionally, the discussion should include strategic obstacles and challenges and a definition of a 90-days action plan in place for the next quarter.

In general, it should include the strategic goals of your customer, yours and the mutual strategic goals you both share. Goals should be specific, defined by measures, relevant to achieve and defined by schedule.



What are the expected results of this review?

The result is a plan of how you and your client intent to achieve the strategic goals defined. Outline open items that will drive the business toward its goal. Mark follow-up items that ascend from the business review. Maybe you need to find a new platform or research for new technologies. Make sure to write those items down to ensure everyone is on the same page.

In case there are unresolved issues that come up during the QBR discussions make sure to check these issues and come back to the client with some clarifications. If the customer has made changes in its business objectives, ensure you make the appropriate preparations to address those new objectives.

As a service company you would like keeping customers satisfied to earn their loyalty so checking regularly that you are meeting their expectations is crucial to your success.

What are the advantages of having QBRs?

Maintaining positive and strong client relationships can lead to upselling opportunities and ensure smoother operations. It is just as important as the customer success of the product or service you’re selling. A QBR meeting ensures that you are able to stay in touch with the client and prevent losing touch with their business goals. Additionally, it is an opportunity to meet and get to know key personnel within the client’s company.

QBRs enable you to pinpoint negative customer feedback and prevent problems before the customer is dissatisfied and comes to a breaking point.

The QBR is a great opportunity to show the customer how much value they’re getting from your product at scale. While individual success stories are important, you should show them the impact to their organization as a whole. This requires the use of metrics, survey data, and whatever other available KPIs. Such data is available if you have CRM software in use such as Salesforce and an ERP system as NetSuite. Customer satisfaction is a priority for most businesses, as it leads to long-lasting client relationships.

What are in-house QBRs meeting?

Having QBR meeting of sales managers with sales reps are most valuable for promoting the business. These meetings should be thought as a potential forum where reps and sales management line up on region plans, and reps can assess their ability to achieve those plans.

First there should be a review of last quarter performance; the deals that were closed, what are the reasons for the deals we lost, how can we improve those setbacks and what are the deals we aim to achieve in the next coming quarter.

Additionally, QBR is the right time to review pipeline projects and assess their probability and risks. As a result of this forecast discussion, an action plan for the next quarter sales goals should be agreed on. Even if the target list becomes shorter, it’s better to have a shorter but more realistic goals list than a very long one with lower chance to be achieved.


Improving Customer Experience – Post Pandemic Key Success Factor

Covid-19 has changed our life and the way we do things in many aspects. We shop, work and do business differently but we’re still figuring out how this transformation is translated to the business part of our live.

Why customer support is so important?

No matter how you see these changes, customer relationships remain crucial for success. During the last 2 years organizations that put customer support as their top priority grew dramatically. However, customer support is only one part of the whole customer journey and therefore it’s important to refer and give the best solution to every part or touchpoint of this journey.

How is customer service changing these days?

From a financial point of view, customer service that was a cost center became a major growth driver. When isolation became a routine the human contact importance grew up. Customer service quality and experience influence directly the impression a company or a brand leaves and it became to be crucial on company’s growth and revenues. If you show a weakness even in one part of the customer experience process, it may affect your revenues since it’s very easy to switch online to another competitor brand…

What about our customers’ new expectations?

The pandemic made customers’ expectations higher: they expect to have a quick, convenient interaction with the company they make business with. One of the major expectations is to have an available support around the clock. Messaging platforms like WhatApp and Facebook are the key channels enabling such interaction. Nearly a third of customers messaged a company for the first time in 2020, and 74% say they will continue to do so.


How can you step up to provide these expectations?

So you need a tool to manage these messaging platforms. Such customer support software that control this messaging enable sales team to handle multiple tickets at once, while saving customers time on the phone and improving customer experience. In addition, for simple questions that do not require conversation, chatbots can save time for both customers and sales team.

Human connection is still very important in spite of the digital revolution. Customer service interactions by the human sales team are still the most effective for building customer trust and achieve brand loyalty.

Digital tools like chatbots create better results for improved customer experience but human interactions providing a level of empathy for technical issues customers facing that chatbots can’t. Chatbots are great for frequently asked questions, but human agents provide kind responses to more comprehensive or complex inquiries and make customers feel that they are being heard and served. By combining digital tools with human representatives, you enable your team to quickly respond to changing customer demands and expectations.

How can you keep personalize interactions with large amount of customers?

75% of consumers are more likely to purchase from companies which know their name and offer them products based on their behavior and their purchase history. Customers want the whole package: convenience, speed, and personalization. Although having it all seems impossible, there are methods to succeed to reply quickly to a large number of customers with a personalized approach. One major tool you can utilize to achieve this goal is customer service software like Zendesk which is one of iCloudius’ cloud solutions.


High Quality Data Management Improves Productivity

In recent years, data has become more fundamental and linked directly to companies’ success. With high volumes of data flowing in from multiple sources, managing this data has become a complex task. To make faster business decisions based on more confidence and knowledge organizations need access to high-quality, actionable data. Using Data Management system is a major part of the solution to this issue.

Let’s define “Data Management” and why it’s so important

According to Gartner Glossary, Data Management (DM) consists of the practices, architectural techniques, and tools for achieving consistent access to and delivery of data across the spectrum of data subject areas and data structure types in the enterprise, to meet the data consumption requirements of all applications and business processes.

In simple words, DM is how organizations manage their central data asset. DM includes collecting, storing, organizing, protecting, verifying, and processing essential data and making it available to all the employees. DM is aimed to increase the quality and accessibility of the data used by the company. As the volume of data and the number of sources increase, there’s a growing need to successfully manage and maintain the large volumes of data that companies produce daily.

