NetSuite Outlook Integration: How to Store Your Emails the Right Way

NetSuite Outlook Integration: How to Store Your Emails the Right Way

By
Jason Ross
Updated
June 6, 2022

Integrating Outlook to NetSuite

So, you’ve invested in NetSuite to be a single source of truth, automate end-to-end processes, and ensure that everyone has complete visibility of your transactions, projects, and relationships…but your team still default to communicating with customers, vendors, and prospects via Outlook, leaving NetSuite with only half the story?  

The issue is not with users relying on Outlook, that’s completely justifiable. Instead, we need to look towards a NetSuite Outlook integration to ensure that users can get on with their jobs whilst also keeping NetSuite updated easily. In this article we discuss:

  • What Gets Lost Between Outlook and NetSuite, and Why?
  • Can you Manually Attach Outlook Emails to NetSuite?
  • How to File Outlook Emails Directly to NetSuite  

What Gets Lost Between Outlook and NetSuite, and Why?

Outlook is the go-to place for over 400 million workers across the world and usually shapes (drives or disrupts) day-to-day activities and communications, particularly when it comes to dealing with prospects, customers, or vendors.  

The difference between Outlook and NetSuite is the perspective from which they have been developed. Unfortunately, like many things which come from different perspectives, it is the middle-ground where the solution is required.

Outlook is developed to serve the perspective of an individual operating on a one-to-one (or one-to-a-few) basis, whereas NetSuite is designed to facilitate many-to-many. So, when individuals communicate to individuals, primarily via Outlook, the problem of lost visibility for ‘the many’ occurs in NetSuite.

Your team are communicating and scheduling meetings with key stakeholders, and more often than not, no one else knows about it.

So, with Outlook being a black box for customer and vendor communications, how are you making sure these interactions can be seen in the one place they should be: NetSuite? 

If you don’t know the answer to this question, the chances are your team doesn’t know either. As a result, employees across your organisation could be trying to move their emails from Outlook to NetSuite on a best endeavour basis, but as there is no set process, each employee will have their own approach. This means there is no consistency in what communication should be recorded and leads to the dreaded ‘emails about emails’ scenario where someone has to ask someone internally, or worse, externally via yet another email about something which has already been dealt with – via email!  

So, what are the options?

Can you Manually Attach Outlook Emails to NetSuite?

The short answer to this is, as standard, no. You require a tool (SuiteApp) to act as a bridge and integrate your Outlook and NetSuite (don’t worry, we cover this more in the next section).

In our experience, in the absence of an integration SuiteApp, we see two general outcomes or approaches.  

The first is that, if you aren’t using an Outlook Integration tool, emails simply aren’t recorded in NetSuite at all.  

Emails sit in inboxes and if staff have to find a key bit of information or an important document they have to scroll through hundreds of emails until they find the needle in the Outlook haystack (sometimes in a cold sweat with their manager towering over them – we've all been there!).  

As frustrating as this may be to a manager or business owner, it's important to remember that in most instances, your employees have the best intentions. Email communication doesn’t make it from Outlook to NetSuite because your team are focusing on what they see as important tasks, and usually, admin falls to the bottom of that list, especially when the admin task is extremely manual.  

The other, slightly (and we do stress ‘slightly!’) better outcome is that your staff are copying and pasting emails into notes or communications in NetSuite to reflect what has been said in Outlook.  

This does at least give visibility of the communication which has taken place, but it should still raise a few concerns.  

Firstly, how long are your team spending copying and pasting emails from Outlook to NetSuite if they have to do this with every single email they send or receive? Secondly, this relies on staff being crystal clear in their notes. Not mentioning something a customer has said, giving the wrong time for an appointment, or rewording key details can all strain customer and or vendor relationships, as someone usually has to clarify with the customer/vendor again as to what the correct details are. Either way, this means employees are spending time focusing on admin tasks instead of more valuable work

Put simply, these problems between your business and customers or vendors aren’t because your staff are bad at their job, but because the right tools aren’t in place to help them work to their full potential. 

So, how do you effectively store your emails in NetSuite?


How to File Outlook Emails Directly to NetSuite

Filing emails in NetSuite from Outlook requires a SuiteApp. If you’re not familiar with the cool NetSuite eco-system and lingo, this is essentially a tool, or plugin, developed specifically for NetSuite to address a specific requirement, in this instance – Outlook Integration.  

As discussed in the previous section, when recording communication becomes a lengthy manual admin task, in our experience, it either isn’t done or takes up too much time for employees. An Outlook Integration tool resolves this problem as it plugs directly into your Outlook setup, allowing you to upload emails straight into NetSuite.

Workiro is a Work Management app that (amongst other things) gives NetSuite users the ability to integrate Outlook directly into NetSuite. This means that by using the Workiro SuiteApp in Outlook, you can upload emails and their attachments directly to any NetSuite record, with just a few clicks.  

Emails appear in NetSuite instantly, and what’s more, Workiro offers the ability to tag and categorise emails and attachments to make them easy to find in NetSuite, and you can even create notifications or follow-ups for colleagues at the same time to ensure work actually progresses without the need for yet another email!

This gives a clear place to find relevant emails at the right time, without wasting your team's valuable time copying and pasting from Outlook to NetSuite.  

Summary

In summary, as standard, there is no way to automatically file emails from Outlook to NetSuite. This either leads to emails never making it to NetSuite or your team spending soul-destroying hours copying and pasting text into the system.

At Workiro, we are great believers that bad work is not usually down to bad employees. More often, it’s a result of great people having a toolkit of potentially great systems which, if not integrated and implemented slickly, can lead to painful processes, missing information and frustration at every touch point.  

Workiro is built to help you work smarter and more effectively within NetSuite and our Outlook integration ensures your team can use emails (like they need to) to get on with their job, but also update NetSuite for everyone else within a few clicks.

Learn more about the Workiro NetSuite Outlook Integration here.

As well as integrating to Outlook, we provide solutions for Electronic Signatures, Document & Contract Management, integrations and Approvals all within our Workiro app. To find out more book a full demo of Workiro and we will be in touch. 

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