NetSuite eyes rapid growth and promises to help customers and partners do the same

Oracle logo on the side of a building

NetSuite has reiterated its bold international expansion plans whilst also pledging to help customers and partners grow their business too.

That was the main theme of the firm’s Next Ready Business event in London today, which saw key executives, customers and partners take to the stage to talk about the advantages and opportunities they see with the NetSuite platform and in the cloud industry generally.

“Every year I stand up here and tell people how fast we’re growing and how exciting the future is. And today is no different,” said Mark Woodhams, managing director of EMEA.

“In order to grow, to expand, to dominate, we have to act globally but be local. We have to give them [customers] ability to compete locally in local markets with no compromise.”

He added: “We sell a business management system. We give customers complete control over their business to see what is and isn’t working. We have invested a significant amount of time and money in the product. But it never stands still.”

Woodhams talked about NetSuite’s current success. It’s well known for being an ERP player, but he was keen to stress it offers so much more. However, he used the ERP element to drill home some key stats.

NetSuite ERP is the most widely deployed cloud ERP solution, he stressed, citing some pretty impressive numbers. It has been deployed in more than 190 countries and dependant territories and supports some 24 languages.

But Woodhams wasn’t content to talk just about current achievements – he and his team have their eye on a much bigger prize; that of aggressive international expansion, which will absolutely be buoyed by the acquisition by Oracle.

“Whilst we continue to expand in EMEA, we need to give people the ability to really compete locally. Something that is really localised and gives them the opportunity to grow in that particular market,” he added.

“Globally, we are accelerating. The pace of change across the Oracle NetSuite business is phenomenal. I’ve been tasked with growing NS business in EMEA explosively. I say explosively because no ones prepared to put a number or a limit on it. I’ve never seen so much focus, so much investment and support of what we’re doing.”

But Woodhams and his peers recognise this growth won’t come without some challenges and he’s facing one of them head on right now.

“The biggest challenge I face today is recruitment. Not because I have a lack of people who want to work at NetSuite, but because of amount of interviews. We have quadrupled [in size] since January,” he said.

“We are recruiting partners - in region, in country - to bring that local flavour and everything else.”

He added: “When it comes to marketing, we have to create some noise. I’m not just putting people into a country. I’m creating an environment. We want people to understand more about NetSuite. [In some countries], we have customers because we have the products, but we don’t have the noise.”

David Turner, senior director of marketing in EMEA, echoed Woodham’s growth aspirations, but was more externally focused during his presentation.

“Whether you’re a start-up or a scale-up, you’ll all have really exciting opportunities today,” he said, before outlining key challenges.

“Your data is in siloes. You know it’s there but can’t get hold of it. It’s not in real-time. You’ve got systems that don’t talk to each other properly. There are new competitors. All these challenges are building up.”

Turner talked about the increasing failure rate for start-ups and other businesses as a result of facing such challenges head on and not being prepared for them.

Companies need to work hard to avoid becoming constrained in terms of progress due to disconnection and siloes, he warned.

“The cloud doesn’t make it any easier to integrate systems. We still have this situation where you have multiple systems – if you’re not using NetSuite. Ultimately, you are going to have to be responsible for linking these systems or bringing in a third party to be responsible for linking these systems. What you’ve created is this hairball. It’s in the cloud. It’s still a hairball. It’s still a challenge to growth and innovation. Our mission is still to overcome this.”

But there is light at the end of this hairball-filled tunnel, according to Turner. And that lies in working with NetSuite as it offers a holistic solution with many components spanning different elements of the business rather than disparate and disconnected elements.

“For the last 20 years, we at NetSuite have created a system all about helping you crush the barriers to growth. Ultimately, isn’t that what we want as growing companies in an unpredictable and changing market? To be ready for anything? We set out to build a system to run a business. And we delivered that in the cloud and included native ecommerce,” Turner said.

Referencing the acquisition by Oracle as marking another exciting phase in the company’s evolution, Turner added: “Our mission remains exactly the same. To help you grow a business. That hasn’t changed. What has changed with Oracle is we have more resources. We can help you do that anywhere in the world, in any industry.”

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.