Groupon adopts cloud management software
E-commerce giant consolidates international business on NetSuite ERP, adopts ambitious roll-out schedule
The company told delegates at the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider's first SuiteWorld conference today that it had already gone live with NetSuite OneWorld in five international markets.
The company also has ambitious plans to roll the subsidiary management product to 26 markets in three months, replacing hundreds of spreadsheets with a single cloud-based ERP system. By year-end, Groupon expects to complete deployment of NetSuite OneWorld in 46 countries.
It is using the system to achieve real-time global financial consolidation and management, as well as support for multi-currency management, local taxation compliance, reporting and analytics.
Since launching in November 2008, the company has added on average one new country to its operations every three weeks. Such rapid expansion has brought bargains to millions, but in the process, until NetSuite, Groupon had been unable to find an effective financial infrastructure to support this accelerated growth.
Consolidating rapidly growing view
Each time the company entered a new market, the amount of time and effort needed to close the books grew, turning financial reconciliation into a painful process. The collection of different programmes, processes and spreadsheets was making it difficult for the company to understand the full scope of its international operation, and made standardisation of accounting and reporting practices impractical.
John Bosshart, Groupon international controller said there was never a time when a Groupon team weren't working somewhere in the world. "OneWorld gives us the ability to see what's going on in their region in real time and transact in their own languages or currencies. We don't need to wait until the books are closed."
"Groupon knew traditional pre-web ERP software would slow them down," stated Zach Nelson, NetSuite chief executive. "They needed an application as fast and flexible as their business model, and that requirement led them to NetSuite. Modern companies realise that standardising on pre-web client/server applications is no way to be successful."