Cloud-based Meat and Potatoes
The week of May 12th, NetSuite hosted its annual customer confab – SuiteWorld, in San Jose, CA. The event attracted approximately 6,500 attendees, and re-confirms our view of NetSuite as the emerging leader of cloud-based business applications to midmarket organizations. Execution risk – not market or competitive risks, is the key challenge facing the company as it looks to double its revenues and break the $1 billion mark in the next three years. Midmarket companies looking for cloud-based order management, integrated financials, commerce, billing, and customer management/CRM should include NetSuite on their short list. MGI’s 360 Rating on NetSuite’s billing capability is positive with a score of 58 (out of 100). The other product areas are currently Not Rated by MGI.
Based on conversations with conference attendees (customers, partners, prospects, et al), NetSuite’s overall market position is strengthening. As evidenced by CEO Zach Nelson’s interview with the CTO of the Texas Office of the Comptroller (which manages purchasing), NetSuite is demonstrating it can compete in larger, more complex deals. The State of Texas contract required the Texas legislature to pass a bill expanding the state’s accounting codes. To maintain its growth trajectory, NetSuite will need the capacity to do more sophisticated sales engagements like this. Relative to its cloud-native competitors like Intacct and FinancialForce.com, NetSuite is proving to have a much more mature sales organization.
Similarly on the partner front, we were surprised at the number and types of companies exhibiting at SuiteWorld. Compared to last year, the number of partner exhibitors more than doubled, and the quality of the partners is improving. Companies like Descartes Systems Group (Nasdaq:DSGX) and Coupa (private) that normally deal with larger enterprises than the typical NetSuite customer have invested in NetSuite integrations and dedicated NetSuite sales/marketing resources. We met with several Microsoft Dynamics partners who have shifted resources to NetSuite. This confirms what our survey work and research have been showing, which is the Microsoft Dynamics customer and VAR base are actively seeking a cloud-based alternative. Microsoft currently does not deliver a seamless financials-commerce-CRM solution in the cloud that is comparable to NetSuite. Microsoft’s point products (e.g., DynamicsGP, SharePoint) have relative strengths vs. NetSuite, but the lack of a cloud-based solution integrated into the other key functional areas (commerce and CRM) combined with the customers’ sense that Microsoft has not invested in the product creates a very large opportunity for NetSuite.