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NetSuite CEO Goldberg: Growing in the house of Oracle

NetSuite CEO Evan Goldberg briefs analysts and press on the eve of the supplier’s annual, this year virtual, conference

Evan Goldberg, chief executive officer of NetSuite, gave a picture of steady growth in the house of Oracle, in a briefing to analysts and press on the eve of the supplier’s annual, this year virtual, conference.

He said his firm was seeing 23% year-on-year growth, adding: “The majority of software companies going public are doing that on NetSuite.”

Goldberg picked out Zoom Info as a company that has gone public during the pandemic. “NetSuite played a significant role in that,” he said.

The software-as-a-service, small to mid-market, enterprise resource planning (ERP) company has been part of Oracle since 2016, but has always been strongly related to its parent company, with Larry Ellison as an early investor and mentor to Goldberg.

The company is increasing its absorption of Oracle technology at a steady rate, said Goldberg.

All new customers will be on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure in 2021, he added. “And we have customers there already.”

Goldberg declared NetSuite “a huge fan of the Redwood [UI] design system” that has taken root at Oracle in recent years. He said there will be “some convergence and very close co-operation” in UI (user interface) developments, with artificial intelligence (AI)-driven conversational UI being used more in NetSuite products, as it is in the Oracle Fusion cloud applications suite.  

But there were limits, he said. “There’s a lot of things that are similar, and a ton of things that are different, which is why you can’t just build one application for companies that have 10 people to companies that have 100,000 people,” he said.

“We are collaborating and, in future, you will see things like massively streamlined expenses reporting, which will be similar. But what happens when an expense receipt is submitted in a big company is a whole lot different, it’s more complex. So there it will deviate.”

Goldberg said the pandemic had also changed the usage of NetSuite. “The number one question that customers ask is: how do we get more out of NetSuite?” he said. “But they have no time, they are just getting through the day. So now they are getting more time to do more of what they had wanted to do.”

One of the UK NetSuite customers that the supplier mentioned in its press announcements was Unisnacks, a specialist confectionery, food and beverage products supplier of Asian brands to UK supermarkets that include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, B&M, Poundland and Dhamecha. Unisnacks uses “SuiteSuccess Wholesale Distribution” to help manage its inventory and operations.

Hussein Deen, head of IT at Unisnacks Europe, said: “Our goal is to build on significant recent growth to become the preferred importer and distributor for top brands from Asia in the UK. NetSuite is our preferred strategic partner supporting us on this mission of creating a competitive edge, facilitating us to operate our complex distribution network, manage inventory, and giving us a complete view of each part of the business.

“We will contribute and grow with NetSuite as we build out our IT infrastructure and move into a 90,000ft2 bespoke distribution facility.”

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On the competitive environment, against the likes of Sage and Quickbooks, Goldberg restated the whole business “suite” approach as a differentiator point that the company – and Oracle – will often make. “We’re just doubling down on that, with SuitePeople, SuiteBilling, and so on,” he said. “The arc of the product cycle for us is long. We measure in years, not months.”

Goldberg joked that he had mislaid his crystal ball, but ventured that the next year or so will combine trends from the “past several years” with trends from the past few months of the pandemic period.

“We’re seeing tons of business transformation,” he said. “There are definitely businesses that are suffering, and are not going to make it. But generally, you see a thousand flowers bloom. The systems that help you rapidly grow a relatively new business will help the massive business formation that will occur at some point.”

Product updates that the supplier is announcing include what it bills as new cash management capabilities that “help customers easily connect to thousands of financial institutions around the world – the powerful connections automatically import transactions and account balances directly into NetSuite”.

For supply chain managers, there are what NetSuite describes as automated fulfilment capabilities, said to “help customers allocate inventory to optimise profit by automatically filling orders based on user-defined criteria such as lead time, shipping cost, or fill rate”. And there are supply planning capabilities, said to “help customers align supply and demand by providing new planning features for material requirements planning and a dedicated repository that ensures planners can easily monitor, release and review orders”.

And in HR, there is SuitePeople performance management, which is said to “centrally manage and administer the performance review process – this improves the efficiency of performance management and increases employee engagement through active, real-time goal updates and monitoring”.

More across the business is an “analytics warehouse” that is integrated with Oracle analytics cloud technology and is said to “improve decision-making by aggregating multiple sources of data and performing advanced scenario planning based on data snapshots or predictive analytics”.

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