Since most organizations rely on their data to moderate the risks of their business decisions, DM becomes critical to increasing productivity, creating digital experience and building successful applications. Business decision-making should be based on high quality information. To make data turned into information it needs to be managed, processed and made meaningful and relevant.

High quality DM systems ensure access to complete and accurate data. With no such reliable systems, according to Dun & Bradstreet, nearly one in five (19%) of businesses have lost a customer by using incomplete or inaccurate information about them. In addition, machine learning/personalization/AI cannot be executed without an effective DM in place.

Big amounts of data raise the need for an effective Data Management System

In recent years organizations are subject to a growing number of compliance regulations, large rises in information storage capacity and the big amount of data and documents being generated. This degree of growth is not expected to slow down – International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts the amount of information generated will increase 10-fold by 2025. This large amount of data from ERP systems, CRM systems, and general business documents is often referred to as big data and it makes DM almost a must.

On this big data environment, a good DM enables businesses to rely on a single source of information which can prevent approaching outdated leads by the sales teams and build better customer relationships with relevant potential leads.

Key Data Management Advantages

  1. Trust and availability – Employees should trust the available high quality data for making decisions. Having the data/information distributed in a simple user friendly manner to the relevant employees makes it easier to use.
  2. Data Compliance practice – Having DM system makes it easier for the company to ensure that the data is collected in one system and fits the compliance practices like the European GDPR. Validating data confirms that data comes in an anticipated constant format across the whole organization which makes it quicker and easier to work with.
  3. Data Security – Another issue of having a lot of customer data is the security risks engaged in it. A strong, effective DM system helps protecting the information from cyber-attacks or other kinds of abuse. DM system reduces the risk of losing vigorous company information. It also ensures that this info is backed up and can be recreated if required. Companies invest time and money into data compliance since almost 77% of consumers would stop using a brand if that organization lost their personal data or used it irresponsibly.

Data Management implementation strategy

DM implementation strategy should be thought as a roadmap for the company to use the data to achieve its business goals. To become a data-driven company, the implementation DM strategy includes 4 steps:

  1. Find and pick the right DM software tools for your business.
  2. Identify how to use the data collected to achieve the company’s goals. The way the data is collected, processed and transformed should fit the company’s business model and objectives.
  3. Create a DM team that can analyze data and understand technologies associated with DM.
  4. Ensure employees have access to the relevant data according to their role. Different permission levels should be defined. Each department should have access to a different level, quantity and type of customer data to be able to provide a better service.

Implementing Artificial Intelligence plus Machine Learning means Scaling B2B Sales

In our world everywhere you go or whatever you do there is a digital interaction which causes endless data to accumulate. This data can be used to increase sales and to improve personalized

marketing and services that are expected by today’s customers. To translate this data into sales growth you need to use Artificial Intelligence (AI).

AI is based on the concept of having computers think like humans including performing tasks like rationalizing, designing, learning and understanding language. The logic behind AI is machine learning technology, which is aimed to make our life easier and more productive.

Machine learning is a subcategory of AI focusing on using statistical tools to create intelligent computer systems to deduct from big databases using algorithms adapted to the data creating behaviors with minimal programming. This technology anticipates expected behaviors of B2B and B2C customers so businesses can be proactive and use CRM system more effectively.

57% of buyers (B2B included) depend on suppliers to foresee their needs. Customers know you have their personal data from their purchase history and they expect you to use it in order to help them to make current purchase decision easier for them and even offer them the products that fit their needs the most. They expect every interaction along the purchase process to be fast, smooth, clever and personalized.


The same principle works for B2B sales process. Most complex B2B deals take months or years to close since they include many human interactions like Q&A, issues, solutions and forecasting plans. It’s expected that even post Covid-19 pandemic this process will remain virtual and digital. By personalized approach closing deals process may be shortened.

Customers are engaging at specific times and for specific reasons along the buyer journey. However, usually a CRM measures the progress of a deal through stages, but the level of engagement happening, the content generated and shared by the buyer is not often tracked at all. This information is critical for the identification which leads have better chances to be converted into a customer. Implementing AI and machine learning is expected to take B2B companies’ sales process a big step forward, enabling businesses to scale their efforts, measure more efficiently, and close more deals.

To make the best out of AI you need a team of professional data scientists and developers that access the suitable data, arrange it in the correct way, develop the right models and at the end incorporate the personalized estimates and convert them into the CRM system to provide the optimal end-user experience.


What is the impact of using AI on B2B sales?

B2B S&M departments were early adopters of digital transformation which helped them to personalize their engagements with customers which is very important especially with their longer sales cycles. According to McKinsey research, B2B sales teams that adopted new technology tools to improve sales models show growing revenues at twice the rate of GDP. According to the research, data-driven decision making adds a 2%-5% rise in sales.

AI helps B2B marketing team to focus on the most valuable leads. AI tools facilitate the flow of marketing information to sales, saving precious time by helping sales teams find out who to contact and when. AI helps identifying which of the potential lead actions are indicators of the buyer intent, marking the correct time to approach the potential customer.

Maximizing B2B marketing ROI

AI can handle a high volume and low variety of tasks. Most AI solutions available for B2C marketing are optimized to do this at the lowest cost possible. This explains why most B2C marketers are able to present positive ROI on the investment in marketing automation technology. However, it’s not the same for B2B marketers as B2B and B2C marketing are different.


B2B marketing presents a few challenges that are exclusive to this arena. To overcome these challenges, B2B organizations utilizing ABM (Account Based Marketing) which is a marketing strategy that is based on choosing a few specific target accounts and applying highly personalized marketing strategy for each account. This strategy is effective for companies that sell big products and services. ABM reduces the sales cycle and increases the conversion rate.


How Application of AI affects B2B Marketing?

