Wednesday, 26 April 2017 17:04

NetSuite here forever, execs tell customers

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Oracle and NetSuite executives have alleviated any concerns NetSuite customers may have about NetSuite being rolled into Oracle E-Business Financials.

Following Oracle's acquisition late last year of NetSuite, its customers may well have been concerned the new Oracle+NetSuite branding is a temporary name, and that ultimately the cloud-based ERP would be subsumed into Oracle's existing ERP platform, with the name NetSuite becoming a legacy of the past like Sun Microsystems.

An additional concern may have been that Oracle would promote a two-tiered ERP ecosystem, and NetSuite customers would be forced to jump to Oracle E-Business once they reached a certain size.

Mark Hurd, Oracle chief executive, and Jim McGeever, executive vice-president of the NetSuite Global Business Unit, both spoke at the Oracle+NetSuite SuiteWorld 2017 conference being held this week in Las Vegas, and both sought to comfort loyal NetSuite customers that NetSuite was not going away.

Hurd emphasised that the NetSuite acquisition was completed in November 2016, and has continued to enjoy increasing growth in the time since. However, NetSuite now had the increased opportunity of accessing Oracle's scale.

Hurd explained Oracle's strategy for NetSuite was to provide greater investment. Currently, Oracle spends $2.5 billion per annum in research and development, and this will extend to NetSuite.

Oracle will invest in NetSuite and will provide access to not only technical resources, but legal and regional resources that could accelerate the globalisation of NetSuite far more rapidly than NetSuite was able to do on its own, he stated.

2017 04 25 14.47.20

Jim McGeever, Craig Sullivan, GVP Product Management and Grame Burt, senior director Growth and Emerging Business JAPAC.

Hurd outlined the international expansion has already commenced with two phases planned. In phase one, NetSuite will have its reach expanded in Benelux, Nordic nations, Mexico, South America, Germany, Japan and South East Asia. In phase two, NetSuite will be targeting greater growth in China, India, Brazil, France and the UAE.

Further, Hurd stated Oracle's plan is to broaden NetSuite with Oracle SaaS solutions including budgeting, planning, and other areas.

He continued, stating Oracle will also increase NetSuite's verticalisation, expanding its capabilities for retail, financial services, manufacturing, software, services, wholesale distribution, ad agencies, and not for profits.

"Oracle's plan for NetSuite can be summed up in three words," Hurd said. "More, better, and forever."

McGeever added, "[the Oracle acquisition] gets [NetSuite] more technology and more integration, and to take advantage of things Oracle can bring which maybe NetSuite could not have done organically."

He added that he would not dictate to his team that they had to do things one way or another, but would encourage staff to leverage all the technology Oracle has and bring it to market as tightly integrated as they can.

Echoing his new boss Hurd, McGeever stated, "the theme is more and faster."

McGeever noted that NetSuite and Oracle customers tended to fall into different market segments. Most NetSuite customers had less than 1000 employees while most Oracle customers were larger organisations.

"I view that we will maintain these two products forever," McGeever says.

Hurd made a final appeal to customers to not be concerned. "We don't do acquisitions lightly," he stated.

"We have a standard way we think about acquisitions but we improvise when it makes sense. We're keeping NetSuite together as a business. Our strategy is to leverage our balance sheet — $60b in cash — and we want to invest that into growing a business. The $9.3 billion investment in NetSuite is so key to our strategy."

"Don't listen to what CEOs say but watch what they do," Hurd continued. "The numbers tell you what they're really thinking. $9.3b doesn't lie, a complete Global Business Unit doesn't lie, investment in R&D doesn't lie.

"NetSuite's best days are ahead of it, not behind it," he said.

The writer is attending the Oracle+NetSuite SuiteWorld 2017 conference in Las Vegas as a guest of the company.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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