NetSuite’s Nelson flexes muscles at SuiteWorld 2014

In a sabre-rattling address to 6,500 attendees at SuiteWorld 2014 in San Jose, California, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson praised channel partner expertise and laid into his competitors

At SuiteWorld 2014 in San Jose, California, the annual customer and partner get-together hosted by cloud ERP and e-commerce vendor NetSuite, outspoken CEO Zach Nelson discussed the ever-growing importance of the channel to NetSuite, and made his usual show of going on the offensive against rivals.

In a keynote speech delayed almost an hour by an apparent power failure, Nelson said NetSuite’s hands-off partnering model meant that the channel’s expertise around his suite of products was far more evident in customer engagements.

He revealed that 40% of NetSuite’s total business worldwide is now conducted through SaaS providers and ISVs. “To see this evolution of our channel is incredible, and the power of it certainly I can see as I look out on the exhibition floor,” said Nelson.

As is customary during the SuiteWorld keynotes, Nelson also found time to call out the firm’s growth rate compared to the competition. NetSuite grew its market share by over 40% in the past 12 months, compared to around 5% at Microsoft and under 1% at Sage, which Nelson remarked was “sort of dead” in North America, while SAP, which shut down its Business By Design offering last year, saw its market share shrinking.

“It’s much harder to do what NetSuite’s doing than any of these guys anticipated,” surmised Nelson.

“We have 20,000 companies, organisations and subsidiaries across the globe creating new business models on NetSuite. You’d expect as the world evolves the next gen companies that were born in the cloud would be on NetSuite, and of course they are.

“But now companies born 20, 30 or 40 years ago are realising they have to move to NetSuite. That’s because when we used to talk about being a cloud company we meant technology companies, like NetSuite or Box, but what’s changing is that every company is becoming a cloud company,” he said.

SuiteWorld kicked off with a number of product enhancements and announcements, including a new user interface, due in June, and the launch of its B2B Customer Centre.

Of particular interest to the channel will be the launch of a Services Resource Planning (SRP) product, which NetSuite claims is the first and only unified cloud SRP solution to meet the functional needs of product and services companies.

The new software enables services businesses to run their entire business lifecycle, from project, resource, time and expense management to project accounting. It also includes mobile and social functionality.

NetSuite said it would help organisations “automate and manage key aspects of their business across the complete bid-to-bill lifecycle, giving them what they need to stay competitive, gain efficiency, deliver quality services and delight their clients.”

“In order to drive profit and growth, project- and product-based businesses have a clear need for visibility into the services, product and financial data that has traditionally been siloed across their organisations,” said Mike Fauscette, group VP of Software Business Solutions at IDC.

“Having that data in one unified, cloud-based system is a compelling offering in the global SRP market, which my research indicates reached $2.9bn in 2013 and is growing at a rate of 9.5% year-over-year.”

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