  • High qualification leads – AI tools are able to analyze and assess leads’ purchasing intent by analyzing large volumes of data pertaining to an account such as social media activity, search key words and market trends. In B2B business this capability can differentiate between sales cycles of a few months to one that lasts several years.
  • Super personalization – AI based ABM tools can help marketers to personalize marketing strategy even within accounts to different stakeholders in the same potential company based on demographic, firmographic and behavioral data. This high distinguished marketing personalization enables S&M team to create personal relationships with many stakeholders which translates into faster conversions.
  • Multichannel Integration – By using AI-based ABM you ensure that every interaction with potential customer will be “aware” of all past interactions with the same lead which makes this interaction improved and more likely to end in conversion.
  • Campaigns performance – AI based ABM can follow marketing campaigns performance enabling cost optimization of advertising budget.

Managing cloud expenses vs. on premise expenses

Advances in cloud development services enable businesses to provide easier, more secure and accessible payment solutions for their customers.  However, while considering moving to cloud storage as it seems the better solution especially these days, you should take into account the cost of both solutions – cloud vs. on premise. Let’s see the pros and cons of both solutions to be able to make a comparison and get the right business decision, accordingly.

  1. Maintenance and Data Backup

In the short term, deploying on-premises setup requires a large upfront capital investment on hardware, installation, software licensing fees and data backup. When ready there are additional costs including an internal or external IT team for ongoing support, maintenance and security, as well as paying energy and hosting costs and for the extra office area necessary. Keeping data accessible and secure requires hardware that is compatible with other server systems. Therefore, there are ongoing hardware, software and licensing updates, upgrades and purchases fees required routinely.

However, with on-premises infrastructure, ongoing cloud service subscription fees are not necessary and internet bills may be lower since the local infrastructure may demand lower bandwidth for accessing files stored locally.

In comparison, the main advantages of cloud provider are that there are no high upfront costs, only monthly subscription fees required, the cloud provider takes over the maintenance, up-to-date software, computing compatibility, security and support costs. In addition, no IT team is necessary for troubleshooting problems or for general support and maintenance. Usually large amounts of storage are included in the base subscriptions. These terms can reduce operating costs significantly.

Moreover, with the cloud, predicting costs is easier comparing to the risk of overspending on updating or purchasing new hardware when choosing the on-premise option. Additional issue is data protection. Keeping storage on-premises involves a greater risk in terms of losing data following a disaster. To avoid such loss, companies usually have an off-site backup service which means more expenses. Data storage on the cloud is more reliable allowing for shorter recovery time which translates to lower expenses.

  1. Security/threat protection

Cloud security issues are common reasons given by many IT professionals who prefer to stay on-premises. Are those concerns justified? When choosing on premises it seems that keeping data onsite is safer because it’s all under in-house control. However, it means that you are responsible for creating, maintaining and monitoring your own security system which require high level security expertise translating into costs.

Currently and moreover with the influence of Covid-19 pandemic, cloud security has improved significantly and using the cloud is safer than ever. According to Gartner estimates, public cloud service workloads will suffer at least 60% fewer security incidents than those in traditional data centers. Cloud providers deliver detailed full security services that include all you need in security terms like encryption for data in transit and at rest, network protection, application security, data redundancy, continual threat monitoring, mass file protection and more.

  1. Compliance

Many financial and healthcare companies have to stay compliant with regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR or CCPA and many others. In the case of on-premise the company needs to have specialized knowledge and expertise in properly configuration and maintenance of the system and of course have the suitable dedicated employees for this task which can be costly. In addition, if you face an audit for being out of compliance, there is an added cost.

Using a compliant cloud provider can save much of the cost engaged for compliance issues. A cloud provider has experts who have compliance certifications in many industries saving you cost and some “headaches”.

  1. Scalability

When a business got to the point of scale up, on–premises and cloud solutions have significant differences. Accounting, manufacturing, logistics, personnel etc. – all have to be able to handle increased demands.

If you work on-premise, adding resources like new hardware, software and upgraded memory bulk is required with all the cost it involves.

With cloud storage, scaling is easy. In the cloud, an organization is able to increase workloads in several simple actions (even clicks) using built-in features or adjusting a subscription with a cloud service vendor. This flexibility drastically cuts overhead costs associated with monitoring and scaling resources manually, in other words, you pay only for what you use.

  1. Reliability and access from anywhere

For best service, accessing your servers needs to be quick and reliable to ensure a good user experience. On-premise does not rely on internet connection for onsite employees. But for those working from home it’s much more complicated. On-premises require robust redundancy that entails practically duplicating your physical infrastructure, which is costly to manage and maintain.

However, a good, fast, reliable internet connection is critical when using cloud storage. A connectivity problem can delay operations and reduce productivity. Therefore, having good internet connection is very important before switching to cloud storage. The cloud offers high availability and solutions for disaster recovery.

Following Covid-19 pandemic impact on the diversity of working location options it is obvious that the cloud has advantages over on-premises with respect to access capabilities of users working remotely. No need to go into details there…

To summarize, on premises system requires an initial extensive investment in hardware and infrastructure, ongoing costs of maintenance, storage space, power consumption and dedicated IT support.

However, although cloud computing requires an upfront financial investment, the cost savings of cloud computing in the long run are actually one of the top reasons many organizations consider making the switch in the first place.


Data Protection is becoming an important issue these days

With the high increase of online shopping during Covid-19 pandemic, Data Protection is becoming a huge concern for both consumers and businesses. A significant step towards dealing with this concern was the GDRP (General Data Protection Regulation) that entered in force in May 2018. The GDPR is designed to protect and set a standard for the way personal data is kept, handled, and processed. The GDPR made all countries have a centralized regulation put in order for organizations to implement. 

Generally, people are more aware these days for their rights around their personal data. Customers value transparency and privacy when buying online and trust became a part of a good customer experience. 

