For most of its history NetSuite has had something to prove: specifically that its cloud-based ERP system was superior to the on-premise alternatives. That meant evangelising the benefits of cloud computing way back in 1998 when the company was founded.
Before being acquired by Oracle in 2016, NetSuite — along with Salesforce — emerged as one of the star players of the cloud-based SaaS world.
The widespread endorsement of cloud computing by competing vendors and customers which occurred in parallel to the company’s evolution means NetSuite is no longer the plucky upstart antagonising software giants like SAP.
But, now they’ve won the argument what does the company have to say next?
It’s a question that the business has been grappling with internally for the last two years, says Jason Maynard, SVP Strategy and Marketing, NetSuite.
“For the first 15 years of the company’s existence we were pioneering an idea that a lot of people thought was pretty crazy,” says Maynard.
“We were early and built our business around the cloud. Now everyone has agreed and adopted, and in some shape or form are trying to follow where we’ve been.”
Indeed, cloud seems to be moving into a more mature phase as a market. For instance, Oracle’s shares were smacked by the market earlier this week when the company missed its quarterly forecast due to slower than anticipated cloud growth.
The new story that Netsuite wants to talk about is focused more on the customers and less about the infrastructure.
“When we look at the opportunity now, what we talk to our prospects and customers about is how do you grow your business? What are the things that holding your business back? Cloud is clearly an enabler,” Maynard said.
Ready. Set. Grow.
The theme of the company’s annual SuiteWorld conference in Las Vegas is “Ready. Set. Grow.”
NetSuite itself is also on a rapid growth trajectory now that it is a business unit “inside the friendly confines of Oracle.”
“We’re expanding ourselves, but the focus of NetSuite today is how do we make our customers more successful.”
NetSuite’s biggest opportunity over the next five years is finding the businesses that are “running on the old stuff and moving them into the cloud,” Maynard says.
“If you think about cloud ERP or cloud financials, I would guess we are probably less than 10 per cent penetrated versus the overall global ERP market. So the really big opportunity is NetSuite going after growing companies all across the globe who are migrating from a legacy on-premises based system.”
Since being acquired, NetSuite has been kept intact. Maynard explained the rationale from Oracle’s standpoint:
“When we were acquired we were roughly about US$1 billion in revenue, so we were a little too big to break up into pieces and fold into each of the respective functional operating lines. The other big opportunity is scaling our business across the globe.”
Netsuite is leveraging Oracle’s global scale and resources to accelerate its international growth. At the company’s annual SuiteWorld event in Las Vegas last year Oracle CEO Mark Hurd said the goal was to give the NetSuite business all the benefits of Oracle scale and none of the encumbrances of Oracle’s bureaucracy.