By Cassandra Balentine
Based in CA’s Silicon Valley, NetSuite is a $7-plus billion market cap company with $556 million revenue in 2014 and more than 3,300 employees. However, it didn’t start that way. The company, which provides cloud-based software that automates mission-critical business processes, believes its success is due to its ability to disrupt.
Its annual user conference, SuiteWorld, held at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA on May 4 to 7, 2015, brought together NetSuite solution providers, industry thought leaders, and of course, customer perspective.
Zach Nelson, CEO, NetSuite, kicked off the event’s opening keynote, revealing new products, partnerships, and customers. In his keynote, Nelson emphasized the importance of disruption, suggesting that SuiteWorld is all about change and how to manage it.
Slides illustrated NetSuite’s rank as the fastest growing financial management systems vendor in 2013, at 41.7 percent market share growth in 2013, and then 46.6 percent growth in 2014.
NetSuite’s growth is in part due to its extensive ecosystem of partners. At the event, the company announced a strategic cloud alliance with Microsoft. Through this relationship, NetSuite plans to create solutions that connect its cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution with Microsoft Office 365, Windows, and Microsoft Azure.
“We’re at the ‘end of the beginning’ of the cloud, in that the cloud business model that NetSuite pioneered in 1998 is becoming the de facto standard for how fast-growth businesses are run,” says Nelson.
The alliance is expected to improve the daily operations for customers. Additionally, NetSuite announced an integration with Azure Active Directory for single sign on, cloud-to-cloud integration.
The company also announced a big customer deal with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). GBT has decided to run its entire global financial operations on NetSuite OneWorld. The travel agency network will use the platform to power its end-to-end financial processes, including financial consolidation across dozens of countries and currencies worldwide.
Established in June 2014, GBT is a joint venture between American Express and an investor group led by private investment firm, Certares. GBT employs 14,000 staff across 140 countries and provides businesses around the world with travel solutions, integrated consulting services, research and end-to-end meetings, and event management.
User conferences are a time for big revelations. NetSuite delivered with the announcement of SuiteCommerce InStore, which the company describes as the first system to integrate comprehensive omni-channel capabilities into an enterprise-class, mobile first, point of sale (POS) solution. The solution is designed to unify online and in-store customer journeys to improve the customer experience.
Built on NetSuite’s order and inventory management system, SuiteCommerce InStore, provides visibility into inventory anywhere in the business, including the ability to combine different fulfillment models such as cash-and-carry and ship-to-home in a single transaction. It also brings full POS capabilities for conducting transactions such as discounting, multi-tender, override, gift receipts, and suspend/resume transactions.
Further, SuiteCommerce InStore helps unify online and in-store experiences. Customers are able to access products they have added to ecommerce shopping carts or wish lists at the POS and add them to an in-store transaction with a few clicks. Products that shoppers would like to save for later can be added back to ecommerce wish lists. In addition, the capabilities of NetSuite’s omni-channel customer relationship management (CRM) solution provide retail associates with access to customer history from the store floor. A visual timeline shows all purchases, returns, exchanges, store visits, and service requests—regardless of channel—with the ability to drill down into any transaction.
Additionally, just prior to the event, NetSuite signed an agreement to acquire Bronto Software, a cloud-based commerce marketing company.
Bronto Software provides a commerce marketing automation platform used by more than 1,400 brands, including Armani Exchange, Timex, and Trek Bikes.
Nelson notes that this combination ties a rich marketing automation system with a cloud-based, omni-channel commerce platform that enables transformational capabilities.
NetSuite continues to evolve its platform, adding functionality developed to help businesses transform their operations to disrupt their own markets.
Evan Goldberg, CTO/founder/chairman of the board, NetSuite, points out several innovations, including NetSuite for Android. The end-to-end business management mobile application (app) for smartphones arms remote professionals with NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP, CRM, and ecommerce capabilities, to perform functions such as managing time and expenses, approving sales and purchase orders, creating and managing records, and accessing calendar functions.
NetSuite for Android, with full end-to-end cloud business management functionality, is expected to be available as a free download from Google Play.
With richly functional end-to-end cloud business management mobile apps now available for Android and Apple iPhone, NetSuite fully supports the most popular smartphone operating systems.
Goldberg also walked SuiteWorld attendees through the unveiling of its next-generation procure-to-pay capabilities.
Designed for businesses across a range of industries to help transform business efficiency, simplify user experiences, improve control over spend visibility across the entire organization, and drive profitability, the procure-to-pay product release is expected to feature an easy user experience, blanket purchase ordering, flexible and customized workflow, procurement dashboards, a self-service vendor center, and global vendor management.
The cloud has disrupted the software industry, and new customer demands require an agile business environment across nearly all industries and verticals. NetSuite’s cloud-based ERP, CRM, and ecommerce solutions enable small businesses to act bigger, and big companies to act smaller—keeping in mind today’s customer experience expectations. SW
Jul2015, Software Magazine