GDPR Implementation brings better customer relationships 

Implementing GDPR forces companies to examine how they handle customer data, to focus on building trusted B2C relationships. This focus has an impact on marketing activities since the business must have better understanding of its audience as an essential requirement for ensuring better customer relationships. GDPR also raised the need to understand customer needs and interests. Instead of mass marketing businesses focus more on personal messages that fits their potential customers in the process of acquiring customers’ trust especially following the uncertainty of the Covid-19 reality.      

It’s critical that all business segments joined the GDPR implementation

Like any large project it’s very important that all business sections will join forces to make the GDPR implementation effective. It’s critical not to miss out all customer and data touchpoints of the business which include personal information of customers to ensure that we don’t risk missing a lot of valuable information. By keeping all the key personnel involved in the GDPR implementation project you make sure that you get greater understanding of your customers’ needs and that you can choose the most effective procedures and strategies to keep their data information and their privacy. 

2020 brings new marketing insights

According to the results of the Salesforce sixth edition of the State of Marketing report, senior marketers mentioned three priorities:

  1. Innovating
  2. Engaging customers in real-time
  3. Complying with privacy regulations

The last one is new to be included within the top five priorities in 2020, displaying the importance of it to businesses. The ability to comply with GDPR, unify and securely handle customers’ data, although challenging, is crucial in creating successful customer journey.  

Handling properly customers’ data is essential for building their trust to use our website or application. That is the reason why marketers realize basic compliance with GDPR as a basic requirement for increasing their business.   

Salesforce is committed to its customers’ privacy

Salesforce see the GDPR as an important step forward in promoting data protection requirements. However, complying with the GDPR requires a partnership between Salesforce and its customers. Salesforce offers customers a robust data processing addendum containing strong privacy commitments. This addendum contains data transfer frameworks that allow customers to transfer personal data to Salesforce legally and safely. 

How can an organization make sure it’s compliant with GDPR?

  1. First you have to verify that management is aware of the importance of compliance with the GDPR since leadership should be willing to allocate human and financial resources to this task.  
  2. Following this the organization should identify the team to work on the compliance effort. It is recommended that this team include representatives from different departments especially from the information security, procurement, legal, human resources, product management, and marketing departments.      
  3. Once the team is ready, the organization’s privacy status should be analyzed. Critical issue is the place of storage of personal data, sometimes it reveals that the personal data is saved in many databases and systems. 
  4. Next step is building a data inventory that shows which type of data is stored where, the origin of the data, the usage of the data, who can access the data, its security level, which third party it is transferred to and the duration this data is kept in the database system. From this process the organization can identify its high risk security issues related to data protection.  
  5. Following this assessment the organization needs to determine which action should be taken to ensure that the proper protection is taken to guarantee individual privacy rights as ordered by the GDPR. Coping with the security issues usually requires operational and technological changes followed by an action plan to conduct all the necessary changes. 
  6. Last but very important is the creation of the documentation of the compliance process through the day to day working flow such as privacy notices and consent forms, written policies and procedures, training materials, internal company data transfer agreements and vendor contracts.              

ERP systems can improve Supplier Relationship Management (SRM)

In today’s fast-tracking world economy, manufacturing companies have to deal with customer ever growing needs, decrease product life cycles and sharp price increase. The ambition to continually cut costs and focus on core competencies has driven many companies to outsource production. With increasing dependence on outsourcing, managing close good relationships with the large supply base on a real-time basis becomes critical.

Supplier relationship management (SRM) is the methodical approach of evaluating suppliers’ contributions and impact on success, determining tactics to maximize suppliers’ performance and developing the strategic approach for making the best out of these determinations.

So why Supplier Relationship Management is so important?


Supplier relationship management (SRM) focuses on taking full advantage of the value of a manufacturer’s supply base by delivering an integrated and holistic set of management tools focused on the interaction of manufacturer with its suppliers.

The SRM solutions can become a competitive advantage in several areas:

  1. Intense cost savings by enabling efficient business processes and improved information flow. The SRM focuses on improving cross-functional and inter-enterprise processes.
  2. Constricted replenishment performance, reduction of excess inventory, elimination of non-value-added tasks provides large savings to the manufacturers.
  3. SRM enables higher flexibility and responsiveness to customer requirements and collaborative planning with suppliers.

How SRM relates to ERP System?

The areas of product development, starting new ordering processes and inventory control can deliver a range of financial and operational benefits to both operators and suppliers. An integral component of many ERP software solutions is supplier relationship management. Working together with its suppliers, a company can adjust its supply chain to meet its special needs. Processes can be consolidated, costs can be reduced, and the end product for the consumer can be improved.

SRM leads to better outsourcing. By building up trust with its best suppliers, organizations can outsource non-critical tasks to them. This reduces the load internally, but it also allows buyers to get service or industry expertise and become better able to serve your company.


Abstracting the ERP system

SRM system abstracts the ERP system, leveraging its capabilities, while hiding its details from the user who is instead provided a highly tuned role-based process information-set aimed at efficiently supporting the user’s business objectives. Having good and close relationships with your suppliers can make a difference to business operations.

How ERP systems can improve your SRM?

  1. Ensuring highest quality communications with suppliers demonstrates competence and warmth which are the most valuable attributes in business. Using ERP for inventory control enables you to offer better earlier warnings for quantity adjustments which will improves resource planning and assist in building supplier respect.
  2. An ERP system enables sharing data with suppliers to improve supply arrangements and monitor performance. It reduces the need for emails and documentations. Using your ERP you can respond quickly to a supplier request of information.
  3. Managing all business processes by ERP can add value to the relationship with suppliers by having all suppliers’ details as payment terms, lead times, prices and products pulled out quickly. This ability translates into better communication and smoother and easier ordering process.
  4. An integrated ERP system will assist in creating a strong supply chain leading to a lean and agile business. This may require you to make changes to your inventory and production processes which partly may impact your suppliers which will benefit from creating a lean and agile supply chain.

