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NetSuite accelerates APAC expansion plan

Cloud-based software supplier will deliver its business applications through Oracle’s Sydney datacentre in regional push

NetSuite will deliver its suite of cloud-based business applications through Oracle’s datacentre in Sydney, as part of its plans to expand its footprint in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

Without revealing a specific timeframe, NetSuite’s head for Japan and the APAC region, Lee Thompson, said the enterprise resource planning (ERP) software supplier had planned to establish a local presence, but those plans have accelerated after it was acquired by Oracle.

Thompson said access to the combined sales organisation will be extended to New Zealand, which will have access to local sales and support for the first time.

Oracle’s $9.3bn acquisition of NetSuite, completed in November 2016, was its largest acquisition and signals the database giant’s increasing concern about its core business software market being eroded by cloud-based startups.

By purchasing NetSuite, Oracle has, in one fell swoop, acquired the fastest-growing business in the cloud-based ERP market and significant expertise in running a strong online business. The sales teams of both organisations will come together and, eventually, be trained to help customers choose between the two platforms.

Jim McGeever, executive vice-president of Oracle’s NetSuite global business unit, and Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said concerns from existing NetSuite customers who were worried they would be shoehorned into Oracle’s products, were unfounded.

NetSuite executives also assured customers that the only changes they will see are the benefits of being part of a global business that invests more than $5bn in research and development, with offices and datacentres across the world.

That said, as with any merger or acquisition, teething issues are expected. A number of NetSuite staff that Computer Weekly spoke to at this year’s SuiteWorld conference in Las Vegas noted that some of Oracle’s internal processes have been hard to navigate.

Integrating the two companies’ software is another challenge. For one thing, source code changes will be necessary for NetSuite’s applications to run off Oracle’s datacentres, according to Evan Goldberg, NetSuite’s founder and executive vice-president of development from the Oracle NetSuite global business unit.

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However, those changes will not affect the company’s expansion plans, which include a big recruitment drive that will see the NetSuite business unit add as many staff as its total 2012 workforce throughout 2017, said Goldberg.

For partners, the existing NetSuite channel programme will remain largely unchanged, other than the introduction of a new partner category. Although affiliate partners will provide deployment and integration services, they will not sell NetSuite’s software, so customers can buy software directly from NetSuite and work with an independent systems integrator.

At the SuiteWorld opening keynote, McGeever also revealed the “final slice of the NetSuite pie” – an HR module dubbed SuitePeople.

While SuitePeople does not support the full employee lifecycle from hiring to exit, it integrates fully with the existing NetSuite product, enabling managers to track leave applications and plan for busy periods from within the software module they are currently working in.

The other major announcement to come from SuiteWorld was the launch of SuiteSuccess, a deployment methodology that brings together NetSuite’s expertise in deploying cloud-based ERP software.

SuiteSuccess comes with 12 deployment models, each for a specific business function – such as accounts payable or logistics – tailored for eight vertical markets, shortening deployment time for customers and partners.

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