Uncover the difference between a database and data warehouse, especially when it comes to scaling your business with an ERP....
A Day in the Life of a NetSuite Consultant - Reda Zniber
Reda Zniber began his career at Gurus Solutions Inc. as one of our Lead Accountants. He then moved to our Professional Services team as a Netsuite Consultant, to fully explore the breadth of his capabilities. He now leads a team of talented NetSuite Consultants here at Gurus, a role that provides him the opportunity to further develop his team, and his passion for leadership.
His career trajectory within Gurus makes him a great resource for his colleagues, and a perfect example of what is possible if you feed your curiosity, and take initiative.
Interested in what a role at Gurus might involve? We recently sat down with Reda, and asked him all about it!
What does an average day look like for you?
I would say my days are generally broken down into three major parts. There are a lot of client facing meetings, like assessments, implementation working sessions, or any kind of ad hoc questions, and general support. I would say those are the majority of my day, really just communicating with controllers, CEOs, CFO, or executives. As a team lead, there are some general internal meetings that I attend, like project management meetings, and operational meetings geared more towards status management.
The third part is a little quieter, like NetSuite configurations, and documenting project plans, or process maps. I do also spend time collaborating with other teams as collaboration is a big part of our work days here. We help each other technically, with projects, and in communicating about our clients. I’d say my day is always a mix of those components. No two days are the same really.
Can you describe your career at Gurus, what position you were hired for and how you’ve grown into your current role?
My last position before Gurus was as an analyst, and I was hired here as a senior accountant. I was in that role for three years, and then moved to the Professional Services Team as a consultant. A couple of years after that I was promoted to Team Lead. My role now has many of the same functions as a consultant, just with the added responsibility of leading a team.
What drew you to the PS team, was that a goal of yours when you joined Gurus?
I wouldn’t say it was a direct goal, but I always had an interest in consulting. In my role as an accountant, prior to joining Gurus, I was on the other side of several ERP implementations. I built relationships with some of the consultants that were executing the work, and I enjoyed that aspect of the implementations.
When I joined Gurus I always knew moving departments could be a possibility. I spent some time talking to my colleagues on the Professional Services side to find out how more about the consulting role at Gurus. The more I spoke with them the more I thought I’d be good at it, and I thought I’d be capable. I was confident that I would be able to excel as a consultant.
How did you find the transition?
The biggest challenge I faced during the transition was the change in content. In finance you become used to specific tasks that can be repetitive at times, or that become routine. You get really good at it, but maybe a bit comfortable too. When transitioning to the consultant position the challenge was that everything was different all the time. There are no two days that really look alike, no two clients are the same, the conversations with clients vary from project to project, and you’re working with different project managers. Whereas as an accountant, you know what to expect from your day to day.
Do you enjoy the fact that now no two days look the same?
I do, I think it keeps the role exciting, it keeps you on your toes, and you learn every day in this role. There is not one day that goes by that I don't learn something. Be it how companies manage their business, or another feature of NetSuite. It keeps the work interesting because there is always something new coming around the corner.
How does your background in accounting inform your current role?
Understanding basic accounting is really important when working with an ERP. The core of an ERP is the Financial system, every transaction has a GL impact, and any inventory movement has a financial impact in the system. Having accounting experience helped me a lot in terms of communicating with the clients, and understanding what they are talking about with respect to their accounting needs. It makes it much easier to configure NetSuite, and understanding how to configure NS accounting preferences, for example.
What, in your opinion, makes a great NetSuite Consultant?
Having the ability to gauge and understand what the client is trying to communicate. One of the most important aspects of being a consultant is listening, and really understanding what the client is saying. Being observant in those conversations will help you ask the right questions to dive deeper into the issue, or immediately turn it into a solution, or proposition in order to solve the issue at hand.
What sets Gurus apart from other companies you’ve worked for?
A lot of companies claim that they are dynamic, but for most, it ends up being just a buzzword. At Gurus, I’ve come across a lot of really dynamic people. I also believe the collaborative nature of our environment sets us apart. I think a lot of other consulting firms fail to prioritize collaboration.
Our project teams regularly work with each other, and we help each other out in terms of knowledge sharing as well . We are actually encouraged, and pushed to share our knowledge through our multiple platforms. There are specific onboarding processes that require knowledge sharing and collaboration as well. You’re assigned a buddy on your first day, and have multiple training sessions with different departments. We really value collaboration over competition.
What is the environment/culture like at Gurus? What do you enjoy about it?
We all really enjoy time away from our desks with each other. I think everyone appreciates the happy hours, and will probably appreciate it more after COVID! There is also a transparency that exists, not a lot of companies will tell you when it’s going badly and when it’s going well, but we are really transparent about that. Through that transparency people feel like they have a voice, and that it’s heard.
Is there a particular experience or memory that sticks out as a highlight of your career here at Gurus?
Every successful client Go-Live is pretty memorable. It’s what we work for, it’s the goal for them to have a successful start with NetSuite, and begin to scale up, and optimize their business. Each one of them that I managed to get across that finish line is memorable.
Do you have a favourite memory at Gurus in general (can be unrelated to your role!)?
All of the Summer Hangouts and Winter Kickoffs were great, and a lot of memories are made there. The zombie retreat was absurd, in a good way. It was so involved, there were like 50 (fake) zombies chasing us. It was definitely memorable!
Was there a colleague in particular that taught you something that you found particularly valuable?
There are a lot of people that I could name. Considering the shift I made between departments, I would say Olivier Ahad was invaluable for technical help. He has a wealth of technical NetSuite knowledge. When I started as a consultant that’s what I lacked at the time, and I needed to ramp up quite quickly. I would say he was the most helpful with that aspect of the change.
What advice do you have for future Gurus?
Follow the Gurus mentality, and have fun with it. You have to work hard, and complete your tasks, but try and have fun while you do. It will make your days more enjoyable, and people will enjoy collaborating with you a lot more.