Mergers and acquisitions in the software world can take many forms. They can take out a competitor, buy up a user base, or acquire a new technology. What came through clearly at NetSuite’s annual conference, SuiteWorld 2017, is that Oracle’s acquisition of NetSuite is none of those.
The first indication that NetSuite would be different than the typical tech acquisition was when Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said in the press release describing the deal that Oracle would support NetSuite “forever.” Set up as its own global business unit in the Oracle organization, NetSuite is largely left to do its own thing, from product development to customer support.
The second and more important indication, however, came from the SuiteWorld event itself, and the raw ambition of the announcements NetSuite made. A timid NetSuite might have trotted out a couple glitzy customer wins just to show it’s still landing new business. Instead NetSuite went big, by launching:
- A new HR module that fills the biggest gap in its cloud-based product suite;
- A global expansion on track to double its data center footprint;
- SuiteSuccess which is designed to engineer lifelong customer success by building in 20 years of leading practices, product, services and know how into Industry Specific Cloud Solutions.
These are actions, not just words — SuiteSuccess, for example, already has companies across a variety of industries live who are using it to run their business operations better. What follows below are more details on these three critical new initiatives, which show how NetSuite as part of Oracle remains hungry to deliver the best platform on which growing companies can run their businesses.
SuiteSuccess: Decades of Knowledge Built Into a Cloud Platform
SuiteSuccess is the culmination of a multi-year transformation effort to combine the NetSuite unified suite, 20 years of industry leading practices, a new customer engagement model, and business optimization methods into a unified, industry cloud solution. SuiteSuccess was engineered to solve unique industry challenges that too often limit a company’s ability to grow and adapt to change. Most ERP vendors have tried to solve industry-specific problems with templates, rapid implementation methodologies, and a lot of custom code. NetSuite drew on its decades of experience to build into its cloud-based suite the domain knowledge, leading practices, and key performance indicators that it knows work, and combined it with an agile approach to product adoption. Customers can benefit from faster time to value, increased business efficiency, flexibility, and greater customer success.
SuiteSuccess editions are available now for these industries: advertising, media, publishing; financial technology; manufacturing; nonprofit; retail; service-based businesses; software/internet; and wholesale distribution.
Among the customers using SuiteSuccess, NetSuite has seen customers go live 60% faster, implementations cost 18% lower, and 90% of SuiteSuccess customers are referenceable immediately after go live. Out of the first 300 customers there have only been 4 change orders.
Global Expansion: Data Centers, Development, and More
The clearest signal of the operational heft NetSuite gains as part of Oracle came in the form of NetSuite’s global expansion plans announced at SuiteWorld. Backed by the resources and infrastructure of Oracle, NetSuite is doubling down across three areas: data centers, field offices, and development centers.
NetSuite plans to grow from five data centers globally (three in North America, one each in Amsterdam and Dublin) to 11. It expects to open a new data center in Frankfurt, Germany to remedy the lack of modern cloud-based applications in the region, and then launch facilities in Australia, Singapore, and China, and then in Japan. It’s also adding a new US data center, in Chicago.
A similar ambition holds true for field offices. NetSuite intends to expand from field offices in 10 countries to 23 and expand headcount in existing field offices by 50 percent to answer the global demand for cloud ERP. Hiring will be a huge priority for NetSuite under the Oracle umbrella, with plans to hire as many people in 2017 as it employed in total in 2012.
That growth will include an additional commitment to development as well, with NetSuite leveraging Oracle development centers across India, China, and Japan to accelerate development of international, regional, and local features.
Core HR: Sweetening the Suite
SuiteWorld brought the debut of SuitePeople, a core HR solution that brings the final element to NetSuite’s suite of applications for Financial Management, Supply Chain Management, Professional Services Automation, Customer Relationship Management, and Omnichannel Commerce. Built in the NetSuite platform with insights and talent from NetSuite’s own acquisition of TribeHR, SuitePeople provides organization design, job and position management, employee master data, employee self-service, and HR analytics, right within NetSuite. That single-suite approach makes employee information available throughout the suite, from the shop floor to the top floor, in an intuitive, modern design.
NetSuite executives made many other great announcements that show its unwavering focus on improving its platform, including new local features for companies based in the Nordics, plus extensive enhancements across revenue recognition, billing, services resource planning, supply chain management, and governance risk and control. And, of course, they did also announce some of those impressive new customers, with innovative, fast-growing companies that are running their businesses on the NetSuite platform including Ring, PODS, Blue Microphones, Smartsheet, and Bankrate.
It’s clear that the Oracle acquisition doesn’t represent the end of the road for NetSuite but rather the first step in a journey that will take customers to an even more exciting destination.
Paul Farrell is VP of Product Marketing at Oracle NetSuite Global Business Unit.