Why Global NetSuite Localized for Israeli Needs is valuable?

Increasing regulatory requirements, compliance risk, financial penalties and more frequent tax audits are becoming to be a greater burden on businesses with more complex tax compliance requirements. NetSuite’s tax and compliance management capabilities provide a strong base for transparency, automation, easiness and controls in the management of your tax and compliance responsibilities.

NetSuite is used in over 110 countries with support for the most widely used languages, with comprehensive indirect tax management and reporting capabilities cover over 90% of Global Gross Domestic Product (GDP). However, as an Israeli based company you can benefit from setting your ERP system to the Israeli localization package in many aspects mainly having VAT reports tailored to the Israeli market.

Difficulties and challenges in tax management

Suboptimal tax management processes can cause penalties and interest charges. Usually, mistakes in compliance responsibility are a main hidden cost of business operations. Governments often change tax rates and laws in trying to balance their budgets.

Deploying Israeli NetSuite localization can address those challenges by:

  • Transparency – keeping all tax forms and reports demonstrating the source of calculation
  • Automation – standardized workflow across all operations with tax calculation occurring as part of standard business processes
  • Control – validation of data entry based on defined approval processes
  • Simplicity – single system architecture enables avoiding common errors and traceability gaps

How our NetSuite Localization can help you?

Israeli NetSuite localization by iCloudius includes setting up the Israel localization package, configuring, adjusting, rolling out local Israeli legalities and addressing local Israeli financial working processes.

Common use case

A common scenario that we come across are multi national global companies that either acquire or launch a business in Israel and need to start complying with the local statutory requirements. This could be achieved by running in parallel with a localized Israeli system or by utilizing NetSuite.

Many global companies ask their local Israeli branch to work with a local system and upon months end to send reporting packages, but this cumbersome approach could be streamlined by working with Netsuite as the leading system.


The use of Cryptocurrencies and ERP system

Digital currency in general is an evolving phenomenon that may have major impact on global commerce. The new ability to instantly move value to and from customers, partners and employees outside of established providers (like banks and credit card companies) suggests opportunities for those organizations seeking to lower transaction’s cost, extend reach and minimize fraud.

Cryptocurrency’s advantages

Organizations may benefit from the integration of cryptocurrency within ERP systems, as it would enable them to complete transactions faster and at reduced costs and pay for products and services they consume in more accurate processing. Also, as companies may hold part of their portfolio in cryptocurrency, they can trade in crypto and maintain their liquid funds for other actions.

Blockchain Technology and ERP System

Blockchain is a private, secure network that uses cryptography to keep exchanges secure, provides a decentralized database or “digital ledger” of transactions that everyone on the network can see. This network includes a chain of computers that must all approve an exchange before it can be verified and recorded. Post verification it is very difficult to change or to hack this exchange, it provides full transparency and visibility.

Blockchain technology may have an important role in the development of companies’ supply chains and in ERP systems. In order to have a fast-working system, companies would have to integrate Blockchain into their ERP systems. As Blockchain enables each transaction to be recorded, it can be leveraged when working with digital currency.

Many countries are starting to develop regulations for Blockchain, which are mostly limited to digital currencies. The digital currency market is the main concern and how it affects international transactions, as there could be significant disruption in global financial markets if this activity is unconstrained.


Bitcoin as a Payment Method

The key concern of organizations that study the option of accepting digital currencies is the valuation risk. Due to currency exchange rates and additional reasons such as blockchain processes’ changes and speculations on Bitcoin split, the value of Bitcoin is changing wildly over time. Therefore it is necessary to adjust the value of cryptocurrencies before paying. The price of Bitcoin in 2015 was relatively low at $170 a unit, but it has increased rigorously in the past couple of years reaching over $28,000 a unit by the end of 2020.

There are Bitcoin merchant payments processors who enable a business to accept digital currency but receive dollars or local currency with an effective solution for the valuation risk problem. No Bitcoin is actually being held by a business. According to this “Payment Method” model the business can refer to the digital currency as another payment type such as “credit card”/“cash”. This model includes a payment processor backend which can be compared to PayPal payment model. According to accounting procedures an upfront liability may be documented before shipping the product or sustaining the payment of an existing receivable.


Bitcoin and NetSuite

NetSuite has included Bitcoin as a Payment Method and a form of currency, not only for company operations but also for eCommerce.

Due to the variances among countries, the legal use of Bitcoins is still uncertain and should not be treated by the system as normal currency. From the legal aspect, Bitcoin is a form of currency but it is listed as an asset. There aren’t many customizations necessary in NetSuite to comply with legal and accounting requirements. Main set up is duplicating the COGS, Assets and Income accounts for Bitcoin to minimize influence on the monthly P&L. Reports will merge the two COGS accounts mapped this way.


Using Payment Processors

It seems that although you can make transactions with Bitcoin with no third party payment processor, using an established payment provider is more effective since it’ll minimize operational, technical and regulatory risk.

Some Bitcoin payment processors offer ready-to-go integrations with popular ecommerce applications. Some ERP systems, such as NetSuite, offer extensive integrations with ERP systems, meeting both the Payment Method and Foreign Currency requirements. All payment processors have a proprietary API to allow designing specific suitable logic and data integration.



How a successful IPO correlates to ERP system?

Going public is a big step for any company. Preparing for an IPO (Initial Public Offering) is a challenging task that requires exceptional financial management and governance software. Through the IPO process, potential investors, auditors and underwriters evaluate a candidate’s reporting capabilities, IT systems, and compliance, as well as its overall business prospects to determine its outlook.

Based on that, we may say that the IPO path starts with the right business management software. Many startups and growing companies begin with accounting software, ending up with a patchwork of separate systems, manual processes, and locally kept files. This complicates operations and costs the organization time and money. Businesses looking to make an IPO need to demonstrate efficient processes and cost-effective operations. Every dollar counts when making a company’s financial position public.

