From a standing start, China is expected to become NetSuite’s second largest market, behind only the US, by next year. The company is benefiting from the scale-advantages of deeper integration inside Oracle.
China is currently NetSuite’s fourth largest market, a remarkable feat considering a few years ago the company didn’t have any staff in the country and its only customers there were all subsidiaries of US, UK and Australian companies.
NetSuite’s growth in China is the result of the massive international expansion plan the company embarked on after being acquired by Oracle in 2016.
“Oracle turned that ship real fast,” said Jim McGeever, executive vice president of Oracle NetSuite, speaking at the company’s annual event in Las Vegas today.
“This is really driven by the Oracle team, they told us what they are going to do, we thought they were crazy and it was never going to work, and it has just been unbelievable how fast it is growing.”
Following Oracle’s $US9.3 billion acquisition of NetSuite in 2016, NetSuite has remained a global business unit whose leaders report into Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. The plan was for NetSuite to leverage Oracle’s resources to grow, without being suffocated by Oracle bureaucracy.
Oracle CEO Mark Hurd described NetSuite as being incubated inside Oracle to “take advantage of all Oracle’s strengths and hopefully we put as little Oracle bureaucracy on top of NetSuite as possible.”
“We bought NetSuite to grow NetSuite. We bought it to invest more in R&D to take NetSuite more globally than ever before,” Hurd said.
And that’s what they’ve been doing. For example when Oracle acquired NetSuite it had 70 people in sales in EMEA, by the end of the year that number will be 600. As well as expanding staff, NetSuite is making big investments to localise its product in each region.
“Our goal is to be more German in Germany than SAP,” McGeever said.
Life inside Oracle
According to its leaders, being part of Oracle has allowed NetSuite to focus on things it couldn’t have done as a public company.
During his keynote presentation, Jim McGeever said NetSuite “probably spent too much time” focusing on billings as a public company.
“One of the reasons we are growing so fast is that we no longer get judged on billings and so we’ve actually been able to be freer to do the right things and really just focus on long-term customer satisfaction and growth,” he said.
The sentiment was echoed by Mark Hurd.
“When you go public, and you go public early, every single quarter you have to report out to shareholders about your progress. They have certain idiosyncrasies; they want to see how you invest and are you getting returns.”
“Frankly, inside Oracle, we have those pressures at a macro level but in the context of NetSuite we can do the things that NetSuite couldn’t do. So the lessons we’ve learned that we applied to NetSuite was ‘let’s invest and let’s invest early’.”
Among the product announcements made today were 14 new editions of SuiteSuccess, AI and ML capabilities built into its existing products and SuiteCommerce, a new ecommerce product.