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NetSuite looks for opportunities outside the US as it prepares to open its first European datacentre

The cloud-based ERP and CRM vendor says the new facility will help it exploit "great opportunity for growth" in the region.

NetSuite will open a datacentre in Europe next year as part of a plan to drive growth in the region.

The cloud-based ERP and CRM vendor says the facility will help it win European customers that need to keep their data from leaving the EU.

The provider – which traditionally has targeted small and medium-sized businesses and competes with the likes of Sage and SAP - has been selling services in the region since it entered the UK market in earnest in 2003.

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NetSuite only earned about 26 percent of its revenue outside the US in 2013, according to analyst house Gartner. However, the services firm increased its non-US earnings this year by acquiring e-commerce provider Venda, which Gartner estimates generates nearly half of its revenue in Europe.

"Our investment in Venda this year was about investing in domain expertise in Europe. It was our largest acquisition to date," said Zach Nelson, CEO of NetSuite at the NetSuite Suite Connect user conference in London today.

Nelson said "the business in Europe grew 100 percent in 2013" and that the acquisition of Venda had concentrated the company's attention on the region.

"It's bringing our companies together and getting us to focus on the next great opportunity for growth, and that's Europe."

NetSuite will open both a main and failover datacentre in an unspecified European country, with both facilities situated within the premises of an existing infrastructure provider.

While European companies are less concerned than they once were about the location of data, said Mark Woodhams, managing director of EMEA for NetSuite, it remains an important issue within three key European countries.

"We face challenges around data residency in Germany, Austria and Switzerland," he said.

"Germany is obviously the biggest economy in Europe and so if we put a datacentre in place it opens up some of those markets. Putting a datacentre into Europe will generate a whole stream of new business without a doubt."

Woodhams said the move to open the datacentre is not driven by a need to reduce network latency, pointing out the company already serves non-US companies from its American datacentres without complaints about responsiveness.

While NetSuite has traditionally served small and medium-sized businesses, Woodham said the firm is signing increasingly larger companies.

"We have a large high street retailer, and some very large clients in the States already. [American Express] signed last month."

The company also announced new tax compliance technology in its SuiteTax engine, which is aimed at helping firms comply with new EU VAT rules that will impose tax based on the countries where services are consumed rather than where the services are served from.