Cloud ERP business management software brings together all core business functions, including financials, inventory, sales and marketing, CRM, customer support, and more. The real-time visibility gained with a cloud solution keeps company owners and executives informed – wherever they are. Agile business decisions can be made, the moment they’re required, using accurate, up-to-the-minute reporting.

How COVID-19 Pandemic influenced IPOs?

According to Renaissance Capital, as of July 14, 2020, there had been 71 US IPOs in 2020, a drop-off of 11.3% from 2019. Total proceeds raised have totaled $23.3 billion, down 21.6% from last year, and the total of 107 IPO filings is 11.6% less than a year earlier. European IPO markets raised €5.4bn in the first half of 2020 compared to €12.2bn in the same timeframe in 2019. These numbers show a remarkable slowdown. However, there are also examples of successful IPOs.

Many companies postponed their IPOs plans in light of the economic slowdown of COVID-19 pandemic. These companies hope for an economic recovery in 2021 while competition for the investors’ dollars is going to be hard. The key to standing out lies in preparation and planning. These two things are critical to attracting investors and to accomplish a successful IPO. An ERP system is crucial to achieving that—especially one that unifies all critical business functions and is deployed in the cloud, like NetSuite ERP. According to data provided by Oracle, 64% of startups with successful tech IPOs have been using NetSuite since 2011.

How to prepare for a successful IPO?

There are several steps a company should take with NetSuite ERP to raise odds for a successful IPO. The importance of having a strong and comprehensive financial foundation in advance of an IPO is clear. Key decision makers should be aware that regulatory requirements will prohibit them from changing any financial systems at any time during the IPO process, and for one year thereafter. Companies looking to go public must be prepared to provide 3 years of audited financial data, solid debt-to equity ratios, sufficient market capitalization and expected revenue and earnings streams. IPO candidates also must be capable of dealing with modern accounting challenges, such as asset valuation impairment, consolidated subsidiary financial statements issues and revenue recognition. NetSuite ERP provides the tools and capabilities to navigate that complexity.

Producing complicated Financial Reports

For IPO the company must be able to produce rough financial reporting. NetSuite ERP provides the kind of robust reporting and analytics organizations need to establish these practices with automated reports around key performance indicators (KPIs), role-based dashboards and the ability to drill down by department, subsidiary or location with an intuitive interface that allows even inexperienced users to perform complex analytics. The financial reports are flexible as NetSuite’s Financial Report Builder enables users to customize reports for any requirement. Each report contains real-time data. Increased efficiencies and accuracy will alleviate the stress that comes with preparing for an IPO, and with issuing the quarterly reports once the company is public.

Governance framework establishment

Companies considering IPO should establish a governance framework that keeps board and management accountable for their responsibilities to avoid major holdings. ERP suites like NetSuite with Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) capabilities built in give businesses confidence in their reporting and auditing from startup through IPO and beyond without having to change systems.

Clear picture of the business for better Investor Relations

A strong Investor Relations (IR) team, backed by metrics that provide a clear picture of the business, needs an infrastructure that can report on those metrics. This requires building a visible and transparent reporting process long before pursuing an IPO. By providing quick access to financial metrics and reports, NetSuite provides the capabilities companies need to build an IR organization that’s informed, insightful and prepared to face public-market analysis. Investors want to see that your whole company functions like a well-oiled machine.

Risk Management capabilities

A public company should have risk management capabilities to respond when an audit committee or the board of directors asks about management expenses, approving major costs, cash access or forecasting. NetSuite provides access to real-time KPIs and automated rule-based alerts needed to identify risks before they become real-life problems.

How can NetSuite support the day to day of the IPO team?

NetSuite provides nearly 100 pre-built reports and pre-configured roles with dashboards and business intelligence metrics. Each member of the internal IPO team can have a customized role, and view of KPIs via real-time dashboards. They can also generate reports with metrics specific to their tasks and responsibilities associated with the IPO process. Specifically regarding ASC 606, NetSuite is a subscription-based software company, so it has first-hand experience with challenges adjusting to this updated standard. NetSuite’s modular design allows businesses to quickly add and remove modules on an as-needed basis so it can grow or consolidate as your business does.

Supported by an effective ERP system implementation, the IPO process is expected to go smoothly and its odds to be successful are highly increased.      


Cloud has never been proven so critical

According to McKinsey & Company (July 2020), as the pandemic begins to ease, many companies are planning a new combination of remote and on-site working, a hybrid virtual model in which some employees are on premises, while others work from home. The new model promises advantages such as greater access to talent, increased productivity for individuals and small teams, lower costs, more individual flexibility, and improved employee experiences. 

While these potential benefits are substantial, history shows that mixing virtual and on-site working might be a lot harder than it looks. The downsides arise from the organizational norms that support culture and performance—ways of working, as well as standards of behavior and interaction—that help create a common culture, generate social cohesion, and build shared trust.

According to a Stanford research (June 2020), an incredible 42% of the U.S. labor force now working from home full-time. About another 33% are not working and the remaining 26% – mostly essential service workers – are working on their business premises. So, by sheer numbers, the U.S. is a working-from-home (WFH) economy. More strikingly, if we consider the contribution to U.S. gross domestic product based on their earnings, WFH employees now accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. 

As the 2020 pandemic has taught us, you should be set up for remote work or it can cost you a lot. Actually, we all work partially remotely from home checking emails etc. but if you aren’t set up for working remotely, high chances that you’re taking unnecessary security risks and using unproductive workarounds and that your employees are already using cloud apps which may or may not be secure. 

Companies assess different technologies to help their team work remotely, consider migrating to document sharing, document hosting and more. Most importantly companies consider their on-premise business applications such as their accounting software and ERP systems and move them to the cloud. 

