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Retail Technology, Retail technology News

NetSuite redoubles commerce focus

Wednesday May 16 2012

Business management vendor talks up strategic partnerships and success stories, as well as new products, Miya Knights reports

Cloud software company NetSuite is setting its sights on changing the expectations of traditional enterprise resource planning (ERP) software.

In support, the firm announced a number of new product enhancements, partnerships and customer success stories at its second annual SuiteWorld customer conference in San Francisco today.

Zach Nelson, NetSuite chief executive, set the scene for the company's next major developments by highlighting recent successes that strengthen its competitive capabilities against the likes of SAP, Microsoft and Oracle.

"When you look at our customer base, there's a whole generation of companies that are skipping client-server technology and moving straight to the cloud," he told SuiteWorld delegates.

Beating SAP at its own game

Nelson revealed that even SAP subsidiary, SuccessFactors, had renewed its licence agreement with NetSuite to join new customers including Pitney Bowes and Proctor & Gamble (P&G).

"We're seeing larger enterprises, like P&G, use NetSuite to run subsidiaries in a two-tier ERP approach, where we're surrounding SAP and helping their customers run their businesses too," he explained. 

The company also revealed a number of new partnerships, including one with systems integrator Deloitte, as evidence of its growing acceptance in both midmarket and large enterprise organisations.

Bill Briggs, Deloitte chief technology officer, said: "We see customers increasingly asking, 'how do we transform our customer experiences and manage the disruption of the cloud?'"

Nelson also pointed to the disruptive affect of Apple and Amazon on customer expectations as the reason why the company introducing integration with new software partners.

Adding social, mobile enhancements

"There is a basic expectation that your apps can do social and collaboration, which is why we socialised the data in NetSuite with Yammer last year, putting an enterprise social network layer on top," he said, introducing a tie-up with collaboration tool Box, for file access, sharing and collaboration.

The chief executive also said its mobile developments around SuitePhone 2.0, coming later this year, and OpenAir Mobile, which recently added expense reporting functionality to its professional services product, would increase the appeal of NetSuite to companies looking to capitalise on the flexibility of cloud computing.

"There's not a single, other cloud-native ERP provider out there that can offer these capabilities," Nelson claimed.

This, he added, is why the company was able to deliver "30% topline growth to the bottom line" with 15% margins on a cash basis and sustain plans to double its development team, having already doubled it last year.

And, in order to sustain such growth, Nelson introduced SuiteCommerce, which he said would help organisations create as compelling B2B and B2C commerce experiences as the Apples and Amazons of this world already offer.

Tagged as: NetSuite | cloud | e-commerce | ERP | international | launch