Last week I met with Zach Nelson, CEO NetSuite in circumstances very similar to those when I recently met with SAP. There are obvious comparisons:
But there were some striking similarities. Both companies have a tendency to go down the 'bits and bytes' route while fielding questions when in reality the SME market couldn't care less. They want to know about immediate business value. In that sense, NetSuite does a better job because it is able to concentrate on the cloud story whereas SAP has to pitch two sorts of competing story with ByDesign and All-in-One.
Listening to NetSuite customers, it was clear they made decisions based on the maturity of the NetSuite service at the time compared to other offerings in the market. It will be interesting to see how NetSuite fares once SAP puts its marketing foot on the gas pedal.
As I noted before, SAP can play the brand card where NetSuite has yet to achieve significant visibility. In the UK for instance, it is almost unknown. Talking to other analysts in the US, it seems you either know NetSuite and love them or you don't know who they are.
In the accompanying video, Zach talks about competitive marketing, cost compares to on premise applications and gives a hint about NetSuite's next big thing.