"Next Starts Now", SuiteWorld17

SuiteWorld17, Las Vegas

Last week, we visited SuiteWorld17, which was taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada. This three-day conference and exhibition from Oracle + NetSuite centred on the theme, “Next starts now”.

The first day began with a keynote speech from Jim McGeever, Executive Vice President of Oracle + NetSuite. In the first US event since Oracle officially acquired NetSuite, McGeever explained how NetSuite is now a global business unit inside Oracle. This means that all sales, services, support and development for NetSuite are contained inside one business unit. For customers and partners, this means there is no material change whatsoever. The promise from before that it would be business as usual is clearly the case.

Next, Oracle CEO, Mark Hurd, talked about how Oracle + NetSuite is the world’s number one cloud ERP, with 40,000 companies, organisations and subsidiaries using it worldwide.

He explained that the cloud’s growing at 50%, while on-premises software is seeing negative growth. The reasons for the huge shift to the cloud are, firstly, that it costs less. Yet, despite it being less expensive. You get more innovation, better security, and more features, with the new ones being delivered at a rapid pace.

He related how Oracle’s $9.3 billion investment in NetSuite was made with the intention of investing in it further and “driving the business harder and faster as part of a grander strategy for Oracle to lead this transformation to the cloud”.

Oracle as a company is growing faster in terms of cloud endeavours than Amazon Web, Microsoft and Salesforce and the plan is not to slow that growth down.

There will be expansion in other countries around the world and the suite of products will be expanded using Oracle SaaS products, to encompass HR (Human Capital Management), budgeting and planning.

The message coming through loud and clear at SuiteWorld17 was that Oracle intends to invest strongly in NetSuite and use its scale to benefit the product so that it increases its growth rate.

Jim McGeever returned to the stage to spell out some of the growth plans:

  • Oracle + NetSuite will open offices in 13 new countries, growing from 10 locations to 23 and expanding headcount by 50%
  • NetSuite will grow from having five data centres, which were just in the US and Europe, to 11, with new ones opening in the US, Europe, the Far East and Australia.
  • Development centres will open in Argentina, India, China and Japan
  • More new employees will be hired in 2018 than NetSuite had employees in 2012

McGeever highlighted that the company remained committed to its customers and that NetSuite would continue to be available for any company, of any size, in any country or any vertical.

A new part of the suite was announced, SuitePeople, which will be available from June. This, as you can tell from the name, is all about HR. It’s a “unified and flexible human resources system” that will help to engage a business’s employees, improve operational efficiency and support compliance, bringing efficiency and business insight.

Another new product announcement came in the form of SuiteSuccess, the world’s first unified industry cloud solution. Essentially, this takes best practices and KPIs and, using an agile approach, puts them together in products for separate industries, addressing very specific industry needs. It has verticalised, role-based accounts that come completely configured. The implementation is rapid, allowing customers to go live 60% faster. Implementation therefore costs less too – 18% less.

The keynote included several customer case studies – as were 80% of the sessions at SuiteWorld17 – to illustrate how NetSuite is actually being used.

Jason Maynard, SVP Strategy and Marketing for Oracle + NetSuite, came to the stage and made reference to some new features coming to NetSuite. These include: supply chain features to benefit manufacturers, distributors and retailers; new capabilities for warehouse management; and contract management to support omnichannel businesses.

Evan Goldberg talked about these features in more depth the next day. You can see his entire keynote here:

Outside of the keynotes, there were breakout sessions and a chance to visit the expo to see some of the products and technologies that partners have developed for use with NetSuite.

Throughout the entire duration of the SuiteWorld17 event, the scale of the investment from Oracle was evident. Next certainly does start now for the “most widely deployed ERP on the planet”.