NetSuite's annual SuiteWorld conference kicked off this morning in Las Vegas. As well as the change in venue — previous SuiteWorld's being in San Jose — so too is the change in name; this year SuiteWorld is not NetSuite SuiteWorld but Oracle+NetSuite SuiteWorld following Oracle's acquisition of NetSuite in October 2016.
This year's conference has the upbeat theme "Next starts now", not only referencing what NetSuite is releasing and announcing, but perhaps also to combat any fear, uncertainty and doubt customers might have following the acquisition.
Jim McGeever, executive vice-president, NetSuite Global Business Unit, said, "There is an elephant in the room" and it had to be addressed. Indeed, even the Global Business Unit or GBU moniker is new.
What this means, McGeever explained, was that "all sales, services, support and development is still contained with a single business unit that reports to Evan Goldberg and myself, and we report up to Oracle chief executive Mark Hurd."
"For almost all customers there is no difference at all – no difference to the partner network, professional services, support, and so on. It will be business as usual."
Hurd added, "The size of the transaction to acquire NetSuite was US$9.3 billion. Shareholders ask us why did we do what we did?
"This is why," he said, launching into an explanation of Oracle's perception of the cloud market and saying it had a 10-year plan to make a complete cloud-based best-of-breed business suite.
Oracle obviously understands the value of the cloud. "IT is a US$2 trillion industry," Hurd stated. Yet, traditional IT has been on-premises and only US$50 billion of that US$2 trillion was currently spent on cloud products. However, that amount is growing at over 50% while spend on on-premises solutions is now declining.
The reasons for cloud adoption, Hurd stated, are that it simply costs less, and provides more features in a faster cycle time, along with a modern experience. "You cannot do what you do in the cloud world at the same pace in the on-premises world," he said.
Oracle acquired NetSuite, Hurd said, because it had a 10-year strategy to build a cloud-based best-of-breed SaaS suite based on standards.
He said the platform would be designed for extensibility and that Oracle alone could achieve this. "We are in a class alone," Hurd said. "We are the only IT company cable of co-existing on-premises or in the cloud."
With the acquisition of NetSuite Oracle was now the fastest-growing cloud company, he claimed.
This new SaaS suite will be based on the Oracle database and Java. "We think NetSuite made the right decision to base their product on our platform," Hurd said. "At the same time, we want to make a suite of apps – HR, Marketing, manufacturing, and so on that all share data across these applications."
This Oracle+NetSuite strategy will set a new standard for customer delight in the cloud and in the industry, Hurd said.
"It will lead the ERP market. It will win with a SaaS ERP suite – not just financials, but also budgeting, manufacturing, supply chain and more. It will extend with a broader SaaS portfolio such as HR and marketing."
At the same time, Hurd said, Oracle+NetSuite will maintain its strong partner ecosystem.
The writer is attending the Oracle+NetSuite SuiteWorld 2017 conference in Las Vegas as a guest of the company.