According to a Gartner Forecast (July 2020), the worldwide public cloud services market is forecast to grow 6.3% in 2020 to total $257.9 billion. Public cloud services serve as the one bright spot in the outlook for IT spending in 2020. “The use of public cloud services offers two distinct advantages during the COVID-19 pandemic: cost scale with use and deferred spending,” said Mr. Nag, research vice president at Gartner. “CIOs can invest significantly less cash upfront by utilizing cloud technology rather than scaling up on-premises data center capacity or acquiring traditional licensed software. Any debate around the utility of public cloud has been put aside since the onset of COVID-19.

Cloud Environment Benefits:

Moving to a cloud environment for all business applications and desktops will help companies prepare for the future postpandemic organization working model. Transforming infrastructure into a unified workspace create a better employee experience, eliminating endless stacks of apps, systems, and sign-ins across mobile devices like laptops and smartphones that are distracting employees from productivity. Additionally, moving to the cloud ensures easy access to data from anywhere while keeping flexibility, scalability and data security level required while achieving higher productivity with employees working from anywhere. 

With respect to business workflow process, implementing a cloud based ERP software platform as NetSuite delivers the opportunity to leverage covid-19 pandemics’ influence on working model to enhance performance and maximize business potential.  Working from remote in a process oriented eco system requires synchronization that often may get stuck when teams do not have access to their systems, for example, a Purchase order flowing through an approval route may be get stuck if the approving manager cannot reach the system and approve the business transaction. This gap in synchronization may cripple the entire organization and prove very painful. Cloud business applications ensures this crucial process synchronization.

Flexera study (June 2020) indicated the pandemic increased the use of cloud computing resources among enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses. The study show a trend of the global crisis driving cloud adoption-40% of companies included in the study said COVID-19 is accelerating their move to the cloud. When dealing with the “WFH” model, 74% of responders are expecting new challenges caused by a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, so organizations are implementing a variety of technology changes to prepare for future shutdowns.

According to the 2020 Remote Work-From-Home Cybersecurity Report (May 2020), sponsored by Pulse Secure: Despite security issues and concerns resulting from the massive and sudden increase in WFH initiatives, 38% of U.S. companies observed productivity gains during remote work and a staggering 84% anticipate broader and more permanent WFH adoption beyond the pandemic. 

WFH adoption accelerated cloud app growth and business continuity challenges

The research indicates that three-quarters of businesses now have more than 76% of their employees WFH compared to almost 25% at the end of 2019. While a third of respondents cited their business being “ill prepared or not prepared” for remote working, 75% of businesses were able to transition to remote working within 15 days. Surprisingly, less than a third expressed cost or budget problems, demonstrating the urgency to support their business. Additionally, 54% expressed that COVID-19 has accelerated migration of users’ workflows and applications to the cloud.

For companies still fully on premise, remote work is complicated. On-premise installations can be accessed remotely, however, maintaining security while allowing access is a complex combination of passwords, firewalls, VPN barriers, and architectural limitations. 

In contrast, cloud solutions are already developed and built with remote work in mind from security aspect and they are accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. 


The crime has become cyber!

A serious cyber-attack into the computers of the Israeli software company Amital led to a cyber-attack on about 40 Israeli companies in the fields of logistics, shipping and imports. The attackers managed to break into the servers of dozens of companies and infiltrate Israel’s supply chain. The companies that were attacked are huge companies in similar fields and disruption on their activities could lead to damage to the supply of essential products. The information stolen may also be of strategic value to enemy states. The suspicion is that this is a strategic attack on the state since no ransom demand was known.

According to Lotem Finkelstein, Head of Cyber Threat Intelligence at Check Point Software Technologies, Ltd., in the last six months, there has been a steady increase in the number of monthly attacks on Israeli organizations reaching about 19,000 in July and 33,600 in November 2020.

The National Cyber ​​Network published a list of the 5 most common vulnerabilities that are being exploited by cyber attackers to attack organizations in Israel in the past year:

  1. Pulse Secure + Fortinet VPN – Technology used for remote connection.
  2. F5 BIG-IP – a platform used for the protection and accessibility of WEB applications on many websites.
  3. Citrix ADC – technology that enables the organization to securely remotely access the enterprise services, performance shift, efficiently manages traffic between the services and is an applicable firewall that protects the organization’s services.
  4. Windows Zerologon – The Netlogon protocol also called ms-nrpc is an RPC interface used to monitor or resolve identification and connection issues with the DC.
  5. Windows Exchange – Email server software widely used in enterprises. In addition, Exchange supports access to information via mobile phones and the Internet and information storage support, the remote connection interface is called OWA – Outlook Web Application.

In light of these new cyber-attacks and the danger hidden by them, there are great advantages in storing the valuable customer information of a business in a market leader application, such as Oracle NetSuite. NetSuite does quite a bit to make sure that database isn’t breached by some outside threat. The security system qualifies for five different third-party security certifications, including SOC I and SOC II, guard NetSuite’s data centers with surveillance equipment, real-people, and alarm activated entrances. NetSuite runs multiple, continuous intrusion detections systems to make sure malicious traffic isn’t accessing the systems data.

As a host of advanced functionality NetSuite adds further layers of security providing the following benefits to secure the application:

  • Role-based access – Easily manage permissions, access to functionality, and access to data for all employees using role-based access
  • Strong encryption – Confidently access NetSuite from anywhere through 256-bit TLS encryption
  • Robust password policies – Continually enforce access to NetSuite with password complexity and password renewal rules
  • Utilize advanced security technology – NetSuite adds further layers of security such as application-only access, location-based IP address restrictions to ensure restricting access to only certain IP addresses to provide complete confidence

That being said, if this were to be a home grown system, the security budget would be substantially lower than the investments made by the tech giants (such as Oracle) to secure their databases. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the security level would be lower too.

