NetSuite rapidly grows global footprint, adds new features and tools

The Oracle-owned cloud software company is aggressively expanding, offering more industry-specific tools and introducing a new commerce platform.

The theme for NetSuite's annual SuiteWorld conference this week is "ready, set, growth." It's a theme that the Oracle-owned company is applying to its own business, as well as its customers.

The company, which makes a suite of cloud-based business software products, is announcing native localizations for six of the largest world economies, including Germany, France, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico. Just last year, NetSuite launched distribution in 13 different countries.

Oracle finalized its $9.3 billion acquisition of NetSuite about a year-and-a-half ago, giving the company resources to expand more quickly. The pace of growth, is "really shocking," Jim McGeever, executive VP of Oracle NetSuite, told ZDNet. To illustrate his point, McGeever noted that NetSuite had 70 sales representatives in the AMEA region prior to the acquisition -- it now has 600.

NetSuite has also grown rapidly in China, where it had zero presence prior to the acquisition. Now, China is NetSuite's fourth-largest selling market. Its customers include "some of the biggest brand names" from China, McGeever said, and NetSuite has plans to put a datacenter there.

With the new native localizations, NetSuite is adding phone support, technical help and other forms of assistance to go "local to the core," McGeever said. After NetSuite's 18.2 release, which is the second release of 2018, the company will be "the most internationalized ERP product on the planet out of the box," he said.

While it grows its footprint geographically, NetSuite is also adding more vertical-specific features and tools for customers, as well as more intelligent capabilities. This includes 14 new editions of SuiteSuccess, each with dashboards and features designed to meet the unique requirements of various micro-verticals. For instance, instead of just offering a dashboard for retail, the SuiteSuccess Commerce edition will have dashboards for home goods, apparel, and even cold-weather apparel.

Previously, SuiteSuccess was basically 80 percent pre-configured, McGeever explained, while the new micro-vertical offerings make it effectively 100 percent pre-configured. Along with commerce, the new editions include manufacturing, consulting services, media, food and beverage manufacturing, publishing and more.

In terms of intelligent features, NetSuite is adding machine learning-based capabilities that will offer insight and suggestions to different, specific business users across the organization. For instance, sales professionals will get support from intelligent interactions that can offer insights on cross-selling opportunities and other means of personalizing and improving the sales process. Finance professionals, meanwhile, will get AI capabilities that can improve audit risk analysis or analyze past payment history with vendors and customers to enhance cash flow predictions.

Oracle is making its own massive investments in AI, and in the future, they'll offer tools that NetSuite "will be able to bolt onto the entire NetSuite database," McGeever said. Until then, NetSuite is using AI in ways that are practical and task-specific, he said.

NetSuite this week is also launching SuiteSuccess for SuiteCommerce, a product that enables businesses to stand up an online store within 30 days. It offers pre-packaged, pre-built commerce stores with back-end integration to keep track of things like inventory and shipping information. It supports both B2C and B2B ecommerce. NetSuite is offering free implementation to the first 1,000 customers to purchase SuiteSuccess for SuiteCommerce.

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