Additional more detailed information about information security on NetSuite may be found on the following link:


Ripple’s Digital Transformation

About Ripples

Ripples™, officially established on 2015, is the pioneer of bev-top media, an innovative platform that offers creative solutions for increasing sales and engagement in the Hospitality, Food & Beverage, Event, and Media industries perfectly suited to current digital, mobile and social era. Businesses serving foam-topped drinks such as draft beer, cocktails, and lattes can create drink designs and messages that are customized in real-time to support promotional activities, as well as location-based social media shares, and long-term brand awareness. The images are imprinted on foam. Ripples platform features a dynamic content feed and big data analytics tools to measure the impact of bev-top media on bottom-line business results.

Main Products

Ripple Makers – 3D beverages printer, Ripple PODs – disposal use POD’s that feed the Ripple Maker  with “ink”, software tools and services.

Growing company with new operational needs

Following an increase in sales and the establishment of 3 subsidiaries, Ripples decided it was time to make some changes in the operational process of the company in house and towards its customers to make it flow easily and enable business growth. As Ripples scaled from a startup company to a mature product delivery company, the sales and all adequate processes required standardization in order to enable the company to maximize its business potential. Ripples was looking for a one whole cloud system based solution that would fit its growth and enable larger scalability, effective integration with all company’s systems and fit the company’s  diversified business model and its international structure.

Choosing the right partner

Once the company decided to have this major change, the first stage was to find the right partner to manage this move forward. iCloudius provided this need being a professional, highly experienced boutique Cloud solutions vendor, delivering tailored services focusing on top of the line, field proven CRM and ERP cloud technologies. iCloudius offered complete personalized process of design of an efficient business flow, system customization, development, implementation and support for NetSuite leveraging its CRM capabilities as a solution to complement Ripples needs.

Some challenges for NetSuite development and adaptation

Ripples is a fast growing company, selling worldwide with global partners, logistics hubs and outsource manufacturing. Ripples required supporting IT systems that are structured to match its unique business needs.

  • 360-degree view of the customer

A main part of the solution iCloudius adopted based on Ripples’ needs was a solution which is based on the concept of being able to view and analyze all the data gathered about every single customer in one location. Implementation of NetSuite presented the perfect tool for such concept.

  • Top of the line Integration

As a fast growing and complicated company a major pain point of the company became its multiple different systems per business area (Sales, Engineering, Operations, Support and Finance). There was no automatic integration and synchronization between the different systems used, therefore, no allowing one point of creation and management of a single entity including potential leads, customers, products and invoices.

There was no visibility of transactions progress in the current systems, which lead to manual maintenance and management of billing, collections, shipping, inventory and manufacturing. Integration was required with many tools like Hubspot (Marketing automation), Zendesk (Customer Support), Bluesnap (Payments) and Microsoft Power BI.

  • Improve customer monitoring and inventory tracking

Ripples manage several revenue streams based on the products offered to end customers including Ripple Maker machines, PODs, service and hardware warranty. There was a need to verify that customers’ requirements for PODs were managed precisely. By development of 360⁰ view of customers’ activities and history and better management of tracking inventory it was expected that the company could show improved profitability.

  • Financial & Accounting management

Ripples conducts business in several territories as well as several business models. The different business models require different revenue treatment and the different territories require local accounting practices. These two financial challenges have been addressed in the Netsuite roll out, as a result of the globalization of Netsuite ERP which supports advanced revenue management (ASC606) and multinational local tax requirements. Thanks to the strong financial team within Ripples finance department, we were able to accurately define the financial challenge and cover all requirements.

iCloudius NetSuite structuring

One of the design challenges was managing a mutual language for deal flows across all departments in Ripples organization (Sales, Engineering, Marketing, Operations and Finance). The idea in the item structuring was to manage different types of items in Netsuite which have different impacts on the books and different controls and gates in terms of management.

Process standardization was suggested in many different areas and proposed one single language for product types, SKU’s, Serial numbers and customer identification. The project aimed to cover the full process order to cash, from the CRM sub processes through the cash collected on the accounting perspective.

On the procurement and logistics level, the project covered managing the turn key production of the Ripple Maker machine, and assembly of the Ripple maker Pods as ink cartridges. As Ripples is a physical product driven company many aspects of fulfillment and serialized inventory were also to be managed in Netsuite.

The project aim was to achieve a common language across departments of engineering through marketing and maintain a logical relationship between items to be engineered and sold to the end customer via sales efforts.

NetSuite was successfully implemented

The cooperation of iCloudius and Ripples in this project achieved successful implementation of NetSuite one stop solution into Ripples’ business process including Sales, Engineering, Marketing, Operations and Finance departments. Following this change, the company is able to maintain clearer business flow through sales process which improves Ripples’ performance in all aspects including high profits, keeping satisfied customers, managing effective inventory and fulfilling its business growth potential.


Integrating Salesforce with Outlook or Gmail

It finally happened…

Many Salesforce users don’t like the ongoing juggling between Salesforce and their email account.

We have some good news for you! Salesforce has launched an configuration integrating Salesforce with Outlook and Gmail.

This configuration make sure all the emails you send from Salesforce are all so saved in your ‘Sent Items’ in your Gmail/Outlook account, which means you can stay in Salesforce, send all your emails, and still have all your emails saved in one place!

Lightning For Gmail / Outlook Integration

If Gmail or Outlook is your best friend but you still want to access your Salesforce data, this tool is a life changer. You can access your Salesforce Contacts,


Opportunity and other info directly through you email account. You can work using your email account while having all the information you need from Salesforce.

Einstein Activity Capture

Einstein Activity Capture integrates your email calander and messages with Salesforce. You can have everything you need in one place!

You can see past messages and future meetings with your potential clients on Salesforce. This is a two-way feature, meaning that you can see events set on Salesforce on your Outlook or Google account.

Einstein Activity Capture makes the email, calander and Salesforce integration both simple and effective.